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  • Writer's pictureKaia Colestock

Day 51: Granite Island

Our new friends let us in on a series of tips all around South Australia. Places to go… where to birdwatch…. how to find certain mammals…. And which sights we couldn‘t miss… along with a handful of stories to go with them. We camped at a farmstay (basically a ranch with overnight facilities, restrooms, and power) on the Fleurieu Peninsula, about 40 miles south of Adelaide. The nearest town is Victor Harbor, about 12 miles east on the coast.

First stop in the morning was Granite Island. At first, it looked modest from a distance - a shallow-sloping grassy island just offshore from Victor Harbor, connected by a causeway to the mainland. No permanent residents live on the island, but it has a few shelters and a cafe for those wishing to spend the day out there. It’s a popular place to look for little penguins, wallabies, and brown quail. The southernmost point allows for windy views of adjacent jetties and open ocean. We took our time circumnavigating the island.

We climbed up to the summit and veered onto a less-worn track with short grass growing in the median, and searched along grassy edges. Lo and Behold, a family of brown quail!! A young couple just passed us and we thought any birds certainly must have flushed. But quail have a funny way of disappearing quickly and reappearing just as fast when it suits them. There were lots of goodies in the cut grass, and eight inches of cover is available just feet away. Four precocial chicks foraged near two adults. They saw us and scurried off, so we repositioned ourselves into better light.

One of the two adults came out for a few more seconds, saw us crouching nearby, and its body language said “nope.” It ducked back into the vegetation, never to be seen again.

We walked back to the mainland to continue our drive further south toward Victoria.

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