The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Around the World (Again) Kangaroo Island 2

Kangaroo Island days 3 & 4
The next morning, I decided that as it was a nice morning, I would climb Ironstone Hill, it is not very high, less than 200mtr (198 to be exact). So with that the aim I, I walked along the beach to Frenchman’s Rock (told you about that yesterday so I aren’t telling you again), took a few photo’s on the way.  You can take the road, but the walk along the beach is far nicer, as I was leaving Frenchman’s Rock,

I looked out into Hog Bay (told you about that as well) and saw a pod of dolphin, patrolling up and down the bay, one was a cow with her calf, I walked up to the road and then went to a vantage point a bit higher, from here I got a better view. From here I could see that that there were 3 Dolphins in the first group and a much larger pod a little behind

I then walked along the road until I reached the Car Park for the Baudin Conservation Park (I told you about him yesterday as well and he didn’t do a lot for the Islands conservation).

From here you can follow a quite easy old bullock cart track to the top, this is actually the route to follow if you are unsure of the direction, frightened of falling, tripping or spraining an ankle, not I, not I, lead on McDuff.  

I decided not to take the easy route so after reaching the threshing floor a flat depression in the ground that had been formed by Harry Bates to thresh his Barley.
Stop! Who the hell is Harry Bates, you ask, well I shall endeavour to set a little light on the subject.
Harry Bates (Joseph Henry Frederick Bates born 1846 died 1936.

Young Harry arrived in Australia (Adelaide) aboard the good ship Melbourne in 1858 as a 12 year old with his family. The family moved to Penneshaw in 1861.

In 1870 he got the mail contract, this was to deliver mail from Cape Jervis to Cygnet River (a settlement that was later to become Kingscote, now capital of the Island). This involved collecting the mail from the silver and lead mines (where a lot of the men folk worked) at Talisker on the Fleurieu Peninsular. This was done every two weeks.
So he would walk from Cape Jervis, to the silver and lead mine, collect the mail and then walk back to Cape Jervis. He would then sail his little coble type boat across the backstairs passage ( a dodgy crossing in winter) to Hog Bay (now Penneshaw), He would then sort the mail and using his trusty stead Champion (he had never heard of Tonto) would travel to the Cygnet River Settlement. This was a trip of 65km, plus the 10km on the Fleurieu peninsular and the rough crossing of 21km in an open sailing vessel. This almost a 200km round trip, it was along dirt tracks, bullock tracks and a dodgy sea crossing was quite some feat, but every two weeks, winter and summer, he must have been some man.

But that is not all, he also had an area that he worked as a farm on Ironstone Hill (Now Called the Baudin Conversation Park), this was worked under what was called a credit agreement, he didn’t own the rights until 1904.
In 1866 Harry married Martha the daughter of Bill and Annie Franks the lighthouse keeper of Cape Willoughby lighthouse, they had 3 children.

But as I said he was some man, he had a defacto relationship with Martha’s niece and together they had 9 children. I have talked to a few of the townsfolk and though reluctant to talk openly about it (they could be related), it would seem he also had several other defacto relationships, as I said some man.
So not only did he run the postal service, farm land on very difficult terrain, he was also the Dudley Peninsular Gigolo, as they would say today Gud on Ya Cobber.

So that was Harry Bates.
So back to the threshing floor, after the threshing, the grain was stored and then it had to be transported off the island, this was done by means of Bullocks, there was no port in those days so to enable the Bullock carts to get as close as possible to the lighters, rocks would be blasted out of the way and channels cut, this enabled the carts to be taken as far off the shore as possible, Harry used such a loading place at the bottom of his Bullock track and it can still be seen today.
Harry had a wonderful view as he threshed the barley and whatever else he could get his hands on.

But I, on leaving the threshing floor, decided the easy route was not for me, I cut across country through Wattle, Emu Bush, stunted Paperbarks and Eucalyptus.

I descended through a small ravine, not steep but it was secluded and a little steam trickled down it, well in reality it was more of a weep than a trickle .

 I chanced upon a monitor Lizard, I had stooped to pick up a cone like fruit of the Drooping Sheoak to show you lot, when I stood up I was looking eyeball to eye ball with this fella.

This was a Freckled Monitor (Viranus Tristus), it was about 50cm long so either a female or a not fully grown male, as they can grow up to 70cm in length. I stood and watched it, taking photographs, it didn’t mind in the least, and actually moved so that I could get a shot of its best side, I think it was after all a female. 


I then descended lower into the bottom of the gully where the small stream trickled on its downward course;

I found many Wallaby and Kangaroo footprints in the soft mud at what was obviously there drinking places. A little higher I found several piles of bones;

 thought funny there are no roads up here! I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye and there slinking along the bank was the villain of the piece a large bushy tailed feral cat, it saw me and before I could get a clear photo, it disappeared into the deep undergrowth. Another piece of man’s stupidity, thankfully every pet that is now brought onto the island must be registered, but alas in many cases it is too late, the natural species that few or no predators have been decimated.

I found new earthworks at the side of the stream, I wondered was it done by an introduced mammal (Rat) or a small marsupial, I do hope it was the later.  

I then followed the path of the stream downhill, (getting a very nice view across Backstairs passage and the ferries crossing on their way to Cape Jervis and Penneshaw)

until it found its way to the Hog Bay. It actually ended at a very nice sandy beach.

I took some photographs of the strange Ironstone rock formations that have been weathered by, the wind, rain, time and tide.

 I was going to cut along the rocks, but that could have been foolhardy and as we have had our fair share for one day decided to cut up a grassy slope and join Harry’s Bullock track, but this time going down, it originally ended at one of those grain loading places I told you about earlier. 

I also took a photograph of Baudin Conservation Park from the beach, I honestly believe they should rename this again and call it Harry's Play Park!

I took a photograph along the beach towards the ferry terminal just  to give you lot some idea of the orientation. 

I could see that the pod of dolphins from this morning had now increased considerably, they now numbered about 15, of varying ages, but two of them would swim about 300 mtrs from the shore, then turn and with great speed head for the rocks, at the last minute doing a backward flip, try as I might I couldn’t get the timing right, it was only a little later that I thought about video, but then the actors refused to act.
I joined the beach once again at Frenchman’s Rock, taking a shot of the memorial garden.

After inspecting a couple of rock pools (it is amazing the amount of life is in a little pool of water.
I this time walked the length of the beach right to the Seaway terminal. Even crossing the forbidden zone (but only at night) just so I could get a shot of the penguin observation posts (only at night and now of little use at any time) just for you.

I then got engaged in conversation with a sheep transporter driver, he informed me that each of the trucks carries 480 sheep, they take them to the Murray River Abattoir for slaughtering, they used to be killed on the island and only their carcasses transported, but due to the Island not always having enough capacity and then having to get sheep from the mainland, the government closed it.

I  walked along to the supermarket to get some supplies, I fancied a Paella, now for an Island that has a vast quantity of fish on its doorstep, I was amazed that there was no fresh fish available in Penneshaw unless you caught it or went rock fishing for it yourself. But I did however get some frozen prawns and clams, those along with preserved mussels and diced chicken would make a very nice Paella that would last me for 2 days (also a portion each for a very nice lady from Dresden and her daughter).
The Paella

Dice an onion
Crush and chop 1 garlic clove
Slice a red pepper, chop half into dice
Slice some green French beans
Slice some sugar snap peas
Thinly slice the white of a leek
I used ready diced bacon, but you could use bacon and dice it yourself
1 boned chicken leg diced
A handful of clam meat
A handful of prawns
10 mussels
10 anchovy filets
1 cup of Arborio rice
4-5 cups of fish or chicken stock (I used 50-50)
a few strands of Saffron and 1/2 a teaspoon of sweet paprika soaked in a little stock
2-3 tbsp of oil.

Heat a little oil in a wok (They didn’t have a Paella) and fry the onions and garlic add the diced bacon and chicken, fry until they start to take on colour.

Remove from the pan, add more oil and add the rice, fry the rice until it starts to go translucent.

Add the Saffron and Paprika Stock mixture.

Then add the stock, bring to the boil.

Add the beans and pea pods along with the onions, chicken etc,

Bring to the boil again, reduce the heat and cover.
When about half of the liquid had been absorbed add the fish, bring to the boil, give it one last stir, lower the heat and cover.
About 20 minutes before the end (you will see that most of the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is getting puffed up) add the sliced peppers in a cartwheel, inside of each spoke add a mussel, an anchovy filet. Cover and allow to finish cooking, this is when all of the liquid has been absorbed and a crust forms on the bottom (difficult to tell, this part is guesswork and experience, in my case mainly guess work).
Serve with lemon wedges and a nice Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, Mawson’s Wrattonbully 2010

After my evening meal, I decided to go and see the Penguins, I had now found out that at the first colony there are no longer any breeding adults, so no chicks to feed means no penguins coming out of the water at 20:30, or 22:30 or another 30, well not there. I had on one of my orientation trips seen that there is in fact another nesting site, this is not on the beach side but on the rocky side of the breakwater. I had fathomed out that the penguins actually acme out the water at an area of flat rocks and then waddle up a slope to the burrows, that are occupied with the young (I have since found out there were only 4 breeding pairs this season. They have been dwindling year for year, some think that the increase in dolphins and Sea lions could have a lot to do with it. I had spoken to the man who had built the YHA and he can remember the time about 15 years ago that the penguins would come up from the beach and cross the YHA lawn to get to the young, alas this is no more and it may come the day when all they can do is play a video of “This is how it used to be”.

But this evening I was lucky and did see some young being fed by their parents, alas it was dark so all you lot can see are two dark Photographs with a pink shimmer of the guides torch kight. Sorry, but you did get a one in New Zealand.

So that was that I didn’t have to wait around in the freezing cold, I just walked to the North nesting site and wait until the guide came with his red light and I looked on from the fence, good view for no bucks.
Time for Beddy byes night, night, see you all tomorrow (early at 06:00)

Day 4
And yes I am up and down with the wallabies, they seem to congregate each morning at the area where the penguins  should be, may be a cunning plane is to paint them black and white and pretend they are the penguins. I mean they can’t fly either and I doubt if most of the punters would know a Tammar Wallaby from a Fairy penguin.

This morning there seemed to be two distinct groups, one group feeding and hopping along and beside the boardwalk and the other a little deeper in beside the deep vegetation. In the main they tend just to stop their eating and look at you quizzically.

I hadn’t a lot planned today so just went through the bushes, shrub and trees along the beach and along the cliff tops, done a bit of jetty fishing, though to no avail. I also spent a couple of hours in the Penneshaw hotel and had a light lunch of bangers and mash.
I did photograph a bit of the bird life that always made a racket each morning and went to the shag colony once again.

I visited the real Penguin Colony,Walked a long the fence and entering the colony, but the young were out of the heat and underground, but I did see another Splendid Fairy Wren, with his mate. I now know who makes the racket outside of my bedroom window at 05:00 each morning. But I don’t mind such a wonderful little fellow and fellowess. 

Just so you know what I am talking about I have taken a photo of the outside of the wonderful Kangaroo Island YHA. And also some of the very pretty flowering shrubs in the surrounding hedgerows

I had the remainder of the Paella for evening meal and sat and chatted with a couple of backpackers (always someone to chat with in a YHA). As it was getting dusk I headed to my room and happened to glance towards the laundry room and saw this little fellow, I think he is cute don’t you?

So just in case you couldn’t see him I took a close up just for you!!!

So it is off to bed and sweet dreams.

Tomorrow I was off fishing at Christmas cove.

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