The Rainforest Journal: Outing #15 – Day 4

(Wednesday 3-December-2014)



I woke-up this morning to a loud, guttural pig-like oinking noise just a few meters from the tent. Half asleep and with contact lenses still clouded-over, I sit up and look out the door towards where this sound is coming from – a sound I’ve never heard out here before. I’m pretty sure there aren’t any wild bore out here, but it sounded just like a pig. Unfortunately, dawn had only just broken and it was still fairly dark so all I could see were the silhouettes of the trees against the slightly lightened horizon and so, still half asleep, I lay back down and I’m snoozing again before I know it.

Then at what would’ve been around ~8:00am I’m woken by more noises, this time a lighter, faster “oo oo” sound completely different to the pig noise.

I sit up, look out the tent mesh into the forest and there – walking along the trail I’ve made just feet from the tent are two adult male Lyrebirds; complete with exquisitely developed tail feathers. The one at the back seemed to be hassling the bird in front of it, and the dominant bird seemed to be the one making the noises that woke me up. Of course, me being half asleep I wasn’t fast enough to get the camera ready so there’re no snaps, sadly.



Back from getting water at the creek with its usual air-conditioned, water-cooled breeze keeping me there a while. I was spewin’ I didn’t take the makings for some “iced” coffee actually, since it was mainly my wanting more caffeine that brought me back to camp so quickly, and had I brought the coffee, powdered milk and sugar with me I could probably have stayed there a few hours.



I spotted serval Wallabies run off into the ferns on the way there and back, as well as a young Lace Monitor. I didn’t even notice any lizard as I approached, but rather heard a half dozen or so Yellow-Crested Cockatoo gathered up in a tree, screeching like they’d seen the boogeyman down below.

They alerted me that some kind of “bad thing” or intruder was around and that’s what made me scan-around for whatever it was they’d spotted. As soon as I’d reached the apex of the hill though – where the Cockatoo were all perched in their tree squawking frantically – I caught the movement and knew straight away it was a Monitor. Being nesting season for the birds now, a Monitor is probably the closest thing to the boogeyman a Cockatoo will likely see. Anyway he saw me and ran, and the birds stopped freaking-out as soon as he left, though they stayed seated there in the same tree as I walked out of sight; beady eyes looking for any sign of his return.


The day’s heated-up as expected, and we’re now just awaiting rain of any form. The forecast is for stormy, rainy weather all week but so far the only reason has been in the evenings of the first two nights.


Thunder has begun rumbling overhead, and smatterings of rain are batting the top of the tent, becoming heavier by the second actually. Last add it keeps going long enough to cool the place down I’m happy. ..Bit of hail, but only enough rain to up the humidity for now.

Just before the rain and hail started falling.

Just before the rain and hail started falling.

For the second time today those same two Lyrebirds have just walked in a big “U” around the camp. They started out making imitative noises: I heard a few kookaburras, some whip-birds, some kinda toy-laser sounds, and so I grab the camera and get it ready but the way they walk is just on the crest of the slope – in a snaking type pattern so each time they’d become visible it would only last a second or two before they were out of sight behind the hill again.

I settled – in the end – for a recording of the calls they made. I think it’s a parent/child pair; with the older bird teaching the younger one calls – training. Here’s the recording anyhow:


Two Lyrebirds strutting around together at dusk:


Maybe I’ll get-up before sunrise tomorrow to try and find out what this weird pig-thing is. Maybe I’ll finally get that well-deserved photo of a Yowie and spend my days living off cheesy interviews with womens magazines. Bring it Yowie wooyah!


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