I wanted to get some video along the Cooks River to test out a new UAV. So I cycled down to the parks near Wardell Road and also took along my camera. As I rode along the cycleway, I saw a dark object in the grass near the river. It looked like it could be the shell of a turtle, so I turned around and rode back for a closer look, thinking perhaps it was just a rock. No! It turned out to be a rather large crab. This was the first time I had seen one of these on the land away from the river.
It was much bigger than a hand in size and about 5 metres from the bank. As I unpacked my camera, it was heading quickly back to the water, but I was quick and managed to get a few photos. It was high tide in the river, but the water was still perhaps 50 cm below the wooden sleepers that line the banks of the river along this section. But nearby was a sort of drain that it must have used to climb out.
Later, I rode up the river to the Boat Harbour and looked to see if I could spot the family of Tawny Frogmouths. I didn’t have any luck, so continued a short way upstream to the Dog Area. Here, I was more fortunate. Three of the Tawnys – a parent and two chicks were high in their usual tree.
I finished off at the Cup and Saucer Creek Wetland. No turtles this time, but a few birds – mainly Welcome Sparrows and Willie Wagtails.
And here is some short video shot from the UAV (its best to watch it full screen at high resolution) –