The spectacular Gouldian finches* caged for the breeding program at the Mareeba Wetlands Visitor Centre are great, but there's WAAAAAY more birds to be seen out and about around the lagoon or on one of the walks in the 5000 acre reserve.
So, bins** in hand, we took the Pandanus walk, its varied habitats promising – and delivering – a cross-section of local birds including Black-necked stork (amateur birdwatchers like me prefer the more poetic common name - Jabiru!), Red-backed Fairy wren, Comb-crested jacana, Green Pygmy Goose, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Forest Kingfisher, and a whole family of Brown Quail! FAAAABULOUS!!
But then, through the trees I spied a glint of sun on silver metal. Quite a lot of metal, actually. Was it a picnic table? An abandoned car?? A plane wreck???
Our curiosity piqued, we moved in for a closer look – the scrub successfully obscuring its surreal identity until we were close enough to touch it.
No, none of our guesses were even close!!
It's a mystery (to us, at least) who constructed this monstrous metal gecko - and why! Even more bizarre – why is it hidden away in the bush surrounding this Atherton Tablelands protected wetland habitat??
So ... we admit defeat. Great photo opportunity that it is, we're stumped!!
*Go on! Do yourself a favour and take the link if you don't know what they look like!!
**bins = birdo talk for 'binoculars' without which no self respecting twitcher would visit a wetland!