Thursday, 11 June 2009

Chain Lagoon

Chain Lagoon is about 15 km north of Taroom on the Leichhardt Highway. There wasn't much water in it, this late into the dry season, but the birds made the most of what there was (as well as the handouts from the caravanners). Apart from the standard crew of black-and-white birds (mainly butcherbirds and currawongs), there were also pale-headed rosellas, sulphur-crested cockatoos and grey-crowned babblers.

While the rest of the gang were feeding on the ground, one babbler headed for the highest branches of a eucalypt to hunt for insects. The bird picked off tiles of bark, chucking them onto its pals below. Perhaps it was inadvertent, but the flung bark landed very close to and sometimes on the other birds. Although cockatoos are probably the most happily destructive of our birds — they dismantle window frames for the lulz — it seems to me that babblers are the sort that would have been up the front at a Sex Pistols gig. And they snort something from under that bark. I'm sure of it.

Chain Lagoon is a good spot to see cabbage palms. Cabbage palms (Livistona) occur in northern and eastern Australia but many species have limited distributions. I think this is the Carnarvon palm (Livistona nitida), which is restricted to the Carnarvon Gorge, Taroom and Theodore region. (If anyone can confirm or correct this, let me know. It looks too neat to be L. decipiens.)


mick said...

I'm enjoying your posts about your trip -especially the 'evil' birds you keep meeting :-)

Snail said...

I might be spending too much time in the car and not enough time with a pen and a notebook! But those babblers were certainly on something. And as for the currawongs ...