Later on Wednesday night, at 9pm, we had hired a guide for a nocturnal tour. We met him in Kingscote, where he took us to see the Little Penguins that nest in the rocks. They used to be called Fairy Penguins, but under the guise of political correctness have been re-named. Go figure. These cute little guys were all over the place, clambering over the rocks and grunting to each other. The parents go out to sea for the day and come back at nightfall with a mess of fish in their system that they regurgitate for the babies. Yum! Humans want to encourage the nesting so they have been experimenting with various designs of nesting boxes, with differing degrees of success. Those New Zealand fur seals that have been protected and encouraged to inhabit the island can wipe out a penguin colony in a few short years. Conflicting interests and a real dilemma for the wildlife management people. It was mighty cold out on the bay and I was happy to finally climb into the van.
We went for a drive, the guide searching for kangaroos , wallabies, and possums with his spotlight. I didn't realize that all of these animals are nocturnal, so night time is when you really have to watch out for them on the roads. Roos are very destructive to the farmers' crops, so when things get bad the farmers can get a permit to shoot them. They will bag a couple of hundred on a good night. Animal control is a big issue on KI. Koalas are also very destructive to the gum trees and will have to be shot on occasion. No predators = good for animals, bad for farmers.
Last stop was Duck Lagoon, where we had stopped earlier in the day on the way home. It was a different place at night. Possums were all over the place and the air was filled with varying pitches of croaking frogs. I would have loved to take a sound sampling of them and made a composition. It reminded me of this, from a Rupert Bear movie we used to have. I have loved Rupert Bear for almost 50 years. Scary.
Osborne kids, this is for you!
After a little feast of local KI cuisine, we went back to Kingscote at midnight. We had to drive back to Emu Bay from there.
We drove VERY SLOWLY.