I’m now thoroughly accustomed to getting up at 05:00. In truth, given the almost constantly clear blue skies and early sunrise [04:00-ish] it is pretty easy. Actually, when you’re on the ground in a tiny tent it’s pretty much required. For the last two nights I’ve been sleeping [or not] in an urban Brisbane campsite beneath what I think must be an old Wembley Arena floodlight from before it was redeveloped. So, though on some sites I have quite enjoyed sleeping in my tent, in this case I’ll make and exception and I was not upset to pack my tent away for the final time. I’m even practiced, now, at getting all my gear back in my travel case. That’s as well because, if the lower deck of the case is empty, it doesn’t really work very well. tonight Roy flies out while Phil and I will stay in the Ibis Budget hotel close to Brisbane airport.
What I was a little upset to discover was that one of the tent pegs from my inner had punched a three-cornered tear in my flysheet. We’ve been on hard ground again and the pegs stand proud because they don’t go far into the ground. I suspect something or someone, maybe me, trod on a guy line and pushed the flysheet over the peg. Bother, in these two weeks I’d become quite fond of my little tent. Maybe it’s fixable. he tear is low down so shouldn’t compromise water repellence.
Once packed, this morning the Coastal Petaltail hunt beckoned again, having failed yesterday late afternoon. We hit Yugarapul Park again. Now accustomed to getting into it, I followed my chums. It’s quite surprising to those unused to it that one can find dragonflies flying at 07:00 in Queensland. Consequently, we did find entertainment but not, alas, the much sought after main quarry. As a consolation prize, here’s a rather handsome Clubtail that I have yet to identify.
Once back in the car, Phil found a tick on his clothing and despatched it forthwith. Nasty little blighters. Actually, this was quite a good size and readily identifiable.
We finally left the park and the moved on to other habitats, two of which were wet and produced the goods but one of which was dry and no fun at all. This is a rather balletic-looking Graphic Flutterer (Rhyothemis graphiptera) adopting the obelisk position in our continuing 35°C.
We moved to the fifth site of the day which was an urban creek that actually had some water. It had some dragonflies, too, but there was a friendly local sitting having his sarnie for lunch and, seeing our cameras, asked what we were doing. ‘T is quite surprising that responding “birding” would be perfectly well understood and met with sage nods whilst saying “chasing dragonflies” tends to cause raised eyebrows. We’ve been asked “why” on a couple of occasions but what’s the difference? This nice chap seemed more understanding, however. He even agreed that Brisbane roads were a nightmare. Some of the junctions are so difficult that it is rare to make a journey, even satnav assisted, without making at least one mistake. I preferred to sit chatting to him that go chasing yet more; the day seemed long already, as they almost all had been.
Eventually we repaired to our hotel for the last night so that Roy could freshen up with a shower before we all shared a very good curry as a farewell dinner. I avoided anything too spicy since I was again going to leave at 06:30 to get to the International terminal for my first Qantas flight to Hong Kong. Once I was finally alone and able to sort my packing out for my upcoming journey, I had a shower and spotted a black something on my stomach. Arghhh, I’d been ticked, too. My pals were wearing wellie boots and long trousers whereas I had walking boots and shorts. I’d’ve been wearing crops normally, but had ripped the middle leg section so had converted to shorts. This unwelcome hitchhiker had been on me for about 12 hours. Fortunately it hadn’t attached and I removed it easily. Happily, a more extensive search revealed no further hitchhikers.