Mareeba and Surrounds

Great Egret prepares to roost for the night

 

Greetings from Mareeba,

It seems we have gone from one extreme to another…the van site we had in Cooktown was one of the hardest spots we have had to get into and here at the Trinity Plains Tourist Park we are in a huge paddock, all by ourselves.

Incredible to have so much space around us and the sky here is just enormous. We haven’t got any trees around us so no shade which makes it quite hot in the afternoons but the mornings are fantastic.

We also have the added bonus of the hot air balloons rising above the morning fog outside our dining window so it’s great to watch them while we are having our morning cappochinos.

 

 

With all this big sky around it’s a great spot for watching all the birds of prey.

So far we have seen numerous Black kites which are nesting here, the Black shouldered Kite, Whistling kite, Wedge tail Eagle, Brown Goshawk, Nankeen Kestrel and Little Eagle.

There seems to be a few squabbles going on too between them which is great to watch but not close enough for photos though Anthony is trying his hardest.

 

Whistling Kite at rest on a Termite mound
That Piercing stare of a Black-shoulderd Kite

 

Emerald Creek Falls is one of our favourite waterfalls in the area to visit.

You can climb right to the top where there’s a beautiful view .

Also lots of bottlebrush flowering with heaps of Honeyeaters feasting but extremely hard to get any photos as the birds just didn’t want to show themselves. It’s still great though just to hear them and be in their presence with the sound of water in the background, blissful and it’s only about 10 kms from the van park.

 

Emerald Creek Falls
The top of the Emerald Creek Falls

 

 

This morning we revisited Granite Gorge which is always a fantastic place in nature, we just love it there.

We didn’t see too many birds but there’s plenty of Dragonfly action…..an unbelievable amount of Orange thread tails, and you have to eyeball all of them just in case it’s something different.

I took a photo of Anthony almost crawling up a rocky wall backwards, just like a Goanna …..trying to get photos of a Archtail dragonfly.

It looked quite amazing so please enjoy.

 

IMG_2320

Its all about getting the shot !!!!!

Below is that shot …. I thought it was worth it.

0T2A3717
Archtail Dragonfly

 

And a few more ….

Female Tropical Rockmaster

 

Male Fig bird feasting in a Mulberry Bush at Granite Gorge
Every afternoon we walk around the back of the park grounds here where there is a
small waterhole.
Also a huge family of Curlews hiding in a young Eucalyptus Plantation and truck loads of Double barred finches on the edge of the trees. where they can quickly hide after feasting in the paddocks surrounding the plantation.
There’s a bit of birdlife around the big trees on the edge of the property so Anthony has been getting some amazing photos as the big sun is going down.
We are here for a few more days yet so hope to see plenty more critters.

Pale-headed Rosella this is the Northern Race
Double-barred Finch
Hoping to visit Kuranda tomorrow…..we used to live there so it’s always a bit of nostalgia going back.
Please enjoy the pics, no video as yet as I’m still working on it,
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

A Mareeba Sunset

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

 

IMG_5498 2

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

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

0T2A5249
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.

 

IMG_0001 5

Giant Kauri Pines at Lake Barrine

 

Rainforest circuit around Lake Eacham

 

and of course Birds

Cute overload with this Young Spectacled Monarch

 

 

0A0D95F7-4FD1-4E2E-BACB-D7AE09065118

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