Inala Autumn Newsletter

Welcome to Autumn at Inala

Summer is over, yet the good weather remains strong down on Bruny Island, most chicks are fully fledged and the adult Short-Tailed Shearwaters and Little Penguins are beginning to head back out to sea.  
Aerial insectivores are still dancing on the warm insect laden breezes and there are enough tree and plants still flowering to keep breeding migrants like Swift Parrots from making the bolt just yet.
Summer months have been very busy for us here at Inala and we have lots of news to share with you….... please do read on for the latest happenings and adventures at Inala.

Evolutions at Inala

  • It is now the third anniversary of The Jurassic Garden at Inala and the plants are really starting to settle in and flourish.  Many of the species that would "Never grow in Tasmania" are doing remarkably well and we are continuing to plant new species all the time.
  • A new dinosaur created by local artist Keith Smith has arrived at Inala to live in the Jurassic garden, she is settling in nicely and will soon have a topiary of Maidenhair vine (Muehlenbeckia complexa) vigorously scrambling through her body.  This beautiful angiosperm with delicate creamy flowers is native to New Zealand and comes from an ancient lineage of plants with a close relative in Tasmania.
  • Our nature museum and gift shop has seen several recent upgrades and we are delighted to be stocking more locally made products including the beautiful scarfs and tea shirts made through natural dying methods by 16 yr old Sophia of 'Gum Nut Designs'
  • A new modern bird hide has been approved, the final touches are going into the design and it will hopefully be built and fully established before winter comes, giving even better views of our Raptors coming in to feed over the colder months.  Watch this space for more details of this exciting project.
  • We continue to welcome non-invasive environmental research and currently have several individuals from the Australian National University of Canberra and University of Tasmania working on 40 spotted pardalotes and looking at the manna production of Eucalypts.

Recent tours

Tonia's feet have barely touched the ground between tours and she has been doing laps around Tasmania.

Inala's other guides were also kept very busy, including the inaugural Connecticut Audubon tour that visited our shores in January, touring the south-east of the mainland and Tasmania. With Steve Davidson as guide and tour leader, this was a brilliant, easy and affable group of folks and we had a blast. Highlights included great views of difficult birds like Eastern Bristlebird, Rockwarbler, Turquoise Parrot, Australasian Bittern, Mallee Emu-wren and last but not least the critically endangered and highly sought-after Plains Wanderer.

Andrew Hingston has been mainly touring Tasmania on personalised tours and his guests have had some stand out sightings including one tour with thirteen species of native mammals including watching a platypus within 20m for half-an-hour, short-beaked echidnas, spotted-tailed quolls,eastern quolls, six Tasmanian devils, a dusky antechinus, common wombats, and common dolphin were also seen.

On a pelagic birding trip from Eaglehawk Neck in November 2016, an Australasian Gannet was observed by Paul Brooks and Mark Holdsworth carrying what was believed to be nesting material to The Hippolyte, a rock stack east of Fortescue Bay, on the Tasman Peninsula.  This drew our interest as there are no previous successful breeding records of the species at this site, although it does often host small numbers of roosting birds.  On subsequent trips no evidence of breeding was noted.  On another Inala pelagic trip in February 2017, however, four chicks were observed amongst a group of roosting Australasian Gannets.  This constitutes the first confirmed breeding record of this species on The Hippolyte.

Guide Nick Mooney has also been busy with several personalised  tours around Tasmania, including a British couple of keen naturalists in February and an eight day tour with two valued guests from the US finishing today.

Upcoming tours

We also have several other great tours coming up including :

Queensland Wet Tropics Tour 25 June - 4 July 2017 – ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT 
Tropical Queensland offers some of Australia’s most bird-rich landscapes. We have combined some of our favourites in this tour, offering you an excellent cross-section of wildlife experiences, from searching for the magnificent Southern Cassowary, to exploring the lush forests of the Atherton Tablelands searching for upland endemics.

Top End Tour 10-19 July 2017 - ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT 
This tour goes off the beaten path to unveil the riches of Northern Australia, including Kakadu and the Kimberley. Some of our most sought after birds, including Gouldian Finch and Grey Falcon, inhabit some of our most stunning landscapes; join us for this unbeatable journey across Australia’s Top End!
This tour goes off the beaten path to unveil the riches of Northern Australia, including Kakadu and the Kimberley. Some of our most sought after birds, including Gouldian Finch and Grey Falcon, inhabit some of our most stunning landscapes; join us for this unbeatable journey across Australia’s Top End!

Outback South Australia Tour 20-29 July 2017 - ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT 
Join us on this thrilling 10-day adventure where we will enjoy the birding riches, fascinating mammals, and extraordinary geological relics, of the fabled Australian outback. This tour takes advantage of the sunny yet mild weather in the austral spring, so you can enjoy this remarkable region in relative comfort.  This tour is co-led by Dr Tonia Cochran of Inala Nature Tours, and Peter Waanders of Bellbird Birding Tours. Also joining this tour is Ben McHenry from the South Australian Museum who will provide commentary on the rare geological wonders of the outback, and give us behind-the-scenes access to an internationally significant fossil site.

Please see our website for more information on all these and many other tours.

New Inala staff

Cat Davidson - Nature Guide
Cat is our most recent arrival in the Inala guiding team.
Most recently working in Lamington National Park in lush subtropical Queensland as a bird guide and prior to that a war & wildlife tour guide in the remote and windswept Falkland Islands.  Cat has traveled widely and has a passionate and diverse background in nature guiding.  She also has a strong grounding and love for Botany, being used as unpaid labour in her parents Garden Nursery in Scotland from a very young age.  Initially coming  to speak at the Bruny Bird Festival, Cat was immediately smitten by the island and has now moved here with her partner to continue to soak up the magic.

Bori - Property Manager
By no means new, but somehow has avoided having his photo taken for the news letter - until now!

Bori has been at Inala for many years, he is the Property Manager and solver of many problems.
Involved in every aspect of property maintenance, Bori is the main caretaker for the raptor hide and has built an affinity with all our frequent visitors, the wild birds now know and trust him.  The Gondwana Garden is one of his particular projects and passion. His knowledge of the plants is continually going from strength to strength.  He has helped build and grow many projects at Inala and his knowledge, kindness and passion for nature shines through in all he does.

Rescued critters

At the moment we have Bruce, Harry  and Marley , all Bennett's Wallabies, rescued from road accidents and now well on their way to their day of full release on the property  

Recently we had a micro bat pass briefly through our care, it recovered quickly from a water immersion and vanished off into the dusk with no ill effects.

Funds from our Jurassic Garden and Nature Museum and guided property tours go towards feeding and looking after our rescue animals. 

Social media

Instagram has a vibrant community of birders and we have just dipped our toes into the water, do please link up with us @InalaNatureTours and use #InalaNatureTours for your photos taken on tour or whilst staying at Inala.

We have two Trip Advisor pages, one for accommodation, one for tours, we are very appreciative on any reviews or feedback you have the time to give.