|Karajina National Park|
After leaving Cape Keraudren (see following post) we travelled south to the De Grey River, where we intended overnighting, but unseasonally heavy rain had turned the place into a quagmire. A brief excursion turned up the distinctive buff-breasted Pilbara race of Blue-winged Kookaburra but not that of the Black-tailed Treecreeper.
|Blue-winged Kookaburra - Pilbara race|
We moved on to Karijina National Park - regarded as one of Australia’s finest reserves - in the Hamersley Range, for a three-night stay. We put up with a generator the first night as the only spot left was in a generator zone (this place is popular) but moved camp the next day to a generator-free area. There are a series of camping areas, very nicely arranged and maintained.
|Dale Gorge - Fortescue Falls|
The change in weather over just 24 hours as we moved south and inland was quite radical. The balmy winter days of the tropics are over. We have returned to decidedly cold nights.
After the rains, the desert woodland here, a mix of eucalypt and mulga with plenty of spinifex and tussock grass, is looking lush and vibrant - a stark contrast with the drought-stricken woodlands of western Queensland.
|Karijina - good-looking woodlands|
Dale Gorge, near the camping ground, is typical of the marvellous gorges and escarpments that have given this national park its reputation. They are awe-inspiring; the pictures tell the story. We walked both the rim and bottom of the gorge.
|Dale Gorge - pool reflections|
|Dale Gorge - Circular Pool|
|Dale Gorge - Fern Pool|
A small colony of Little Red Flying-Foxes was roosting in the gorge at the Fern Pool. Among them were a couple of Black Flying-Foxes.
With so many shrubs in flower, it is surprising there are not more nomadic desert honeyeaters about; just plenty of Singing, Spiny-cheeked and Brown Honeyeaters, and Yellow-throated Miners.
It was nice to find a group of Painted Finches on the Dale Gorge path. The red-bellied form of the Plumed Pigeon was also here.
|Plumed Pigeon (red-bellied race)|
Other birds about include Western Gerygone, Western Bowerbird, Variegated Fairy-wren, Inland Thornbill and Red-capped Robin.
A small dragon was found in the spinifex, to be identified
at a later date.