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Mad Aussie
03-18-2013, 05:16 PM
As we are leaving this area very soon we decided to have a huge day-trip to a national park I've wanted to visit for a long time. Being something like an 800 km (4 hr drive) round trip and lots to see and do, it should have been a camping destination but time has run out. So ... we rushed out there on Saturday and, in 5 hours roughly, did some walks. I'll put the shots of the area and terrain in a separate thread but here's the shots I got of the wildlife in the area.


Red Wattle Bird
The Red Wattlebird is also known as Barkingbird or Gillbird, is a honeyeater from a group of birds found mainly in Australia and New Guinea which have highly developed brush-tipped tongues adapted for nectar feeding. The tongue is flicked rapidly and repeatedly into a flower, the upper mandible then compressing any liquid out when the bill is closed.

The Red Wattlebird is a large (up to 35 cm) grey-brown honeyeater with red eyes, distinctive red wattles either side of the neck and white streaks on the chest and belly, which reveals a bright yellow patch towards the tail.

This is the first time I've seen one ... and he just wouldn't pose for me!
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8252/8567719774_3314d196d9_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8567719774/)
Red Wattle Bird (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8567719774/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8376/8566621649_f7dfc7481d_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566621649/)
Red Wattle Bird (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566621649/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr


The Laughing Kookaburra
We are often woken by a group of these in the trees above us where we are at my brothers place.
Kookaburras are terrestrial tree kingfishers native to Australia and New Guinea. They are large to very large, with a total length of 2842 cm (1117 in).

Kookaburras are best known for their unmistakable call, which sounds uncannily like loud, echoing human laughter good-natured, but rather hysterical merriment. They are generally not closely associated with water, and can be found in habitats ranging from humid forest to arid savanna, but also in suburban and residential areas with tall trees or near running water and where food can be searched for easily.

Kookaburras are carnivorous. In the wild, kookaburras are known to eat the young of other birds, mice, snakes, insects and small reptiles and other small birds, such as finches if they are lucky enough to catch them. In zoos, they are usually fed food for birds of prey, and dead baby chicks.
The most social birds will accept handouts from humans and will take raw or cooked meat (even if at high temperature) from on or near open-air barbecues left unattended. It is generally not advised to feed kookaburras too regularly as meat alone does not include calcium and other nutrients essential to the bird. Remainders of mince on the bird's beak can fester and cause problems for the bird.
They are territorial and often live with the partly grown chicks of the previous season. They often sing as a chorus to mark their territory.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8112/8566590979_8e20666a23_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566590979/)
Laughing Kookaburra (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566590979/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr


Australian Striped Skink
The Australian Striped Skink, also known as the Copper-Tailed Skink, is a species of medium-sized skinks found commonly along the eastern seaboard of Australia and throughout the country generally. Striped skinks are found in open bushland and heathland. They can grow to be 30 cm long.

Like most skinks, they eat mainly small invertebrates like insects and worms. They live in rocky and sandy environs, seeking sunny basking spots with cover nearby so they can dart away from predators
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8514/8566569331_a9c53df20b_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566569331/)
Australian Striped Skink (Copper-Tailed) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566569331/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr


Eastern Water Skink
The eastern water skink is a relatively large skink, some specimens reaching nearly 30cm in length. They are fast, active, streamlined lizards which defend a territory, often to the point of conflict, although this is usually avoided by the resident lizard warning off potential trespassers with a complex series of head-bobbing movements.

The eastern water skink lives near the streams, creeks and waterways of coastal eastern Australia, from Cooktown in the north to the south coast of New South Wales. It does extend inland in some areas, particularly in association with the major river systems, such as the Murray-Darling. They are common near streams and creeks in bushland around Sydney, even in suburban areas.

The diet consists of small invertebrates, worms, insects and, occasionally, fruits and berries. Some cheeky specimens even learn to steal dog food from pet bowls.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8382/8566551111_687dfbd0a3_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566551111/)
Eastern Water Skink (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566551111/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8386/8566551711_da782a73d3_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566551711/)
Eastern Water Skink (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566551711/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8104/8567649870_eab2a85b10_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8567649870/)
Eastern Water Skink (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8567649870/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr



Burton's Legless Lizard
"SNAKE!!" my wife yelled ... my sister and her froze to the spot, as you should do when encountering a snake. However, when it's a poor little legless lizard, often killed by the ignorant who think it's a snake, you just check them out like I'm doing in this photo.
Although often mistaken for a snake, Burton's Legless Lizard is actually more closely related to the geckos.
This species has been found in New Guinea and across most of Australia, barring the southernmost regions. It lives in most habitats - from deserts to the edges of rainforest. It has been observed in a number of places in Girraween National Park.

It is easily identified by its long, wedge-shaped head that is unlike any other Australian reptile. It also has a broad, fleshy tongue, conspicuous ear openings and its small eyes have vertical pupils. Like geckos, this species has no eyelids. It also has no front legs and only tiny flaps for hind legs. Because of its lack of limbs, it moves in a snake-like fashion.

Its scales are smooth and its colouring is extremely variable - ranging from pale grey to black, a pale yellow-brown, orange and even a rich red. Patterning is also extremely variable - from none at all to prominent stripes, blotches or rows of spots. There is often a cream or white stripe running down the side of the head and neck. The underside usually has small dark and pale flecks. It has been thought that the colour and patterning may be influenced by environmental factors.

The species is active during both day and night, but it is more often encountered in the early morning and just after dusk. We found ours around 3pm in the afternoon.

It will eat some invertebrates, but prefers to eat small reptiles. This includes snakes, skinks, geckos, dragons and other legless lizards. It is an ambush hunter and will slowly stalk its prey to get within striking distance. Some lizards have been observed raising and shaking their tails as a lure. It attacks swiftly and accurately. Larger, potentially dangerous prey is always held tightly by the head or neck in its jaws until it is suffocated. The prey is then swallowed head first. Smaller prey may be caught at the chest and swallowed while still struggling.

Burton's Legless Lizard has a unique hinge across the top of its skull (at about eye-level) which allows it to bend its snout downwards, strengthening its grip on its prey.

When attacked, a Burton's Legless Lizard will drop its tail as a decoy. The tail eventually regrows.

Adults can grow up to 60 cm - the largest of Queensland's 15 legless lizard species. Females grow larger and longer than males.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8508/8566055073_9bf7bf7551_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566055073/)
Burton's Legless Lizard (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566055073/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr



more shortly ...

Mad Aussie
03-18-2013, 05:25 PM
Cunningham's Skink ... love these fella's ...
I found this one after a climb up the 'Pyramid' which you'll see in another thread when I get those photos sorted. He was right at the top with the best views of the whole area. Cunningham's skink is a large skink species native to south eastern Australia. It can reach up to 30 cm in length, as this one was, and is closely related with the more widespread and common blue-tongued lizards.
They have a distinctive keel on each scale, which gives them a slightly spiny appearance. Extremely variable in colour ranging from dark brown to black, with or without blotchy patches, speckles or narrow bands.
It prefers to live communally in the crevices of rocky outcrops or hollow logs. It is a diurnal omnivore with its diet including insects, flowers, berries, fungi, leaves and young shoots.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8233/8566013655_ef2d8b2660_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566013655/)
Cunninghams Skink (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566013655/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8236/8566013347_a359d2379b_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566013347/)
Cunninghams Skink (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566013347/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr


Grey Kangaroo
Just before we left for home we were treated to a visit by this group of roo's
The eastern grey kangaroo is a marsupial found in southern and eastern Australia, with a population of several million. It is also known as the great grey kangaroo and the Forester kangaroo. A big eastern grey male typically masses around 66 kg (weight 145 lb.) and stands almost 2 m (6.6 ft.) tall, making it the 2nd largest in Australia. The red kangaroo of the semi-arid inland is, at 85 kg, larger.

Like all kangaroos, it is mainly nocturnal and is mostly seen early in the morning, or as the light starts to fade in the evening. In the middle of the day, kangaroos rest in the cover of the woodlands and eat there but then come out in the open to feed on the grasslands in large numbers. The eastern grey kangaroo is predominantly a grazer, eating a wide variety of grasses, whereas some other species (e.g. the red kangaroo) include significant amounts of shrubs in the diet.
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8513/8565843807_4a7a4b0eaf_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8565843807/)
Grey Kangaroo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8565843807/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8227/8566940316_87537619d0_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566940316/)
Grey Kangaroo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566940316/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8527/8565843757_cc60807959_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8565843757/)
Grey Kangaroo (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8565843757/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr

And as a final treat ... one of the roo's had a joey who was about ready to leave the pouch for good I'd say ... like human's, kangaroo's have a lot of trouble with offspring that don't want to leave home!
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8227/8566940012_3db864f135_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566940012/)
Grey Kangaroo Joey (http://www.flickr.com/photos/astrovisual/8566940012/) by AstroVisual (http://www.flickr.com/people/astrovisual/), on Flickr

Lungelarry
03-18-2013, 05:35 PM
Some great shots here...esp. like the lizards.......

Runmonty
03-18-2013, 06:20 PM
Great shots MA and thanks for the education on our local fauna.

Mad Aussie
03-18-2013, 06:46 PM
Thanks Larry :)

You learn something Runmonty? :)

Yisehaq
03-19-2013, 02:43 AM
Great series and descriptions, MA!

Mad Aussie
03-19-2013, 03:57 AM
Great series and descriptions, MA!
Thanks mate :)

Marko
03-20-2013, 03:40 AM
Missed these and many others over the weekend - sorry - What a fun set Ma! Really dig the stories, variety of images! Who knew skinks were so cute? Last shot post one and the tonguing roo are my faves.

Mad Aussie
03-20-2013, 04:19 AM
Missed these and many others over the weekend - sorry - What a fun set Ma! Really dig the stories, variety of images! Who knew skinks were so cute? Last shot post one and the tonguing roo are my faves.
Thanks man ... glad you like

Hillbillygirl
03-23-2013, 05:19 AM
very nicely captured on the whole series MA, and love the narrative giving us some background on each species. Love that backlit/rim-lighting on that 3rd from last Roo.

Mad Aussie
03-23-2013, 07:48 AM
very nicely captured on the whole series MA, and love the narrative giving us some background on each species. Love that backlit/rim-lighting on that 3rd from last Roo.
Thanks HBG ... the lighting was beautiful that afternoon

Iguanasan
03-24-2013, 10:56 PM
What a wonderful set of images, MA. Thanks for sharing and I'm totally with Casil on nominating the Grey Roo. The back lighting is awesome! :thumbup:

Mad Aussie
03-25-2013, 03:42 AM
What a wonderful set of images, MA. Thanks for sharing and I'm totally with Casil on nominating the Grey Roo. The back lighting is awesome! :thumbup:
Thanks man ... and cool ... I didn't know Casil had nominated the roo. The lighting was the only reason I bothered taking photos of the roo's at all.

JAS_Photo
03-25-2013, 03:45 AM
Love the birds especially but the backlit "roo" is really awesome as well!

Mad Aussie
03-25-2013, 03:59 AM
Love the birds especially but the backlit "roo" is really awesome as well!
Thanks JAS

Matt K.
03-25-2013, 06:54 PM
Love the "roo" ... and of course the skinks are great .... wonder why they are called skinks .. look like lizards to me ....

Mad Aussie
03-28-2013, 10:12 PM
Love the "roo" ... and of course the skinks are great .... wonder why they are called skinks .. look like lizards to me ....
Skinks, Goanna's etc ... all lizards :)