Thursday, May 8, 2008
MY FIRST WILD PLAYTPUS
A couple of weeks ago, on a bleak, freezing weekday of pigeon-grey skies, I saw my first wild platypus at Cecil Hoskins Nature Reserve, a beautiful, windswept domain of wetlands and open woodland (think mini-Kakadu floodplains) near Bowral (an hour and twenty minutes or so south of Sydney). I had my 10x50 binoculars centred on a feeding grey teal at the time. Behind the teal there were ripples and patterns in a sphere of still water surrounded by floating vegetation. These designs in the water revealed the back and bill of a platypus. This was at 1pm in the afternoon; usually platypuses (is that a word?) are crepuscular or nocturnal, but in cold weather they are active throughout the day; I was lucky to see the monotreme as it was right on the periphery of my binocular vision. After many searches for this creature over the years (up and down high altitude areas of eastern Australia) it was great to finally see it, although I wish my view had been better. LJ, May 9 2008.