Blackbraes …

Having turned our heads to the south west our first step took us to Blackbraes National Park. Once again we would make a fleeting visit to a spot that really deserved a lengthier stay.

Blackbraes is a remote park on a dirt highway, close to the middle of the base of Cape York. Head west from there into the gulf country, the gulf in question being the Gulf of Carpentaria. East would take you to the Great Dividing Range and subsequently the coast at Townsville. Given the nature of the road, after heavy rain you ain’t heading anywhere for a while.

The park is above 800 metres altitude (~2,500 feet) and therefore a little cooler and wetter than the surrounding area. It is a mosaic of dry woodland, rocky outcrops and open grassy plains. The camp site is 20 km from the park gate adjacent to dam wall that has produced an extensive shallow wetland. More information can be found <HERE>. You need to book and pay for your camp site online prior to your visit and I wish you every success in dealing with the Queensland parks website.

Around and about we caught up with some ground dwelling birds including the Australian Bustard …

Aussie Bustard

Squatter pigeon …

Squatter Pigeon

Ground Cuckoo-shrike …

Ground CS

During the afternoon we came across a tree that looked like an apartment block for Greater Glider, lots of hollows with signs of wear and tear at the openings and numerous scratch marks on the trunk. So we staked it out at dusk and waited and waited and … nothing came out.

So we cruised around slowly with the spotlight until we found a Spectacled Hare Wallaby a new and exciting addition to my mammal list. As well we met a few pairs of Rufous Bettong. One was happy to pose for a photo but didn’t give me time to arrange studio lighting …

Rufous Bettong

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