Kakadu/Litchfield in the wet

moloch

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
171
Greetings everyone,

I went on a brief trip to the Northern Territory last week. I have always wanted to see this area during the monsoon when it is lush and green. It really was a lovely site. The only problem with a visit during the wet was that the highway between Darwin and Kakadu can be cut at anytime should the rains be particularly heavy. This happened on the night of my arrival. I was a little worried about pushing my luck and staying too long in the park since I did not want to miss my flight back to Sydney. I ended up spending 1.5 days in Kakadu NP, 1 day in Litchfield NPand 1 day in Darwin.

Here is a map that shows the location of Kakadu in the top end of Australia. Jabiru in eastern Kakadu is about a 3.5 hour drive from the airport in Darwin.




Kakadu is famous for its wetlands but the area that I liked the most was Nourlangie Rock. This hill is an outlier of the Arnhem Land escarpment. I really enjoyed the vibrant colour and texture of the rocks. Here are a few photos of Nourlangie.








Aborigines have lived here for thousands of years. There were numerous caves around the base of the rock with their artwork.




I climbed Nourlangie one morning and then wandered around the sandstone blocks and interesting heathland of the summit plateau. A beautiful red-flowered Grevillea was in full bloom. These were attractive to both butterflies and birds. The escarpment in the distance is part of Arnhem Land.






Silver-crowned Friarbird



I think that these are Wattle Blues (Theclinesthes miskini) but am not 100% certain of the id.




This native ginger had interesting pink and yellow flowers. It grew along a flowing creek that I followed to the summit.



These Clearwing Swallowtail (Cressida cressida) were a beautiful sight. They loved the Grevilleas and I saw them whenever I walked through this area.





Pandanus were common plants on the rocks along the trail.




After a good deal of sweating, I reached the summit plateau. There was a small flowing creek here and I spent awhile floating in the water and cooling down. Temps were not all that high, just the lower 30s, but the humidity was extreme and I was constantly dripping with perspiration.




A nice flowering pea:



I was happy to see a couple of the special butterflies that only live in this sandstone country. The following are Spotted Opals (Nesolycaena urumelia), Lycaenids with unusually coloured upper wings.





Rock Grass-Darts (Taractrocera ilia) are another species restricted to this sort of habitat in the NT.



I saw Twin Dusky-Blues (Candalides geminus) around a vine-like plant similar to where I see Varied Dusky-Blues here in NSW.




A pretty Reduviid:



A Pentatomid:



I need help with the id of this Grass-Yellow. I think that it is a Scalloped Grass-Yellow (Eurema alitha) but the similar E. hecabe is also found here along with 4 others of the genus.




Orange Ringlets were commonly seen as they flew along the trail or low over the surrounding vegetation.





Interesting flower:



Native Hibiscus:



Reptiles were not as common as I had expected. On night drives, I saw a few of these Keelbacks (Tropidonophis mairii), one of our few species of the colubrid family.



Brown Tree Snakes (Boiga irregularis) were common. They often put on a great show. Malaysia and Singapore are home to a number of species of this genus.




... poor thing had a tick on its eye. I did not notice it at night or I would have removed the pest.




I always think that the name of this snake is an odd one. It is a Children's Python (Antaresia childreni). A python for children? That just does not sound right.



I also bumped into a few large pythons. Both Olive (Liasis olivaceus) and Water Pythons (L. mackloti) are numerous in the park. Both are similar in appearance so I am not certain of their identity. I think that they are Olives but I could be wrong.




... this one was huge and heavy bodied.



... many more tomorrow night!
 

zonbonzovi

Creeping beneath you
Staff member
Joined
Oct 20, 2008
Messages
3,346
Beautiful shots...I recognize the locale from calendars sent by a friend from Sydney. The Children's Python is named for John Children, who IDed it. I know what you mean, though. I get a vision of kids and snakes writhing together on the playground, eating lollipops.
 

NevularScorpion

Arachnoangel
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
Messages
917
WOW you are a true artist all of the pics you have taken look breath taking. you really captured the moment, thanks for sharing your pics.
 

moloch

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 17, 2009
Messages
171
Thanks, everyone, for the kind remarks.

Good info, Zonbonzovi. I did not realize the source of the name. It makes more sense now.

nhaverland, I have photos of more of this group and will add to the thread before long.


Thanks again,
David
 
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