The photographs taken at Marlgu Billabong in and around the bird hide lend themselves to a bit of treatment. Occasionally, an out-of-focus picture can be given some forgiveness and resurrection through this kind of play, for example, the darter below who’d just come up with a fish.
At around 5.45 pm, this is how it looked, headlights shining, as we searched for our destination using the GPS. Our position on the map hovered over blank space with the flag point moving closer and sometimes further away.
All’s well that ends well and we were soon enjoying the company of Anne and Terry (owners of Parry Creek Farm just south of Wyndham), their staff and two other guests over a roast lamb dinner.
The other guests were, like us, there for the bird life, except that Mike and Elizabeth Fidler have an obsession (Mike’s word) with one particular bird, the Gouldian Finch. You can read more about their work and the Save the Gouldian Fund here.
You have to be up very very early to catch the Gouldian Finch at a few select watering holes. I didn’t make a siting, despite a 5.30 am start, but did manage to capture photographs of a few of the species around Parry Creek and at Marlgu Billabong from its excellent hide facility. Featured feathered friends include Magpie Geese, Brolgas, Australian Pelicans, Egrets, Herons, ducks, a wren ? and a pigeon thrown in for good measure. To reduce the number of question marks, I have since purchased this reference book. Does this mean I’m on the way to becoming a fully fledged twitcher?
Marlgu Billabong was our first siting of a salt water crocodile in the wild on this trip. He wasn’t close so the photographic evidence isn’t the best quality.
… and Red-tailed Black Cockatoos and Freshwater Crocodiles at Giekie Gorge, just out of the town of Fitzroy Crossing. The pics of the fauna are a little scratchy mainly due to the large amount of glare on the water mid-afternoon. Just wasn’t catching the critters well from a long distance today.
I had a little better luck with the gorge shapes and colours though.
We were hoping to do the morning boat ride up the Fitzroy River but fate got in the way. The car was serviced in Broome yesterday morning, so when we woke this morning we didn’t expect it to have disgorged most of its oil. Never a good look when you’re using caravan park property and the car needs to get to the garage quickly over their driveways.
It seems that the washer attached to the old oil filter remained in the car when the new oil filter with its own washer was fitted. The service company covered the costs of today’s repair but we lost a little time and some embarrassment was caused.
The big news is that the compass on the car is mostly pointing eastward. It will be good to be home in a few week’s time, albeit briefly. I have a trip to Georgia in the US in the first week of October of which you will hear more as and when that happens.
Tonight, it’s casual dining in the bar. I hope we don’t need to don disguises.
It is known for its colourful shells….
and acrobatic seagulls.
Since mid-morning, lots of people have been angling for a catch. I saw no evidence of the catching element on my morning stroll. Most of those fishing are now returning after the high tide.
Still no fish, but a good day on the beach by all accounts.
Yesterday we were pretty much convinced that the wind would knot (sic) allow us to get out on a boat to see the outgoing tidal action in King Sound and over Talon Reef. Happily, a short window in the weather opened up and we were able to witness the incredible forces of these 6 hourly tides. It was late in the afternoon and the tides were going out.
After a couple of smoky days, this salt water spray and sunset interlude full of giant whirlpools and waterfalls in the ocean was a great way to complete our visit to Cape Leveque. That, and the dinner we enjoyed afterwards.
The first Japanese person was interred in this cemetery in 1896. There are 919 people buried here, many of whom were pearl divers who either drowned or died from diver’s paralysis, also known as the bends. In 1908 and 1935, cyclones took a large number of men working on pearl luggers in 1908 and 1935. Some of the stones, many of them large beach rocks, have shells left as small grave markers by visitors.
Early morning on McGowan Island Beach is quiet and cool before the heat of the day kicks in around 8 am.
We went into Kulumburu to catch the short opening hours of the store and purchase our visitor’s pass. No fuel is available in town on Saturday or Sunday so we left that until Monday morning, putting off payment of $2.99 per litre for diesel.
Before heading back to camp we checked out the fuselage of an old Mitchell Bomber, the history of which is available in the Catholic Mission’s Museum which we visited the following day. Kulumburu and other parts west of Darwin were bombed during World War Two.
I spent a little while with the brushes in the afternoon and later on tramped across the rocks to watch Rob wet the fishing line and be on self-appointed croc watch. I may have been a little too good at that job, identifying a croc-shaped rock as a threat to the mission.
It was a successful wetting of the line. Nothing more than that. You need to get out on a boat with some heavy line if you’re seriously wanting a nibble on the lure.
The new fridge we bought to replace the dead one in the van was working so well, we drank frozen beers before a dinner of tortellini. No fish were harmed in the production of the meal.