Header images

The wide images at the top of each page on the site are called ‘header’ images in WordPress, the software package used here. Each time a user visits a new page, the software chooses one at random from a pre-formatted collection. New images are added from time to time but many of them are not identified, so here’s the current collection with the captions they deserve.

The extreme ‘letterbox’ format required poses some challenges, of course, so the famously flat landscapes of  Western Queensland may be over-represented, but the Town Common, one of our favourite local places, lends itself very well to the format too.

As usual, click on them for full-size versions.

Wildlife great and small

Jumping spider, blurred by the speed of his jump

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Cute Critters

This blog has its own Facebook page, set up as an easy way of sharing news about conservation and climate change issues.

Soon after starting it, I began to include casual posts featuring animals which were special in some way – rescued baby animals, rare species turning up in new places, etc – under the heading of ‘cute critter’ (sorry, but I have a weakness for alliteration).  They are reminders of why we do what we do, and often give us a lift by showing that we can indeed make a difference.

grassland bird
Golden-headed Cisticola – cute enough?

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Daintree River views

Driving north from Mossman one encounters a sign pointing right to the famous Daintree ferry and Cape Trib, or left to Daintree Village on the river a few kilometres upstream.

The Village isn’t very big – a pub, a few shops and houses, some tourist accommodation and a jetty for the boaties. We stayed there overnight so that we could take an evening wildlife-spotting cruise with Daintree River Wild Watch, which was so good that we repeated it early next morning.

Daintree Village motel
Daintree Village Lodge

I came home with so many bird photos that they need a separate post, but here are some river views for context.

Daintree River Views

Dawn and dusk are the best times for birds and for atmospheric landscape photos, and I really loved the morning mists.

Daintree Village view
Misty dawn on the Daintree

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The Town Common in September

The Town Common Conservation Park, to give it its full name, is a valuable wetland year-round but changes with the seasons. Now, in mid-September, it is drying out. Grasses and small shrubs are dying off except where they are in or near the remaining open water. Water birds are returning to the Common as other resources dry out even more, but insects and other birds are not so numerous.

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Ross Dam and the Borrow Pits

We visited Ross Dam recently with members of Wildlife Queensland’s Townsville Branch for a morning of birdwatching and botanising.  We wandered along the dam wall, back to the park at its foot, and then down to the Borrow Pits nearby.

The dam was much lower than on my last visits, in March and May of last year, but the Borrow Pit made me a liar by being emptier than when I saw it in December 2013. Perhaps we had had more rain before that visit than we have had in the last few months?

Views from the dam wall

Ross Dam
Looking along the dam wall

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