Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rainforest Surprises


Today we set out for a walk in the rainforest
At the park gates we were surprised
to see a kookaburra
sitting on the street light

Look up in this tree,
you will be as surprised as we were
to find a sleepy carpet snake
too tired to raise his head

His head is off to the left in this photo
resting on the branch
his tail dangling through the central coil
What a gorgeous fellow

I was hoping he would remain coiled
and not drop down on my head
while I crunched in the undergrowth
below him
trying to capture him on camera

Australia's national flower is the golden wattle
This is another wattle species
with a most unusual
pale green flower

Photo from Wikipedia

Returning through the Tanglewood Track
we could hear the distinctive call
of the whip birds - their bird song a duet,
a long piercing note followed by the whip crack
and the female's responding notes.

The whip bird is a smallish olive green bird
with black head and breast
and a small black crest.
He has a white cheek patch
and a long dark olive green tail
tipped with white

The birds are not often seen
but I spied the pair in the gum trees
calling like this...

it was a walk
full of surprises...

Oh Happy Days



  1. Wonderful Delwyn!..I have never seen a whip bird,the sound makes you look out for them but till today I have not succeeded lucky you! must have been the spirit bird who brought you good luck today, and to see such a beautiful snake what a day and thanks for telling me about the national flower (oops I did not know!)
    have a nice evening xxx mona

  2. I have so much trouble capturing birds on camera. What a wonderful job you have done! I don't think I have ever seen a snake in a tree before....very exciting!

  3. Mona
    Yes it was a day full of wildlife...
    I was thrilled when I read that the whip bird is rarely seen and I had just watched two of them singing to each other.

    Happy Days

  4. Tulsa,
    oh I have trouble too with my point and snap. I want to get a better camera but not too big so that is cumbersome. You know what, I have never seen a carpet snake in a tree like that either...
    Happy Days

  5. I love listening to the whip bird but I've never seen one. And I've certainly never seen a snake in a tree. Though I did see a kookaburra trying to swallow one once!

  6. That snake was gigantic. Weren't you afraid?

  7. I'm relieved the snake didn't drop down on your head, as well -- that would have caused quite a fright! Thanks for including the bird call. I was trying to imagine it from your description and was delighted to actually hear it sound much like what I thought it would, but with a sharper crack at the end. I wonder why that particular call serves them from a survival standpoint?

  8. What wonderful wildlife! The snake freaked me out though, you were so close! Is it a dangerous species? I remember a friend from Oz telling me that your neck of the woods boasts the largest number of reptiles per capita in the world. I'd have a hard time there...

    But one of my biggest dreams is to travel there with my son sometime soon.

    Ciao lovely, thanks for sharing this very beautiful walk in the wild.

  9. I agree with Lola. All snakes freak me out. The lush forest is stunning.

  10. You are certainly surrounded by nature at every turn... not often like that here in DF, but I do remember teaching in Adelaide and always looking up in amazement at the beautiful birds everyhwere on site!

  11. The snake it the tree would have had me running!!

    Lovely photos though always.

  12. Rinkly Rimes,
    heel there this beautiful Thursday,

    well that would be a turn around seeing the bird eat the snake. Now you know the whip bird's description keep your eyes peeled when you hear the call.
    Happy Days

  13. Jelica,
    the carpet snake is a harmless non-poisonous python. Even still I wouldn't like him on my head - he'd be heavy for one thing- smelly too...and he might mistake me for a fat possum...
    Happy Days

  14. Meri,
    It is unusual, and when walking through the forest it is very loud and piercing...
    Its a male thing Meri...

    Happy Days

  15. Lola, no he didn't really frighten me because I knew he was harmless - just looks intimidating.

    Don't be put off by the wildlife...I haven't seen more than a dozen snakes in the wild in over 30 years. You are much less likely to be bitten by a snake or a spider than be hit by a vespa!
    I hope to see you one day down under...

    Happy Days

  16. Sarah - good morning

    - a good Aussie gal like you - tis only a python...

    Happy Days

  17. Catherine , hi to you,
    have you taught all around the world?

    Yes we do have an abundance of wildlife and birdlife. I have just returned from another walk and heard the male whip birds calling repeatedly but no female reply... I wonder where she went...
    Happy Days

  18. Rosaria, hello to you,

    I find that snakes rarely cross my mind when walking unless I detour into the undergrowth for a photo op.
    One day my friend did pull me up to a stop whilst I was in the middle of a conversation and pointed to a huge python about 4m, long which was slowly moving across the path out in the open. It took a while for him to get himself across...
    We used to have a nursery, as a hobby, which was situated 20 mins inland and we'd often see large 'red belly blacks' (venomous)on the road on the drive out there and even nasty brown snakes (also venomous)in the potting shed and under pots....

    I don't want to put you off travelling to Aus...I think you would have far more chance being hit by the proverbial bus than being bitten by a snake.
    Happy Days

  19. I had never seen a whip bird before. What a gorgeous little fella! And that snake gave me the creeps, I admit it. Asleep or not, you were brave walking underneath it. Many thanks for the tour.

    Greetings from London.

  20. Mr C

    I'm glad we met up in the rain forest to hear that wonderful bird. I was walking there again today and two males were calling but no female response...she was probably out doing the shopping.....

    As for the snake - see the risks I take for you all, all for a good story !

    Happy Days

  21. If ever there is a call that conjures up the deep green depths of a rainforest, it is the whip bird. Oh, I can't help but envy you a little - your rainforest walks are a joy. (Apart from the snake in the tree, of course!)


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