Monday, February 9, 2009

Atherton Tablelands

Just got back from a bit of a trip out west of Cairns on the Atherton Tablelands. I looped out through Kuranda, stayed at Davies Creek, visited Emerald Falls before heading down to another campsite at Lake Tinaroo, then to the lakes Barrine and Eacham, Curtain Fig then headed down the Gillies Highway to camp in the Goldborough Valley.

Davies Creek is a nice area - it's all sparse Eucalypt country and I found myself reminded of Litchfield NP in the Territory. Similarl at Emerald Creek Falls. I thought to myself that it looked like good frilly country so was keeping an eye out even though I wasn't sure they were there and sure enough I spotted one on the road.

These guys (Frilled Dragons) have a very typical, predictable behaviour and the one I came across acted absolutely to-the-book. You can drive right up to them and they show no concern. But the moment you step out of the car they see you as a threat and race off the road. This one hit the grass on the roadside at speed and I thought it was gone for good but I also had my suspicions about a small eucalypt trunk. Sure enough, it had climbed up around the back of the trunk where I couldn't see it, and after a bit of hide-and-seek I got a fairly poor photo of it.

Camping at Lake Tinaroo I did a bit of night-driving to see what I could find. I was pleased to finally find another of the Barred frogs up here, this time Mixophyes schevilli. Distinct from the coggeri that I've been seeing in that the head/back stripe is solid, while mottled in the latter species. Now I only have carbinensis to go and I will have 'collected' them all!

The rest of my tablelands trip was fairly uneventful - the lakes, though beautiful, are very touristy. I wanted to swim around Lake Eacham but I'm not supposed to because of my fresh tattoo. Curtain Fig is pretty cool, so is Cathedral Fig. Did a bit of spotlighting but failed to see a tree-kangaroo, or anything really except for a brush-tailed possum (got me excited for a minute) and the ever-present bandicoots. I hear The Crater is the place to go for spotlighting.

No comments: