On Saturday 19th July, despite the recent wet, cold weather, seven people braved the elements to participate in the annual Koala Count.
Our walk took us along Grey River Road through the lush forest of the Great Otway National Park.
We searched for koalas on both sides of the road and also took the opportunity to observe the general condition of the trees. ‘Generally they are in good condition, however there are areas where the trees are obviously under stress from over-browsing as well as many dead trees mainly on the outer edge of the forest.
We managed to spot 65 koalas before lunch. When we reached the ridge overlooking Grey River, we found a nice area of grass where a family group of Eastern Grey Kangaroos were resting, They reluctantly moved on and we sat in the sun, and had lunch.
On the way back we saw another 34 koalas, making a total for the day of 99.
As well as koalas, there were many birds active throughout including Grey Shrike Thrush, White-eared Honeyeaters and Crimson Rosellas On the way up from Kennett River, a group of Satin Bowerbirds flew across the road. and a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles circled above us and over the valley. We also heard a Rufous Bristlebird calling from the depths of the forest.
Everyone enjoyed the koala experience and a very enjoyable walk through our very special National Park.
Koala photos by Chrissy Freestone