|Mareeba is approximately at the end of the red arrow; |
as can be seen it is well north of the Tropic of Capricorn.
|Savanna woodland, Mareeba Wetlands Reserve.|
Eucalypts and shrubs grow over a grassy understorey. Massive termite mounds reflect the
significance of a huge biomass of grass-harvesting termites to the local ecology.
|Mareeba Wetlands, with the visitor information centre visible across Clancys Lagoon. |
The walk around this lake, with the promise of coffee and treats at the little cafe at the end of it,
is a delightful introduction to the reserve.
|A closer view of the Clancys Lagoon Visitors' Information Centre (VIC).|
|The VIC deck - an excellent location to enjoy the view and the wildlife (with or without coffee).|
|Another view from the deck.|
|The Gouldian Finch breeding aviary (above and below) backs on to the VIC, and faces the|
wetlands and woodlands to which they are steadily being released.
|Comb-crested Jacana Irediparra gallinacea from the VIC deck.|
Its enormous toes for distributing its weight on the leaves can be seen in this photo.
|The White-lipped Tree Frog Litoria infrafrenata is reputedly the world's largest tree frog - it can be close to 14cm long.|
It is found in north Queensland and beyond into New Guinea and associated islands.
|Broad-leaved Paperbark Melaleuca viridiflora is found across northern Australia.|
The species name is from these (sort of) greenish flowers, but unfortunately they are just as likely to be red!
|Thysanotus juncifolius, one of the glorious fringe-lilies.|
|Native Rice Oryza australis; the seeds are tiny but prolific and feed many animals.|
|Black-throated Finches Poephila cincta (a declining species, above) and |
Chestnut-breasted Manikins Lonchura castaneothorax harvest the reserve's grass seeds.
|Pheasant Coucal Centropus phasianinus, a wonderfully scruffy and shambling big bird.|
Throughout the world 60% of cuckoo species actually nest and raise their own chicks in the
conventional way, but in Australia this is the only one to do so.
|Squatter Pigeon Geophaps scripta, a striking tropical ground-dwelling pigeon.|
|Male Leaden Flycatcher Myiagra rubecula, a monarch flycatcher.|
This species migrates between the tropics and south-eastern Australia, where it breeds.
I might even have seen this bird in Canberra!
|Tommy Roundhead Diporiphora australis on a Mareeba termite mound.|
Australia has the most diverse arid land lizard fauna in the world, and the basis
of this proliferation is the huge mass of termites.
|Snake-eyed Skink Cryptoblepharus virgatus; another who doubtless dines on the termite smorgasbord.|
Next time you're up that way, don't miss it!