Trickle of birds as Tyto floods
Plenty of rain, but Tyto wasn't looking too wet today. A bit of water running over a track, some paperbarks and razor grass sitting in deeper water, unwanted rampant lotuses going under, a few trees with limbs shattered by weight of water and gusting winds. In fact, surprisingly little flooding, given more than 300mm in 24 hours on Monday and heavy showers yesterday.
Improved culverts on the highway allowed much swifter outflow of floodwater than in previous years. Newly completed rock-lined lagoons overtopped yesterday by 700mm-800mm of surging brown water were today back to merely brimming.
But few birds were on any of the water or its edges, though there was plenty of activity in the trees. Best sighting on my morning cycle was a Black Bittern. Also showing out briefy: Buff-banded Rail, Pale-vented Bush-hen, White-browed Crake, Black-necked Stork, Comb-crested Jacanas, and Magpie Geese. No ducks, pigmy geese, egrets, cormorants.
Didn't feel like risking the new camera and lens, so pressed the old Panasonic FZ30 back into service. Pictures not quite so sharp, but came across a Long-necked Turtle and a White-bellied Cuckoo Shrike to get some wildlife into the morning's ride.
A tail piece about the 'nannyism' threatening all sorts of outdoor recreation. Note the water flowing across the track (above). Be aware there's a crocodile warning near Tyto's lookout (one croc seen in five years, but ever a possibility). I've been told that the track doesn't conform with safety guidelines even when most of the year it stands 300mm-500mm clear of the main lagoon (left in picture).
Such guidelines, enforced rigidly, would close much of Kakadu, many other northern national parks and nature reserves, and huge numbers of boat ramps. Informed and sensible caution, yes; mollycoddling for all, NO! And don't get me started on croc and shark hysteria...