19th – 21st September, 2016.
Following very heavy rain overnight, we had a rather messy time packing up in the morning to move on. We had been greatly anticipating our stop over at Longreach Waterhole, just west of Elliott on the Stuart Highway, Northern Territory but were concerned about how much rain had fallen and whether we would be able to travel the 10kms of mostly sandy track from the highway to the Waterhole.
We stopped in town first and checked at the Service Station where we were told that they hadn’t had any recent rain so we set off to find our camping spot. Apparently this is such a popular spot during high season that it becomes very crowded. As it is now well past high season we found the camp ground almost deserted, not only by campers but also by the hundreds of waterbirds that make the waterhole their home over winter. This was a bit disappointing but we enjoyed having plenty of space around us.
We set up camp at a reasonably level spot close to the water’s edge.
Although the birds were relatively few in number, they were still entertaining to watch. The Australasian Darter, aka Shag, is a great fisherman and it’s fun to see how they manage to get their catch from the point of their beaks and down their gullets.
And after a successful fishing expedition, it’s time to dry the wings.
The Egrets stalk their prey at the water’s edge.
The Caspian Tern lines up its prey and then dives vertically into the water.
For such large, ungainly birds, Pelicans are remarkably graceful as they land on the water.
There were plenty of Kites around too.
A White-breasted Woodswallow.
A Black-necked Stork, aka Jabiru, from a long distance.
We thoroughly enjoyed our few days relaxing by the water.