Porcupine Gorge wildlife

As I said a few days ago, the wildlife at Porcupine Gorge  was abundant when I visited it last week. Here’s a sample of photos under the three broad headings of mammals, birds and invertebrates (i.e. insects and spiders). I did see some reptiles as well – a goanna and a frill-necked lizard (I think) on the road, and several small skinks around the gorge – but have no photos to share here.

Mammals

A large wallaby or small kangaroo species was quite common in the early mornings but I’m not sure which species: possibly red kangaroo or agile wallaby, but I’m inclined to think they were Antilopine Kangaroos, Macropus antilopinus. If so, they were at the Southern end of their known range.

Porcupine Gorge
An adult on the move

Continue reading “Porcupine Gorge wildlife”

Around Porcupine Gorge – scenery and birdlife

This is an illustrated list of places in the vicinity of Porcupine Gorge which are worth a look for one reason or another, intended as a guide to visitors and context for my wildlife photos (still to come). My starting point is the camping ground. Working away from it …

There is a waterhole beside the camping ground access road which attracts quite a lot of bird life.

Turning North towards the Lynd soon takes you over an attractive creek crossing, White Cliffs Creek. It’s an incipient gorge, having cut only a few metres into the white sandstone, and is good for birds and butterflies. Travelling further up the same road takes you through typical savannah country and, eventually, to Undara Lava Tubes, Greenvale and the gemfields.

Porcupine Gorge region
White Cliffs Creek from the main raod
Porcupine Gorge region
Looking over the savannah from a low hill on the road to The Lynd

Continue reading “Around Porcupine Gorge – scenery and birdlife”

The Town Common after rain

I’m not going to claim credit for it, of course, but my post about rainwater tanks was followed almost immediately by the best rain Townsville has had for years, with totals like 250 to 600 mm over a week or so, depending on exactly where you looked. Ross Dam went from about 15% to over 80% – but I will say more about that in another post.

I visited the Town Common yesterday, very briefly, to see the difference the rain had made there. Continue reading “The Town Common after rain”

How small is my honeyeater

Scarlet Honeyeater Myzomela sanguinolenta
Scarlet Honeyeater hanging from Yellow Bell

We know, of course, that some birds are smaller than others but we aren’t often close enough to them to put their size into context. This female Scarlet Honeyeater (Myzomela sanguinolenta, aka Scarlet Myzomela) charmingly demonstrates her minuscule size and weight by hanging from the petals of a Yellow Bell to feed on its nectar.

She was deep within a tangle of Yellow Bells on the bank of a creek on Hervey’s Range – too cute to resist but too far away, really, for a good photo.  Males are responsible for the species name, by the way. Females and juvenile males are brown with perhaps a small blush around the cheeks, but adult males (see one in this older post) are very colourful.

Yellow Bells (Cascabela thevetia) are a weed. This fact sheet from James Cook University says that all parts of the plant are poisonous, but the nectar seems not to be, since I have seen other birds feeding on the flowers although I have never seen a fruit or seed that has been pecked or chewed by wildlife.

Birdlife of Rollingstone Creek

Last week’s post celebrated the dragonflies of Rollingstone Creek, just North of Townsville, but the birdlife deserves its share of attention, too. I saw most of the same species as on my first visit but some were more obliging this time.

Portraits …

Forest Kingfisher, Todiramphus macleayii
Forest Kingfisher, Todiramphus macleayii

Continue reading “Birdlife of Rollingstone Creek”