Well we’re certainly not in Ireland any more!
Greetings from Mandurah, just south of Perth in Western Australia… and the starting point of our epic #IWOnTour journey around Australia and parts of Southeast Asia. Over the next four months or so we’ll be bringing you regular updates of the amazing wildlife we encounter during the trip and some of the wild people we meet and places we see along the way.
These posts will all be tagged with #IWOnTour here on the blog, and you can follow our updates on Twitter using the #IWOnTour hashtag. You’ll also find regular updates on our Facebook page, again sporting the #IWOnTour hashtag to differentiate them from the more regular posts about Irish wildlife.
At the moment we (I have the whole family with me) haven’t ventured far… we’re only just getting over the jetlag. Still the wildlife on our doorstep here is amazing… and so very different to what we get at home.
The first morning we took a stroll along the beach at the end of the road and spotted a group of bottlenose dolphins feeding not far from shore. Not so different to what you can experience from an Irish beach I suppose… but the gulls (silver gulls) were just a little bit “wrong” and there were galahs flying overhead. On a nearby lawn Australian ring-neck parrots foraged noisily, the air was full of the bizarre warbling calls of Australian magpies and overhead a whistling kite quartered the scrub-land bordering the beach.
All of this difference means you really have to look hard at things to find out what they are. Everything is so new that you need to study the detail rather than instinctively “knowing” most of the things you see. It’s back to the ID drawing board — which is a great antidote to sometimes lazy observation habits that stems from familiarity at home. That lack of familiarity is both exhilarating and disconcerting in equal measure… and many a creature slips through the net unidentified.
Our adventures are only just beginning — so stay tuned for lots more #IWOnTour updates over the coming weeks — and don’t forget to keep posting your Irish wildlife stories, photos, questions and updates on the IW Facebook page, Twitter feed and Google+ Page.