Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Billy Goat "Falls"

We drove up to northwestern KI to walk to Billy Goat Falls.  This is a seasonal waterfall.  This walk was downhill until we reached the gorge, then steeply uphill through the bush.  Despite the wetter than usual summer, this waterfall is just a trickle currently.  It's probably completely dry most years at this time.

Our bigger goal was to search for the elusive Glossy Black Cockatoo.  These are smaller cockatoos with a brilliant red band on the underside of the tail.  This bird is relatively common in the southeast of the country.  However, the KI subspecies is endangered with estimates of 100-200 birds remaining on the island.

As we were walking, we thought we heard some crunching noises coming from the dense she-oak bush.  These cockatoos are known to eat the seeds from this tree.  They have to rip open the cones with their beaks to get at the seeds.  We stepped off the trail to investigate and sure enough, there were at least three hidden in the dense bush.  We did see the brilliant red tail as they were flying.  Unfortunately, that's the best photo I could get with the dense underbrush.  Here's a better one from wikipedia:

Another fortunate wildlife find!

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