A Final Hike in Paradise

I am writing this in my hotel in Sydney as we said goodbye to the beautiful town of Byron Bay and its environs. I took advantage of a sleepy afternoon on New Year’s Day to go for hike through the littoral forests and coastal heaths of area. My time was rewarded with a magnificent photo above of a juvenile White-bellied Sea-eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster). Juveniles of the species start brown and in 4-5 years become all white except for grey wings. Judging by the coloration of this bird, I would say they are about 3-4 years old. It was high in a dead tree looking above the forest, about 500 meters from the beach. There were two of them but as I moved closer, I scared off one of them. They are commonly found all around Australia and usually near the sea. Also on the hike I photographed a Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera), which is making a comeback in Australia due to people planting native species of trees and bushes in their gardens. The Little Wattlebird is flycatcher and feeds a lot on nectar. I also photographed a Wonga Pigeon  (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) walking along the side of the road. The pigeon does not fly much and spends much of its time walking on regular routes, looking for fallen fruits and seeds.

Finally, on the way home one night from a restaurant, Oliver spotted this Australian Green Tree Frog in an aloe vera plant in the Byron Bay city park. I can see why they are so popular as pets, they are large, cute, and docile. I nudged it a couple of times and it just moved over a little bit each time. We were sad to leave this morning.

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