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Lakefield National Park, Australia (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Lakefield National Park, Australia

Map of Lakefield National Park, Australia

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis) Brolga (Antigone rubicunda) Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis) White-throated Honeyeater (Melithreptus albogularis) Australasian Bushlark (Mirafra javanica) Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca)
Kreffts Short-necked Turtle (Emydura krefftii) Radjah Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) Brown Honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta) Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii) Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) Agile Wallaby (Macropus agilis)
Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) - Female White-bellied Cuckooshrike (Coracina papuensis) Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) In Flight Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida) Torresian Crow (Corvus orru)
Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus) - Male Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) Six-toothed Rainbow-skink (Carlia sexdentata) Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus) Australian Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii)

A huge national park in the York Peninsula


Eastern Australia

11/11/2012: The "adventure" on the Bloomfield Track finished, it was time to do some real adventure. I have to admit, I was very nervous about leaving the path of the upcoming solar eclipse just two days before it was set to happen, but logic says there is a much greater chance of cloudiness than for a pretty new car to break down. Lakefield National Park was said to be more or less devoid of human life, so I constantly entertained thoughts of being stranded in the bush for the big event.

We stopped at a trickle of a waterfall just before the entrance where we had the chance to feed a barramundi. They say that fish have a memory of a couple of seconds, but that fish recognized that it was about to get a treat. As soon as the lady at the counter handed us the fish treat pellets, the fish behavior changed and he caught our attention with its loud snappy feeding method.

Anyway, we reached the entrance to the park to find that it was pretty much on fire. And, there was some sign demanding that we reserve our campsite before entering the park. We moseyed on along the road until we arrived in a town called Laura where we phoned in for our campsite reservation (Kalpower site #1!). After grabbing a couple of toasted cheese sandwiches, we were back on our way into the park.

We then drove for hours through bush fires, stifling heat, and endless flat eucalyptus forest on the dustiest road in Queensland until we reached our campsite just before sunset. The campsite was a new world however. There, we found a lake (no swimming, crocodiles...) and a huge empty campsite. We were the only visitors in a National Park the size of Belgium!

As the sun set, I walked over to the "airstrip" where I could get a view of the horizon. The sky was painted every shade of red and orange with the light intensified by all the dust and smoke. Then came the first spectacle. Flying over head, I saw a couple of large bats (actually flying foxes, but they look like giant bats). Then, I saw a couple more. The flying foxes kept multiplying until I could see bats everywhere that I looked all the way to the horizon. I am not kidding when I estimate that the must have been 100,000 or more bats visible from this airstrip!

Later that night, I had a lovely dream about getting eaten by a crocodile while I completely trapped myself in my newly mangled tent.

Up at the crack of dawn, I could not imagine anything that could be more impressive than the "bat show" when the "lorikeet show" started. There were far fewer lorikeets than bats, maybe only a few thousand, but they made up for their lesser numbers by flying in tight groups over the campsite screeching at a deafening level. Throw in a few Black Cockatoos and Wallabies, and there you have Lakefield National Park.

Previous Visit (Lion's Den Roadhouse: 11/11/2012)
Next Visit (Aboriginal Rock Paintings: 11/12/2012)

Species Recorded (56)

Birds ( 50 )

Honeyeaters ( Meliphagidae )
Blue-faced Honeyeater - Entomyzon cyanotis
Brown Honeyeater - Lichmera indistincta
White-throated Honeyeater - Melithreptus albogularis
Yellow Honeyeater - Stomiopera flava

Whistlers ( Pachycephalidae )
Rufous Whistler - Pachycephala rufiventris

Hawks, Eagles, and Kites ( Accipitridae )
Brown Goshawk - Accipiter fasciatus

Cormorants ( Phalacrocoracidae )
Little Pied Cormorant - Microcarbo melanoleucos

Anhingas ( Anhingidae )
Australasian Darter - Anhinga novaehollandiae

Herons ( Ardeidae )
Great Egret - Ardea alba
Plumed Egret - Ardea plumifera
Great-billed Heron - Ardea sumatrana
Eastern Cattle Egret - Bubulcus coromandus
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
Nankeen Night-Heron - Nycticorax caledonicus

Ibises and Spoonbills ( Threskiornithidae )
Royal Spoonbill - Platalea regia
Glossy Ibis - Plegadis falcinellus
Australian Ibis - Threskiornis molucca

Swans, Geese, and Ducks ( Anatidae )
Pacific Black Duck - Anas superciliosa
Radjah Shelduck - Radjah radjah

( Anseranatidae )
Magpie Goose - Anseranas semipalmata

Kites, Hawks, Eagles, and Allies ( Acciptridae )
Whistling Kite - Haliastur sphenurus
Black Kite - Milvus migrans

Falcons and Allies ( Falconidae )
Brown Falcon - Falco berigora
Australian Hobby - Falco longipennis

Bustards ( Otididae )
Australian Bustard - Ardeotis australis

Cranes ( Gruidae )
Sarus Crane - Antigone antigone
Brolga - Antigone rubicunda

Stilts and Avocets ( Recurvirostridae )
Pied Stilt - Himantopus leucocephalus

Jacanas ( Jacanidae )
Comb-crested Jacana - Irediparra gallinacea

Sandpipers and Allies ( Scolopacidae )
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - Calidris acuminata

Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers ( Laridae )
Caspian Tern - Hydroprogne caspia

Pigeons and Doves ( Columbidae )
Bar-shouldered Dove - Geopelia humeralis
Peaceful Dove - Geopelia placida

New World Parrots ( Psittacidae )
Red-winged Parrot - Aprosmictus erythropterus
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo - Cacatua galerita
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo - Calyptorhynchus banksii
Rainbow Lorikeet - Trichoglossus moluccanus

Coucals ( Centropodidae )
Pheasant Coucal - Centropus phasianinus

( Dacelonidae )
Laughing Kookaburra - Dacelo novaeguineae
Forest Kingfisher - Todiramphus macleayii

Sunbirds ( Nectariniidae )
Sahul Sunbird - Cinnyris frenatus

Rollers ( Coraciidae )
Dollarbird - Eurystomus orientalis

Cuckoo-shrike ( Campephagidae )
White-bellied Cuckooshrike - Coracina papuensis

Larks ( Alaudidae )
Australasian Bushlark - Mirafra javanica

Prinias and Apalis ( Cisticolidae )
Golden-headed Cisticola - Cisticola exilis

Jays and Crows ( Corvidae )
Torresian Crow - Corvus orru

Orioles ( Oriolidae )
Green Oriole - Oriolus flavocinctus

Fantails ( Rhipiduridae )
Willie-wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys

( Podargidae )
Tawny Frogmouth - Podargus strigoides

( Eopsaltriidae )
Lemon-bellied Flycatcher - Microeca flavigaster




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