Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Top 10 Nature Moments of 2011

It's about that time of the year where I look back on the moments of the previous year that really stood out for me as the best. Last year was unusual in that I saw so many spectacular things the list is all about them and less about the little interesting moments that usually make it on there as I geek out.

1. Platypus - The duck-billled egg-laying freak of Australia; I worked hard to see it and I got spectacular views as a result.
2. Honey Badger - the Honey Badger takes what he wants and doesn't hang around for photos. Nonetheless adding this fantastic creature to my self-found list with a roadside spot was epic. I've never seen an animal run with a shambling, ambling strut before but this guy had charisma.
3. Longimanus - my 30th shark species in the wild was a true monster of the deep.
4. Snouted Cobra - in a year in which I saw a number of the world's most deadly snakes, dead on roads (mozambique spitter, eastern brown(!)), seeing a big egyptian snouted cobra negotiate a road successfully was awesome.

male cassowary

5. Southern Cassowary - enormous dinosaur bird walks out of the forest next to you? Legendary.
6. Lions of the Kruger - my first lion sighting was cool. Cooler still would follow (and will eventually appear on the blog).

 in long grass2

7. Colugo - a wild flying lemur makes its home in a zoo and I get a reward for looking hard.
8. Black Rhino mother and calf - there's a story coming about this one.
9. Wild cycads of Queensland - geekfest. total geekfest. It was awesome.
10. Saltie - in a year in which I saw both the two big Crocodylus; Estuarine and Nile, there was no competition as to my favourite: 14 feet of Crikey.

The top 10 left no space for other weird marsupials, small antelopes, birds big or small, the 5th biggest snake in the world or hammerhead sharks. Let's hope 2012 is spectacular enough to make next year's top 10 as difficult and as always I'd love to hear about your top 10s (or top 1s!).

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