Wallabies 0 – 0 Goshawks

Tue. 18th June 2019

Nope, no wallabies or goshawksFrustrating as it was that we misread the walking trails map yesterday, at least now we know where the walks start from and how the signposts all work. We’re planning on walking 7 or 8km along the Bindoola Gorge Lookout Trail this morning and once again, the idea is to get started early and to miss the heat of the day. There are 3 or 4 longish walks starting from the station and another couple that start some 15km drive away so we are spoilt for choice.

The closest we got to seeing a wallaby todayAfter some deliberation, we decide to give the Beast the day off and elect for the walk along the ridge of the Bindoola Gorge. The walk description promises us a gently rising trail over mostly sandy or firm stony ground – no scrambling over boulders or through narrow chasms today then. The notes for the walk also talk to the possibility of seeing wallabies and brown goshawks as we cross flatland on the way to the gorge so, we set out with full camera kit including Janet’s big lens. Without wishing to spoil the suspense, the post title is a clue to how successful we were!

Curious tree - no leaves but bright yellow flowers and bright green fruitWithout wildlife to distract us, we made good progress with the walk, trying to find patches of shade and getting through our water. We did, however, find more of those trees with no leaves but bright yellow flowers that have fascinated us for the last few days. Here, though, some of them were also bearing bright green fruit providing further contrast against the blue of the sky. Still no wallabies or goshawks though.

Looking down at Bindoola GorgeWhen we get to the rim of the gorge, the views make the walk worthwhile. Both looking along our side of the gorge as well as across at the opposite side, the cliffs drop vertically some 40m down to the canyon below. Looking down we get further confirmation that the river is low and running slowly. We can see a walk down there that we might have done but are happy that the views up here are better. Maybe there are some wallabies down there?

The only wildlife we saw todayAs we head back, we decide that we do have the energy for a 15min detour up to the top of Mt Baldy – a) no snarky comments, please; and b) it is a hill by anyone’s standards. What it does have, though, is great views all around and especially of the Cockburn range. We know from last night’s sunset near miss, that the setting sun lights up the range. It’s a little further than we’d like, but definitely possible to come back here for sunset.

The Cockburn RangeCooling off after our walkBy now we are feeling distinctly frazzled. We’ve been drinking a lot of water but nevertheless the temperature is now well into the 30s and the scrubby trees provide very little shade. By the time we get back to the (resort) station, we’ve been walking for 4hrs (and it’s not yet noon). Our priorities now are (over-priced) ice creams and a swim. We have to make do with the outdoor pool since there are both salties and freshies in the creek outside our Grass Castle (which is neither grass nor a castle but is named after the book ‘Kings In Grass Castles’ by Mary Durack who was writing about her life as one of the early cattle farmers in the area).

The Corellas having a breakRefreshed and with the day’s step target met we can afford to relax for the afternoon (though it has to be said that one of us is better at relaxing than the other). It’s very comfortable in the chairs on our little balcony looking out over the creek and watching the antics of the corellas (white cockatoos) as they flock to and fro across the creek for no apparent reason. Whilst I’m not sure I’d know a goshawk if it landed on my head, I’m pretty sure that the birds we see cruising at treetop height are kites. The goshawks may have been missing this morning, but we certainly have been impressed with the number of raptors of various types and sizes we’ve consistently seen as we have passed through WA (probably related to the amount of roadkill we’ve also seen!).

Cockburn Range lit up by the setting sunHaving made a pig’s ear of sunset photography yesterday, we are determined to do better today. After deliberation, we decide against a return to Mt Baldy as it is twice as far as the other Cockburn Range Lookout that we found yesterday and we actually get there in good time. The view is less panoramic than this mornings but we get the full effect of the light of the setting sun on the range in the distance. Wallabies and goshawks are forgotten as we enjoy the few moments with the mountains lit up with a red glow.

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