I made the decision Friday afternoon to get up early on Saturday morning and head up toward the Mary River system to attempt to photograph a few of the turtles that I require for the book. As has been the case in the past few months however things didn't work out the way that I planned. No bloody turtle photos for a start. I am becoming accustomed to disappointment when it comes to finding critters lately although I did manage a few pics of other stuff and managed to catch up with a very good friend that I hadn't seen for ages so I'm not complaining.
The first photo is a very large and dark Wolf Spider which was under a piece of timber with a couple of Centipedes and Cane Toads on my mates property.
First stop for the turtles was an absolute waste of time as what appeared to be the whole town was cooling off in the river right where I had hoped to find them.
I headed south and found some quieter areas but still no luck with the turtles.
This young Eastern Water Dragon made a handsome and surprisingly docile subject. I half expected him to bolt into the creek but he hung around for ages seemingly just as interested in me as I was in him.
The Log Runner must be one of the busiest birds in the rainforest. This guy was some distance from me and he was going hell for leather tearing up the leaf litter chasing a meal for what seemed like an eternity.
This Lace monitor was only a sub adult and was one of a number that were hunting along and beside a dry creek bed.
The Sunshine Coast has been dry for a number of months now with some areas receiving limited rainfall and others getting bugger all. The two photos above were taken in and on the edge of rainforest and the as you can see the leaf litter is very thick and very dry. The area is a popular camping spot in a Forestry reserve with its appeal based around the river. The next few photographs give you an idea how dry the creek bed is and the third photo in the series shows the reason why this place is so much worse than the surrounding areas. It also highlights the difference between Forestry reserves and National Parks. We need that water to flush the shitters in the camping area so stuff every other living thing that depends upon it just to survive. Our current governments seems hell bent on encouraging the use and abuse of natural resources of all types no matter what the consequences and they are in the process of changing the rules so that even the National Parks will not be safe in the future. Where will it end? Will the kids of today only be able to see the animals that I have have grown to love and respect over my lifetime in books or on documentaries? Have a think about it pollies, you won't be able to survive long eating your fucking money when that's all that's left.
Right then, I shall climb down from my soapbox now and apologise for the rant. It's hard though because the more I think about this sort of thing the more frustrating it becomes. There must be a solution somewhere.
The following three photos were taken in the next patch of accessible rainforest to the south.
A Murray's Skink.
This fungi appears to have two crescent shaped bite marks taken from it. Despite the appearance of the photo is was sitting proud of the log by about 20mm and the bite out of the front was about 30mm across. Looks very lizard like to me but I'm not sure what species that is found in this particular patch of forest would be large enough to take a bite that size?
Enthusiastic and hoping for more after an relatively uneventful day I decide to don the head torch and have a wander around my place tonight. The moon shots were actually taken a few nights ago on the fifth. I forgot to take my voice recorder with me which was a real shame as one of our resident male Koalas had a bit of a grunt fest not far from where I was standing at the bottom of the first gully, and a few Broad-palmed frogs, Eastern Sedge frogs and Striped Marsh frogs were calling at the creek.
Cane Toad taking advantage of a bit of water around the base of a pot plant.
A Nankeen Night Heron doing a bit of spearfishing in a small creek in one of the gullies.
Quite an attractive half shelled snail crossing the track.
What appears to be another Wolf spider feasting on a beetle it has just captured. This one was only about a third the size of the spider in the first photo and although it is similar in colour I am not sure if it is the same species.
This was by far the most exciting find of the day or night but unfortunately he didn't want to play when it came to having his photo taken. A beautiful little Rough Scaled snake. They can tend to be a little defensive at times and will often stand up for photos but despite me putting myself between him and the edge of the track on a few occasions he just wanted to go.
I did a quick walk around the back shed again when I got back for this Robust Velvet gecko,
and a large Southern Spotted Velvet gecko which was in the meter box on the shed wall. The photograph below is representative only to give you an idea what they look like as the fella in the meter box scooted behind the panel and I wasn't about to shove my hand in to get him out.
Well that's about it for another week. I hope to get away again in a few weeks time so hopefully I can bring you something a bit different then, especially if we get a bit of rain in the mean time. Cheers, thanks again for visiting and I hope you enjoyed yourself.