Saturday, 19 July 2008

Broken River

Eungella National Park in the Clarke Range north of Mackay in Queensland is well known in Australian birding circles because of a honeyeater. In 1983 Longmore and Boles published a description of a bird they named the Eungella Honeyeater. It's the last indigenous bird species found in Australia. (Although the page keeps getting changed. The Painted Snipe is a case in point - apparently our Painted Snipe is unique so it's now Australian Painted Snipe or something similar.)

Yesterday we went to Eungella but I didn't look for the honeyeater (I'd need a guide I reckon, although a friend of mine followed instructions that went something like "Look in the puddle at such and such GPS location" and found the bird immediately.) Instead, we went to Broken River to look for Platypus. And found one near the information centre. The pool in the river was big, and deep, and in shadow, but we waited patiently and eventually were able to watch the Platypus diving and coming to the surface regularly. The photos below aren't mine. My son-in-law Adam has a better zoom on his camera. If you look carefully at the first photo you can see the Platypus in the middle - that's what you have to look for.

We also saw several tortoises (species unknown) on a log and in the water. It's a beautiful place.



And as a bonus, on the way to Eungella I followed location details on the birding-aus mailing list to find the Cotton Pygmy-Goose on Deadmans Lagoon near Proserpine. A new species for me.

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