Georgia has started a new tradition which celebrated its second occurrence this past long weekend. Camping at Dryandra!! Last year it was for her 21st birthday, this year it was just ‘because we love it’.
BJ, Jules and I headed down on Thursday afternoon, although I (Tony) was still suffering side effects from a flu jab I’d received on Wednesday morning. It was also frighteningly cold, dropping to 2C overnight, so that evening was a lovely catchup with BJ before an early bed.
A very crisp morning resulted in a late start, but we soon reconvened around the fireplace where BJ advised he thought that the cold air had given him a sore throat. More on this developing story later..
Rod arrived just before lunch and the girls mid-afternoon, after ensuring Harry was settled being dog sat by Mitch (thanks mate!). And I spent most of the day taking opportunistic pics of the various birds that flew into our site.
Rod had intended to bring down his new friend Nina, but unfortunately, she came down with COVID and had to isolate. Back to BJ then. Knowing that Nina was positive and that BJ had had her and Rod over to dinner the weekend prior we strongly encouraged aka, hassled the crap out of, BJ to do a RAT test. The results of which weren’t obvious, however, we felt there was some indication of a line. Friday evening was spent in typical Dyrandra format, around the fire, with a couple of drinks and satellite (chocolate), after a nice hot meal.
Luckily it was a bit warmer Friday night/Saturday morning due to some cloud cover, but BJ’s throat was still sore. And, another RAT test now showed VERY clearly he was COVID positive – bugger. As a group, we socially distanced and BJ did the right thing wearing a mask and all and so far we’ve all been fine. Unfortunately for BJ he continued to feel like crap, however, and decided to leave on Sunday, a day early, so he could rest up in the comforts of home.
Saturday day was spent placing motion-sensitive camera traps and driving the tracks looking for Numbats. Mads spotted Sat’s Numbat, my ninth sighting, and we think it was a juvenile as after watching us for a few minutes, it then proceeded to go about its business of scratching and termite hunting as if we weren’t there. Very chilled Nummie and a great experience.
Rod decided to travel home with BJ on Sunday, but before leaving we drove out to check the camera traps. Unfortunately, we didn’t capture much but sharp-eyed Georgia did spot our first Mardo which I was rapt with.
With BJ and Rod now on the way home, we decided to do another loop of the park looking for more Numbats. Again, Mads turned up with the goods with a clear, but brief sighting of a Numbat just north of the Lions village. Mads managed a quick phone pic but unfortunately, it bounded off before we could get any more pics.
Following our loop, it was back to camp for lunch before the girls and I went out for a walk along one of the bush tracks looking for anything interesting. Out front by myself, I heard a little rustle under a log and after some waiting, spotted my 2nd, albeit flighty and jumpy Mardo who was way too quick for me to grab a pic. Whilst waiting for the \Mardo to re-appear I amused myself by taking pics of another Western Yellow Robin. I managed to get a couple of pics before he flew behind me and as I swivelled around, I spotted a bloody Numbat, about 5 metres away from me, crossing the track, bold as brass. But, the tragedy of this story is that despite him being so close to me, I lost him in the branches of a dead tree and despite waiting for more than 30minutes I failed to see him or the Mardo again. Oh well, it was a lovely spot to chill and wait, listening to the bird song, and with this last sighting, I’m now up to 11 Numbats spotted in Drydandra!