Saturday, 23 July 2011


It's only a metre long but the scientists at Queensland University think it's the ancestor of all the modern crocodiles, and it was found at Isisford south of Longreach. It's called Isisfordia duncani because Ian Duncan found it in a rock on the edge of town. It lived about 100 million years ago when Isisford was 3000 km closer to the South Pole. We went down to have a look at a replica and the story of the crocodile at the Outer Barcoo Interpretation Centre in Isisford, not expecting very much, and came away very impressed with the centre and the town itself.

We were told that there are 80 caravans parked along the Barcoo River at the moment and I'd quite like to join them - it'd be very peaceful sitting for a week or two in the sun doing nothing much. We had lunch beside the weir and watched a number of White-necked Herons enjoying the environment as well. Major Mitchell, with an aboriginal guide, was the first European to explore the Barcoo area, in 1846, and it was in the vicinity of Isisford that he turned south and headed home to Sydney. He raved about the area as well. We went out to see the marker erected by the local council.

We left the town just before dusk and drove back to our base at Ilfracombe at full alert. Mr Boobook was driving and watching for the numerous dead kangaroos and potholes and I was watching for anything that might choose to commit suicide by jumping in front of our car.
"Wild goats on your right!
Watch those wallabies.
Kangaroo alert.
Bull ahead! A big one!
More kangaroos.
Choughs. Choughs? I thought we were too far west.
Kangaroos on your left.
Let's let the B-Double have all the road.
Don't run over the Peaceful Doves.
More cows.
More emus.
A Bustard. And another. Three!! How nice.

The highlight of the day for me was a dam at what they call the Twelve Mile, a camp/picnic spot at the site of a hotel twelve miles south of Ilfracombe. In one bush I found three finches, Double-banded, Zebra and (a newie for me) Plum-headed. And no, I don't mean just one of each - there were dozens.

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