On Day One of our Top End Tour, Horst
was the Birthday Boy,
Phil found for him a Rufous Owl, to all of us a joy.
The Botanic Gardens in Darwin is a special place to go,
Later at the Lizard Bar the champagne began to flow.
Kays goal of the Big 400 was reached the first day out.
Now anything she misses will not cause her to pout.
But the mosquitoes, heat and sand flies how will she keep her
Joining blind birdwatchers without specs, groping in the pool.
Neville has his monopod and lenses that are big,
He looks like David Attenborough, but doesnt give a fig.
When he gets home on his computer, his photos hell download
Of birds and bats and butterflies, and maybe one cane toad.
Lesleys legs are sometimes bare, then ZIP theyre covered
With artists pad and pen, at the escarpment she looks up.
Her shirt is green, her hat is red, like a grevillea in bloom.
Collecting bits like a bower bird, she soon will have no room.
Rosemarys very liberal with her smile and insect spray.
The smell is wafting up to us and driving all away!
She follows right on Philips heels, as keen as any mustard.
"A Banded Pigeon I must see, and next, perhaps a Bustard!"
Helens on her own with us, shes left her Andy home;
Shes settled in with the Canberra crowd and is ready now to roam.
Each new birds an exciting event, shes writing down a list.
At the end of the trip shell let us know the few shes sadly
Nevilles set a brand new trend, showing just one wounded knee.
He scaled the heights but slipped and fell chasing Grasswrens one, two,
The stores will soon be full, Im sure, of shopping Japanese:
"We want these special trousers one short, one long leg,
Helen by a tall termite mound, and a big fat boab tree,
Photographs reflect a moment in time, saved for eternity.
"Look! That tessellated bark is like a crocodile skin!"
Our cameras click, the film winds back, we put another in.
Rosemary says she rooms alone, but we think thats all blather.
One night she slept with a frog, we hear, and got worked up in a lather.
She broke the loo at Kakadu, mislaid a sink plug if you please,
Had dyslexia of the tongue one day, shouting "Look at that bird
full of trees!"
We binged on fruit and peanuts before we came to the WA border.
Alas, alack, what did we lose but Trishs great long prodder!
A huge black pod with rattling beans which she threatened to use on
"Dont be too long, just pick me up, Im walking to that
Lesleys keen on spotting plants, shes bought a brand new
Rosemary and Helen are interested too, and are helping her to look.
Horsts got his camera with a 500 lens, to give Nev a bit of competition.
Every day theres lot of happenings, to aid Kay in her composition.
Were at "Peewees at the Point" again, another
wonderful meal to share,
While gazing across the water, sitting out in the balmy air.
Its our very last night for the checklist, to discuss, tick and
check whats new;
The grand trip tally, according to Phil, is two hundred and twenty-two.
Some things we will remember from our Top End
* The crescent phase of Venus, just below the crescent moon a
first for everyone!
* A huddle of dingo pups in the middle of the road
* A Barking Owl feeding on moths by lamplight
* Black and white contrasts: a tree full of white cockatoos and red-tailed
* A sinister dead tree at night with not only showy white corellas,
but invisible black crows
* Green ants up your pant-leg
* Feeding frenzy at Fogg Dam
* The noisy leaf-blower man at picnic site at Fogg Dam!
* Black Flying Foxes hanging in the trees along the Mary River during
* Kakadu Steaming sweat dripping off noses and chins while standing
still at 08:30 at Nourlangie Rock
* Mango smoothies at Mayses Cafe in Pine Creek
* Explosion of White-breasted Woodswallows, than a slow settling back
into the tree
* Great Bowerbirds bower and collection of white stones and shells
plus green glass
* Crossing the new Ghan railway line numerous times
* Burn of Black Kites over the smoking grass fire
* Lawns of Little Corellas
* Raptures of raptors
* Rafts of Radjahs
* Creche of Whistle-ducklings
* Flights of Finches
* Dregs of debris from the floods
* Peel of paperbarks
* Fan of Pandanus
* Rattle of ripe pods in the wind
* Rainbow of Pittas
* Spread of Darters
* Bark of Owls
* Clatter of Kookaburras (blue-winged)
* Flutter of butterflies
* Group of Gouldians
* Plethora of Pratincoles
* Mix of Martins (tree and fairy)
* Buffet of Barramundi (yum)