Lajamanu is 100 kms south of Kalkarindji. We went from Gurundji to Warlpari country at the northern edge of the Tanami Desert. We stopped halfway for a look at a "jump down" towards the Victoria River catchment.
Lajamanu was originally called Hooker Creek. The original settlement was meant to be on a watercourse further south but the trucks got so far, they thought they were in the right place by a river and off-loaded the materials to start building the town. Unfortunately they picked a place in Gurundji country and as it was to be a settlement for Warlpiri people [who were being relocated because of drought], the local politics got a bit heated at the time. They were only about 10 miles out. "Missed it by that much".
The creek was a waterhole about 500 metres long.
Feral horses, cattle and a buffalo are in the area. The horses were being rounded up and shipped north for meat.
The waterhole was a bird magnet. I had seen plenty of budgies during the trip and Lajamanu did not disappoint. These seed-eating birds need access to water on a regular, perhaps even daily basis. All I had to do was sit and wait. The biggest flock was about 100 birds. They are very pretty.
|Budgerigars Melopsittacus undulatus|
|Cockatiels Nymphicus hollandicus|
On one of my afternoon walks by the creek, I came across this Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax feeding by the road. After it had flown off, I investigated its meal and discovered remains of a bush turkey, Australian Bustard Ardeotis australis. Interesting, I thought, that a bush turkey had come to grief right by the edge of the road right on the edge of town. Then I remembered that the locals love bush turkey and I was observing the wing-and-leg leftovers of a recent indigenous meal.