Iconic sights we’ve seen on this trip. Scott had a plan. He’d take us to a place he knew we’d love and, in no way, would we ever discover it on our own. Scott suggested a little bush walk not far from the AirBnB where we stayed (a very cool warehouse loft apartment in Marrickville) within walking distance of Sydney. OK. How much of a bush walk would this be since we were in such an urban area?
We headed out on a scenic trail along Wolli Creek. We’d not gone far when we heard quite a noisy “chatter” in the woods. Birds? We thought not. Maybe frogs? Scott said nothing. He continued down the path; we followed; and a few feet further he pointed to the trees across the creek. What were we seeing? Thousands of black ornaments hung from the trees? Really?
Scott laughed and said, “Grey-headed flying foxes.” What? We studied the black dangling bundles for a short time, and then we realized what we were seeing looked like very large bats. As the bundles unfurled their wings the faces did have an uncanny resemblance to foxes.
From what Scott told us, and from what we read later, these flying foxes showed up on Wolli Creek in 2007. Later on, nearby colonies that had moved into the Botanical Garden in Sydney were chased off before they destroyed any more trees. It’s speculated they moved to Wolli Creek, greatly expanding the numbers there. Are they a pest? We read that they pollinate a number of trees in New South Wales so that is a real positive.
One sighting only gave us part of the picture. We followed Scott’s advice and went back another day at dusk to see the grey-headed flying foxes ready for their daily sunset takeoff. We took a long walk to the park and along the way saw three very fishermen on the bank of the river, perfectly still, waiting. Just as we approached one started to reel in a catch. Wow! Two for one: a river crab holding a fish in its claws.
We arrived at the park to see a man looking down at something on the grass. As we approached he looked up and said, “My name is Joe and this is Eve.” He pointed to the (huge) pet snake, slithering through the grass. He promptly picked Eve up for a photo.
We walked through the woods, and, finally, the grey-headed flying foxes came into sight. Daylight was fading in the late afternoon. The flying foxes would soon be ready to take off. We waited. Then the realization came that we’d be walking back on a narrow, rocky path through the woods in darkness, and we had no lights (“torches” as they say here). What were we thinking? “Goodbye, bats.” Maybe we’d see them take off another day. As for us, we carefully made our way home as night fell.