Saturday, March 09, 2019

“Rats’ Nest Island”


Greetings Everyone,
After seeing the Dugongs in Shark Bay it was time to drive back to the Perth area to prepare for our visit to Rottnest Island. We had a day to spare so decided to return to Yanchep National Park to search for the Rakali. This time we stayed right in the park so we could search before dawn. We walked along the shore of Loch McNess past the Wagardu Jetty to the far end. I noticed something swimming low in the water from the near shore to the reeds. It could only be a Rakali! Commonly known as water rats, a push was made in the 1990s to change to the aboriginal name Rakali to try to give this native rodent’s reputation a makeover. Unfortunately, it was before sunrise and Marc didn’t get a great photo.

Rakali Before Sunrise

On March 5 we took a ferry from Hilary’s Wharf to Rottnest Island just off the Western Australian coast from Perth. The island has become a major holiday destination but we visited mainly to see a Quokka, a small native marsupial. In fact, the island was given the name 't Eylandt 't Rottenest ("Rats' Nest Island") by Dutch captain Willem de Vlamingh who spent six days exploring the island in 1696, mistaking the quokkas for giant rats. Rottnest is undoubtedly the easiest place to see a Quokka although we had great luck in seeing them on the mainland. Here on Rottnest Island, they have become part of the tourist attraction where people flock to take a selfie with an adorable Quokka. There are commonly seen around the restaurants in Thomson Bay looking for a handout from tourists who feed them despite laws against it. As a result, the Quokkas around the homestead are unhealthy suffering from deficiencies and predisposed to disease and even death.

Quokkas

We were fortunate to have booked two nights at the historic Bathurst Lighthouse keepers cottage. The lighthouse keeper maintained the acetylene flame daily from 1900 when the lighthouse was built until 1920 when it was replaced by an acetylene flasher. The light was converted to electric operation in 1986 and continues to guide ships safely into Fremantle today.


Our Cottage

The next day we rode our bikes out to Cathedral Rocks to see Australian Sea Lions. The sea lions weren’t around but several male New Zealand Fur Seals were frolicking in the surf just below the viewpoint. 

New Zealand Fur Seal

On the bike ride back to Thomson Bay we were able to see Quokkas in a more natural setting. 

Quokka

Upon our return to Perth, we had built in a few contingency days at the end of our itinerary and decided to return to Cheynes Beach to give the Honey Possums one last try. This time we solicited help from a local photographer, Raeline, to help us find the elusive Honey Possum. We made the five and a half hour drive to Cheynes Beach and arranged to meet Raeline that evening for a “Honey Possum Tutorial”. She showed us all her usual spots where Honey Possums are often found and indicated that they are best seen in the early mornings or late afternoons. We had been searching in the right areas on our first visit but were looking mostly after dark. This time of year the Honey Possums are seen feeding on the blossoms of Birds-nest Banksia (Banksia baxteri). Sadly we didn’t find a Honey Possum but we did encounter a Grey Butcherbird that had just killed a New Holland Honeyeater. It was in the process of storing its meal in the fork of a branch to be consumed later. Although considered gruesome by some it is an ingenious adaptation.  

Grey Butcherbird

We were up before sunrise to survey the same route we did last night for Honey Possums. Using the information provided by Raeline we felt more positive. We were definitely looking in the right places at the right time but could we detect the drop-down motion that Raeline kept talking about? The answer was no. When Raeline caught up to us we still had yet to spot a Honey Possum nor had Raeline. Time was quickly running out. Once the sun is up and it gets too hot, the possums go to sleep. Lucky for us it was a cloudy day. Suddenly, Raeline quietly states “I’ve got one.” I got a brief glimpse and Marc missed it entirely. Bummer, had we come this close only to miss it after all? Raeline said “give it a minute” and sure enough, the Honey Possum reappeared. No wonder they were so difficult to find. Male honey possums weigh just 7 to 11 g (0.25 to 0.39 oz), and females weigh 8 to 16 g (0.28 to 0.56 oz); about half the weight of a mouse. Their body length ranges from 6.5 to 9 cm (2.6 to 3.5 in)! This time we both got good views and Marc was able to get a photo! 


Honey Possum

“Mission Honey Impossumable” (see earlier post with the same title) had become mission accomplished! What a wonderful way to end an incredible two-month journey in Western Australia. A big thanks goes to Raeline for finding us a Honey Possum! We look forward to our next visit to Western Australia. There’s still so much to see and do!

We hope all is well with everyone.
Peggy and Marc


      Western Australia Mammal List: January 13 - March 11, 2019

No.        Species Scientific Name Notes
   1Western Grey Kangaroo Macropus fuliginosusJF, Dry, Boy, Per, SR, BB, CB, TP, Bus, Yan 
   2Southern Brown Bandicoot (Quenda) Isoodon obesulusTT, JF, Kar, BM, CB
   3Black Rat *Rattus rattus TT 
   4Woylie (Brush Tailed Bettong)Bettongia penicillataKar, BM, Dry, Per
   5Common Brushtail PossumTrichosurus vulpeculaKar, BM, Dry, Per, SR, Bus, BD
   6Tammar WallabyMacropus eugeniiKar, Dry, Per
   7Short-beaked EchidnaTachyglossus aculeatusDry, FP
   8Boodie (Burrowing  Bettong)Bettongia lesueurBM
   9Greater Bilby Macrotis lagotisBM
 10Mala (Rufous Hare- Wallaby)Lagorchestes hirsutusBM
 11European Rabbit *Oryctolagus cuniculusDry, SR, CB, TP, EP, Bus, FP
 12Chuditch (Western Quoll)Dasyurus geoffroiiDry, Per
 13NumbatMyrmecobius fasciatusDry, Boy, Per
 14Western Ringtail PossumPseudocheirus occidentalis Per, TP, Bus, BD
 15Western Brush (Black- Gloved) Wallaby Macropus irmaPer, SR
 16Quokka Setonix brachyurusSR, TP, RI
 17Red Fox *Vulpes vulpesSR, Yan
 18OrcaOrcinus orcaBB
 19Australian Sea LionNeophoca cinereaBB
 20Indo-Pacific Bottlenose DolphinTursiops aduncusKB, MM
 21KoalaPhascolarctos cinereusYan
 22Black-footed (or Flanked) Rock WallabyPetrogale lateralisMC
 23DugongDugong dugonMM
 24Domestic Cat (feral) *Felis catusFP
 25Mousesp.?FP
 26Common Wallaroo (Euro)Macropus robustus erubescensFP
 27Rakali Hydromys chrysogasterYan
 28New Zealand Fur SealArctocephalus forsteriRI
 29Honey PossumTarsipes rostratusCB
 30Yellow-footed Antechinus Antechinus flavipesCB (glimpse)
 31Bat sp.?
 32Red-tailed PhascagolePhascogale caluraDry (glimpse)

       Key:

       TT = Treetops Cottage in Kalmunda
       JF = John Forest National Park
       Kar = Karakamia Sanctuary 
       Boy = Boyagin Nature Reserve
       Dry = Dryandra Woodland 
       BM = Barna Mia Sanctuary
       Per = Perup Nature Reserve
       SR = Sterling Range National Park
       BB = Bremer Bay
       CB = Cheynes Beach
       TP = Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve
       EP = Emu Point
       Bus = Brussells Bushland
       BD = Boranup Drive
       KB = Koombana Bay
       Yan = Yanchep National Park
       MC = Mt. Caroline Nature Reserve
       MM = Monkey Mia
       FP = Francois Peron National Park
       RI = Rottnest Island
       *  = animal introduced or not native
       
Animals in red are endangered or critically endangered. 

For the 108 bird species seen and photographed by Marc go to his list on iNaturalist:

Saturday, March 02, 2019

Dugong! Dugong!

Greetings Everyone,
We’ve driven 823 kilometers north from Perth to Shark Bay in the hopes of seeing a Dugong. We read that Shark Bay is one of the best places in the world to find these marine mammals resembling what many of us as know as a Manatee. We had booked a tour the following morning and set off early for the Monkey Mia Jetty. When we arrived, the Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins that frequent the bay were being fed by park staff and we went down to the beach to watch the show. Seven dolphins were eagerly waiting for fish. A woman gave a talk about the dolphins over a loudspeaker.

Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins

While watching the show, Marc got a call on his cellphone. Wildsights, the company conducting our dugong tour had just canceled because we were the only two signed up. Bummer, had we come all this way for nothing! We left the dolphin show and went to the gift shop to try and get on the other tour company’s (Perfect Nature Cruises) boat heading out at 10:30. Luckily they had space and I told Marc to go photograph the dolphins while I paid for the tickets. I returned to the show just as the volunteers were coming out to feed the dolphins. People are selected from the audience to feed them. I was chosen, even though I had pants on. I waded in to feed Puck, a female with a calf. I placed the fish in the water in front of her and she gently ate it.

Peggy Feeding a Dolphin

Following the dolphin feeding, we went to the jetty to board a large catamaran, the Aristocrat 2, for our dugong cruise. The water was very choppy and murky. “How were we to see Dugongs in these conditions?” I wondered. One of the deckhands said that the water was dark to a recent algae bloom. Normally it would be a clear emerald green instead of an inky blue. Finally, our deckhand spotted a Dugong off the starboard side. I caught a quick glimpse as we motored past. “I hope that wasn’t it?” I thought. We did find another Dugong with a calf and this time I could make out her head and nostrils when she came to the surface to breathe. 

Dugong

She was up for a few seconds before diving with a flip of her fluke-like tail.

Dugong Tail

We encountered another cow with a calf, seeing 5-6 Dugongs in all. Shark Bay is home to more than 10,000 dugongs, about 10% of the world’s population of this vulnerable species. This was an excellent time to see Dugongs in Shark Bay as they come here in the summer to enjoy the warm shallow waters of the inner gulfs.

On the way back we encountered a large pod of dolphins and they joined us to ride our bow wake. They swam back and forth from one pontoon to the other, sometimes swimming upside down and other times porpoising through the water. It was great fun to watch.

Dolphins in Our Bow Wake

On the drive back to Denham, we stopped to check out Francois Peron National Park. We could only drive as far as the Peron Homestead, a working sheep farm in the early 1900s, without a high clearance  4-wheel drive vehicle. On the way back we encountered a male Emu with 12 grown chicks! The males actually incubate the eggs and guard the chicks until they are up to 7 months old! 

Emu Family

We returned to the Peron Homestead at dusk to look for Common Wallaroos or Euros as they are called locally and to stay after dark to look for nocturnal mammals. As the sun set, we heard some stomping in the bushes, so we knew the Euros were around but they were playing hard to get. After dark Marc spotted an animal in the beam of his headlamp. It turned out to be a rather sizeable feral cat, the first one we encountered on this trip. There were also European Rabbits hopping around, so just introduced animals and no native ones.

We were up before dawn to visit the Peron Homestead to see if we’d have better luck with the Euros. Once in the park, we were very fortunate to come across a Woma Python crossing the road. These snakes have become critically endangered in the Wheatbelt area.

Woma Python

When we arrived at the Peron Homestead we finally caught a Euro in the open and Marc was able to get a great photo.

Common Wallaroo (Euro)

Along the trail to the bird hide, I spotted a Short-beaked Echidna, the first seen since we were in Dryandra Woodland a month ago.

Short-beaked Echidna

Since Wildsights canceled our Dugong tour yesterday, they booked us on today’s cruise. Fortunately, we had built a contingency day into our schedule and were able to go out again. When we arrived at Monkey Mia, both catamarans were moored. Would we go out today? A dingy motored out to our boat and it was brought to the jetty. We met Quinn our skipper and Toby our deckhand for the day's excursion on the "Shotover," once a racing catamaran in the ’70s.

The "Shotover"

Toby gave us a safety briefing and we were on our way. Quinn said it would be an hour before we reached the outer seagrass beds where the Dugongs had been feeding a few days earlier. We entered the “hot zone” and scanned the inky waters but there were no Dugongs in sight. Finally, Toby exclaimed, “Dugong! Dugong!”. Everyone crowded to the front of the boat to watch the Dugongs come to the surface to breathe. They came closer to the boat than the ones we saw yesterday.

Dugongs

Dugongs belong to the order Sirenia or sea cows. The name Sirenia comes from Greek mythology meaning mermaid. Historical accounts of mermaids, reported by mariners, may have been inspired by Dugongs or Manatees. 


Dugong Tail

Mission accomplished! We saw Dugongs on not one but two excursions into Shark Bay. What a rare treat to see these mythical creatures in their natural habitat. It was now time to begin the long drive back to Perth.
We hope all is well with everyone.
Peggy and Marc


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Among the World's Oldest Fossils!

Greetings Everyone,
We’ve been exploring Western Australia for the past 6 weeks. Our journey has now taken us north of Perth en route to the town of Denham along the shore of Shark Bay. It was a long drive so we decided to break it up by making two stops. The first was Eglington from which we could easily visit Yanchep National Park. We had read that it was the best place to see Western Grey Kangaroos. Not that we hadn’t seen them in other locations but they are always fun to observe. It was midday and all the kangaroos were in hiding but there was a lot of bird activity. A large flock of Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo was noisily feeding in the trees above. There were Magpie Lark, Australasian Swamphen and Australian Wood Ducks on the lawn.

Australasian Swamphen

We walked around Loch McNess on the Wetlands Trail not seeing any mammals nor many birds during the heat of the day. However, we concluded it would be a good place for a night walk. There were information signs that Rakali or Common Water Rats are found here and it would be a new mammal for us. We headed to the Koala enclosure where we spotted 5 Koalas sleeping in the Eucalyptus trees. One was lower down and facing us so Marc got a good photo. Koalas aren’t native to Western Australia and these are the descendants of Koalas brought here in 1938 from the Perth Zoo. 

Koala at Yanchep National Park

When we returned to Yanchep around 6:00 pm, approximately 200 Western Grey Kangaroos had descended on the lawns to graze. A few tourists were still about to get selfies with the "roos". We walked to the lakeshore to look for Rakaki but saw none. We moved down the shore and sat on some stone steps to wait. There were a lot of water birds but sadly no Rakali. We remained until it got too dark to see and returned to our vehicle for a packed dinner. When it got dark, we set off on our night walk. We saw the eyeshine of many kangaroos but I noticed some very bright orange eyeshine. It turned out to be an introduced Red Fox. We caught a few more scavenging around the picnic tables, not a good thing for the native animals. We started on the Wetlands Walk seeing another Red Fox, the only mammal other than the kangaroos that we encountered on our disappointing walk.

Western Grey Kangaroo

The next day I got the bright idea to drive three hours east to Mt. Caroline Nature Reserve to look for Black-footed or Black-flanked Rock Wallabies. Mount Caroline Nature Reserve supports the largest known Black-footed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis) population in the central Wheatbelt. This species was critically endangered in the past and in 1979 the population size at Mt. Caroline was estimated at 9 individuals. Today they have rebounded due to the removal of Red Foxes and feral cats. When we arrived in the area, we found a cryptic map without road names. We drove around but couldn’t seem to get close to Mt. Caroline and the only road to it was to a farm. There was a sign saying that you needed to call to get permission to enter. Marc called the number on the sign and luckily someone answered and gave us the ok to drive to the reserve. It was now 2:30 and we decided to wait an hour for it to cool down. We followed the dirt track on foot for about 200 meters where we reached a rocky outcrop. Marc spotted at least 6 wallabies on the boulders above but I couldn’t see them at first! We climbed to where the Wallabies were but all but one had bounded off.


Black-footed Rock-wallaby

We returned to the road and walked to the end not seeing anymore. We climbed to an open rock area and scanned for wallabies seeing none. We returned to the area where we had first seen them and climbed above reaching another open rocky area with great views over the farm but no more wallabies.


View from Mt. Caroline

We spotted many Ornate Crevice-Dragons scurrying along the rocks. When they paused, they held their rear feet off the hot rocks.


Ornate Crevice-Dragon

We climbed to the top of the crest where we spotted the last wallaby we’d see bound off. We returned slowly to the car but by now it was nearing 6:00 and we needed to start the 3-hour drive back to Eglington.

The next day we continued our journey north making a detour to visit the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park. We set off on a 1.2-kilometer walk through the Pinnacles, an area with thousands of weathered limestone pillars. Some of the tallest pinnacles reached heights of up to 3.5 meters above the yellow sand base.


Pinnacles in Nambung National Park

We stopped in Cervantes for lunch at the Lobster Shack. We were curious to see how Australian Lobster would stack up to Maine Lobster. They are not a true Lobster lacking the big front claws but they were quite tasty.


Australian Lobster for Lunch

After lunch we continued our drive north to Geraldton, arriving mid-afternoon. We had booked the upstairs of a beachfront villa overlooking the Indian Ocean. It would be a great spot to hang out for two nights before resuming our journey.


Our Beach House in Geraldton

Our last big push north to Denham took us first to Kalbarri National Park. The draw here is the spectacular coastal scenery. Red Bluff was a windy spot with soaring views of red sandstone cliffs being pounded by the relentless Indian Ocean.


Red Bluff, Kalbarri National Park


Another major geological feature is the Murchison River Gorge which winds its way 80 km through the desert to reach the coast.


Murchison River Gorge

The last stop on our way to Denham was Hamlin Pool to see stromatolites. I had no idea what stromatolites were but they sure sounded interesting. We walked to a boardwalk built over the stromatolites which turned out to be microbial mats created by colonies of microbes called cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) which trap and bind sand and sediment grains. They didn’t look particularly attractive but they are remarkable for being found in the fossil record dating back 3.5 billion years and so are one of the earliest fossil evidence of life! What’s more, stromatolites are the reason life on this planet flourishes today. Before cyanobacteria, our atmosphere was only 1% oxygen. Then for the next 2 billion years, the photosynthesizing stromatolites pumped oxygen into the ocean. When the oceans’ waters were saturated, oxygen was released into the air. When the level reached 20% oxygen, life as we know it today, was able to exist and evolve!


Stromatolites

We continued our journey, arriving in Denham, the furthest north we’d venture on this trip, in the early evening. We’d have two days to find Dugong, the Australasian equivalent of the Manatee. Stay tuned to see if we are successful.
We hope all is well with everyone,
Peggy and Marc
Our route map:



Friday, February 22, 2019

Shark! Shark! No, it's a Dolphin!

Greetings Everyone,
From the Albany area on the southern coast of Western Australia, we continued west toward Margaret River. We made a stop at Walpole-Nornalup National Park to visit the Valley of the Giants. A 130-foot high walkway had been constructed so you could get a bird’s eye view of these towering trees.

Tree Top Walk

They are a species of Eucalyptus called Red Tingle (Eucalyptus jacksoniiand can grow to a height of 180-feet and live as long as 400 years!

Red Tingle Tree

We reached the bustling town of Margaret River in the afternoon and located our accommodation, Bussells Bushland Cottages, about 4 kilometers away. We settled into our cottage nestled among native bushland for a 4-night stay.

Our Cottage Near Margaret River

After dinner, we headed out for a night walk on the nearby trails. We saw Common Brushtail and Western Ringtail Possums, but unfortunately, we didn’t find a Brush-tailed Phascogale.

Common Brushtail Possum

The next day we followed Caves Road south to explore some limestone caves found in the area. We stopped at the first cave, Calgardup and decided to visit it. We were given helmets and lights for the self-guided tour. The formations weren’t spectacular. At one section there was a low roof which forced us to crouch for 10 meters but it was nothing extreme, and we really didn’t need helmets.

Going Low Inside Calgardup Cave

The next cave was called Mammoth owing to some enormous chambers. It was also a self-guided tour, but the cave was lit up so we didn’t need lights.

Mammoth Cave

Our final cave was called Jewel Cave where we had to wait 20 minutes to go on a guided tour. You’re not allowed to go into this cave unguided. As we entered the cave our guide warned us about high CO2 levels and that we’d have to climb 500 stairs. This cave was discovered in 1957 and was opened to the public in 1959. It was the most impressive with a lot of calcite formations including the longest straw formation in any Australian cave. It was 5.4 meters long and was formed drop by drop over many years.

Straw Formations

There were formations resembling coral, organ pipes, popcorn or cauliflower. There was a huge area of flowstone that resembled a karri forest and a massive stalagmite weighing some 20 tons!

Calcite Formation

Our next stop was Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. When we arrived the last tour was in 5 minutes and we rushed off to the lighthouse where Ron, our guide, and another couple were waiting.

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse

The tour allowed us to go inside the lighthouse and to climb the circular staircase to the top. Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse was built in 1895 to prevent further shipwrecks on the point where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. Near the top was the chariot, the wheeled carriage at the bottom of the Fresnel lens assembly which allowed the lenses to rotate around a circular iron track. The lenses magnified the light from ~20 LEDs, allowing the light to be seen 40km away!

LED Lighthouse Light

Ron opened the door and allowed us to go outside on the deck. The wind was blowing so hard we could barely make our way around the lighthouse.

Peggy on the Lighthouse Deck

The view was stupendous over the boiling Southern and Indian Oceans.

Southern Ocean (left) and Indian Ocean (right)

On the way back to our car a snake crossed our path. It was probably one of the venomous ones that the signs posted on the lawns warned visitors about. We asked the guy in the gift shop and he confirmed it was a Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis). The venom of the Dugite is potentially one of the most lethal in the world but they are not aggressive and tend to avoid humans. 


Dugite 

We stopped at Cozy Corner to have a picnic supper and to watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean. We decided to return to Bussells Bushland by way of Boranup Road so we could do a bit of spotlighting for nocturnal animals. We saw Common Brushtail and Western Ringtail Possums and our second snake of the day, a South-western Carpet Python.

South-western Carpet Python

The following day we chose to visit the Eagles Heritage Raptor Center, a facility that’s involved with the conservation and rehabilitation of injured raptors. We walked the 1-kilometer trail with cages containing various eagles, hawks, and owls in them. We arrived at the area where at 1:30 a flight display was to take place. The owner of the center came carrying a Barn Owl on his gloved arm. Her name was Ivy and she was born and raised at Eagles Heritage. She’s now 4 years old and her keeper explained all about her uncanny sense of hearing and eyesight. After he allowed us to hold her. It was a thrill to hold such a beautiful and gentle owl.

Peggy with a Barn Owl

Ivy was returned to her cage and the owner let three Black Kites out of their cage. They flew around but seemed under his voice control. I’ve never seen birds kept in captivity exercised this way. The owner went on to explain that these kites are persecuted because it’s believed that they kill chickens. They are often referred to as chicken hawks but they eat insects and mice. He tossed them bits of food which they caught midair in their talons and Marc was able to capture a stunning photo.

Black Kite Catching a Morsel

We had read that Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin often visit the bay around Bunbury so we made the 1-hour drive north the next day to search for them. We ended up at Leschenault Waterways to look for them. We walked a 1-kilometer causeway that led out into the bay, perfect for spotting dolphins but we saw none. We did see a lot of birds; cormorants, darters, herons, pelicans, gulls, and a Black Swan.

Australian Pelicans

Marc called the Dolphin Discovery Center and they said the dolphins were there! We rushed off but by the time we got there maybe 10 minutes later they had moved off. To add insult to injury, we found out that the only boat tour to see the dolphins had left about 45 minutes ago. A couple of volunteers suggested we visit “The Cut” to see them and one volunteer gave Marc a map on how to get there. Before leaving, I bought tickets for tomorrow’s boat tour, the only sure way to see the dolphins. We drove around to “The Cut” where a few other people were looking for dolphins. Sure enough, they were there but were far away. We spent a couple of hours hoping to get a better view but we saw mostly dorsal fins.

Dolphin Dorsal Fin

We returned to Bussells Bushland and that night I went out to inspect the West Australian Peppermint Trees Near our cabin. The leaves are the favorite food of the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possums. I spotted two feeding on leaves in the upper branches!

Western Ringtail Possum Near Our Cabin

We left Bussells Bushland in time for our noon dolphin tour in Bunbury. We boarded the boat from the beach and stayed near shore while the captain gave us an informative talk about the dolphins. He confirmed that these are Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, a different species than the Common Bottlenose Dolphin. A resident pod of about 50 have been studied in the bay for 20 years. We headed for “The Cut” where the dolphins tend to hang out and a pod was there frolicking in the water. A little boy on board kept crying “Shark, Shark!”. Their dorsal fins did look a bit shark-like. They approached our boat and we got excellent views and photos. 

Pod of Dolphins

We spent about 45 minutes with the dolphins. Toward the end of our tour, a newborn calf with its mom finally revealed itself. At this time of year, the dolphins are breeding and giving birth.

Mother and Calf

We returned to shore and continued our drive to Mandurah where we stopped to visit our friend Sue before continuing north to Eglington our final destination.

We hope all is well with everyone.
Peggy and Marc

Our route map: