Sixteen excited people gathered at airport corner on Saturday, 19 September for the first outing for the Kangaroo Island Flora and Fauna Group since COVID-19 took grip.
The group headed out to the Kangaroo Island Odysseys (KIO) lunch block, which is off Gregors Road.
We parked at the DeEstrees lunch site, one of four lunch sites the company has, this was our chosen spot for lunch.
Our walk began meandering along the track through mallee, Yacka, morning flag and mint bush, then exploring the heritage bush around Eleanor lunch site we found Donkey, Mayfly and Green Hood Orchids.
Next we followed the running creek, finding a koala watching us and a nice waterfall. Just near the creek bank Jenny and Barry spotted a beautiful, very large, Black Tiger Snake with copper tones along its back, he was sun baking close to the source of his favourite food frogs, which were croaking loudly.
The creek took us past the recent tree planing by the KIO staff, tree planting is an annual event and is part of the ecotourism accreditation the company holds.
Drooping Sheoak's were planted this year to one day support the feeding habitat of the Eleanor River Glossy Black Cockatoo flock.
Next stop was exploring the Cygnet lunch site surrounds where Donkey orchids were abundant, we found some interesting bright orange Bracket fungi growing along a fallen tree.
On leaving this area Linda and Jenni (to their shock horror) found our second beautiful big Black Tiger Snake, sleeping peacefully under a Yacka skirt, it was the fastest I'd seen the girls move all day. Then back across the clearing to our picnic lunch under the big marquee in the bush.
After lunch it was time to find some koalas, I Gaylene, the KIO guide for the day, practised my koala spotting skills and we found nine, including a mum and joey.
With eagle-eyed Kym helping by spotting two koalas and also the third and last beautiful big Black Tiger Snake with a hint of copper on his back, how blessed we were, as Bev said, to find three beautiful specimens of the KI Black Tiger Snake.
A Fire Orchid, Pink Sun Orchid and Rabbit Ear Orchid ended our visit to the KIO block, or so we thought!
On leaving the property we found a rather big lamb that had escaped his paddock from the nearby farm. The whole group gave chase but he gave us the slip, as he was just too quick. I notified the farmer of the escapee!
Last stop on route to Parndana was a large Yacka with 36 flower spikes, we explored the burnt roadside vegetation and Bev found Pink Fingers and Leopard Sun Orchid leaf with early bud, an amazing way to end our day out in the bush.
Parndana store for a well earned ice cream, great idea Ginny, before a look at the Parndana Community Garden, which is growing extremely well.
Ian kept a tally and 19 bird species were spotted, with the highlight a beautiful male Golden Whistler serenading us.
A big thank-you to KI Odysseys for allowing us access to their private bush block
And thanks everyone for the great company and the Flora and Fauna Group is a wonderful way to experience the beautiful Kangaroo Island landscape. - Gaylene