Diamantina

The dusty Diamantina – has been on our ‘want-to-visit-list’ for quite a few years.

The name itself is so evocative, the landscape is vast, varied and contains many treasures.  To see it after several good seasons when so many shrubs and herbaceous plants were flowering was simply wonderful and we have many precious memories.

The lime-green flower below is in the foreground of the dune above.  The plant is, as yet, unidentified by us and any assistance will be gratefully received. Thank you Duncan and Denis for your assistance.

Crotalaria cunninghamii

Crotalaria cunninghamii

When we’d finished setting up camp on our first afternoon we heard Woodswallows;  they came down to nectar feed on the Creek Wilga (Eremophila bignoniiflora) and then took to the sky again, hundreds of them in a mixed flock of Black-faced, White-browed, Dusky and Masked.  A fabulous sight in the late afternoon light.  And while we were scanning the Creek Wilga with our binoculars Allen suddenly spotted a Painted Honeyeater which obligingly gave us the opportunity for some good long looks….just as well as we didn’t see any more.

We spent hours wandering the dunes admiring the flowers, we recognized some plant families and some genera, we looked at insects and spotted tracks in the sand until we couldn’t absorb anymore.
Silver Oak (Grevillea  parallela) was just starting to flower.  It was one of the larger dune species, the majority being small herbaceous plants.

Grevillea parallela

And of course there were the Mitchell grasses with the Curly Mitchell grass being one of the most common – here growing on the edge of a huge clay pan.
Curly Mitchell grass on clay pan

Red kangaroos are such a well known symbol of the outback and we never tired of seeing them quietly enjoying their country in a national park rather than being splattered across a highway.  This track was part of the Warracoota Circuit, an 87 km drive through a variety of habitats

We scanned the Gibber for the Gibberbird unsuccessfully but we loved seeing  Crimson Chats flitting about in front of us, Orange Chats with one ‘guard’ always perched high on a shrub keeping look out while the others foraged.   The white-backed Swallow reminded us of a formal dinner suit, such a clean contrast between black and white – we saw one bird in flight on two occasions in the same area.
Horsfield’s Bushlark was a new one for us and we had a good look while the bird was ‘hiding’ by keeping relatively still and relying on its camouflage.

Horsfield's Bushlark

It is difficult to convey the contrasting beauty of flowering shrubs in the  Diamantina landscape of sand, fine silt and gibber but I’ll include a few more flower photos because I just love looking at them.

Pterocaulon sphacelatum- Fruit Salad plant

Pterocaulon sphacelatum- Fruit Salad plant

Hovea

Hovea

Trichodesma zeylanica - Camel Bush

Trichodesma zeylanica – Camel Bush

4 responses to “Diamantina

  1. Looks like Crotalaria cunninghamii….

  2. Duncan has beaten me to the ID. suggestion.
    This key might be a useful reference if you go there again.
    http://www.tropicalgrasslands.asn.au/Legumes%20of%20Qld/Contents%20Legumes%20book/Genera/Crotalaria.pdf
    Not my area. but leaf and flower look right for your plant.
    Denis

    • Thanks for the link Denis. Although we travel with a few reference books we are lacking information on the dry, inland species. Interesting that the photo for Crotalaria cunninghamii was taken in the Bedourie – Windorah area and on red sand just as we had seen it in Diamantina. Spectacular colour!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s