Frilled Dragons Come Alive in Darwin.
One of the most iconic animals of the Top End is not the crocodile but the Frilled Lizard or Frill-necked Lizard Chlamydosaurus kingii) – or just Frillies. If you have never seen one of these in the wild it is possibly for one of two reasons. The first is bad timing; if you go before November or after March they are scarce. Usually in the wet season, these guys are very abundant and visible on roads, trees and on the ground feeding. The second reason might be that to they are rather clever chaps and to the see them is difficult. As you are walking along the track or driving the road, the frillies are usually waist to shoulder height on trees. They watch out for predators well and as the predator comes they circle around the other side and only their spindly legs give them away. Their camouflage does the rest. So look for two knobby knees at the height they might even do a peek a boo act with their head to check where you are too! Watch the video. (continue reading…)
In December 2012, I travelled to the land of “slugs”! No not really into slimey invertebrates, I mean large snakes (we refer to monster sized snakes as slugs). We have in past travelled to several parts of the magical snake isles Tasmania. Forget the apples (so called Apple Isles) leave that to Eve and get hold of the most amazing and gentle snakes in the country. Lowland Copperheads Austrelaps superbus are the most docile, charming venomous snake in Australia. Yes charming and docile.
This year we visited the enigmatic Ian Norton and his band of dedicated snake rescue volunteers Sally Wilson, Chris Daly, Jane Guy and Justin Kneebone . We happened to coincide with a visit to the sensational Wesley Vale where one of us visited in 2008 and only saw small snakes and plenty of skeletons as the snakes took a massive blow during the drought.
This issue contains some fascinating insights into the life of the Freshwater Crocodile – featured on the cover – and some of our amazing lizards. We have also set up a new page called ‘Secret shutterbugs’ for those who love to delve into photographing the world of wildlife and want even more tips on getting the best shots. In an exclusive, our story about the sad and tragic world of the icon for extinction, the Thylacine or Tasmanian tiger, provides some amazing insights as well as images not published before. We’ve also got a packed ‘Secrets sightings’ with interesting and unusual tales, including ones about termites, the Rough-scaled Snake and, of course, birds and more birds. If that is not enough, let us take you inside the world of the endangered Gouldian Finch.