Monday, 24 May 2010

Not so mellow yellow

The safari has been on a boaty ride down the creeks this morning - no early Patch walk today. We had our first Anhingas of the trip, what a weird and wonderful cormorant they are.
This nice club-tailed type of dragonfly landed on the deck of the swamp boat. Once again we have no idea as to which species it is.
A walkabout gave us this fine darter type dragonfly.
We also saw a myriad other species including a red one which was the smallest dragonfly we've ever seen - smaller than our damsels back home!
These pale depressions are the nests of a fish. The males are in there guarding the eggs, look at the bottom middle depression in the top right you can just make out the fish if you look at your monitor at an angle and squint hard.
Florida is all about the big stiff, never mind your 4" long Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (which we haven't come across yet) its the monsters like these that get yer juices flowing. This one is easily bigger than the boat we were on.
This one might have been bigger still but in the murky water we couldn't see the rest of his(?) body.
You wouldn't want to fall in. This one was a bit skinny but still about 10 feet from nose to tail.
The babies are cute in their stripy pyjamas but don't be fooled by their helpless little squeaks if you pick one up; mom can hear that nearly half a mile away and will come running to rescue her little nipper...
Wifey picked out this tiny Green Heron, barely the size of a Moorhen.
Again we didn't see many reptiles, other than the obvious, but this one was using the link fence to display from - he has a vivid red throat flag but when the camera pointed at him he went shy.
The other biggy in this part of the world isn't another reptile but a mammal, or giant stepping stone - the Manatee. What gorgeous gentle giants, so placid and almost graceful.

They have won our hearts and become our favourite mammal by a very long mile, and much better views than the Dugong and calf we saw in WA a few years ago.
The morning started beautifully along the creeks but there were so many biting Yellow Flies it made the day almost unbearable at times - jeez they hurt and seem somehow to be attracted to repellent!!!
A good sighting in the creek was a Soft Shelled Turtle. It's about 2 feet long, much of that is neck which has nostrils placed right at the end of its snout like a snorkel for submerged breathing.
In the clearer spring waters sea fish travel upstream and can easily be seen -this one is a Snook. A species we seen on angling programmes back home.
As the morning turned to afternoon the clouds started to roll in and the humidity increased. A short thunderstorm ensued but it feels like it might be back for another blast later this evening.
Wood Ducks are one of Wifey's favourite birds and it's not really difficult to see why.

We prefer the more unusual White Ibis - it just doesn't seem right to see such a large long legged bird hopping around the canopy like a passerine.
Yesterday we mentioned we hoped to see some Yellow Necked Sliders - well we did, quite a few!
Some as big as dinner-plates.
Where to next? Somewhere without biting things might be nice but somehow we don't think will be possible! Bring on the snakes...
In the meantime let us know if there is anything big enough to tip over your boat in your outback.


Monika said...

Wow, some more fantastic sightings! Those gators would have been awesome, but it's probably no surprise I'm most jealous of the manatees! How did you get that underwater shot?

Anno said...

Davo - your lizard is a Green anole - keep 'em comin'
cheers - stay cool!!