Canungra – Warwick (featuring Queen Mary Falls)

Queen Mary Falls, Main Range NP. Queensland
Azure Kingfisher captured over Canungra Creek, Canungra Queensland

Some critters from Canungra (click or press image for larger view)


Well  thanks anyway but I guess all that finger crossing didn’t help us. We ended up at the Canungra Showgrounds for 4 days pretty much just sitting in the rain. In fact it seemed like most of the heavy rain was making a beeline straight for us so any outings to the Lamington Ranges was definetly out and we just sat there watching the grounds slowly turn into a lake. Riveting.😳😳 We did grab our brollies a couple of times and walk into the town, this is a beautiful picturesque place normally  and thankfully the rain turned a bit more patchy on our last day so we could at least pack up the awning while it was dry. We also walked around the Showgrounds which backs onto a very nice creek that was fairly flowing with all that rain. We saw a couple of ducklings caught up in the raging torrent, we couldn’t do anything to save them, they sped by so fast, the parents were flying over quacking like crazy, we just hope they all met up again a few miles down the river where the current hopefully eased off a bit. Horrible, we never think of the animals getting caught up in this torrential rain and the rivers rising so rapidly.

 

Noisy Friarbird
Noisy Friarbird, Durikai State Forest, Warwick Region

Some other birds sited at Durikai State Forest 


We have been in Warwick a couple of days now and the days have been good, very cloudy and ripper storms coming through in the afternoon, but the worst ones have just skimmed past us like we have a magic shield on so we hope that continues. There’s a lot of hail, big winds and torrential rain around.
We found a nice little Billabong at Durikai State Forest just west of here towards Karara. The birds were chirping like crazy, it really lifted our spirits, so many honeyeaters there but they were very wary of us. We were very quiet and sneaky but they were on to us and soon as we got near them they flew off to another part of the Billabong. One of those collapsible bird hides would have been great here.

 

This was a tough selfie. Had to tie the camera to a tree branch and scramble back down in the allotted 10 second timer 😳

Queen Mary Falls, Killarney Queensland 


 

 

Satin Bowerbird
The stunning Female Satin Bowerbird

Click or press on bird for larger view 


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Leslie Dam, The Billabong & Queen Mary Falls 


Eastern Water Dragon
‘A Dragon in the mist’ A young Eastern Water Dragon at the base of the Falls

More Eastern Water Dragons

 


Today we drove to Queen Mary Falls, about 40 minutes drive east. We have been there many times and it’s a fantastic place. The afternoons always seem better there as the sun is on the waterfall and today was a lot of birds out and about and so many of the Water Dragons. I just love them, each one is different depending on how they are camouflaged so Anthony got some great photos and I got some great video of two squabbling over something…maybe the best rock to view the falls from😁😁
It’s one of our favourite places to visit. Please enjoy the pics and video,
Cheers Steph and Anthony.

 


A curious Swamp Wallaby wonders what we’re up too

Dorrigo National Park, NSW

Crystal Showers Falls, Dorrigo National Park
Crystal Showers Falls, Dorrigo National Park

Well our little trip to Urunga went well, with traffic getting through Coffs Harbour it was around an hour. We decided to leave Chloe in the van instead of stressing her out by putting her in the pet carrier and then in the noisy truck. We had plenty of time so we slowly packed things away, she only started to notice something was up when we put the sliding walls in but we just patted and reassured her a lot and she was fine.

When we pulled up at the van park in Urunga I quickly checked on her and she was miaowing and had wedged herself between the bed and the cupboard so that was good, she came out straight away and had her tail up and was quite vocal but in a good way so she got lots of pats and once we had set up again she was fine. We will put another concertina door in, blocking off the bedroom so she will be locked in there with her litter tray when travelling and it’s not a big space with the bedroom slide in so hopefully she will get used to it.  Our other two cats always travelled in the van but were clever enough to wedge themselves into our bed pillows and look out the window and watch the world go by.
Our camping spot on the River at Urunga and collapsible Cat Outdoor enclosure
We have a nice spot here on the river so will be able to blow up our little two man canoe and see if we can get some photos of some river birds maybe. Today we drove up to Dorrigo, we have been there before and it’s a great little village, we had brunch at a nice cafe then walked around the National Park for the afternoon which is another beautiful spot in nature. It’s very dry at the moment but rain is coming for the weekend. It was rather cool up there though so we had jumpers on all day. A lot of birds have migrated north but we still saw quite a few and saw 3 Lyrebirds which was great, they are normally quite elusive.

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Dorrigo National Park 

 

 

We feel very relaxed here and have many day trips planned so stay tuned.
Bye  for now Steph and Anthony.

A week in Toowoomba / Redwood Park

Regent Bowerbird - Redwood Park Toowoomba
The stunning Regent Bowerbird of Lower Redwood Park

 

Well we managed to get quite a lot done over the last week. We had to cut and polish the truck and also the van. Everything’s gleaming now which is how we like it. We had some pretty chilly mornings around 2 degrees, thank god we have 2 heaters, one in the bedroom and one in the lounge which get the van nice and cozy quite quickly in the mornings. The days have been fantastic though, big blue sky everyday. We’ve been down the range to our little bird hotspot at Redwood Park 4 times, we were so worried the first time as it’s so dry everywhere but soon as we walked down to the little creek we could hear lots of bird chatter. There’s a very small amount of water trickling down but it’s isolated to just a couple of small pools now. It must be spring fed, coming up through the rocks so we are so happy that these beautiful birds have this water source here. As you can see by the video and photos, there is a huge number of birds that visit this spot everyday and some of them like the silvereye’s and honeyeater’s are just constantly there, they seem to love bathing.

 

Little Corella Flyby
Little Corella Flyby, Toowoomba Showgrounds Lagoon

 

Click or press image for larger view 

A couple of Flyby’s

We do hear other birds coming quite close but they obviously aren’t that fussed on water, like the whip birds, they were so close today, we were sitting so quietly and could hear them making their calls so loud but they didn’t come down. Also some calls we can’t identify but every day we did see a new bird or two. Wow what a place. We have been so spoilt here I wonder how we will cope when we leave. Which is tomorrow by the way.
Crested Shrike Tit - Lower Redwood Park
Crested Shrike Tit – Lower Redwood Park
Scarlet Honeyeater - Lower Redwood Park
Scarlet Honeyeater – Lower Redwood Park

 

More birds of Redwood Park
Spotted Pardalote - Redwood Park
Spotted Pardalote – Redwood Park
And a few more birds of Redwood
We will be passing through Stanthorpe to visit some friends and then we will drive a bit further south and overnight at the Tenterfield Showgrounds. We have seen platypus in the little creek on the grounds before so hope they are still there. That was quite a few years ago and things always change. We have had a great stay here in Toowoomba, it’s always a great place to catch up on things.
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.
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Birds and critters of Redwood Park

And a couple of ring’ins

Sunshine Coast to Toowoomba

Glass House Mountains from Maleny, Sunshine Coast Hinterland

 

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A short Vid featuring Mary Cairncross Park and Ewen Maddock Dam

Have always enjoyed Montville

We had a great 4 days back in Landsborough, the weather was fantastic and we managed to catch up with family there which is always good. We also visited some of our favourite places, Ewan Maddock Dam never disappoints and the view over the glass house mountains from Mary Cairncross Park is just fantastic. We walked around the park for a bit, couldn’t believe the bird sounds in there, we saw a lot of our old Aussie favourite birds, I don’t think I’ve heard so many whip birds in one place though. We found a great brunch spot at the Poets Corner in Montville. Honestly it’s nice to go out and have a nice cuppochino again and this cafe was so good we had two.

 

Click or press image to view larger image

So today we hitched up and headed up to Toowoomba. All went well and it’s nice to be back here too. The mornings will be chilly but the days should be nice and sunny, we are looking forward to visiting our little bird hotspot down the range at redwood park. It’s very dry here though so hope the little creek there is still flowing for the little birdies to have a bath. We do have to get on top of some maintenance issues though…..we always do this scales thing……like should we wash and polish the van or go out looking for birds, 🤔🤔🤔 you can guess which one wins. Oh well, we will try, will keep you posted.
Cheers, Steph and Anthony.

 

Last days in Borneo

Silver Leaf Monkey
Silver Leaf Monkey, quite a common sight in the jungles of Sarawak

 

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A short Video from Sarawak

Well the weather did fine up for us but we have been struggling to find any birds.  On the second day we drove about 45 minutes to Kubah National Park first which has actually been extensively logged so no really big trees and hardly a peep to be heard. Because it had been raining we stayed on the road going up to the summit but it still was very green with moss but it gave us a really good view of the forest as we walked up and we did hear a few birds and saw a couple of drongos . On the way back down we walked on one of the tracks instead and it was still tree roots and slippery rocks, it seems to be the same terrain wherever we go. There was no cafe here but we had seen a couple on the way in, one was on top of a rubbish tip…..yes really and the other one didn’t look to bad. We had to share an iced lemon tea as there was nothing else except for Pepsi and we had a choice of 4 meals so we picked some noodle dish with some type of crumbled meat in it but couldn’t actually tell you what it was. But the flies there were just crazy, I don’t know why, maybe from all the rubbish but we just gobbled our noodles and high tailed it out of there.

 

Just for something different, a nice flower

Click or press image for larger view

Yesterday we went to Bako National Park which involved another 45 minute drive in the opposite direction. We were lucky to get one of the last car parks at the jetty area, very busy place and we had to get a boat from there up the river to the  NP. We were expecting it to be busy as it sounds amazing and there is the best chance to see proboscis monkeys there. Well you could hardly move at ticket box, people just en masse. I had to go to the loo and sadly had to leave Anthony to organise boat tickets in that mayhem…..actually he normally turns to jelly in big crowds so I was expecting to come back and he maybe wanted to bail out, but he thought it’s either deal with this or we are back on the highway. I couldn’t believe it but he had it all organised……(typical Borneo) he had to register us at one booth, get tickets at another then go back to the original booth to organise a driver for the boat, I kid you not there were around 20 boats waiting for all the tourists to get their paper work in order. We were suppose to stand in one spot and wait till they matched us up with other people as they wanted full boatloads. But after 2 minutes Anthony went and harassed them a little and we were off, straight down the jetty with some others that they had quickly scrambled together. You can only imagine the chaos there, people were so confused and most had that stunned mullet look on their faces so it was great to get out.
The only way to Bako NP is by boat
Our Transport to Bako NP

 

Bako National Park 
The trip there was good, very fast little boats with twin 40 hsp outboards on the back . Too bumpy for videos though. When we arrived at the park we had to take our paper work to their office and then we were free.
We saw some silver leaf monkeys straight away and then the Bornean bearded pig so we got quite excited thinking we had finally found a National Park with wildlife, yahoo. So off we went on one of the trails picked for the birdlife…….we walked and walked , heard nothing, in fact it was deathly quiet. Next thing we are climbing up the side of a mountain back on those dreaded slippery tree roots and rocks again. After about 20 minutes of climbing, we were both drenched with sweat and still no sounds from the jungle and still a long way up that bloody mountain, so we bailed out to find an easier trail. There was only one cafe there so we had lunch early before the masses and chilled out a bit. This heat is really getting to us. We walked up another path and some people had seen a proboscis monkey on it high up in the trees. This path followed the cliffs along the beach. It was also climbing but we had something to look for now so we were very keen. It took a while but we heard them first, crashing around in the trees but couldn’t get a look because of the foliage in front and then after manoeuvring off the path and into the jungle a bit we could see the male and then after a while we spotted the female. They are quite a large primate and they are very hard to spot in the trees, it’s only because we heard them that we knew where to look. It’s hard to believe they’ve been squashed into this last place on the coast. They only live near the mangroves so they won’t be able to survive, they are critically endangered already and were still hunted for their meat not so long ago, very very sad.
It was fantastic to see them so it really made our day. The trip back was good too, the boats all pick you up from the beach at 3 pm, it was a tiring day.
A large Male Proboscis Monkey
A large Male Proboscis Monkey Looking very much like a drunken Sailor !!!
Female Proboscis Monkey
Female Proboscis Monkey
Click or press image for larger view
Bornean Bearded Pig
Amazed to see a Bornean Bearded Pig waltzing up the beach
Today we went for a quick walk in the forest here, we did see some silver leaf monkeys but still no birds, had lunch instead at the Damai Resort on the beach, a very nice spot and a nice lunch. We relaxed around the pool till it cooled off enough to go for a quick drive to Buntal beach about 15 minutes drive as we heard they had a big walkway along the mangroves there. It was really nice and picturesque, the sun was setting, there were kingfishers and other birds around, a really nice spot. But best not to look around too much and see all the rubbish scattered among the mangroves, it’s just everywhere here. I don’t think they know what a beautiful country they have, it’s been hard to get away from the rubbish.
View over to Bako from Buntal Bay
View over to Bako from Buntal Bay

 

Buntal Bay raised walkway over the mangroves
A nice monument at the beginning of a raised walkway of the mangroves.
I did a little research because I was concerned about the lack of wildlife in the parks, I mean we are in the Bornean jungles, we were expecting a lot more mammals and birds, but it’s so quiet. They also have a cat problem, starving cats in the parks, you can only imagine what they are eating. I am convinced most of the prize animals are gone, there are still traditional hunters in the parks, and don’t forget most of the forests are wiped out by palm oil or heavily logged so the only place for wildlife is in the parks but they are not protected there. They also have a huge poaching problem, I won’t gabble on about it because I know the world is pretty much stuffed as far as nature is concerned but will include an interesting article I read from an Australian professor of ecology.

This is our last night in Borneo, we had some amazing times seeing amazing wildlife, but doubt we will return.
Off to Malaysia tomorrow.
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

Some extra last day pics around our Digs