Australia · daughter · freedom · photography

Pigs, Cockatoos?…..No, Koalas!!

A lazy Sunday afternoon, just the right day to hang around in a tree.
A lazy Sunday afternoon, just the right day to hang around in a tree.

As promised, here is the follow-up to my story and photos of the kangaroos I saw at South West Rocks. But be warned, you may not hear what you expected to about our cute little koalas!

Early in August my daughter and her boyfriend moved out of the house they had rented for the last year and of course, mum and dad’s assistance didn’t go astray in helping them move! It was a long, exhausting weekend, but by Sunday afternoon we could see that we had the biggest part of the task behind us.

Just after lunchtime, Ryan went out onto the balcony and when he came back inside he asked me, “Did you hear that bird screeching just then?” I told him that I had, then he said to me, “I think it was attacking a koala!”

“What?! Why didn’t you yell out to me; I could have taken a photo!”, amid thinking “they have koalas around here?!”

And here's a back view, see its fluffy ears?
And here’s a back view, see its fluffy ears?

Throughout the afternoon we continued to hear the screeching bird, which sounded like a cockatoo. But the weird thing was, we could also hear a pig snorting! Emma wasn’t at all surprised by the pig snort sounds though; apparently at a house nearly, they had a pet pig! (hmm, of course, a pet pig in suburban Gold Coast….why not a dog like everyone else?)

After a while it got the better of me and I told Emma that it was time for us to take a break from the packing and cleaning. Armed with my camera we went on a search for this pig, or cockatoo, or koala….whatever it was, I was determined to get photos!

It didn’t take too long for Emma to spot two koalas up in a tree, just across the road from where they lived. I asked had she ever seen koalas here before, seeing as they had lived here for a whole year I suspected there may have been a good chance they had.

The male koala chasing the female up the tree.
The male koala chasing the female up the tree.

“No, never”, Emma told me. How incredible that their final day living there (when I happened to be there with my camera!) was the day we saw them. This was my lucky day!

Suddenly the pig grunting started again, then the cockatoo screeched! And just at the same time as one koala chased the other up a tree!

Chin up exercises?
Chin up exercises?

What I have since learned is that during the mating season, a male koala will often make a loud grunting sound! Did you know that? No? It was news to me too! And if the female is playing hard to get, or not appreciating the males advances, she will screech like a bird! And here you were all thinking that koalas were quiet little cuddly creatures, weren’t you?

Well, that’s what I thought about them. I didn’t know they even made a sound at all! But they are very cute, rather bulky and fury as can be. These photos are a tad fuzzy as the tree they were playing chaseys in was a distance away from me and with other trees in front of the koalas it was difficult to get a good clear shot of them. I hope you can see them clearly enough though to appreciate just how adorable they are.

They move surprisingly fast when they climb the trees.
They move surprisingly fast when they climb the trees.

So there you are, both kangaroos and koalas do live in the wild in Australia! We may not see them every day, but what a treat it is when we do. 🙂

A typical image of a cute and cuddly koala, just what we imagine they should look like. :)
A typical image of a cute and cuddly koala, just what we imagine they should look like. 🙂

10 thoughts on “Pigs, Cockatoos?…..No, Koalas!!

  1. On Magnetic Island we used to see and hear them very often like this, people were very used to them, and if you were ever able to cuddle one – well – they’d piddle on you, and scratch. We used to have them where we lived in South Australia, and ofcourse most folk would want a cuddle, but no, that’s not their scene really..not sure if you knew they had to be culled over on Kangaroo Island a few years ago, there were so many of them they ate themselves out of house and home..


  2. Thank you. Perhaps one day I will come to Australia with my camera to see what I can see. I’m pretty sure that will only be a dream, but you never know!


  3. How exciting to see the koalas in a natural setting – I’m glad your curiosity led you to discover them there! Koalas are one of Tim’s favorite animals and we were so surprised to hear the noises they make when we were watching an episode of “Nature” a show on public TV we have here in the States. Thanks for sharing these pictures – what a treat!


  4. Joanne, I so enjoyed looking at these pics and reading your story. I even called Barry over to look. He was impressed, too. Thank you so much for posting this. Not many of us in the US have seen something like this.


  5. How wonderful Joanne… My daughter and family live in the Adelaide Hills, here in South Australia, and are regularly visited by Koalas and other Wildlife but no so many visit me, down on the Adelaide Plains… except those, of the feathered variety, who tend to mass in large numbers, can be very “screechie” and often destroy the wood on doorframes, patios etc : roll:
    However for a very long time I’d been hearing this strange noise, late at night, in the back yard. Long story to short, it’s the noise made by possums when scaring off critters, like cats. All this knowledge came together with discovering who it was who’d been “stealing” my luscious for the previous three + years 😆


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