Crocs in the Kimberley

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White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) at sunset on the island’s tallest peakl photographed in situ [1]

Last year I visited Lake Argyle in the Kimberley to help a friend with cane toad fieldwork. The conditions on the island were brutal during the day since the low shrubbery couldn’t shield us from the piercing sun, but during the night it was much more manageable to explore the island.  The abundance of freshies (Crocodylus johnsoni) was impressive, and I regularly heard splashing from the crocs hunting the blue catfish. We found lots of egg shells scattered in the gulleys, and baby and juvenile crocs were particularly common. I had never been treated to so many crocs before, so it was wonderful to see them at such a close range. Lightning storms made the trip all the more adventurous. One night I vividly remember peeking out of my tent to see absolutely jaw-dropping lightning streaks above me, and on one occasion my tent flew away from the strong winds. After re-securing the tent to the ground the following night magpie geese were literally raining down on me from being spooked by lightning. One of them slouched on me from the outside of my tent, and I fell asleep in that position. I wanted to get an image of a crocodile with lightning in the background, but the one moment I had a nice large adult in position with its mouth agape, lightning was approaching from the other direction. The tide sounded violent at times, and by one morning it had pushed our boat several meters onto land. These rough conditions are likely why we found so many deceased animals on the rocky shores, including many dozens of dead turtles and catfish, two rock monitors, and an adult croc.

Photographed in situ [1]
Photographed in situ [1]
Photographed after disturbance [4]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed after disturbance [4]
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Photographed after pursuit [3]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Croc possibly killed from storm-generated tidal waves
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Lightning at Lake Argyle
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed after pursuit [3]
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Photographed after disturbance [4]
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Photographed after disturbance [4]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed after disturbance [4]
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Photographed in situ [1]

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