Solo twitcher to cross Tasman in rubber ring | bird-o

To: Alan McBride <>, Birding Aus <>
Subject: Solo twitcher to cross Tasman in rubber ring | bird-o
From: Denise Goodfellow <>
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 2010 05:53:39 +0930
Friends and I have just spent a weekend in Kakadu, fishing and relaxing with
a little birding.  I now feel a bit of a hypocrite telling you off, after
spending hours on (and in) the South Alligator River.  We were going to try
to make the mouth, but with the spring tides, we were dealing with feast or
famine (as far as the water level and speed of current were concerned.  The
mud banks made it really tricky to navigate, and by the time we returned to
the landing, the tide was rushing in at full bore.

Imagine if you will, three of us trying to manoeuvre a large dinghy (built
for five) onto a trailer in water thick with mud, and rushing upstream at
several kms an hour.  Not to mention the presence of snapping handbags.
Fortunately it didn¹t take more than twenty minutes with Sue driving and
Harmony and me in the water fighting the current.

The boat was slightly off centre, but as evening was then falling we decided
not to risk the water again, but to come back the next morning and try
again.  Or rather I suggested that another one of our number come for the
experience.  She, that time, was keeping the fifth member of our party, a
sick friend, company back at the Kakadu Lodge.  However, Valda had bad
shoulders and if not needed for my scintillating personality, I was for the
muscle I could put into launching and retrieving, a boat in a tide coming in
at full bore.  But we did need more help.  Fortunately two hefty German
backpackers and then four locals arrived to help us.   It was nice to be
around men who accepted that we knew what we were doing, and were happy to
provide some extra heave power without making smart remarks.  By the way,
the water was so warm (70oF) that any fish we would have caught, would have
already been cooked!

Then we set off for the upstream ramp of the East Alligator, a far easier
river to enter and navigate.

This river is beautiful, with banks of white sand studded with weeping
paperbarks, their grey-green foliage setting off the emerald of other trees,
the red sandstone escarpment beyond and the blue sky.  I did a bit of
fishing plus some birding.  No success on the latter, but we didn¹t mind.
The ?hills were alive¹ with the calls of White-lined Honeyeater mostly, plus
Sandstone Shrike-thrush and several other species.  There were a couple of
snatches of song from Rainbow Pitta.

Valda drove down to meet us, and while waiting for us to return to the
landing, taped up a loose slider on the trailer that had been one cause of
our problems. We got the boat out of the water with ease, despite a fairly
fast tide.  Our friend had been too ill to go fishing, or to even do a
little gentle birdwatching.  However, she wanted a full description of the
bird calls we heard and I was more than happy to oblige.


on 5/11/10 10:36 AM, Alan McBride at  wrote:

> Thanks to Paul, Denise and all the other respondents.
> What is truly inspiring is the amount of care and concern shown by B-Aus
> readers;-)
> Truth is it's a statue from an exhibition called Sculptures by the Sea between
> Bondi & Tamarama which I saw the day before, hence it seemed appropriate
> Good isn't it, as is the rest of the exhibition;-)
> See
> Cheers and thanks for a humbling experience. Hoping the water's not too cold
> and see you soon;-)
> Alan
> Alan McBride, MBO.
> Photojournalist | Writer | Traveller |  +
> Member:    Australian Photographic Society
> Travel Writers Association - Board of Directors
> American Writers & Artists Inc.
> International Travel Writers & Photographers Alliance
>                         National Association of Independent Writers & Editors
> Travelwriters . com
> Travcom New Zealand
> Regional Representative Australia: Neotropical Bird Club
> <>
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> <>
> Good planets are hard to find; until we do, please, be green and read from the
> screen
> Tel:                + 61 419 414 860
> Fax:              + 61 2 9973 2306
> Skype:             mcbird101
> P O Box 190 | Newport Beach | NSW 2106 | Australia
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