Degrees 5 Minutes 49 Seconds, Which A Clear Night Enabled Me To Observe
By A Meridian Altitude Of Castor.
We were, according to my latitude, and
to my course, at the South Alligator River, about sixty miles from its
mouth, and about one hundred and forty miles from Port Essington.
The river gradually increased in size, and its bed became densely fringed
with Pandanus; the hollows and flats were covered with groves of drooping
tea-trees. Ridges of sandstone and conglomerate approached the river in
several places, and at their base were seen some fine reedy and rushy
lagoons, teeming with water-fowl. A flock of black Ibises rose from a
moist hollow; white and black cockatoos, were seen and heard frequently.
At day-break, I was struck with the sweet song of Rhipidura flaviventris,
The natives cooeed from the other side of the river, probably to
ascertain whether we were friendly or hostile; but did not show
themselves any farther. They were Unio eaters to a great extent, judging
from the heaps of shells we saw along the river; the species of Unio on
which they lived, was much smaller than that we had observed on the
Roper. John and Charley saw a native in the bed of the river, busily
employed in beating a species of bark, very probably to use its fibres to
strain honey. He did not interrupt his work, and either did not see them,
or wished to ignore their presence. The horse flies began to be very
troublesome, but the mosquitoes fortunately did not annoy us,
notwithstanding the neighbourhood of the river, and the late rains.
Charley and Brown shot five geese, which gave us a good breakfast and
Enter page number
Page 470 of 524
Words from 126481 to 126768