Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Long Day in Botany Bay NP - Part 1 - Reptiles

Had a big day down south last weekend, weather is improving fast and all kinds of wildlife is creeping out from under their rocks to take advantage of the sun - that included yours truly, who had managed to get out of bed and was pretty determined to make a day out of it in combo with the camera.

I did not see any new birds, despite of a rumored visit by a red knot, but there was heaps of other stuff going on including an impressive selection of reptiles. Identification of reptiles is significantly more difficult than for the birds, guess they are less mobile and hence more prone to the development of local characteristics. An excellent starting point though is the NPWS Atlas of NSW wildlife in combo with a reptile book or - even better - the internet. Utilizing those sources I risk one eye and claim the first two pictures above to be of a Jacky Lizard (Amphibolurus muricatus).

I used most of the day in the National park. Making my way to Boat Harbour in the western end of the park and following the coast all the way around to Cape Solander. Covering quite a few types of habitats.

One of the top spots for reptiles is just off the carpark - less than 100 meters down towards the water and follow the path to the right - water drains through this area keeping it moist and a number of big boulders provide protection for the inhabitants.

There are always some opportunistic predaceous birds hanging around though; ravens, magpies and kestrels, guess they would not be there if they were not lucky once and a while and the presence of a few surprisingly short lizards seems to suggest that indeed it is a dangerous job being a lizard.

Have had a hard time identifying the skink above, best guess is some type of Garden or Grass Skink (Lampropholis delicata or L. guichenoti) The wildlife atlas does indeed suggest that there is another type of Lampropholis running around in Botany Bay NP. The big colorful one in the picture below looks very much like a Eastern Water-skink (Eulamprus quoyii), but as with all of the "guesses" suggestions are very welcome. :-)


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



AGL said...

Hi Alena,

You are very welcome - thanks for you comment.

Cheers Allan