Sunday, 9 July 2017

Cape York Peninsula: Rinyirru (Lakefield) NP, Pt 2

Rinyirru NP is more than savannah and magnetic termite mounds. The park is dissected by a network of creeks and rivers, all of which are a) lined by paperbarks and b) full of crocodiles. One of these things is more obvious than the other.

While we watched banded, bar-breasted, and yellow honeyeaters squabbling over Melaleuca flowers, a white-bellied sea eagle watched us. I'm not sure if we were as entertaining to the eagle as the honeyeaters were to us.

Billabongs were home to all sorts of waterbirds, including magpie geese...

 ...and Australian darters.

There were also egrets of all sorts, comb-crested jacanas, azure and sacred kingfishers, and green pygmy geese. Rainbow bee-eaters were abundant.

In more open areas, black-backed butcherbirds hung around, waiting for us to disturb lizards or large grasshoppers. Or possibly drop sandwiches. They are as opportunistic as their southern congeners.

Brolgas lurked at the edges of woodland. I'm sure they were plotting something. (We also saw sarus cranes. At one location, there were seventeen sarus and one slightly embarrassed brolga.)

We spotted a pair of red goshawks. This one was stuffing its face, while its mate built a nest nearby.

And there were golden-shouldered parrots. This is a particularly bad photo of a male (bottom right) and female (upper left), so, if you're not familiar with the species, it's worth searching for better images. They are very beautiful birds.

Although there were fewer massive mounds, there was still plenty of evidence of termite activity.

We spotted a pair of Papuan frogmouths near Lotusbird Lodge. I thought this was my favourite species of frogmouth, until I saw the marbled ones at Lockhart River. I am fickle.

And there was this stick floating in a billabong at Musgrave Roadhouse. It wasn't very interesting, but I took a photo of it anyway.


mick said...

Thanks for writing about your trip and sharing it with those of us not quite so lucky to see all those fantastic things - the birds especially! I look forward to more, please!

Snail said...

It's a wonderful place, Mick! I plan to go back. Not sure how many more pics I have from the Cape, but will have a look for some more not-quite-awful ones. If there's a trip report, I'll link to it, because there were some stunning birds that I didn't even try to photograph.