ארכיון יומן של מרץ 2021

מרץ 12, 2021

Alpha adventure: Hawaii (Oct-Nov 15)

The Alpha adventure to Hawaii, October/November 2015.

I spent two weeks exploring the big island of Hawaii and visiting friends/checking out the tourist hotspots of Oahu.

The nature highlights included:
Night snorkelling/diving with manta rays, and diving in lava tubes full of macro in Kailua-Kona
Snorkelling with a huge pod of spinner dolphins, also in Kailua-Kona
Trekking around the active volcano Kilauea and across lava fields (see the volcano live webcam at https://www.usgs.gov/volcanoes/kilauea/summit-webcams)
Epic waterfalls along the eastern coast of Hawaii near Hilo.
Cage-less snorkelling with Galapagos sharks off the north shore of Oahu.
Hanging out with bright green geckos!

I wasn't on iNaturalist then, but I have retrospectively recorded 9 species (in 10 observations) from the trip:
1 x marine mammal
2 x sharks/rays
1 x fish
2 x crustaceans
1 x gecko
1 x butterfly
1 x fern

הועלה ב-מרץ 12, 2021 10:20 לפנה"צ על ידי alphaj16 alphaj16 | 10 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

Alpha Odyssey: sailing SE Asia, Mar 2017 - Nov 2018

My next noteworthy adventure was an epic one...the Alpha Odyssey:a sailing adventure living aboard a 12m catamaran SV Angel Wing that we sailed from Brisbane to Thailand via Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei in 2017-2018! For more general info about the odyssey, check out the blog: https://alphaodyssey.wordpress.com

Although at the time of sailing I had just joined iNaturalist, and uploaded a handful of observations to get help with ID, I recently went through my 15,000+ photos/videos from the trip and retrospectively uploaded more than a thousand observations.

There were so many nature highlights, the ones that spring to mind are:
Swimming with whale sharks in North Sulawesi (Gorontalo)
Swimming in a stingless jellyfish lake (Pulau Kakaban, East Kalimantan)
Helping rangers release baby turtles (Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo)
Diving around Komodo NP and seeing Komodo dragons (dive company: https://uberscubakomodo.com)
Orangutans in the wild (Kalimantan/Sarawak/Sabah)
Diving Lembeh Strait (Sulawesi)
Kinabatangan river (Sabah)
Diving Sipidan and Mabul (Sabah)
Diving Wakatobi (Indonesia)
Diving Richelieu rock (Thailand)
Spending several days exploring Similan and Surin islands (Thailand)
Getting to see four different species of Birds of paradise!
Up close to a deadly viper (Bako NP, Borneo)
Walking in the shoes of naturalist and explorer Alfred Wallace
...and so many more.

There are way too many observations to link them all to this journal post, but as a quick summary:
Indonesia: 410 species (631 observations)
Malaysia: 306 species (429 observations)
Thailand: 150 species (220 observations)
Brunei: 9 species (9 observations)
...but I have linked to the one that made it to "iNat observation of the day"!

Living on a sail boat is a brilliant way to explore this archipelagic region. It allowed access to many remote places that tourism hasn't really penetrated yet, making me a really lucky person!

הועלה ב-מרץ 12, 2021 10:38 לפנה"צ על ידי alphaj16 alphaj16 | תצפית 1 | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

מרץ 16, 2021

Alpha adventure: SE QLD road trip (Jan 19)

After getting back from sailing around SE Asia for nearly two years, I was keen to immerse myself is some local Aussie nature, so I loaded up my car with a bunch of camping gear and embarked on a little road trip around SE QLD: Brisbane -> Bunya Mountains -> Cania Gorge -> Monto -> 1770/Agnes Water -> Wongi -> Fraser Coast -> Sunshine Coast!

Nature highlights included:
Birdwatching in the Bunyas, which included satin bowerbirds, my first pitta species and spotting another bird of paradise: the paradise riflebird
Diving with grey nurse sharks (and a few other shark/ray species) at Wolf Rock
Nudibranch spotting in the Mooloolah River with nudi-guru Gary Cobb.

All up, 36 species (42 observations), including 13 nudibranch species

הועלה ב-מרץ 16, 2021 09:27 לפנה"צ על ידי alphaj16 alphaj16 | 12 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

Alpha adventures: Minnie Water NSW (Jun, 2019)

On the drive between Brisbane and Canberra (which I had to do a few times in 2019) I always stopped for a snorkel in the NSW coastal village of Minnie Water. The tidal rock pools are home to lots of amazing critters.

Highlights were a pregnant grey nurse shark sheltering in the shallows, and 21 species of gastropods (including a few new nudibranchs for my life list) and flatworms.

הועלה ב-מרץ 16, 2021 09:56 לפנה"צ על ידי alphaj16 alphaj16 | 15 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

Alpha adventure: Afghanistan via UAE (Jul 2019-May 2020)

This was a work trip, and I lived on big base near the airport in the capital Kabul, so nature sightings were few and far between, just a few birds and some interesting insects.

Transit through the UAE facilitated a couple of trips to the Ras al Khor nature sanctuary - a wetland completely surrounded by high rises and cityscape, but still home to lots of birds including migratory flamingos, and the very cool Common Hoopoe!

הועלה ב-מרץ 16, 2021 10:01 לפנה"צ על ידי alphaj16 alphaj16 | 3 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

Alpha adventure: Maldives (Oct/Nov 19)

Two week getaway to the Maldives in Oct/Nov 19. The first week was spent exploring the small island resort of Fihalhohi, and the second week was aboard xxxxx for a dive liveaboard. Both were spectacular, particularly for diving and snorkelling:
-10 species of sharks and rays (whale shark, grey reef shark, blacktip reef shark, whitetip reef shark, tawny nurse shark, reef manta ray, whitespotted eagle ray, blotched fantail ray, and broad cowtail stingray and a guitarfish species (video available)).
-46 species of ray-finned fish
-12 species of crustacean
-3 species of gastropod

Friends and colleagues had told me that when they visited the Maldives, the reef was in bad shape, but in 2019, it seems to have bounced back. Lots of healthy reefs with amazing biodiversity!

הועלה ב-מרץ 16, 2021 10:21 לפנה"צ על ידי alphaj16 alphaj16 | 12 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

מרץ 17, 2021

Alpha adventures: Tanzania (Feb 20)

In February 2020 I escaped the cold Afghan climate for two weeks in Tanzania! A week spent on safari across some of Tanzania's famous national parks, and a week spent by the beach in Zanzibar!

There were so many nature highlights, but in summary included seeing the big 5: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and cape buffalo; some pretty epic birdwatching; and adding African dive sites to the places around the world I've dived.

Altogether, I spotted 145 bird species (not all recorded on iNat, complete list in eBird), and 48 other species, including 4 feline species, 3 primate species, and 10 nudibranch species.

הועלה ב-מרץ 17, 2021 09:06 לפנה"צ על ידי alphaj16 alphaj16 | 10 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

Alpha adventure: Fraser Coast, QLD (Dec 20-Jan 21)

Christmas leave in Hervey Bay, QLD!

I joined the local birdwatching group for their weekly meetings on Wednesday mornings, and my life list for the Fraser Coast region is now at 152 species (ebird list). The highlights were spotting a pair of brolga and family of tawny frogmouths. There had been a recent sighting of a black-breasted buttonquail at Pi'iri Reserve, and although we spotted fresh platelets in the leaf litter, the bird itself remained elusive.

I joined several dive trips as well, including a trip out to the ex-HMAS Tobruk wreck, and a few trips to the Roy Rufus artificial reef including a night dive. Spotted green, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles, plus several nudibranch species (my fave being Tambja pulcherrima) and a few olive sea-snakes. I hung out with a lion's mane jellyfish during one of my safety stops.

Last highlight was a little hibiscus harlequin bug hanging out around the pool at home.

הועלה ב-מרץ 17, 2021 09:26 לפנה"צ על ידי alphaj16 alphaj16 | 7 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה

Alpha mini-adventures: ACT/NSW (Sep 2020; Jan-Mar 2021)

My little weekend adventures around ACT and NSW this year have included trips to:
ACT: Jerrabomberra wetlands, Mt Ainslie nature reserve, Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla reserve, Black Mountain and the botanic gardens.
NSW: Mona Vale beach, The Basin Kuring-gai NP, Bungendore, Lake George, Burra and London Bridge.

In addition to a few new bird sightings for my life list, I've observed lots of interesting spider and insect species.

Last September I also had a mini-adventure to the Sapphire Coast of NSW where I snorkelled with seals around Montague Island, hunted nudibranchs in the blue pool at Bermagui and beachcombed in Narooma and found some interesting things washed up that turned out to be the egg sacs of cart-rut shell (Dicathais orbita).

הועלה ב-מרץ 17, 2021 09:41 לפנה"צ על ידי alphaj16 alphaj16 | 15 תצפיות | 0 תגובות | הוספת תגובה