Ellenbrae continued to delight us with birds. I saw three different finches, Double-barred finch, Scarlet finch and Long-tailed finch. The photos are not good, those are speedy little birds! Early morning visitors to the campsite included Willie Wagtail, Raven, various honeyeaters, finches, doves and these very small colourful birds.
Which we have finally decided are red-browed pardalotes ….. it took ages thumbing through the Slater and studying the four photos I had taken …. but we are confident now. S did another painting of a giant boab tree, and we eventually got back on the road, heading for Mt Elizabeth. About ten days ago there was a big rain event in the West Kimberley; we had seen vehicles plastered with red mud and guessed that was where they had been. Roads were closed for almost a week. Now we started to travel on those sections too, where there were often only tyre tracks winding a way through what had recently been a quagmire.
Of course there were river crossings too, nothing dramatic. We stopped for morning tea at the Durack River, not long before the turnoff. It is 30km into Mt Elizabeth, run by Peter and Pat Lacey, so once again a fairly quiet and secluded place to camp. On the drive in, a group of finches flew up from the tall grass by the track, looking to the eye like a handful of thrown confetti. Brilliant colours flashing in tiny wingbeats … Gouldian finches!
Pat suggested we would just have time to visit Wannumulla Gorge, if we wanted to. The route was a 10km drive which would take us an hour since it was so narrow, and strewn with boulders … followed by a 30 minutes walk to the Hann River. So brazenly confident we set off immediately, into a tremendous adventure. It was hot, and the last rocky pinch was too steep for us, so we parked and walked on … into an extraordinary place.
Can you see me at the top there? The falls drop over algae-blackened rock, into a deep pool below. You can see by the rock ledges that climbing down is not easy, and an aluminium ladder is provided in one part. The water was blissfully cool, and the whole area amazingly beautiful. Small fish swam around us, the sandy beach glistened with sundews, I wandered about photographing flowers while S drew.
We had passed two young families leaving as we arrived, imagine …. we were the only people there!
We were so refreshed the fast walk back up to the car was a breeze, then it was the long slow bumpy drive out, and back to set up camp.
Brilliant lacebark flowers against the blue sky.