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.
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
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.
Press Play to view Stephanie’s ‘Best Yet’ Video
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.
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.
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.
Pea Blue Butterfly
Orange Bush Brown
Just a couple of Butterflies that managed to keep still for a Photo
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.
The weather did take a turn for the worse….. cold and drizzly for about 4 days. We were starting to wonder if we would ever see the sun again. The weather report kept saying the next day would be partly cloudy and when we woke up it was dark and drizzle drizzle, horrible.
We did take the opportunity though to revamp our kitchen, after 11 years of heavy duty use the laminate bench tops were very chipped and scuffed. We decided the simplest and of course cheapest option was to just cover them with marble look a like contact paper, not the cheapie paper though, this contact came from the US as we couldn’t get it here, it’s especially for benchtops. We also did some splash backs with these amazing ….. plastic ….. Tic Tac tiles. They came from England, again, not available here. Well we think it looks amazing even though it is all plastic, so have added some pics at the end of this Blog.
Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo spotting at the Nerada Tea Factory Grounds
(Luckily we have a long lens to capture these critters high in the tree tops)
Press Play to view Tree Kangaroo Vid
Due to the cool and wet weather on the Atherton Tablelands our beloved Dragonflies are few and far between.
Male Fiery Skimmer Dragonfly
Male and Female Fiery Skimmer Dragonflies
So back to the weather, the blue skies are back and our spirits have returned with it. We have been out and about everywhere. We just love the tablelands, waterfalls, lakes, wildlife, rainforests and of course, great cafes. What more could you want.
We did live up here for 4 years in Kuranda, but realised we don’t need to live here or anywhere really. With a house on wheels you can just visit the best places at the right time of year, if your lucky of course.
No horrible wet seasons to contend with.
A showcase of stunning Rainbow Bee-eaters
Anthony has been having a feast with the bird photos lately…..we found a little birdie hotspot down by Lake Tinaroo. We can just walk there from our van which is fantastic, this afternoon we were so focused on the brown cuckoo dove eating tobacco bush berries when the echidna just ambled past us. What an amazing creature, we just love seeing these precious little animals that must really be struggling with our human impact.
Doves Galore on the Tablelands
We also drove out to the Nerada Tea Plantation which is the best place to see Tree Kangaroos. Its quite a drive but so worth it. I don’t know why but they are always around there somewhere, fantastic. They have even cordoned off their habitat with barbed wire with signs everywhere to keep us out, how cool is that?? I’d rather they didn’t use barbed wire but these amazing animals really need our help. Their habitat is rapidly disappearing so it’s great to see a big company keeping a nice place for them.
Another Peterson’s Creek Platapus
Inquisitive Turtle at Malanda Falls
A Common Jezabel feasting on Lantana Flowers
And a few other critters we stumbled across
Press play to watch Stephanie’s Snippets
We have to move on soon if we want to get up to Cooktown before the weather heats up, though it will be hard to leave here. I guess we can always come back on our way south again.
At the moment we keep putting off leaving. The joys of freedom.
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.
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
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)
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.
A welcome Flyby of Sarus Cranes
At the suspension bridge across Peterson Creek we were treated by 2 Scarlet Honeyeaters (an adult and Immature) feasting on the fresh Bottlebrush Pollen.
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.
We did manage to get some maintenance done to the pod over the weekend which was great. Although we do tend to put birdwatching, hiking, sightseeing etc before keeping up with things here unless it’s a major issue of course.
Today we woke to rain which dampened our spirits a little but by the time we had our morning cappuccinos the skies were clearing so we decided to take a trip to the coast.
We drove to Taylor’s Beach first, only about 20 minutes, A very nice peaceful spot along the estuary.
As always, hoping to see ospreys and lots of shore birds but didn’t really see much birdlife.
We walked up the beach at one point where there was a little alcove but the mozzies chased us away.
A Little Kingfisher was spotted here and a Night Heron hiding in the amazing mangroves. (Sorry, no pics)
I’ve seen lots of mangroves in my life but these looked quite amazing, I had to take a photo.
We could hear quite a few birds among the trees so hung around patiently and then a gorgeous male sunbird popped out, shorty after a sacred Kingfisher appeared.
Anthony got some great photos of the little egrets squabbling and a pied oystercatcher flyby so things went really well.
We drove on further to Lucinda, the gateway to Hinchinbrook Island which looked great with the low clouds hanging over the mountains. A very picturesque spot but not much of a town. It’s all about sugar here. The 5.76 km long jetty from the bulk sugar terminal is amazing to see.
So we had a great morning exploring our surrounds and even had time to pop back to the Tyto wetlands for a few hours this afternoon. Anthony has changed some settings on his camera and is getting even more amazing flyby photos now. We never get sick of walking around here as you never know what you will see, it’s fantastic.
Please enjoy the pics, there’s plenty of them, tomorrow we will head down to Jourama Falls, another beautiful spot in nature.