You don’t have to go off-road to see cool things and amazing wildlife

Driving between Derby and Broome in the Kimberley yesterday, I stopped at two bridges on the Great Northern Highway, just south of Willare. It’s bloody hot at the moment – temps in their 40s. The creeks and billabongs are starting to disappear and wildlife is started to congregate. The wet season will be here soon but until then watering holes offer so much potential if you like spotting wildlife.

I saw black-necked storks, brolgas, plumed whistling ducks, and three freshwater crocs – all within 20 metres from where I’d parked by the side of the road.

One of three fresh water crocs spotted from the Cockatoo Bridge.
In the dry season Cockatoo Creek can become a series of waterholes. Both Ski Lake and Cockatoo Creek are anabranches of the mighty Fitzroy River. They’re on the very western side of the Fitzroy catchment, “one of WA’s last remaining areas that retains its wilderness areas”. 
There was a pair of brolgas at both Cockatoo Bridge and Ski Lake.
It was about 43 degrees when I stopped. The creeks and waterholes are part of Yeeda cattle station so cattle share their water with the wildlife. Or should that be the other way around? 
When the wet finally arrives Cockatoo Creek
will be water as far as the eye can see.
Plumed whistling ducks at Ski Lake, easily seen from the bridge. 
This black-necked stork was on his own at Ski Lake (Formerly known as a jabiru but that is actually the name of a Brazilian stork)
The Great Northern Highway is notorious for having cattle on the road. Driving north of Broome yesterday I saw several animals on and very close the road, drawn by puddles from recent storms. This little guy’s mum wasn’t far away but he hasn’t learned that she knows best yet!
Sometimes it’s worth stopping at bridges. Ski Lake is just south of the Willare Roadhouse, about 130km north of Broome, WA.

 ABOUT THE BLOGGER: 
Lisa Herbert is houseless not homeless. She’s the author of funeral planning guide ‘The Bottom Drawer Book: an after death action plan’ . She’s been travelling around the country for about four years, occasionally filling short-term contracts for the ABC in places like Kalgoorlie, Broome, Tamworth and Darwin. Lisa enjoys blogging about the unusual graves, memorials and cemeteries she finds on her travels. 
Get in touch with Lisa via Facebook .

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