Paluma & the Coast (featuring the Golden Bowerbird)

Featured Image : The Golden Bowerbird of Paluma.


 

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The View from a Lookout at Paluma
Greetings from the Crystal Creek Caravan Park!! ( at the foot of the Paluma Range).
Well this is certainly the place to base yourself if you want to explore the area.
It’s only 20 kms up to Paluma, there is a very steep narrow range road to traverse and after our last visit two months ago I swore I wouldn’t go up there again. The road is fine but seems to attract a few ‘wallies’.
Being a Monday we thought we would be relatively safe and it was fine, we only passed a few cars up and down so that was a bonus. Anthony of course only had one thing on his mind……The Golden Bowerbird.
We have been looking and looking for a few years now and never seem to be in the right place at the right time but this morning all the stars aligned and as soon as we saw the bower….with a gorgeous male sitting out the front doing some decorating…..we knew we were in for a treat…Things got even better when another male flew in attempting a Bower takeover.
It was pretty much action packed for at least the two hours that we were there. We got some great photos and video……they weren’t bothered by us at all as they were so busy trying to outshine each other, chase each other and also the occasional dive bomb each other. We only fleetingly saw a female come in and they both reacted straight away…like it was ‘Showtime’.🤩🤩
We never saw either of the males go back down to the bower which was a shame as we would have liked some pics of the decorating but we couldn’t have asked for a better day, we couldn’t believe our luck.
We also managed to walk around 5 kms through the beautiful rainforest to a couple of lookouts and a little creek/ waterfall. Also of course Birthday Creek falls where the Bowerbirds are.

 

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The Gorgous Golden Bowerbird

 

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The 2 metre Bower adorned with Lichen

 

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Please enjoy this slide show

 

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Press Play to View Steph’s Snippets of the Golden Bowerbird

 

 

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Another quite difficult bird to Photograph is this Male Chowchilla

Birthday Creek Falls & Cloudy Creek, Paluma

 


 

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The tiny Red-capped Plover at Balgal Beach

Today’s events have overshadowed yesterday’s which was also a great day. We arrived here earlyish and even though it was super hot drove off to visit Rollingstone and Balgal Beach. These are both good places to see lots of birds. The fish and chips at the Fisherman’s Landing are pretty good too.

 

 

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Balgal Beach Landing
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Can you spot the tiny Red-capped Plover

Great habitat at the creek at Rollingstone

 

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Press Play to view Steph’s Video Snippets of Rollingsone & Balgal Beach

 

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The always inquisitive White-browed Robin
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Rainbow Bee-eater
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Brown-backed Honeyeater

Anyway it’s certainly been an action packed couple of days, tomorrow we are off to Bowen so we hope our luck with the birds continues.

Our new front legs on the van work perfectly so that sure is a relief.

Bye for now and enjoy the pics and videos,

Cheers Steph and Anthony.


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Stephanie Loves her Skinks

 

 

 

 

 

Back up in the Southern Tablelands

Featured Image – Pied Monarch (Adult Male)

 

Male Cains Birdwing
(Male) Cairns Birdwing Butterfly
Well all is just fantastic in our little world……
We are almost healthy again. I don’t know about anyone else but I must say whenever I get even the inkling of a sore throat I think I’ve come down with some deadly virus and probably the stress of that makes me go downhill even quicker.
But whatever we both had went on it’s way pretty quickly ( thank god ) and maybe I shouldn’t read the news so much….the stuff about viruses anyway. Watching the movie “ Contagen” on the way home on the plane didn’t help either😳😳
It certainly hasn’t stopped us getting out and about. It was great coming back to Yungaburra, we are even in the same van site as last time with the same neighbours we had last time, so it really was a bit like “coming home”.

 

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Juvenile Lovely Fairywren

Lovely Fairywrens

 

 

 

Gorgeous Green Ring-tail Possum with ultra cute Bub

 

 

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Press Play to view Steph’s Video Snippets

 


 

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Here I was wishing This (Adult male) Victoria’s Riflebird would hop down lower in the tree for a better Shot

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At that moment, to our amazement he dropped the fruit and followed it to the ground.

Life in Nature is soooooo good.

 

 

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The Apprentice

This Immature Victoria’s Riflebird is certainly not yet ‘dressed to impress’ a female, However is giving it a good go.

 

We have been very lucky with our wildlife spotting as you can see by the pics and

video……absolutely amazing. Many birds on our bucket list have just been appearing

before our eyes. Of course we are putting ourselves in the best places to see these

amazing animals.

 

 

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Graphic Flutterer Dragonfly

A Medley of Flutterers

 

 

 

Pied Monarch (Bucket List Bird)

Very Excited to finally photograph this stunning Bird at Lake Eacham

 

 

 

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Echidna           Always excited to see these amazing creatures.

 

 

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Grey Headed Robin

Rainforest Birds

The Golden Bowerbird is a story in itself. (Pictured above)
It’s the same bower at Mount Hypipamee where we got chased away by a very aggressive rather large male Cassowary two years ago. Terrifying I know but that was a while ago now and I mean….what are the chances of having another run in…plus we will really keep our eyes peeled.
So we found the bower and to our delight it has been worked on…lots of nice new mossy wallpaper, we heard the male bowerbird’s very loud distinctive chatter so settled down ready with camera and video in anticipation and then out of the corner of my eye I saw a big black shadow, quickly looked through my binoculars and saw the blue head of that monster cassowary heading our way…yikes….you’ve never seen us move so quick, we were out of there in a flash.
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Fresh lichen adorns the Bower of a Golden Bowerbird
After we settled down a bit, and the monster didn’t come out and chase us down the road, we decided we could sneak back later and just keep an eye out for him, pretty brave aren’t we🙄.
Well we did just that and never saw the Cassowary again, Anthony got a photo of what at first we thought was the female but turns out it’s a immature male without his adult colours yet ( this can take up to 7 years ).
A quick snap of the said “Blue Headed Monster”
We stayed for quite some time and never saw another Bowerbird come in and also we heard a horror story from another birder, that the adult pair that were at this site had been poached last year. Also some other pairs have been taken from other well know locations so that is pretty upsetting but as with all wildlife, if it’s pretty or has a nice voice or is rare, it sadly has a price tag on its head. We feel we are very fortunate to be able to see these amazing creatures while it’s still possible.

 

 

Grassland Birds

 

 

 

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Sharp-tailed Sandpiper at Lake Tinaroo

 

Other Birds

We have another week or so in this beautiful area so will get out as much as possible, there is a lot more action out in the rainforests now that the weather has warmed up. Please enjoy the pics and video.

Cheers and bye for now, Steph and Anthony.

 

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A good day for the Green Tree Snake … But sadly not so good for the Frog

 

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

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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.

 

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Giant Kauri Pines at Lake Barrine

 

Rainforest circuit around Lake Eacham

 

and of course Birds

Cute overload with this Young Spectacled Monarch

 

 

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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

 

 

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)