The animals I have seen on the trip so far
A – Ants: They are everywhere and I’ve seen three different types: normal ones (small black ones), small ones with a black head and a red body, and big ones with red body as well. Whenever we have a picnic, the ants would always take our crumbs!
B – Birds: We saw thousands of birds at the Mornington AWC Sanctuary. There are 212 different species of bird in their property! At the Sanctuary, AWC looks after wildlife and they protect native species from feral cats and destruction of their habitat. We saw Whistling Kites (bird of prey), the rare Northern Rosella, Crimson Finches and Double-Barred Finches. We also saw a Bower Bird that steals things from people’s campsites to make its nest looks nice so that it can attract a mate. It even stole a metal teaspoon!
Sam, our guide, told us that once, an AWC researcher had installed a small video camera close to the nest in order to film the bird’s behaviour. When he came back the day after to collect his camera, it had disappeared. He found it several meters away in the bush. The video footage showed that as soon as the bower bird came back to its nest, he noticed this unusual object. He didn’t like it at all, picked it up and tossed it out!
C – Cows: I stayed for a couple of days at Mount House Station in the Kimberley. The property is massive, it is 1.4 million acres! There are about 35,000 cows in the station. One morning I saw cows being mustered. For the mustering, the staff use helicopters, motorbikes and tractors. It is a big job!
D – Dingo: We saw a dingo on the Gibb River Road. It looks a bit like a dog. Dingoes are helpful because they eat feral cats, which kill many small native animals.
E – Egret: These are beautiful white water birds. I saw one eating a fish.
F – Freshwater Crocodiles, or “Freshies”: I have seen a lot of freshies in the Kimberley. I am interested in them now. They are reptiles. Do you know that reptiles like snakes shed their skin? Crocodiles don’t but they drop their scales one at a time! We saw many at Windjana Gorge. Freshies are not as dangerous to humans as salties; they eat fish, frogs and other small animals. They bite humans only when they are annoyed.
G – Goanna: At Adcock Gorge, I saw a goanna. My mum spotted it first and she thought it was a snake but then, we saw its legs under water and we realised it was a goanna. It was about 75cm long. The day before, my sister Angélie saw a huge one at Mount House Station; she fed it a raw egg. The staff at the station named the goanna Anna!
H – Hermit Crabs: I love hermit crabs because my daddy knows how to look after hermit crabs because he got them as pets. On this trip I went to a place and I found some and I used them as pets until we went to the next place to stay, so I let them go. Hermit crabs are also interesting because they use the empty shells of other animals as their “home sweet home”. I feed them celery scraps, raw fish scraps and cuttlefish shell.
I – Ibis: We saw lots of ibis at the carvan park at Lake Kununurra. They visited our camp every evening. Améline has a book about birds and she told me it is called a “straw-necked ibis”.
J – Jabiru: When we were in Derby I saw a jabiru near the airport there. It is a tall bird with a long straight beak. It has nice colours and lives across northern Australia. There is also a town called Jabiru in Kakadu National Park.
K – Kangaroos: I have seen some kangaroos on this trip. Some of them may be Euros or Wallabies but it is hard from me to tell the difference as they mostly look the same.
L – Lizard: We found a long lizard at the Little Mertens waterhole on the way to Mitchell Falls. The body was quite short but the tail was looooooonnnnng! My sister Améline caught it and the lizard was really annoyed. Its eyes were like: “Seriously?!…..”
M – Midges: I HATE MIDGES! On this trip I’ve been bitten alive by…MIDGES! Since I got my first midge bite I have been scratching away and then I got scabs and then I picked the scabs and then there’s blood but there’s no DEATH.
N – Nurse Sharks: I went to Horizontal Falls with my family. We took a seaplane from Derby and we landed on the water. Then we settled on a boat for our stay overnight. The rooms had a name; my parents’ room had the best name: Horizontal Falls. We had a bunk bed in our room with my sisters and I got to sleep in the top bunk for the first time! In the afternoon, we went on bumpy rides on the fast boat to see the Horizontal Falls. We sailed through the wide gap and the narrow gap. The narrow gap was really fun. After the boat ride, we swam with nurse sharks (there was a metal gate between us and the sharks). Nurse sharks are not dangerous to humans; they eat only fish. In this area, there are also BULL SHARKS! Sometimes, the bull sharks come and interrupt the nice time people have with the nurse sharks.
O – Oysters: I went to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm. They farm oysters to get pearls. The oysters are huge and the pearls are very valuable. Our neighbour Lyndon worked there, he discovered the secret of farming pearls in 1960 and there was a TV show about him in the 1970s.
P – Peacocks: I saw beautiful and colourful peacocks at the Whim Creek Hotel, half way between Karratha and Port Hedland. The hotel is the only building left in this town. Whim Creek used to be a busy mining town but now it is empty (it is called a ghost town).
Q – Quoll: A Western Quoll is a small native mammal that lives in the Australian bush. I haven’t seen one because they are rare and endangered. AWC is trying to protect them in their fenced reserves. My friend Flossie chose a Quoll as her animal for our unit of inquiry: “all living things go through a process of change”.
R – Red Snapper: Honeymoon Bay, near Kalumburu, is far away from everything (it is remote). We went finishing on a boat in the deep part of the bay and I caught a … BIG FAT SNAPPER! I called it “red snapper”. Geoff said: “this rod is tugging. If you wind it up, you’ll probably get a fish!”; it wasn’t my rod but I wound it up and I got a snapper. It was 38-centimeter long and shiny orange-red colour. It was YUMMY!
On the same day, Mum caught a Queen Fish and a Javelin Fish. Dad caught a weird but cute fish called a Monkey Fish. We also caught several sharks; one even snapped the fishing line.
S – Saltwater Crocodiles: There are plenty of “salties” on the Kimberley coast. At Honeymoon Bay, we only swam very carefully, with my parents checking the water because they are all over the area. We saw a large one in the Mitchell Falls area from the helicopter. We saw another one at El Questro, I spotted it and we observed it for a long time with the binoculars. Then, when we went to Darwin, we went to Crocosaurus Cove and I got to see some huge ones up close.
T – Termites: In the Kimberley, I see a lot of termite mounts from the car when I am driving from one place to the next. Termites make their mounts of soil that they eat and poo! They use the mounts as their house and it keeps them protected from the heat. Are you telling me that their mounts are made of poo?? Yes!!
U – U: Still looking…
V – V: Still looking…
W – Whale: At Hearson Cove near Karratha, we found a stranded humpback whale at low tide. The whale was a kid but it was huge and heavy. We helped him stay cool by splashing him with water until the tide came up.
X – X: What animals start with an X? Not many I can think of.
Y – Yellow-tail: We saw them swimming around with sharks in the water at Horizontal Falls. These are big fish with a yellow tail, that must be why they have that name. It is not a very creative name. I like interesting names like…
Z – Zubenelgenubi: Zubenelgenubi is not an animal the what?
Where did you learn that? At an astro tour (stargazing) and I also learnt about the southern cross ok ok I get it.
THE END of my A-Z blog