Sunday, August 10, 2008


Yesterday I saw four cassowaries! None today though. At about 730am Jill and I were about to go walking down the steep trail to the carpark when right there at the trailhead on the driveway was a cassowary, just walking slowly up the dirt road. Then another! I tried to take some photos but they mostly turned out blurry. Cassowaries are normally solitary except during the breeding season, which it is, so that was probably a male and female. Apparently, according to a local guy who heads a conservation group here, the female will take the male around to show him the best fruit and then they may go for a swim - a love dip. Seriously cassowaries love to swim! So the male and female will just climb on into a pond and have a dip. That would be a sight to see! I think they look like Snuffalufagus from behind!! They have this black furry feathery stuff and no wings at all, just a big humpy body and two big legs and ginormous feet.

When I get to a place with better internet I'll upload some, as I did get some good pics of these pink waterlilies, the rainforest nursery (planted from cassowary poo!), and a python being released back into the wild. Jill is a School for Field Studies intern who is interested in becoming a writer so I invited her to tag along and see what I do "a day in the life" - and it was good to have some company. I met her when I gave the talk on sharks and being a writer to SFS back in April.

When we were out in the field with Adrian Walker, the local naturalist who was taking us to see cassowaries, we saw another. But no chicks. Then that evening back at the lodge there was yet another! So four in total, not bad. I took it easy and hung out here today, got a massage, and tried to work on my book, somewhat successfully.

Tomorrow I go out with the Australian Rainforest Foundation to see the rehabilitation center where injured birds go. I have just eaten too much sticky date pudding, and I'm stuffed. Time to go work on my book!

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