I am an Australian natural history writer and photographer. My aim is to encourage people to venture outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of our planet.
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Published September 3rd 2019
Sand Dune Foxes
It is a lovely winter walk along the coastal track from Semaphore, past Fort Glanville then on to Point Malcolm. I am not expecting too much in the way of wildlife as it cool weather and the middle of the day. I stop to watch some children playing basketball in the rather extensive recreational set up behind the Semaphore Surf Life Saving Club. A nice place to bring the grandchildren during the summer months; there's even a little railway track that runs from the Semaphore jetty terminating near the SLSC.
I climb up the steps on the outside of the clubrooms to get a better look along the coast, scanning the terrain with my camera lens for birdlife along the beach and in the dunes. There are gulls feeding in the shallow water and swallows flitting through the bushes and stunted trees that help to hold the dunes together.
Back on the path, the wildlife is closer but a tad more nervous and I have to walk slowly stopping frequently to have a closer look as it is easy to miss a well-camouflaged dove or a hawk perching on a fence post watching for prey.
It is during one of these scouting periods that I notice a slight movement near one of the coastal acacias that dominate the area. Too big for a bird, perhaps a rabbit? Neither, I hold my breath as a fox emerges from the undergrowth. It looks around then continues to hunt, sniffing and cocking its head in a never-ending search for small animals or anything else that it can kill or scavenge. Though foxes are an introduced menace that decimates local wildlife it is still a rare treat to see one, especially in the daylight hours.
My car is parked south of the playground and SLSC and this section of the pathway is flanked by both coastal dunes and beach-side homes which provide their own habitat for native animals. There are both Singing and New Holland Honeyeaters in the gardens and a group of rambunctious cockatoos feeding on a lawn.
On the whole, it has been a really interesting walk along this coastal pathway with the fox sighting being a definite highlight. With the Semaphore seafront and its variety of cafes and amenities just a short drive or walkway, Point Malcolm is certainly a place that would be more than suitable for whiling away a few pleasant hours with family and friends.