Sunday, 25 October 2015

Finding Duck-billed Platypus in the Atherton Tablelands.

To see duck-billed platypus was the fulfilment of a lifetimes ambition. When I was a young child I read about and saw t.v. programmes about this mysterious, venemous mammal with a ducks bill, which lays eggs and lives on the other side of the world, way beyond the reach of my travel ambitions. Today I finally managed to see one.

We arrived at Peterson creek near Yungaburra in the Atherton Tablelands at about lunch time. We knew platypus were often seen here because there is a viewpoint,  but invariably all of the sightings are at dawn or dusk. Still, we had to give it a try.

Having no success from the viewpoint we walked along the footpath which follows the creek and saw a decent variety of birds and some water lizards. Suddenly I couldn't believe my eyes, right in front of me the unmistakable shape of a platypus appeared in the water. I beckoned Elaine over and we watched it at close range for a couple of minutes before it disappeared into the vegetation. For a while we could see the vegetation moving, and even caught a glimpse of parts of the animal, but it never showed itself as well again. What an awesome experience though, highlight of the holiday by far for me.

My first sighting of this fantastic animal. I don't know how I supressed a yell of delight when I saw this distinctive shape in the water!

And this is where it lives, Peterson creek.

On the way to Yungaburra we came across this superb spotted harrier.

Mistletoe bird.

Black-faced monarch.

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