Once (as I've been) five metres away from a three-metre salty (with bit of tail missing!) hauled up on a sandy tongue leading into waist-deep water full of blue and deep red lotuses (and, sadly, Hymenachne) the size and danger is clear. Much bigger crocs have been seen in a deeper stretch of water. All this on both sides of a major Ingham-Halifax-Lucinda road and about 150 metres from the local pub.
Since the revege area is surrounded by sugar cane, the place must have its share of snakes - Browns, Taipans, Red-bellied Blacks heading the danger list - though I've seen very few. And snakes don't stalk us. Or eat us. Crocs do.
I walk through the knee-high grass with a wee tingle pinging on the senses. I want to see crocs, but not if they see me first - from up close. Only sign today was a days-old track of flattened grass on a narrow finger of land between two channels.
The juveniles darted from cover to cover, as they always do, making it impossible to obtain any clear shots. Rather a satisfying encounter, all the same. And unexpected here at this time of year. No sign at Tyto of breeding. Two guide books offer 'most months' or 'Sept-Apr' on breeding. Dec-Mar is closer to my experience in the wetlands.