What the visitor sees on a wildlife safari or cruise depends on the wildlife and the weather, but also on the guide’s interests and local knowledge. Daintree River Wild Watch advertised “Bird Watching and Photography Cruises” which ticked the boxes we wanted, and we were well rewarded.
Crocodiles are top of the list for most tourists, and we did see one, but the highlight for us was the Jabiru (Black-necked Stork, Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) prancing around in the shallows to scare up his breakfast.
Looking through my photos I found lots of birds, many of which we rarely see on the coast; quite a lot of insects, but all of them rather familiar; and not many reptiles, but only one which deserves to be featured here.
As usual, clicking on the images will bring them up at full size in a lightbox and reveal a little extra information.
Our neighbour alerted us this morning to a snake in the hedge between our properties so we went out for a look. It turned out to be a Carpet Python (Morelia spilota, also known as the Diamond Python), resting comfortably about shoulder height in the tangle of Brazilian Cherry and Mock Orange.
We have been moving lots of pot-plants recently, planting out many of them and re-potting others, and in the process disturbing a few strange worms … or so I thought.
All of them were typical worm size, perhaps 8 – 12 cm long and shoelace-thick; most were black, but one was a delicate lilac colour; and they were all very active, wriggling for their lives until they could vanish into any tiny crack in the soil. When I handled them, I found them very dry and slippery, which puzzled me. It didn’t intrigue me enough to stop work, however, or I might have trapped them for closer observation and discovered that they weren’t worms at all but snakes.
Four years ago I walked the inland end of the Dalrymple Track (see Wikipedia for its history) with Wildlife Queensland folk, then took a quick look at the coastal end by myself. As I said in a blog post at the time, I always hoped to complete the rest of the walk eventually, and last week I almost made good on that plan, walking from the coastal end to its highest point a couple of hundred metres past the old Stone Bridge.