Mexican Hat Beach September 17 - 20 2018
  An evening stroll westwards. To see what is around the corner.
  With the requisite "we wuz here" on the way back.

We are settled in for a few days.

  Morning is a stroll along the beach. We have little chance of walking all the way to the end but take a couple of hours until tired.

Its a long time since I saw goose barnacles. Stewart Island (NZ) in about 1981. Though these are small by comparison.

In NZ they were attached to a stone along with a seaweed holdfast.

On the other hand, the cuttlefish remnants here are the largest I've seen.

  Dotterels. That seem to be on every beach in Australia.

But perversely, this doesn't look like any of the pics in the bird book. Even considering juveniles. The closest match doesn't live here.

  After a scramble up the dunes we look back. Legs a bit tired from the softish sand.
  Campsite is a little way back from the headland.
  We would much prefer to see a live penguin.
  Returning to the truck we look eastwards.

Point Fowler in the distance.

  It looks dead. And it only looks a bit like a snake.

It might even be someone's toy snake, or a broken shoelace! Though the tail is nicely tapered.

Then again, it may be a legless lizard.

Possibly a common scaly-foot. Thanks to Peter for the research.

  The beach is aptly named, Mexican Hat.

Its a bit windy for fishing. But the colours have no bounds.

  And on the pillar at the left hand end, separated from the hat, is a well used nest, with a resident osprey.

Even the osprey thinks its too windy.

  the sun and the clouds change continuously,

until, eventually, they are all aligned, and the osprey poses for us.


  There's a little rain in the air, and a very large, very wide, rainbow.
  Another day, a walk along the cliff tops to the west.

There are a few bays which would be difficult for us to climb down to.

But we hear something crying out which turned out to be a young sea lion.

Most likely a sea lion as fir seals don't make much noise and don't move on land on their flippers.

  There are four sea lions crawling up the sand and through the rocks to a patch of dry sand.

Looks like mum and three younger.

The last is very small, and the one making all the noise.

One of the other youngsters seems to be charged with looking after it. They both return to the water.

  We walk further along the cliffs to look west.
  On our return we see one of the pups suckling.

Mum looks exhausted and resting.

  Back at camp some excitement.

Two whales are just in front of our camp, in the shallows.

Just moving slowly.

A large one and a small one.

They eventually move to deeper water and disappear to the west.

  And then there were two again.

We saw them flying a couple of times during the day, and when we were walking along the cliffs.

The tide was eventually right, the sun was shining, and the wind has died down, though still chilly.

We were able to walk onto the reef for a little, before tea. The ospreys were safe but flew almost as soon as we walked from the beach onto the reef towards them.

The water is a bit cold for swimming.

  We left in the afternoon. So we could have fish and chips in Ceduna.

The fishing at Mexican Hat is reputedly very good. But not for the last few days, and not this morning. Even though the wind has dropped and the sea is a tad calmer.

Even though I chose the same spot, the pools at the edge of the reef, as yesterday's seal.

  Just like me, today's sea lion didn't stay long.
  So we head east, along the coast towards Fowlers Bay.

We've had a pleasant interlude beside the sea. Perhaps to mirror our interlude at Cape Domett. Perhaps just because we needed a rest from moving almost every day.

We would like to stay longer, but we are travel weary and need a bit of home time before a planned Christmas trip.

  We are getting better at spotting, and avoiding, shingleback lizards as they meander across our road. We managed to stop for this one. But then we were only traveling at about 30 km/hr.

They are blue tongued skinks.

Port Augusta Northwards September 21 - 23 2018

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