Our holiday in Queensland has, sadly, come to an end, and I’m sitting, all rugged up, back here in Canberra, while I write a little more about that lovely part of the the world…. the Atherton Tablelands, North Queensland.
The Tablelands are part of a Wet Tropic World Heritage region, which is home to about 50% of Australia’s bird species.
The Mareeba Wetlands, is an inspired wildlife reserve, covering 5000 acres of savannas and wetland. It lies in the traditional Country of the Muluridji.
As the seasons change so does the wildlife, and at this reserve 221 species of birds have been identified at various time of the year.
Here is the viewing deck of the Mareeba Wetlands…we have arrived at a quiet time as most of the birds have migrated for the winter (…if they think this is winter…I’ve got news for them..)
but the elegant Egret poses for the camera, and the Darter dries his wings…
………we just enjoy a warm and sunny cruise around the lake…thinking of our fellow Canberrans…
…..and then our guide cheerfully tells us that he had to unwrap a python from around the engine that morning (because it was a cold night.. 4 degrees..the engine was a nice warm spot) and we remember that the reason we don’t live in North Queensland is because we don’t know how to remove pythons from anything.
Living alongside wildlife in this area is very much a part of every day life. The manager of the Wildlife Reserve shop said he had some difficulty closing the cash register one day and after pushing for some time, he discovered there was a baby quoll hiding at the back of the till …..but it escaped… with a bit of encouragement.
Quolls are carnivorous marsupials found in North Queensland (I have never seen one)., and are the largest Queensland marsupial carnivore. The Northern Quoll is the smallest, weighing under a kilogram, and the spotted tailed quoll is the largest, weighing several kilograms and measuring almost one metre long from the nose to the tail tip.
Quolls are wide-roaming and attracted to suburban areas for food. The Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland encourages local people to report sighting of the quolls to keep track of the numbers and to preserve quoll populations.
One of the many stories of sightings is of the Quoll who was found under the bonnet of a car that had been driven 5 km to a Cairns garage for servicing.
It took 5 mechanics two hours to strip parts of the engine to get the quoll out. The quoll was okay, and the owner thanked the barking dog for alerting the garage staff to the problem!
On our way out of the Wetlands reserve we looked in on the Gouldian Finch Reintroduction project. These Finches are one of the most beautiful in the outback region. In the early 20th century there were literally millions around Queensland and the Northern Territory, but as seed and grass eating birds, they are in competition with farming and land development. This project is aimed at protecting the species and reintroducing them into the wild.
I have many stories about Queensland’s green spaces, and I’ll add a few more as we go along, but in the meanwhile, spring is here in Canberra, the busiest time of the year for all gardeners in this city…
10 Replies to “Mareeba wetlands, birds, pythons and a hitch-hiking quoll…”
Oh happy days! It was a joy to share where I live with you, cousin. Am loving your “green” stories and eagerly await more.
Yes, what a great place to live…absolutely loaded with ”green space”‘ stories and interesting people …we’ll be back!
Fun, informative post! Learning about your world is delightful. Keep those photos coming! Happy Spring!
As summer winds down here in the US, I am relieved to soon have a garden break. If you check my blog posts, the projects were endless this summer! Diane
Thanks Diane, I will definitely go back and look at your summer projects….I agree summer, (and spring) are such busy times…we always have more ideas than we can handle. Many thanks for your feedback, it is much appreciated.
I don’t think I would live in North Queensland either. Beautiful finches and egrets, though.
Yes, some parts of living in North Queensland could be tricky, but the birdlife and tropical scenery is amazing…thanks for the comment.
Oh, love this! I’ve always wanted to visit Australia and Queensland in particular. Your story about the snake brings it home though.. it’s wild country!
Thanks Jessica, and I’m enjoying your blog very much…I just love you house and garden, brings back lovely memories of our trip to Britain. I hope you will look out for the spring garden festivals in Canberra I’m writing about now. (but you just can’t beat North Queensland for warmth and colour!)
Oh the time I could while away on that viewing deck! A whole other world at the top end of the eastern seaboard…. and I’m at the very bottom wishing the rain would go away!
Doesn’t that deck just speak of warm and sunshine?