Australia Travel Diary - p 8
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, 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
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