Tuesday, 9 June 2015

NT Road Trip 2015: Part 08

Day 08 -- Alice to Tower Rock

An overnight stay in a caravan park, refuel [$1.36] and resupply saw us away early the next morning heading east along the Ross Hwy to the start of the Binns Track. The only bird I had time to snap was in the caravan park. Another bad hair day for this bird. The colours in the wing speculum are great.

Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps loopholes now an endemic in the MID
Binns Track is a combo of public access roads and station tracks. It traversed some beautiful country to the northeast of Alice Springs. It eventually finishes in Gregory NP. We camped for the night at Tower Rock, a little known mini-mini-Devils Marbles, which is 35-ish kilometres north of the Plenty Highway. We were the only ones there. The facility was basic.

We got there a bit late so no birds. The images are of two reptiles seen during the day's drive. The first I spotted on the road as I was whizzing past at 80 kph. I had hoped to see a Thorny Devil Moloch horridus during the trip. I wanted to feel its skin. Yes, it is a bit spiny and spikey but altogether quite soft. My reptile text, A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia by Steve Wilson and Gerry Swan, tells me they eat only black ants and can consume 5,000 at one meal! No wonder they have a slow and stiffened gait.

Next up, just a few kays further along was a snake curled up on the edge of the road. It is a Stimson's Python Antaresia stimsoni orientalis. I didn't know this until later in camp so I kept a discrete distance whilst taking the photos. 600mm lens can come in handy. A very pretty snake.

Once in camp and set up, I grabbed my camera and went to the top of Tower Rock for the sunset.

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