Kimberley - Tanmurra Creek August 2 - 3 2018
  More by accident than design we crossed the Ord at Wivenhoe Crossing.

Its at the east end of Parry Road.

The water was about 300mm deep. Well within our capabilities, though we did pause for thought.

We are headed north of Kununurra and have to return the same way so will stock up with food and chocolate later. This crossing saves us a longish detour to the south.

  We meet the results of irrigation from Lake Argyle on the Ord River.

We think this is sandalwood. There's a factory nearby.

Sandalwood has been in the news a bit recently as one of the players has finance issues.

  There's also horticulture.

And corn.

And a distillery.

  Its changed a bit since I passed through in 1978. I recall sorghum was a major crop and some rice.
  We soon return to the dry plains as we proceed northwards.
  We required permission to cross private property.

The Ningbing Range is part of "the other arm" of the (devonian) limestone reef we explored at Windjana Gorge, Tunnel Creek, Giekie Gorge and the Oscar Range.

A giant upside down "U" on the map with only the two ends visible to us now.

About 475 km across.

  To remind us we are crossing a cattle station.

We think salt.

  Parts of the reef are 100m high. But not as extensive as the west arm.

There's a small gorge a bit downstream as we cross a dry creek bed. "If we have time on the way back".

  We are in Mijing Conservation Park. Part of the stretch of parks that includes Parry Lagoons.

We turn west just north of Tanmurra Creek. About 7 km to where it meets other creeks and is tidal.

Slow progress as we get the saw out a few times to remove overhanging branches.

  But when we arrive we are greeted by a white-bellied sea eagle.
  It conveniently uses a nearby boab tree as its base. Convenient as there are no leaves to hide us or the eagle.

At various times during the day it heads in different directions. We haven't seen it return with any food.

  Just testing the camera. I'm sure it posed for us. They usually fly away at sight of me or the camera.
  Could this be a rufous-throated honeyeater?

The flock stayed near us for a long while.

One day I'll look up "rufous" in the dictionary ..... surprisingly it isn't in the bird book glossary.

  We think a Whistling Kite.

Mainly because of the noise it makes. There are several.

  I first saw just a couple of parrots in the distance. Just silhouettes. Moving through the tops of the trees and making "parrot noises".

The kite disturbed the flock of a dozen or so. Red-winged parrots.

  Not all red-winged parrots are the same.

The flock stayed near us for a while, then moved on.


There's a stiff breeze. But the white-breasted woodswallows are also social.

Lots of insects to be caught between rests.

  The tide is out.

When in it covers the mud and a bit of the mangroves.

About 2m below our camp.

We watch occasional crocodiles drift past with the fast flowing tide.

We also slowly become aware of voracious pin head sized midges and the itchy red spots of their bites. Quite unlike anywhere else we've been. The insect screens aren't a barrier to them. A bit late we discover mosquito coils keep most of them at bay.


After dark we probe the waters with torches.

Immediately half a dozen pairs of eyes are revealed. Some moving, some stationary.

Note to self ..... be careful when leaving the truck.

  Next morning the tide looks almost full as the sun rises.

But still has a couple of meters and an hour or so to full.

  We've been woken by the whistling kites.

They entertain us for the morning. The fish eagle is fishing elsewhere.

  The technique is to slowly float sideways down the creek with the outgoing tide. Its shallow enough near the bank for feet to touch the bottom.

Initially facing the bank, but later with tail to shore.

  Then wait for the tide to recede.

It took about 20 minutes to leave the croc high and dry on the mud. Now we know why there usually aren't tracks on the mud.

The slow yawn took another 20 minutes.

  I thought I would walk along our side of the creek a bit to have the sun at a different angle.

Alas, as soon as I set foot outside our mobile hide the croc moved into the water.

Not sure if I like to think it was watching or not.

  Then we were two.

Twins, siblings, a couple, or just good friends?

They did a lot of talking when they arrived.

  The parrots arrived early in the afternoon, feasting on seeds in low bushes. The woodswallows arrived with insects as the sun lowered, along with the honeyeaters.

The wrens were deeper in the bush, away from the water's edge, and were typically shy.

Kimberley - Cape Domett August 4 - 8 2018

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