Farewell Tyto Wetlands & Ingham Region

Featured Image: Male Darter preparing for take-off


 

Comb-crested Jacana leaping through the Lilies at Tyto

 

Hello again from Ingham!!
The last week has just flown by, we have been out and about most of those days as the weather has been good though it’s really starting to warm up now so I’m glad we are heading south.

Graphic Flutterer Dragonfly (above) and Tropical Rockmaster Damselfly

 

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Press Play to view Steph’s latest Video Snips

 

 

We find it difficult to walk pass these gorgous Crimson Finches without taking a photo. These are our favorite shots of these critters whilst at Tyto Wetlands. (Top: Male, Centre: Female, Bottom: Immature Male)

 

Our front legs for the van arrived mid week and Anthony didn’t have too much trouble fitting them though it appears there is some very small ( hopefully minor ) piece missing. He did give the legs a go and all seems ok though we have ordered this little missing piece and will be picking it up in Rockhampton on the way south.


Flying Foxes at Ingham Botanical Gardens. We think its a great attraction for Ingham. Sadly the majority of locals (as always) don’t feel the same.

 

Rufous Whistler’s (Male above and Female below)

 

 

A couple of Snaps from Taylor’s Beach. (Clockwise from Top: Osprey, Immature Red-capped Plover, Gull-billed Tern, Immature Crested Tern)

 

 

As usual we have put off some much needed maintenance that we really have to do today as tomorrow we are off to Crystal Creek. From there all our trips will be very quick, only a couple of nights at stops along the way. Of course we will be in nature as much as possible, there is nowhere else we would rather be.

 


The very secretive White-browed Crake (above) and Buff-banded Rail (below)

 

 

“Snakes” ….. What snakes

 

Please enjoy our last photos and video of this area, oh and guess who spotted that gorgeous Carpet Python way up in a tree….😊😊
Cheers Steph and Anthony.

Carpet Python waiting for its next meal at Tyto

Kuranda (Our old Stomping grounds)

Featured Image – Barron Falls Kuranda

 

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The iconic Kuranda Railway Station

Well we have really enjoyed our time here in Mareeba. We did visit Kuranda which is always nice especially on a beautiful day.

There’s plenty of walks in the rainforest and along the Barron River and the boardwalk down to the Barron Falls lookout is fantastic and a great spot for birdwatching.

 

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Fig trees border the streets of Kuranda
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The Barron River walk

 

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Press play to view Steph’s Video snippets

 

The last few days in Mareeba have been very windy and smokey …..there’s some reduction burns going on in the Dindin forest and with the strong south easterly winds the smoke is coming here.

Anthony has been having a great time walking around the grounds here and over to the small dam,  which is almost dried up and doesn’t really look like it would have any bird visitors, but a few days ago a Jabiru flew over Anthony’s head and landed in it, and has been re-visiting it every day since. At first he seemed a bit nervous, so Anthony hid in the pump house shed next to the dam where he got some great photos.

Yesterday afternoon Anthony managed to slither on his belly right up to edge of the dam and sneakily got some amazing close ups of this gorgeous big bird. He had to slither back down so as not to disturb him…..we love getting great photos and video but hate it when we disturb them.

 

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This Black-necked Stork (aka Jabiru) allowed me to get quite close and put on quite a show

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So we are off to Cairns soon…..

It’s usually a place we avoid, because it’s just way too busy for us now. But we have to fly out to Thailand for more dental work next week.

We were hoping not to go this year but I still have a problem with my tooth implant and Anthony wants more work done and it’s just so ridiculously expensive here, we don’t have much choice.

We didn’t want to put Chloe in a Cattery, so by putting the van in Cairns my lovely sister Denise will be able to look after her, and hopefully she won’t be bothered too much that we aren’t here.

We are only going for 5 days.

 

There are some great birdwatching and dragonfly spotting hotspots around in Cairns as well so we will try and get out and about as much as we can till we fly out so we will keep you posted.

Cheers, Steph and Anthony.

 

We will miss this sight from our window in the mornings

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Birding on the Daintree

Little Kingfisher
The Jewel of the Daintree : Little Kingfisher

Wow wow wow, what an amazing time we have been having😃😃 Our short road trip to Mount Carbine went well. The Mount Carbine caravan park is nice, we really feel like we are outback now. The terrain is very dry and crispy, we are hooked up to bore water here ( not so good ). There is a lot of birdlife around the park but we will do a separate blog just for here when we have finished our stay because I really need to tell you about the awesome day we had today.

 

The Rarely seen Great-billed Heron
We got up extra early…4 am to quickly have our cappochinos and head off to the Daintree River.
Quite a drive from here, just over an hour, but off course still being dark we had to drive slower and also there’s a very windy steep range road with B double sugar cane trucks using it at the moment. We didn’t want to miss the river tour we had booked, and arrived with time to spare.
We also picked a beautiful day…..blue sky, no wind and also a low tide so things were looking really good.
Luckily there were only 5 passengers today…..all keen to get photos of the little Kingfisher. Murray from the  Daintree Boatman Nature Tours happens to know where all the birds are hiding out or having their favourite roosting spots so we were certainly in for a treat.
The Majestic White-bellied Sea-eagle

 

Male Saltwater Crocodile

 

He took us straight up a little inlet off the Daintree river and being low tide with all the mangrove roots exposed, the little Kingfisher seemed like he was waiting for us. Boy was he hard to spot, such a tiny hyperactive gorgeous little bird….. we almost had to lay on the gunnels of the boat to get a clear view, he was so hidden under the mangroves. Murray kept barking positions at us which helped a lot as he was so quick……we spent half an hour just here getting some great photos and video.

 

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Press Play to view Stephanie’s ‘Best Yet’ Video

 

 

Green Tree Snake soaking up the morning Sun
Green Tree Snake soaking up the morning Sun

 

 

The whole trip was pretty action packed.
Murray has an electric motor which is so very quiet when getting close to the birds, then he switches over to the standard noisy outboard when we had to hightail it down another part of the river to where he knew another bird, crocodile or snake was visible.
The Sea Eagle at the end of the 2 hour tour put on a show for us though we felt really sorry for him as he missed out on a fish. Anthony got some spectacular photos today and
I must say…. I have put together my best video to date, I had to add music as the endless clicking of the cameras, engine noise, and our very excited squeals was detracting from the amazing wildlife.
We normally stay away from tours but thought this was our best option for seeing different birds and boy, we are so glad we did this.
Spectacular Day. Please enjoy the pics and video.
Bye for now, Steph and Anthony.
Peacock Jewel aka 4 O’clock Moth

Birds and Bugs

A male Painted Grasshawk (Seen in Stephanie’s Video)

 

 

Well we finally made the decision to move on. The weather has been very drizzly again the last few days.

Yesterday we drove back to Granite Gorge near Mareeba. You can bet if it’s cold and drizzly here in Yungaburra it’s about 5 degrees warmer and sunny over that way. As soon as you drive off the plateau north towards Mareeba you can just watch the temperature gauge increasing.

It’s a beautiful place in nature and there seems to be a lot more butterflies and dragonflies around the Gorge than anywhere else we have been so far. We did see quite a few birds there as well but we didn’t get there till nearly lunch time so could have done better with photos if we had of gotten there earlier. We will definetly go back there on our return trip.

 

We got lucky….. while touring the tablelands a flock of Sarus Cranes flew over our truck and just had enough time to grab a couple of inflight shots.

 

Grey-crowned Babbler drying off after wash
A Handsome pair of Black Swans
A female Rufous Whistler enjoying the late afternoon Sun

 

Tomorrow we are off to Mount Carbine for 3 nights before heading on to Cooktown. We are really excited to see some new places.

Not really new as we have been to these places before but now that we are always looking for critters it’s a totally different experience. It’s like our eyes are wide open now and are always scanning the trees, sky, grass etc….waiting for something to catch our eye, it’s really fantastic and makes us feel so alive.

We must have had blinkers on before in our old life as I don’t really remember seeing much wildlife when out and about.

 

It was exciting to capture this Orange Threadtail Damselfly Head on inflight.

 

Fresh Painted Grasshawk Dragonfly

 

Just a couple of Butterflies that managed to keep still for a Photo

 

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Press Play and enjoy Stephanie’s latest Video Snippets

 

Please enjoy our last video snippets and photos from the last few days and I hope we see some new and exciting things on our northward journey.

Cheers Steph and Anthony.

 

Upclose with a Peacock and Hen at Granite Gorge

Yungaburra and Mount Hypipamee NP

This young Cassowary Greeted us at Mt Hypipamee
Well we had no problems fitting into the Lakeside Caravan Park in Tinaburra, on the Southern Atherton Tablelands.
It’s very busy, however the managers kept a nice big site for us so we are happy campers for the next few weeks.
We have been out and about catching up with family and friends as well as checking out some great places for wildlife.

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Here are a few images of this gorgous Macleay’s Honeyeater with a face full of pollen from the Metrosideros Flower

 

Peterson Creek is a Hotspot for Platypus

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Press Play to check out this Platypus

 


 

Just up the road here in Yungaburra is Peterson Creek. With a great walking track and a variety of habitats there’s always something to see. We have spotted quite a few platypus even around 2 pm which I think is unusual. They must be quite used to humans being around as you can get quite close to them on the banks.

I got a nice little video. Apparently Tree Kangaroos are seen here too but we haven’t spotted one there yet.

Here is a long range shot of one we spotted at Mt Hypipamee (Thanks Nissi)

 

Black-shouldered Kite
We did take a drive out to Mount Hypipamee National Park where we spotted one a long way away, also a young Cassowary close to the picnic area but pretty quiet on the bird front.
The weather has been a bit iffy, very overcast and rainy yesterday. Today we woke to blue skies and within a couple of hours it was very dark and overcast again and even a couple of showers. It may be like this for the next week so we will just have to get out when we can and hope for nice weather.

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A welcome Flyby of Sarus Cranes

 

The entrance to Peterson Creek at Yungaburra

At the suspension bridge across Peterson Creek we were treated by 2 Scarlet Honeyeaters (an adult and Immature) feasting on the fresh Bottlebrush Pollen.

 

 

Purple Swamphen

 

The Sarus cranes are around the area at the moment too and they are great to see flying over honking to each other, fantastic to see.
Anthony has already got a great collection of photos since we have been here so please enjoy them.
Bye for now, Steph and Anthony.
The Odds and Ends
Common Jezabel Butterfly
A large Freshwater Turtle on the Banks of Peterson Creek