Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Ozz Holiday - Daintree & Cape tribulation Pt 1



This day turned out to be one of our busiest days ... We were to take a drive further north to the daintier township, take a boat ride along the crocodile inhabited river there and then take the car ferry across the river to drive through the forests of Cape Tribulation and then back home .... It was to be a photographic feast of sights and subjects .....

We're still at the Silky Oaks lodge ... It's all been very pleasant but too little wildlife around the area. A shame really. We've been to other places where we saw a heap more ....

The bush turkey was always around and always on the hunt for food ... Nice colours but not a particularly pretty bird ... They are notable for their vertical tails .....











I've yet to find out what this bird is ... But he does look like a butcher bird - Just the wrong colouring ....







Along the way we stopped off to get a shot of the egrets with the horses ..A fairly common bird on farm and wetlands ....











In the distance Sulphur crested cockatoos searched through the forest trees ...



And a Kookaburra watched from a telegraph pole..







This plant I know well ... My Dad used to grow it for us as kids ....It's a type of Mimosa. We knew it as the sensitive plant...



When you touch the leaves they fold up and droop very quickly ....



So that was the first stop !! :O) I wish we had had double the time so we could spend more time like this ...just seeing what came up ...

It was an easy drive to Daintree. We stopped just before the township to catch the river boat .... We were made very welcome and offered a cup of the local 'Daintree' tea while we waited


The boat was reasonable large holding around 30 people ..but did seem low in the water to be viewing Crocs in ....Having seen how high they can lift them selves out of the water at Darwin ....



The water was a murky brown being close to the estuary and tidal ...We again were cursed with a nice but overcast day for our travels ...Good as the temperatures were just warm and not stifling but not so good for taking photos .... But we did of course :O)







The river was quite picturesque and the mangroves of various varieties overhung the banks they themselves had created .......











A few white herons had found their hiding spots. Only partially alert to our presence ....











This croc was a monster ... The river guide told us there were bigger in the river ...This one was getting too old . His teeth were falling out and he was unable to compete with the other males ...







Best though to leave sleeping crocodiles lie... No matter how old they are :O)


The mangroves were fascinating ..The flowers large on some plants starting off yellow and as they age becoming a red/pink colour ... The roots also form as breathing tubes due to the oxygenless mud/silt they grow in. They also exude the salt which enables them to live in such brackish water... An amazing plant and so important to the fish etc of the river














The guide had been on the lookout for a snake to show ... When he did there was a small frenzy of photographers trying to get a shot .... Me with my eyesight had picked the wrong end of the snake for the head !!! I figured his head would be upwards ...Hence the snake leaving pictures ....





Crocs are and look so prehistoric ... They truly are an awesome creature..







There were a few other river cruises on the water ..The guide was in radio contact with some .. and actively competing with others :O)




This is the car ferry we were to take later in the day



Do Not try This on a Croc infested river - would you be doing this ?? A fish dinner might not be worth it if you fall in .....








On the way back (having dropped all but ourselves and another couple off near the ferry..They were part of a tour bus) the guide, who was a remarkable, knowledgeable and open chap gave us some more talk on the river and the wildlife ...It was so much more interesting that the trip up in many ways ....One chap from the other couple asked about the death of a young boy in the river to crocodiles ... The guide explained that the father was in fact a guide on the river ...There had been a huge rainfall and the river was swollen to the point of flooding .... Thinking nothing of it he left the house with his kids playing with their dog in the flood water at the back of the house ..... He said that Crocs were opportunist and would explore new areas where the water had reached ...The kids playing in the water with the dog (noise, vibrations etc) would have brought the croc right to them ... Imagine losing your child that way ....... "o\

True to the fathers passion for the nature in the area he asked that the Crocodiles weren't hunted and killed....

However, also, at the ferry guides had seen crocodiles starting to gather as tourists would walk down the ramp to the waters edge to get pictures of sunsets and the river etc... They were worried that it would only be a matter of time before a tourist was attacked there .... So the authorities culled 5 Crocs in the area .......








2 comments:

Ann said...

When I lived in Singapore, we had egrets, I miss them here.

Was that you looking into the water for fish in that aluminium dingy? Would be funny if it made into the AFV

Kay said...

That's more than enough wildlife for me!
Great photos!
Don't worry about not seeing as much as you'd have liked - Always leave something for next time.