Sunday, 28 June 2015

Day 5- birds birds and birds at the Hunter Wetland centre

We began our day on a skeptical note; I wanted to head to the museum while Del wanted to spend the day at the Hunter Wetlands Centre! With the constant rain, although I felt the museum was a safer bet, we still headed for the Wetlands, hope against hope to have some good bird sightings!

The day started with heavy showers.

However, as soon as we reached the Centre, the rain suddenly abated, as if the rain Gods took pity on Del and fulfilled his ardent desire to be with the birds! It must be said, that this indeed is a feature of the weather at NSW, unpredictability at its best! At the Centre, with a map in our hands and mosquito repellent cream applied over our exposed body parts, we made our way to the birds.

It was sheer joy seeing different species of birds, especially, the swans who kept crossing over the path  from the BHP pond to the Brambles pond to and fro! The little chicks of the ducks were the cutest of all! They were tiny and yet so elegant in their moves in the water!

We first embarked on the Discovery Walk to see the various birds among the different swamps. It was inspiring to note that from being a dump ground, this forty five hectare site was converted into a Conservation Centre by the dedicated effort of many people.

It was amazing to see ducks 'freckled ducks', a species of endangered ducks, which are also called the dinosaur ducks. These were the earliest ducks to evolve in the chain of evolution, all present days ducks and geese came after these ducks.

The endangered Freckled Duck

We also took the Rainforest walk, much of which seemed to be in the hot sun than rainforest foliage! Nevertheless, we enjoyed ourselves!
Various aboriginal sculptures that adorn the  centre

(Noon Session)

The Centre has a cafĂ©, as well as, barbeque facilities. Visitors are encouraged to bring in their own food and to spend the entire day away from the city’s hustle and bustle and in the company of nature and its sounds. Feeling the leaves and breathing in the scents emanating from the crushed leaves of the aromatic plants, the grass, the soil and being one with nature is highly recommended.

After our well-deserved break for lunch, we worked on completing the remainder of our Discovery Walk. We spent some time at the Egret Tower observing the different species of birds living in harmony together. At the tower, there was an interesting note with words to the effect, “The Egrets make enough noise, and we don’t need to add to it!” The tower also exhibited drawings and paintings by children artists.
At the 'Egret Tower'

Soon it was time to head to the Visitor Centre as the place closes by 4pm. By the end of it all, our muscles were stiff and our legs refused to move. We were very grateful that the rains took a long break right until we reached our Motel, and before we knew it, the skies once again began celebrating with tears of joy!

We were delighted that through our five day trip, the weather Gods were very kind to us. The days that went by were indeed a kind of a journey that helped us connect to ourselves!
A few of the more than 35 bird species that we managed to spot. 

Day 6 : Return back home.

This was the day when we returned home, content over our travel and joyous over the opportunity of being able to explore another continent miles away from where we usually reside!
Our drive to Sydney from Kurri Kurri was about two and a half hours long via the Pacific Motorway and the Great Western Highway.

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