Farewell Tyto Wetlands & Ingham Region

Featured Image: Male Darter preparing for take-off


 

Comb-crested Jacana leaping through the Lilies at Tyto

 

Hello again from Ingham!!
The last week has just flown by, we have been out and about most of those days as the weather has been good though it’s really starting to warm up now so I’m glad we are heading south.

Graphic Flutterer Dragonfly (above) and Tropical Rockmaster Damselfly

 

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Press Play to view Steph’s latest Video Snips

 

 

We find it difficult to walk pass these gorgous Crimson Finches without taking a photo. These are our favorite shots of these critters whilst at Tyto Wetlands. (Top: Male, Centre: Female, Bottom: Immature Male)

 

Our front legs for the van arrived mid week and Anthony didn’t have too much trouble fitting them though it appears there is some very small ( hopefully minor ) piece missing. He did give the legs a go and all seems ok though we have ordered this little missing piece and will be picking it up in Rockhampton on the way south.


Flying Foxes at Ingham Botanical Gardens. We think its a great attraction for Ingham. Sadly the majority of locals (as always) don’t feel the same.

 

Rufous Whistler’s (Male above and Female below)

 

 

A couple of Snaps from Taylor’s Beach. (Clockwise from Top: Osprey, Immature Red-capped Plover, Gull-billed Tern, Immature Crested Tern)

 

 

As usual we have put off some much needed maintenance that we really have to do today as tomorrow we are off to Crystal Creek. From there all our trips will be very quick, only a couple of nights at stops along the way. Of course we will be in nature as much as possible, there is nowhere else we would rather be.

 


The very secretive White-browed Crake (above) and Buff-banded Rail (below)

 

 

“Snakes” ….. What snakes

 

Please enjoy our last photos and video of this area, oh and guess who spotted that gorgeous Carpet Python way up in a tree….😊😊
Cheers Steph and Anthony.

Carpet Python waiting for its next meal at Tyto

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

 

More of Cooktown and Surrounds

Shower time for this Yellow Oriole at the Botanical Gardens

 

Its hard to believe, but our week here in Cooktown has already gone…. We have been super busy.

We thought we might be stuck here for a while but our switch for the front legs on the van arrived today. Gave us quite a surprise as it came from Melbourne.

Anthony wired it up quick smartly and we gave it a test run and all seems to be ok.

See how it goes tomorrow when we hitch up.🤓🤓

 

Annan Gorge

 

 

Red-Winged Parrot (male)
Cooktown has been a great place to hang out, there’s a lot to see from here.
Lots of nature, waterfalls etc. and the town itself is nice and has everything you need.
We never did get to the museum…..maybe next time.
Our only disappointment was we didn’t see too many birds.
When visiting the Isabella Falls we explored and had lunch sitting on the tailgate of the truck and honestly we did not hear one peep from a bird. Apparently October to December is the best time for birds when they all decide to come back from PNG.
Luckily we had Keatings Lagoon to fall back on and even though it wasn’t teeming with birdlife, there was enough there to keep us amused.

 

 

Entrance to Endervour Falls and Camping Grounds

More Falls and Camp ground Pics

Endevour Falls

 

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Press Play to view Steph’s Snippets

We did love visiting the Endevour Falls and Tourist Park, wow what a beautiful spot they have there. So many palm trees in manicured gardens with the waterfall in their back yard. Absolutely idyllic.

I think the photos and video speak for themselves, it’s a great place to visit,


Green Skimmer
Scarlet Perchers egg laying on the run

 


Isabella Falls

Isabella Creek

 

Tomorrow we will drive all the way back to Mareeba.
Its about a 3 hours drive but we will definitely be stopping at the Palmer river roadhouse for coffee on the way.🤩🤩
Cheers Steph and Anthony.
PS… As you can see….Anthony had no problem finding Dragonflies, lots of them …and he does tend to go a bit bonkers photographing them from every angle so please enjoy them too, bye.😉😉

 

Birding on the Daintree

Little Kingfisher
The Jewel of the Daintree : Little Kingfisher

Wow wow wow, what an amazing time we have been having😃😃 Our short road trip to Mount Carbine went well. The Mount Carbine caravan park is nice, we really feel like we are outback now. The terrain is very dry and crispy, we are hooked up to bore water here ( not so good ). There is a lot of birdlife around the park but we will do a separate blog just for here when we have finished our stay because I really need to tell you about the awesome day we had today.

 

The Rarely seen Great-billed Heron
We got up extra early…4 am to quickly have our cappochinos and head off to the Daintree River.
Quite a drive from here, just over an hour, but off course still being dark we had to drive slower and also there’s a very windy steep range road with B double sugar cane trucks using it at the moment. We didn’t want to miss the river tour we had booked, and arrived with time to spare.
We also picked a beautiful day…..blue sky, no wind and also a low tide so things were looking really good.
Luckily there were only 5 passengers today…..all keen to get photos of the little Kingfisher. Murray from the  Daintree Boatman Nature Tours happens to know where all the birds are hiding out or having their favourite roosting spots so we were certainly in for a treat.
The Majestic White-bellied Sea-eagle

 

Male Saltwater Crocodile

 

He took us straight up a little inlet off the Daintree river and being low tide with all the mangrove roots exposed, the little Kingfisher seemed like he was waiting for us. Boy was he hard to spot, such a tiny hyperactive gorgeous little bird….. we almost had to lay on the gunnels of the boat to get a clear view, he was so hidden under the mangroves. Murray kept barking positions at us which helped a lot as he was so quick……we spent half an hour just here getting some great photos and video.

 

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Press Play to view Stephanie’s ‘Best Yet’ Video

 

 

Green Tree Snake soaking up the morning Sun
Green Tree Snake soaking up the morning Sun

 

 

The whole trip was pretty action packed.
Murray has an electric motor which is so very quiet when getting close to the birds, then he switches over to the standard noisy outboard when we had to hightail it down another part of the river to where he knew another bird, crocodile or snake was visible.
The Sea Eagle at the end of the 2 hour tour put on a show for us though we felt really sorry for him as he missed out on a fish. Anthony got some spectacular photos today and
I must say…. I have put together my best video to date, I had to add music as the endless clicking of the cameras, engine noise, and our very excited squeals was detracting from the amazing wildlife.
We normally stay away from tours but thought this was our best option for seeing different birds and boy, we are so glad we did this.
Spectacular Day. Please enjoy the pics and video.
Bye for now, Steph and Anthony.
Peacock Jewel aka 4 O’clock Moth

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.