Nuga Nuga National Park - To the Ends June 29 - 30 2023
  How nice to have lost track of time. And how many days we've been here.

Though sadly we had to keep a little track so as to book another four days to add to our original three.

Suffice to say we haven't tired of seeing something new every day.

We awoke to see a couple of white ibis.

  And a white necked heron.

Not quite relaxed, still restless, we feel compelled to "do something".

So we hatch a plan to visit the ends of the park where it meets the lake.

Strangely (to us) the lake is not part of the national park. Just a limited part of the northern shoreline. The park is to protect remnants of brigalow forest. But more of that later.

  I set off westwards, along the park road. Ali has earned a rest day, having stubbed a toe a couple of days ago and its still painful.

A brief detour to investigate a heap of bird noise in a small thicket of trees.



  After a couple of km the road ends, below Mt Warrinilla.

From here on its cattle tracks along the shoreline.

With the unmistakable shape of a parrot atop one of the dead trees. A pale headed rosella.

I say unmistakable, and how easily I say it. But isn't it nice to say.

I can tell.

My cataract free eyes are a vast improvement.

  Its not that ibises come in twos......

Straw necked this time.

  We've seen a couple of cattle here and there.

Despite realising the cattle tracks are substantial, with lots of cattle movement, I wasn't quite prepared for the more than one hundred herd.

They stood their ground well as the intrepid walker approached.

Wary of anything threatening I continued my advance. Until at about 20m distance some of the rear of the herd began to move.

A few more steps and those nearest decided to walk away.

Phew (if you'll forgive the pun).

And so, for the next km or so along the lakeside, an unruly procession of cattle leading me further away from camp.

One never knows, I remained wary, keeping a convenient tree in sight, ready to hide behind in case of a change of mood.

Though in all seriousness I would probably run. Away.

  The reward for my silliness - I really was outnumbered by possibly unpredictable cattle - was a small colony of spoonbills.

In the distance, across the waters of green lagoon, I had to watch for the unmistakable sideways to and fro of feeding spoonbills.

Royal spoonbills, their bills are blue (not yellow).

I saw the emus in the background when I looked at all the pics back at camp. There were five passers by.

  Despite being more than a couple of hundred meters away, with a heap of water in between, the spoonbills were upset at my presence.

So they did what all spoonbills do when upset, and really all birds, they flew away.

But I'm used to it now, so I took a pic.

  I also upset the ducks.

I really will have to improve my bird watching technique.

For some reason there are large numbers in just this sheltered spot.

  For the small ducks its just calm water, and probably the depth for feeding.
  The spoonbills returned to earth.

There's all sorts in this pic besides the spoonbills.

A couple of stilts, magpie larks, swans, and the usual variety of ducks.

  Time to return.

Mt Warrinilla to the left.

This is more like cleared, trampled, and eaten, pasture than pristine forest in a national park.

I didn't find a fence, either on this or subsequent expeditions to the edge.

  But I did find a heap of ducks making use of fallen dead trees.
  Or first couple of days here the skies (well at least the one we could see) were blue. The lake still.

Gradually, more clouds, some breeze, and changing light.

  Just below Mt Warrinilla, less than 100m from the lake shore, the remains of the Brown River where it once exited the lake.
  We'd like to think the magpie geese have taken a fancy to us, and keep visiting.

There they are again to begin a new day.

We think "mum, dad, and the kid".

  Yesterday was westwards. Today eastwards. A tad cooler, a bit drafty.
  Somewhere the cattle haven't reached. Uneaten grass.
  Not much more than a km from camp, the boundary fence a bit decrepit.

The Esplanade non-existent.

  After much deliberation, and due consideration, not to mention some discussion, and considerable searching through the bird book ......

..... we think, a rufous whistler.

Part of the reason it took a long while to return from the outer eastern reaches of the park at least a km back to camp.

All sorts of little birds in the trees either side of the road. Birds that don't stay still long enough for a pic, and deliberately hide behind leaves.

  The bottle tree is next to our camp.

We are slowly realising there are many of the different bottle trees in the park. Mostly solitary.

  A double banded dotterel that just happened to appear near the truck.
  Along with the three magpie geese that seemed to struggle crossing the stony edge of the lake.
  And a passing amateur drone pilot, perhaps on his maiden flight, retrieving said drone from the cool waters of the lake after it hit a tree.

Humans are as interesting in their behaviour as ducks and other birds.

Just that we refrain from mentioning it, beyond exceptional circumstances.

We thought perhaps "poetic justice" for flying a drone in a national park.

Many thoughts crossed our mind. Perhaps we should have helped and provided encouragement. Then again, perhaps we should be a bit miffed on behalf of the wildlife that had been disturbed.

His wife supervised the recovery. I refrained from sidling up to her and taking the mickey ........ though it could have been fun ..... 

At least we now know how deep, and cold, the lake is. Apparently up to 9m deep.

Nuga Nuga National Park - Ridge Climb July 1 - 2 2023

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