Sunday, July 27, 2014

Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay and Eastern Bristlebird encounters

With  a weekend to do just what I wanted, it was a great excuse to head to the coast for some sunshine, to try an rid myself of a persistent cough and sore throat that has dogged me for the past couple of weeks.

I left Canberra on Friday after a couple of meetings in the morning and decided to make my way to Booderee National Park on Jervis Bay via, Nerriga. I tuned into a great community radio station, playing a mixture of, jazz, rock and blues, that fitted my mood perfectly and 3 hours later I was on Jervis Bay road. I had read that Green Patch was the best suited camp site for a van , all the other being walk in  sites. The visitors centre was closed when i arrived, so I wasn't able to get my camping permit or maps, but the park is well sign posted.

The weather at the coast was 10 degrees warmer during the day, the nights were a bit chilly and I missed being able to have a camp fire. I spent Friday afternoon getting set up and them heading out to explore, the area around Green Patch and Bristol Rocks.
It was well and truly dark by the time I got back to camp, I made the most of the hot showers, such a treat in at National Park. The campsite what just about empty, but I had set up next to a couple of Grey Nomads (Gomads) just for security. It was wonderful dropping off to sleep listening to the call of a Mopoke Owl in the distance. I spoke with the ranger on Saturday morning and he gave me a chit to pay on my way out, all very civilised.
Jervis Bay is picture perfect and I was having lots of fun, with my new camera. I walked out to Telegraph Swamp after breakfast and was soon high fiving myself after an Eastern Bristlebird walked across the track in front of me, I first for me and one that I hadn't dreamed of being lucky enough to see on this trip. The flowering heath was alive with honeyeaters this area will become a mecca for birders in the coming weeks.

I had literally walked my legs off and was tucked up in bed just after sunset,needless to say I was up again and on the road before sunrise.

This shot was not as spectacular as I had hoped, the sandstone cliff opposite needed to be in the sun not in silhouette, but well worth the walk just to see the sunrise. I drove over to Caves Beach and watched the surfers while I cooked my scrambled eggs and smoked salmon.

I then was the first into the National Botanic Gardens, more Eastern Bristle birds, here as well; as several Brassian Thrush, Shiny Black Cockatoos and a pair of Gang Gangs of note.

I decided to take the Kangaroo Valley route on the way home, and apart from taking an interesting detour via Mount Scanzi. Well some may call it a wrong turn but it was very picturesque albeit mostly dirt, thankfully Google maps told be I was not lost.