Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Birds, Bridge and Bats of Sydney

This is an emu's foot. The emu and kangaroo are depicted on the coat of arms for Australia. We got this close up photo of emu's foot in the Sydney Zoo. I don't think we could have gotten this close in the wild. Emus are unique to Australia and are the second largest birds, behind the ostrich. The are 5 - 6 feet (1.5 - 1.9 m.) tall and can run 30 mph (50 km/h).
This is a brolgas in the Sydney Zoo. The are more than 4 feet (1.3 m) tall and have a wingspan of 7.5 feet (2.3 m).
I think this is an Ibis. We found him walking in the large city park containing the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Art Museum.
This is a view of the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. You can see people on the top and on the second level of the super structure. The Bridge Climb is an unforgettable experience. The lead guided walks to the top. You are attached to a safety cable the entire time. You have to wear a jump suit, and they do not allow you to bring your own camera with you for the walk up.
The patterns of cables and supports from the bridge offer a variety of geometric patterns across the 503 meters (1,650 ft) or roadway supported by the cables. The bridge was finished in 1932. The loans to pay for its construction were paid off in 1988. 16 of the 1,400 workers who built the bridge suffered fatal accidents.
This is a photo of the bridge taken from the Sydney Opera House, with a ferry in the foreground coming in to Circular Quay.
This amusement park is just across Sydney Harbor on the other side of the bridge from downtown Sydney.
There is a large park next to downtown Sydney that contains the Royal Botanical Gardens. When walking around, we looked up into the trees, and saw thousands of large bats, most of whom were sleeping, but some of them were fanning themselves to cool off in the warm summer (late December) day.
After we noticed the bats, it was fun to watch other tourists walking along when they happened to first look up into the trees and realize that they were full of large bats. We later had dinner at an outdoor restaurant on Woolloomooloo Wharf, across from the park, and we saw a large cloud of bats emerge from the park and fly across the skyline of the city. It looked like a scene from a horror movie.


Barb said...

great pics and info....Barb

tapirgal said...

Your bird photos, especially, are just great. Love that emu foot, and we don't see enough pictures of the lovely curved ibis beak.

Julie said...

Thank you for this, Julie & Dave. That is indeed, an Ibis. They seem to have gravitated to cities around our continent and can be a nuisance.

You could get that close to an emu in the 'wild' but would be very apprehensive. They are a most intimidating bird but are often found around outback stations and road-houses.

The large park you refer to is generally known as 'the domain' which is an old expresssion from England.

Thank you for the heads up about this post on Sydney.

JM said...

The bird shots are fantastic! Love the top one. Also enjoyed the amusement park view very much. Are those bats what they call flying fox? I've seen them at the Seychelles and they are HUGE!

glenda said...

Great shots from Sydney. Those bats are huge. It must be sort of a shock to look up and see them.

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

Wonderful photos here. You're correct, it is an ibis, known as the Australian White Ibis, sometimes called the Sacred Ibis. Although they can be found in urban areas, their numbers are dwindling in their natural habitat.
Great bridge shots too.

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