Australia Travel Diary - p 8Northern Rosella (46445 bytes)

25 July 2002
Nearing the end of the trip.   I'm back in the Top End at Lazy Lizard Caravan Park in Pine Creek, some 200 km south of Darwin.  If Wycliff Well is the UFO Centre of Australia, then Pine Creek can claim to be the parrot centre.  No fewer than 11 species call this area home - many are common residents around town.  Sulfur-crested Cockatoos, Galahs, Northern Rosellas, Red-winged Parrots, Little Corellas, and Red-collared Lorikeets are fixtures in the parks, seen and heard throughout the day.
    Pine Creek is also the best place to see the rare Hooded Parrot, endemic to the NT.  After several misses, I locate a small flock at a lookout on the edge of town, but get no chance for a photo.  This is the second such disappointment.  In a month of searching, I've managed only one 5-second view, and no photos, of Australia's rarest and most beautiful  estrildid, the Gouldian Finch.  With so many other colorful Australian birds, however, Red-collared Lorikeet (41534 bytes)a photographer must say the glass is half-full, not half-empty.  I reflect on this as I photograph one last time the beautiful Red-collared Lorikeet.  Screeching flocks come to a tray of sugar-water put out by a motel here in late afternoon.  Afterwards they fly over to the Lazy Lizard and bathe by crawling through the leaves of trees wetted by the sprinklers.

28 July 2002
I fly to New Guinea tomorrow, so now it's goodbye to all that.  To road trains and roundabouts, to chipoletas and James Boag, to galahs and kookaburras, to "G'day" and "No worries, mate."   But not goodbye forever - there are five more states in Australia yet to be explored!


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