Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Darwin Australia - Corroboree Billabong morning cruise & fires



Our morning cruise on the Corroboree Billabong was good.  We were visiting too early in the season for the 'dawn' cruise' but an 8am morning was ok by me!
And it's not all about the birds... there are some interesting 'little' things here as well.


This spider is about the size of a quarter.

This leaf hopper or grasshopper is 2 inches from antenna to tail


Breakfast for a cormorant.

The coin on the lily pad is about the size of a US half dollar coin.  Some of the pads are quite large, and in many pods just about filled up the pond surface.


This is a Jacana. Its nickname is 'Jesus bird' because it appears to walk on water.

We broke camp soon after our morning cruise ended and headed further into Kakadu National Park.  These images were at Mamukula Wetlands.  The sky was very smoky due to the tradition of burning the grasses down.

This burning has been going on for hundreds of years.  It's estimated that 70% of the Top End is burned every year.  This keeps any natural fires from getting out of control, keeps the native plants doing what they're supposed to with seed and such, makes it easier to walk in the outback, and easier to hunt animals.


Here's a view from Lefty's point of view of a clear sky.


Here's one as we get close to an active burn area.


We passed many areas that were actively burning, had been burned within 48 hours and were still smoldering in spots or more than a few days.

It was amazing to see the birds and other animals in the burned areas.  The birds collect the popped open seeds, and spread them around the forest as they fly and poop on the way.  The cycle continues.


We saw many large groups of these red tailed, black Cockatoo down in the fresh burn areas.  They're pretty camera and vehicle shy as this grab shot from the window shows!

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