More of Cooktown and Surrounds

Shower time for this Yellow Oriole at the Botanical Gardens

 

Its hard to believe, but our week here in Cooktown has already gone…. We have been super busy.

We thought we might be stuck here for a while but our switch for the front legs on the van arrived today. Gave us quite a surprise as it came from Melbourne.

Anthony wired it up quick smartly and we gave it a test run and all seems to be ok.

See how it goes tomorrow when we hitch up.🤓🤓

 

Annan Gorge

 

 

Red-Winged Parrot (male)
Cooktown has been a great place to hang out, there’s a lot to see from here.
Lots of nature, waterfalls etc. and the town itself is nice and has everything you need.
We never did get to the museum…..maybe next time.
Our only disappointment was we didn’t see too many birds.
When visiting the Isabella Falls we explored and had lunch sitting on the tailgate of the truck and honestly we did not hear one peep from a bird. Apparently October to December is the best time for birds when they all decide to come back from PNG.
Luckily we had Keatings Lagoon to fall back on and even though it wasn’t teeming with birdlife, there was enough there to keep us amused.

 

 

Entrance to Endervour Falls and Camping Grounds

More Falls and Camp ground Pics

Endevour Falls

 

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Press Play to view Steph’s Snippets

We did love visiting the Endevour Falls and Tourist Park, wow what a beautiful spot they have there. So many palm trees in manicured gardens with the waterfall in their back yard. Absolutely idyllic.

I think the photos and video speak for themselves, it’s a great place to visit,


Green Skimmer
Scarlet Perchers egg laying on the run

 


Isabella Falls

Isabella Creek

 

Tomorrow we will drive all the way back to Mareeba.
Its about a 3 hours drive but we will definitely be stopping at the Palmer river roadhouse for coffee on the way.🤩🤩
Cheers Steph and Anthony.
PS… As you can see….Anthony had no problem finding Dragonflies, lots of them …and he does tend to go a bit bonkers photographing them from every angle so please enjoy them too, bye.😉😉

 

Out and About – Nth Queensland Tablelands

Portrait of a Bush Stone-Curlew
Curly’s (Bush Stone-curlew) can always be seen and heard in Yungaburra

Hello again from Yungaburra, things have been going well despite the weather not being the best. It’s been really really windy and showery but when the sun pops out occasionally it’s just fantastic, especially when Anthony’s camera is focused on a dragonfly or Butterfly.

We did have one clear morning where Anthony raced down to the waterfront of Lake Tinaroo ( almost on our doorstep ) to get some beautiful photos of the lake, nice and calm and some morning mist. This really is a beautiful place to hang out as you can see.

 

Lake Tinaroo

Misty morning on the lake
Misty morning on the lake

We have had a few outings too, yesterday we drove past Mareeba to the Wetlands which to our dismay are now permanently closed.

We then backtracked to Granite Gorge Nature Park which is always nice rock hopping and looking for dragonflies. We saw an echidna here too but couldn’t get a good photo as he saw us too and tried to squish himself under a rock, so we gave him some space and let him be.

Granite Gorge

A colony of Mareeba Rock Wallabies can be seen and even be hand fed at Granite Gorge
The Mareeba Rock Wallaby is a favorite at Granite Gorge, a new species discovered in 1996

 

These Squatter Pigeon’s are almost tame at Granite Gorge

Yes we have Dragonflies

Tropical Rockmaster Dragonfly
Tropical Rockmaster Dragonfly

I’ve been deprived of seeing my favorite Insects for some time now.

These critters put a huge grin on my face 🙂

 

and  Butterflies

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Orchard Swallowtail Butterfly
Clearwing Swallowtail Butterfly

 

Crater Lakes Barrine and Eacham

Lake Barinne Tea House
Lake Barrine and Teahouse

We also visited the two amazing volcanic lakes just up the road from Yungaburra, You can walk around both but we had Devonshire teas ( award winning) at Lake Barrine. Then onto Lake Eacham, which we did walk around.

These are great places to see the Victoria’s rifle bird, we heard them a few times but no luck for photos. Another elusive bird we are chasing is the Pied Monarch, such a gorgeous little bird that we have spotted a few times but never get a photo. We passed another photographer at Lake Eacham who proudly showed us a great photo he just got of the Monarch…..just around the next bend……🤨🤨 but no such luck for us.

 

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Giant Kauri Pines at Lake Barrine

 

Rainforest circuit around Lake Eacham

 

and of course Birds

Cute overload with this Young Spectacled Monarch

 

 

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Press play to veiw a selection of video snippets 

 

 

Today the weather is really awful so we will have a inside maintenance day, enjoy the pics and Video snippets.

Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

 

Odds and ends

Nostalgic Moment

A barefooter up early to take advantage of the calm water

I have fond and sometimes painful memories of doing just that up here

 

 

Jourama Falls and Birding at Tyto

Top of the Falls

We have had another couple of great days in Ingham.

Yesterday we drove south to Jourama Falls only about a 20 minute drive, the last 5 kms is corrugated dirt but our truck doesn’t seem to mind the corrugated roads. It must be the length and also maybe the dual wheels at the back but I think a standard car would be shaken to bits.


 

Pathway to the falls
It was very overcast, no rain but not very good for photos. The birds didn’t want to come out and play either. On a previous visit to the Falls and later in the year this place is teeming with dragonflies but we didn’t see one. We had a picnic lunch and still a beautiful place to visit and a great little hike up to the waterfall lookout.
We popped into Tyto in the afternoon but didn’t get any photos there either. I think, like us, the birds like to see the sun.

A rare occasion when a Spectacled Monarch sits still long enough to snatch a pic

 

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Press play to view a short clip of Jourama Falls

 

Today….

beautiful blue skies again. We visited Tyto this morning and wow, what a difference.

Birds were chirping everywhere, Anthony got some great photos. We missed out on a Jabiru flying off and at one time there was a wedge tail eagle getting harassed by about a dozen whistling kites. Great to watch but too far away for photos.

There is always something to see here.


An Egret surveying his domain
Those Spurs on the leading edge of the wing is a good enough reason to avoid being swooped by ‘Plovers’ (Masked Lapwings)

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Here’s a selection of pics featuring the gorgous Red-backed Fairywrens

This Leaden Flycatcher allowed us to get very close and personal … bless his cotton socks

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Press Play to view Tyto Birds Video

 

Well this is our last day here, tomorrow we are heading north again and up the Palmerston Highway to the Tablelands.
We like the trip up there. We are booked into a van park in Yungaburra, one of our favourite places but it’s extremely busy and we are not sure yet if we can fit in. One of the pit falls when being so big.🙄🙄
See how we go, bye for now, Steph and Anthony.

Beautiful Lily Flowers

 

Wallaman Falls and Broadwater – Ingham Region

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Well we have been busy the last few days with visiting Wallaman Falls and Broadwater – Abergowrie State Forrest, which are both an hours drive from Ingham.

The road up to the Falls is very similar to the Paluma range. Very narrow and lots of hairpin bends. But everyone was very well behaved slowing down when passing us. The road isn’t suitable for caravans or trailers but we saw plenty going up as there is a nice camping area nearby.

The Falls are really spectacular, we couldn’t have asked for a better day. We climbed down to the base of the falls, quite easy peasy, climbing up was of course a lot harder and the last bit was similar to being on a step machine, great for the calves😳😳


At the base of Wallerman Falls
Starting the decent to the base of the falls

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Press Play to watch a short clip of the Falls


 

Broadwater Fig … on the Rainforrest walk
The drive to Broadwater was fine, flat all the way through sugar cane plantations.
The last 20 kms is dirt but nice and smooth.
This would be a beautiful place to camp, the creek is crystal clear and flowing over small rocky rapids.
There’s only really a couple of small walks, the rainforest loop is very dark but we did spot quite a few birds there though very hard to get good photos and Anthony left his big flash at home so that was handy.
I did spot the little Pale Yellow Robin building a nest so we watched in awe for quite some time. The male came and fed the female a worm while she was busy nesting, how cool is that?? Such a gentleman.
We also spotted a Yellow breasted Boatbill on the other walk. Very hard to get good photos as he was always in the tops of the trees but what a gorgeous little bird.

 

The very cheeky looking Pale Yellow Robin

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Press play to watch a gorgous clip of a nesting Pale Yellow Robin


 

So we might just potter around the pod for the weekend now and get some jobs done, but I’m sure we will still have time in the mornings to check out Tyto Wetlands again. It really is one of our most favourite places and we are still trying to get more crimson finch and little Kingfisher photos.

Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

Birding at Townsville Common

Looking back at Castle Hill from the Common

Well the last blog seems like ages ago and we really haven’t done much. The weather did turn nasty so we have been making our way slowly north but of course travelling on the Bruce Highway is very busy and pretty much featureless if you ask me. Maybe the inland roads would be a better way for us to go🙄🙄

“Gotta Scratch” Rainbow Bee-eaters.

We are now just north of Townsville at Bluewater and even though it was raining yesterday morning we decided to drive back past the city and check out The Townsville Common.

The rain did stop and the sun did poke out enough to get some fantastic bird photos. It’s a great place where you could really walk your socks off……plenty of wetlands, saw an osprey nest and a sea eagle nest plus lots of different birds. Mostly they were in the tops of the trees so Anthony missed out on a lot of photos too. I’m sure the bird species list would be quite impressive for this area.
Had a great day, athough the drive is an hour one way from out here.
Maybe next time we could find a van park closer.

Alway exciting to see a Black-necked Stork (Jabiru)

The van park here also has a little creek with paperbarks, pandanus trees etc, very picturesque and we have spotted a few birds and bugs around too. There always generally is something to get a photo off when in these little pockets of nature.

Forrest Kingfisher checking us out

Slender Skimmer Dragonly

Tomorrow…..fingers crossed…..we will drive up the range to Paluma. A beautiful spot too but the weather doesn’t look promising but will give it a go.

Cheers Steph and Anthony.

Black and white Tiger Butterfly