Tyto Wetlands – Birders Paradise

Tyto Wetlands
Tyto Wetlands main veiwing platform

 

Well since the last blog we have moved on to Ingham, only about an hour north of Bluewater.

It’s your typical North Queensland country town but they do have a jewel in their crown….. The Tyto Wetlands.

We have been going mornings and afternoons for the last 5 days and it’s just fantastic for birdwatching.

The path is a very wide mowed strip of grass so besides looking down for snakes….. you have plenty of freedom to look around for birds.

It’s very open there and we have seen quite a few flybys, a Pacific Baza, Brown Goshawk, Whistling Kites, the usual Darters and Herons etc. but boy you have to be quick.

Anthony has missed out on those but we are here a bit longer so will keep trying.

 

Mistletoe Birds everywhere at the moment. Usually quite high. However this young female gave us quite a show

Yesterday we spotted the Little Kingfisher, he is always in the same area but hardly comes out from the shade of the trees so we will have to be really patient there to get a good photo. The bird list here is really impressive, it would be nice to hang out here indefinitely to see new birds coming in, everyday we have seen something different but we will move on north next week, and visit again on our way back south around October. We have also been blessed with fantastic weather, blue skies every day so lucky as the bad weather only just broke the day before we came here.

 

Male Leaden Flycatcher ; Tyto Wetlands
Male Leaden Flycatcher ; Tyto Wetlands

 

 

Anthony has captured some amazing photos, many have been chosen for the Flickr Gallery of Excellence. He is very happy. So we will do more blogs of Tyto as the photos come in.

 

Darter : Tyto Wetylands
“Morning Call” : Male Darter

 

There’s other amazing places to see within an hours drive from here, Wallaman falls and Broadwater National Park and the coast so we are also looking forward to visiting them over the next few days. Enjoy the pics and bye for now.

Steph and Anthony.

 

Inflight Chalky Percher Dragonfly
Inflight Chalky Percher Dragonfly : Tyto Wetlands

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Mid North Coast- Last days

We will miss our daily dose of Brahminy Kites
And White-bellied Sea-eagle’s
And of course… Ospreys

Click or press image for larger view


Hello everyone, we moved our van from Grassy Head to Bellingen Showgrounds on Saturday. The school holidays were starting for NSW which means all the coastal caravan parks pretty much double their prices, so time for us to bail out. We have to slowly make our way back to Stanthorpe now, our Apple thinning job starts around the start of November and there’s still plenty of nature hot spots we want to check out on the way. The last few days we have been revisiting our favourite spots, like Urunga Boardwalk and Bongil Bongil NP and Nambucca. We could easily spend a lot more time down here, still many places we never got to see so we will definetly have to come back and explore some more.

The Showgrounds here in Bellingen are a cheaper option to camp and nice too, you can walk into the town easily and also straight over the road to the Bat Island. Most people would cringe at walking through a patch of forest so full of thousands of fruit bats but we thought it was pretty awesome. It’s great that they are tolerated here and have a nice place to roost during the day. Most councils are always under pressure from the public to move them on……God only know where too, well maybe we are just kooky and spooky but we love seeing happy bats of all sizes.

 

Grey-headed Flying foxes on Bellingen Island


 

Beautiful colours of the Wompoo Fruitdove

Other birds captured over the last couple of days


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Last critter snippets from the Mid North Coast 


 

It was great to finally see Dragonflies emerge


 

There is some rainy weather coming so we hope we can dodge around it somehow. We really love the blue sky for our photos. Tomorrow we will head up to Grafton only a couple of hours drive but Chloe our cat is still getting used to the travelling side of things so don’t want to do too big a trip. Enjoy the pics and video,
Bye for now, Steph and Anthony.

Bongil Bongil National Park – Top Spot

 

Mulu National Park – Sarawak

Mulu National Park
The picturesque Mulu National Park

 

Click or press image for larger view 

Some Images of Mulu National Park

 

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Some snippets of our time in Mulu NP.

 

Well Hello Everyone……we have been in isolation for the last 4 days. Mulu is a beautiful spot, not really even a village, only 1 little mini mart type shop with nothing in it. We did buy some chocolates there but couldn’t eat them, I think they had been melted over and over in the tropical heat and were pretty disgusting. Thank god the resort had a little very expensive shop that at least had some picnic and crunchie bars.

The Marriott Resort there is absolutely beautiful, the rooms are really nicely set out and furnished, very upper market fittings and the bed was like falling into some soft white fluffy clouds. We loved how it is all built off the ground with so many timber walkways. The pool wasn’t that nice though, just a rectangle with decking and umbrellas etc but it was always full of kiddies, I wish these big resorts could splash out and have a pool for kids and one for adults. We didn’t go in it but felt sorry for some of the adults trying to relax there. Of course everything there is expensive, drinks food even bottled water, which we were sneaky and bought it at the National Park for half price.
Scarlet-rumped Trogon
A Prize find for us – Scarlet-rumped Trogon
slim pickings for Bird pics at Mulu
Every morning we would jump on the shuttle bus and go to the park, only about 10 minutes drive, and when you finish at the park the security there rings the Marriott and they send the bus to pick you up again.
The park is beautiful too and really well set out with quite some kms of timber walkways, very easy to walk around. They had a huge bird tower where you had to get the key to open it which we did everyday. But if you wanted to go to the caves it was all tours, and expensive tours, and very regimented, we really didn’t care for that side of things. We could walk to one cave, the deer cave where more than 3 million bats fly out every evening, just beautiful watching them spiralling into the sky. We even saw an eagle take one out.
Tree Hugger Dragonfly - Tyriobapta torrida
Tree Hugger Dragonfly
Dragon & Damselflies galore at Mulu
We were a bit disappointed though as we really didn’t see a lot of birdlife, the jungle here is full of Tarzan vines we call them so it’s really hard to see through them, but we didn’t hear too many birds either and sat up in the bird tower for quite sometime looking too. We did see heaps of different dragonflies butterflies and some really amazing bugs and gorgeous squirrels so it really wasn’t too bad. The heat got to us though and we had to go back to the resort and sit out the hottest part of the day and then head back in to the park around 3 pm but then it was very quiet.
Butterflies of Mulu
There were a few Butterflies 
We didn’t think the people here were very friendly, we did meet some nice barmaids but generally most of them are very sullen and it seems they really can’t be bothered with us. Apparently the resort is only allowed to hire local people and if one gets upset over something they all do, and it seems they have no competition for their jobs so they don’t try to hard.
Bornean Pit Viper
Saw this Bornean Pit Viper on the way out of the Park on the last day.
Always nice to come across the odd Reptile or two

A Common Squirrel feasting
Squirrels are always fun to watch

Red Millipede (Trachelomegalus modestior)
Red Millipede of Mulu
No shortage of odd looking bugs
4 days there was well and truly enough and today we flew to Kuching. It seems very clean and a good road system getting out to our new digs, a big step down from the Marriott I’m afraid,no luxuries here but it’s clean and very close to the parks here. It was great to pick up a hire car again as we didn’t have one in Mulu. So now we are super busy as we have so many photos, a video and emails etc to catch up on. We didn’t have phone or wifi at the Marriott for 4 days, they say they have wifi but it doesn’t work. It looks quite scenic around here so hope to get into at least one of the parks tomorrow and also get some scenery photos.
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.