Kingfisher Park

There were several bird feeders in the grounds here, which were frequented by several species of brightly coloured parrot, as well as finches and honey eaters. The proprietor of Kingfisher Park, Keith Fisher, tells me that the chap on the left-hand tree-stump is a red-browed firetail, and the other one is a Blue Faced Honeyeater.

This was the only occasion we came across a gecko - in this case, high up on the outside wall of our single storey accomodation.

Night walks with a torch were productive here - looking for eyeshine in the dark resulted in the discovery of this cane toad and the northern brown bandicoot (thanks for another correction, Keith), who was not at all put off by the flashgun, and hung around for several pictures.

While going for a walk and getting mildly lost in the woodland around Kingfisher Park, we came across this amethystine python curled up in the middle of the path - the slight translucence in the skin indicates that he was soon to shed it.

The most memorable experience of our stay here was an evening's platypus watching. We went off through the woodland at the back of the Park at dusk and established ourselves on the bank of the stream. First to show was a goanna which climbed down into the stream, turned around, then studied the trees lining the stream bank intently. It then went up the bank and climbed the tree, presumably after a roosting bird it had spotted, but we lost sight of it in the twilight, and heard nothing more of it.

A little later, a movement in the water upstream had us leaning forward in expectation, but it turned out to be a snake, which swam past us, and then went back again.

As the darkness deepened, along came the main event - there was a swirl of water in the pool upstream, then a miniature submarine swept past us and patrolled back and to a few yards downstream. The platypus returned past us, nosing along the bank beneath our feet, and disappeared upstream.

That was all, but it was enough to make us feel privileged and special, having glimpsed one of the world's strangest and most famous mammals.

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