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  • Writer's pictureKaia Colestock

Day 15: Newcastle and surrounds

Updated: Jan 6

The superb and variegated fairywrens were a bright start to the day. The male’s bright sky blue on black plumage pops through the vegetation. We stopped in the Hunter Wetlands for a quick walk and crossed over an old bridge to Ash Island. (Superb fairywren, below)

Elias stumbled upon a frogmouth by chance, which is hard to do. This one was sitting just above eye level, watching us. When it saw us looking at it, it resumed its best defensive position: a camouflaged extension of the branch (shown below).

Once it realized that we were not likely a threat, it would open one eye slit and check to see what was happening. Then finally yawned (presumably with boredom?) and went back to having a siesta.

Newcastle is a bustling area, and frankly, overcrowded. It felt like an extension of the Sydney metropolitan area. The climate is so mild, much like southern California or the Mediterranean. Most of Australia’s population fits on a narrow crescent on the east coast. It felt like rush hour in Silicon Valley or downtown Los Angeles. It probably didn’t help that all schools let out by either Dec 10th or 21st, and everyone and their brother was on vacation. We continued north to get out of the hustle and bustle.

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