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

Cania Gorge Pt. 2

Our camp at Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat

Hello Everyone, sorry we have been out of touch, but things have been happening…….

We towed our van back to Cania Gorge for 4 nights to relax a bit after our disaster.

Meanwhile, my sister (Denise) and her hubby Mark  had bought a bus which they picked up from the Sunshine Coast the same day we went in for repairs.

We decided to all meet up at the Gorge which was fantastic as they also had a hectic time leaving the coast in torrential rain and having a few glitches with the bus on the way…..

They were also very keen to just relax a bit in a beautiful quiet place.

Colourful rock formations

 

Upper 2 story cave entrance

Mark also has a big lens camera, so the competition was on as to who could get the best photo.

It was great fun and we also did a lot of hiking around the Gorge and as you can see by the photos and video it certainly is a magical spot.

 

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With Denise, Mark and his Big Kahuna
We are now in Rockhampton, where we hired a small storage space and offloaded as much weight as we could. We will have to pick everything up again of course on the way back but it will be a bit of piece of mind knowing we are around 200 kg lighter.
Yes it’s hard to believe we carry around so much stuff but most of it is for work, plus our canoe, lawnmower (yes you read right “lawnmower”), hundreds of DVD’s etc etc 🙄🙄

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A Pacific Baza (aka Crested Hawk) snacking above our heads

 

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Golden Whistler

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Press play to watch Video

 

It’s nice and warm here but there’s rain looming.

Tomorrow will be the worst and this park is booked out so we will have to move on, it’s a different noisy world in these big places that’s for sure, give me the small country places any day.

So bye for now and will update as we head north.

Steph and Anthony.

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Sheathed-tailed Micro insectivorous Bats are found in this region

Cania Gorge, Queensland – pt.1

Greetings from Cania Gorge National Park . What an amazingly beautiful peaceful place this is. We are camped right at the entrance to the hiking tracks, at Cania Gorge Tourist Retreat . We have been here a few times before when there was no communication reception. Recently the owners of the Retreat have splashed out and got themselves a Telstra tower installed so Halleluja, we now have phone and internet which is great.

The trip here from Pomona was very lacklustre. Typical Queensland inland roads, very bumpy, even jarring in places, of course we can’t go real fast as we don’t like bouncing all our nice things around in our (house on wheels). It was a very long day, with a lunch stop in Gayndah and catching up with some friends. We didn’t arrive here at the Gorge till round 4.30 pm.

Here’s where this story turns nasty…….

Last Light : Laughing Kookaburra at Cania
Glasswing Butterfly bedding down for the night, looks so comfy …. not
Rainbow Lorikeets enjoying a morning bath

When we unhitched the van, it made some really horrible creaking noises and actually seemed to be sitting way to low on the back of the truck.

We did manage to unhitch and started to look around the King Pin Box (hitch) with a torch and to our absolute horror, saw two very big cracks in the framework behind the hitch. We also noticed that the hitch had hit underneath the front of the van, as there was a chunk of fibreglass missing……which means that it was flexing a hell of a lot to do that.

After setting up we googled to see who on earth around here could possibly help us.

 

Cania Gorge Dam

 

Some more pics from Cania

(Click or press on image for larger view)


We are 26 kms from the nearest town, (Monto) and luckily found a large engineering firm there, we rang them and they are coming out tomorrow for a look and fingers crossed, can help us out of our predicament.

Oh that’s not all, it gets even worse……we really wanted to see if there were cracks anywhere else, so we had to cut the lining away and take a lot of the trim off, take out the insulation etc to even be able to see the main beam and framework that the hitch is attached to and guess what????? We found 7 cracks, the biggest is over 3 inches in the main beam.

 

Wow, I was so lucky to grab this Great Egret Flyby
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Then it landed and stood tall and proud for me to capture this shot.
We spent a good hour or so being mesmerised by this Azure Kingfisher fishing at very close range.

 


So now we are wondering how on earth we managed to get here without losing our van on the highway, talk about an absolute ship stopper, we ain’t going anywhere for a while till all this is fixed somehow. Our house is broken and unable to be towed. Of course we are devastated but after doing some massive googling find that this does happen a lot over time with 5 th wheelers and we have been travelling in ours now for 11 years.

We will certainly be keeping a close eye on this area once fixed.

 

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This stunning male Striated Pardalote put on quite a display.

 


 

Blue-faced Honeyeater

This family of Blue-faced Honeyeaters just kept on following us around, they’re so funny to watch

 


 

Adult Pied Butcherbird
Adult Pied Butcherbird

 

 

Stephanie ready for immediate action

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Cania Gorge Video

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Cania Dam Video

In between all this happening we have been out and about, so don’t worry…..it’s not all doom and gloom. We have been walking our socks off, seen lots of birds.

We drove to the reservoir today and Anthony got some really wow photos as you will see.

Since we will be stuck here for a while we may have to blog Cania Gorge in a series form so hang on to your hats….there’s plenty more photos and video coming, plus keep you all posted on our repair progress.

Cheers Steph and Anthony.

 

One of the 7 (ship stopping) cracks in the frame supporting the king pin box (hitch)

Girraween National Park

Girraween National Park, Queensland
Bald Rock Creek, Girraween National Park, Queensland
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
The Yellow-tufted Honeyeater. A very common bird in the Park
Yellow-striped Hunter (Austrogomphus guerini)
The Yellow-striped Hunter Dragonflies are out and about at the moment, however their numbers along with other Dragonfly species, are very low.

 

Jacky Lizard
There were quite a few lizards around today, including this Jacky Lizard

 

Well we are all set up at the Caravan Park in Stanthorpe now and will be starting the Apple thinning again next week. It’s ridiculously hot for this time of year, 30 degrees today, hard to believe. I guess we are in for a scorcher this summer.

Today we visited Girraween National Park , always one of our favourite parks, with a gorgeous rocky river, lots of rock pools, a huge rocky pyramid to climb and plenty of walking trails, you certainly can’t get bored in this beautiful place in nature. We saw lots of lizards, heard plenty of birds but for some reason we never get many bird photos here. A few dragonflies are also starting to appear which makes Anthony very very happy. He can spend hours stalking one just to get that perfect photo of a perfect pose on the perfect prop and of course with a perfect background.🤩🤩
We saw 3 Red-bellied black snakes but boy are the quick, we didn’t get any photos but I got a little snippet of one on my video, he was swimming and ducked under a rocky ledge, I wonder how long they can hold their breath because we sat there for ages waiting for him to resurface. Maybe he found a little tunnel through the rocks and made his escape. They are a beautiful snake to watch, very timid, if they see you they are pretty quick to get away.

 

 

Granite : a strong feature in this Park

 

It was difficult Photographing the birdlife today, they were very uncooperative 

 

Fairly slim pickings in the Odonata (dragon/damselflies) department

A nice variety of reptiles were spotted today

 

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Some snippets from Girraween


 

So this is most likely our last big outing for a while. I guess we do have time off around Xmas but it would be pretty hot at that time and once we get into work mode we don’t seem to do much else. At the Apple orchard where we work, there is a huge lake with all sorts of birdlife visiting, Anthony sometimes goes there on our days off so we will still post some photos and of course our weekly inspirational quotes. Plus there is a very cute river in town where we also see lots of birds and dragonflies so we will still be doing occasional blogs of the amazing critters that we see when out and about. Please enjoy the pics and video.
Bye for now,
Steph and Anthony.

Further pics of this outstanding Park

 

 

 

 

 

Killarney to Goomburra

 

Musk Lorikeet
We were visited by a gorgeous flock of Musk Lorikeets at Goomburra.

 


 

Dagg & Queen Mary Falls


Interesting monuments at Killarney


Hello Everyone,

The last couple of days have been great, good weather which also enabled us to get some much needed maintenance work done to the van. It’s hard to believe we are only now tackling some jobs that were on our must do list 5 months ago when we first left Stanthorpe🙄🙄 We still have a week before starting work again so will try a little harder to get things done.
Yesterday we re visited Queen Mary Falls, it’s such a wow place, I don’t think I could ever get sick of walking around the falls circuit, there’s really something magical about this place.

King of the pond, at the base of Queen Mary Falls
More birds from our second visit to the Falls

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Our second visit to the Falls

Bell Miner
Bell Birds aka Bell Miners seem to dominate the Goomburra section of The Main Range
Other birds of Goomburra 
click or press on image for larger view 

Today we managed to get up extra early and take a drive out to the Main Range National Park . This park is enormous and so many great parts to it but we went to the Goomburra Section  about 45 minutes drive from Warwick. We had been there once before but it was in winter and today it was just beautiful after the rain they have had , it’s so nice and green and all the creeks are running. The drive there is nice too, lots of cattle and horse studs, beautiful country quite some kms before even getting to the park. It seems it’s calving and foal time, we saw so many gorgeous little baby animals, always a treat for me. I filmed one of the mares with her new foal,just beautiful to watch, it’s at the end of my video. The birdlife in the park was fantastic, soon as we got out the truck we could hear so many different birds and the Bell Miner birds were so loud. There’s a few walks here, we didn’t take any lunch so only did a small walk around Dalrymple Creek which was really nice. Next time we will definetly pack a picnic and make a day of it but we really had to do some shopping today as well so had to come back early.

A newly emerged (Teneral) Arrowhead Rockmaster Damselfy
Crazy Metalart on way too Goomburra 

Goomburra

Tomorrow we have the big trip back to Stanthorpe. It’s only about 40 minutes drive. Work is looming, we are trying to delay it as long as possible, holidays are really hard to give up. There’s a couple of really nice National Parks south a bit so we are hoping we have time to visit those. Enjoy all the amazing pics and 2 videos this time.
All the best,
Steph and Anthony.

Cute Cowlet