Kookaburra Nest

J19_3369 Northbrook CreekHeading back to Northbrook Creek and the precipitous descent for that blasted elusive Hawker (Austroaeshna) dragonfly. As we began climbing the road leading to Mount Glorious and the creek, Phil noticed that the fuel gauge was dropping down below 1/4 but remained doggedly fixed on his target. Personally,I’d have spun round to go back 11kms for a top up (we checked on Mr. Google). I must be too cautious; we continued. We were at the bottom of the slope beside the rocky creek by 07:15 but the quarry remained elusive despite waiting for almost two hours. I did amuse myself with a couple of other early flyers, though, including  freshly emerged damselfly. We repeated the precipitous ascent back to the car. Happily it was too early for a repeat peanut butter and jelly/jam sandwich.

A ride back down Mont Glorious on the same road would’ve been pretty much a free ride fuel-wise but we went another way towards Nebo. That road went up and down a lot and felt considerably longer. We were down on the last bar of the fuel gauge, though no warning light was on, when we finally arrived in civilization and filled up – if you can call a 711 civilization, that is. I tried to get an iced coffee but apparently picked up the wrong cup. I don’t know if the machine was clever enough to read my cup, even after I pressed the iced coffee button but what I got was a mixture of cold and warm which turned out tepid. Yummy, not. At least it was only A$1.00.

Roy and I had already visited Mount Coot-tha Botanic Gardens at the beginning of our trip but Phil hadn’t been there so was keen to look. So was I, it was a great place to while away a couple of hours. The coffee in the botanic gardens is excellent and my first order of business was to correct my 711 mistake. I couldn’t believe that I’d been two weeks without a coffee of any description, decent or otherwise. What a relief. Lunch, grilled barramundi with salad and roasties was pretty good, too.

Keeping up with the extensive habitat visits of the tour, we left the botanic gardens and headed for a late afternoon visit to Yugarapul Park, which is reputedly home to the much sought after though seen by few Coastal Petaltail (Pelatura litorea) dragonfly. The boys donned their wellies and started forging a way through the bush surrounding the edge. Sans wellies, I decided to look around the edge for an easier path in. There was none. I’m at a loss to know why Yugarapul is called a park when there is effectively no access for anyone without a machete; it’s all very vegetated bush. That’s fair enough to preserve valuable and rare habitat but I’d call it Yugarapul Reserve, personally. I did eventually get encouraged in after my companions had blazed a trail but found little of interest.

J19_3558 Kookaburra nestJ19_3559 Kookaburra nestWhat I had found of great interest as I was waiting for my wellie boot clad colleagues to reappear was a Kookaburra nest. The kookaburra is really a very large kingfisher and Phil, who is also very into birds, said that kingfishers don’t really build nests. So, though this construction may look like a mud daubed nest, it is probably a termite mound that has been modified and used by the kookaburras. Driving around 3,000 kilometres of the Queensland countryside, we’ve seen very many encrustations like this built on tree trunks, though none others with a kookaburra-sized hole in them. Actually, there are two holes opposing each other, as can be seen in the photo not obscured by the kookaburra itself. Being a large bird, I suspect that it would not be possible for a kookaburra to turn around once inside the cavity so it needs another exit.

Posted in 2019 Australia

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