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ENCOUNTERS with WILDLIFE.
...true stories written for ABC radio by Peter Harris.

I have been living alongside and observing amazing wildlife for over 30 years. My encounters eventually turned into short radio scripts that have been broadcast occasionally on AUSTRALIA ALL OVER, the popular ABC program hosted by 'Macca'. Below I am putting together examples, along with photos and videos of the creatures that inspired my anecdotes. You will see this section grow as I get my act together and build the galleries. Dont hold your breath though. I am also currently compiling the broadcasts onto a series of CD talking books, which will soon be available in the Secret Gully shop.

The Bowerbirds of Secret Gully.

Bowerbird

I have often mentioned the crazy, annoying, and totally lovable Bowerbirds. They pinch my fruit, eat my lettuce seedlings, steal all my blue pegs and pen tops, build beautiful bowers and perform wild dances. What choice is there but to love them! Recently I broadcast two stories devoted to the bowerbirds - "The song of the Satin Bowerbird" and "The many Wives of the Satin Bowerbird". If you follow the link below you will see a photo gallery from Secret Gully, some video antics at a secret bower and you can listen to one of the broadcasts.

Link to SATIN BOWERBIRDS

The CREEK

the creek

The creek that runs through Secret Gully is often mentioned in my stories. It is a rocky and rugged place, home to a variety of interesting creatures. The story featured here is about a little water monitor who lives behind a waterfall in the middle of the creek. We call her Lizzy. You can see a video about the creek and listen to Lizzy's story via the following link.

Link to LIZZY

ECHIDNAS

Spike the Echidna meets a real one

This photo shows Spike, my Echidna Puppet organising a date with a real echidna. She came up when I was taking some photos of Spike in the bush. and proceeded to show him how to dig a hole. I was quite pleased to see this unique event as it was high praise for my puppet making! Echidnas are such amazing little characters - perhaps my favourite Aussie creature. It is always a joy to cross paths with one in Secret Gully. So of course, they manage to get a number of mentions in my Encounters stories. One of the stories I tell is about an echidna I met on the beach and how he climbed a vertical sand cliff. Take the following link to see some photos and a video from Secret gully which includes an echidna segment.

Link to ECHIDNA

PELICANS

Pelican Landing

I have to admit that I have never seen a pelican in Secret Gully. The valley is too steep and narrow for them. But I have seen them flying over occasionally, and I have often ended up in pelican territory. Pelicans are a great favourite of mine and I would love to be one for a while. I've seen them out on the Darling River and over on the east coast. But the place I enjoyed their company most was when I lived on Lake Victoria, next to the Rufus River. Here the majestic birds would skim over the roof of the house as they glided into the lake to rest on old logs and dead trees which stuck up out of the water. So Pelicans feature in a number of my stories. I've just written a recent one about catching up with a pair of pelicans who were resting on the Beardy River near Glen Innnes before continuing a journey to some secret spot. But I have a PDF file of another pelican story for you, as well as some images and a short video of some pelicans on the Richmond River, not far away from Secret Gully. Here are the links..

Download PDF file of 'PELICAN STORY'
Link to PELICAN PHOTOS & VIDEO

MAGPIES

magpies in the rain

The warbling call of the magpie is a sound the defines Australia. These fearless characters strut through town and country bringing joy to sunny mornings and a bit of fear at nesting time. Maggies feature in a number of my Encounters stories, although I've never devoted a full story to them until the one that I am currently writing, which is due for broadcast sometime in the next few weeks. The image above shows a parent and baby hanging on with all their might while taking a wild shower in a blinding storm. I cowered inside and took the blurred photo through the window and flyscreen. No way I was going out there with the mad pair! I've put some great magpie photos up for you to see and also a short video of a couple of babies at breakfast trying to feed themselves when their mum has disappeared somewhere.

link to Magpies Vid and Slideshow