Waterfalls and Wildlife : Atherton Tablelands

A surprise Echidna passes by at Lake Tinaroo

 

Waterfall Drive, Milla Milla – We couldn’t have asked for a better day

Waterfalls of Milla Milla

The weather did take a turn for the worse….. cold and drizzly for about 4 days. We were starting to wonder if we would ever see the sun again. The weather report kept saying the next day would be partly cloudy and when we woke up it was dark and drizzle drizzle, horrible.

We did take the opportunity though to revamp our kitchen, after 11 years of heavy duty use the laminate bench tops were very chipped and scuffed. We decided the simplest and of course cheapest option was to just cover them with marble look a like contact paper, not the cheapie paper though, this contact came from the US as we couldn’t get it here, it’s especially for benchtops. We also did some splash backs with these amazing ….. plastic ….. Tic Tac tiles. They came from England, again, not available here. Well we think it looks amazing even though it is all plastic, so have added some pics at the end of this Blog.

 

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Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo spotting at the Nerada Tea Factory Grounds 

(Luckily we have a long lens to capture these critters high in the tree tops)

 

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Press Play to view Tree Kangaroo Vid


 

Due to the cool and wet weather on the Atherton Tablelands our beloved Dragonflies are few and far between.

Male and Female Fiery Skimmer Dragonflies

 

So back to the weather, the blue skies are back and our spirits have returned with it. We have been out and about everywhere. We just love the tablelands, waterfalls, lakes, wildlife, rainforests and of course, great cafes. What more could you want.

We did live up here for 4 years in Kuranda, but realised we don’t need to live here or anywhere really. With a house on wheels you can just visit the best places at the right time of year, if your lucky of course.

No horrible wet seasons to contend with.

 

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A showcase of stunning Rainbow Bee-eaters

 

 

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This gorgous Red-legged Pademellon was spotted catching the morning sun through a gap in the rainforest

Anthony has been having a feast with the bird photos lately…..we found a little birdie hotspot down by Lake Tinaroo. We can just walk there from our van which is fantastic, this afternoon we were so focused on the brown cuckoo dove eating tobacco bush berries when the echidna just ambled past us. What an amazing creature, we just love seeing these precious little animals that must really be struggling with our human impact.

 

Brown Cuckoo-dove up close and personal

 

Doves Galore on the Tablelands


 

We spotted this Pelican and Little black Cormorant through a small gap in the Rainforrest at Lake Eacham

 

 

White-breasted Woodswallow

We also drove out to the Nerada Tea Plantation which is the best place to see Tree Kangaroos. Its quite a drive but so worth it. I don’t know why but they are always around there somewhere, fantastic. They have even cordoned off their habitat with barbed wire with signs everywhere to keep us out, how cool is that?? I’d rather they didn’t use barbed wire but these amazing animals really need our help. Their habitat is rapidly disappearing so it’s great to see a big company keeping a nice place for them.

 

This little Pale-Yellow Robin is just way too cute

 

This Yellow Honeyeater was observed guarding these Cathedral Bells

 

And a few other critters we stumbled across

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Press play to watch Stephanie’s Snippets

We have to move on soon if we want to get up to Cooktown before the weather heats up, though it will be hard to leave here. I guess we can always come back on our way south again.

At the moment we keep putting off leaving. The joys of freedom.

Enjoy all the amazing photos.

Bye for now, Steph and Anthony.

 

Our Kitchen Makeover

Before

 

After

 

 

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

 

 

Jourama Falls and Birding at Tyto

Top of the Falls

We have had another couple of great days in Ingham.

Yesterday we drove south to Jourama Falls only about a 20 minute drive, the last 5 kms is corrugated dirt but our truck doesn’t seem to mind the corrugated roads. It must be the length and also maybe the dual wheels at the back but I think a standard car would be shaken to bits.


 

Pathway to the falls
It was very overcast, no rain but not very good for photos. The birds didn’t want to come out and play either. On a previous visit to the Falls and later in the year this place is teeming with dragonflies but we didn’t see one. We had a picnic lunch and still a beautiful place to visit and a great little hike up to the waterfall lookout.
We popped into Tyto in the afternoon but didn’t get any photos there either. I think, like us, the birds like to see the sun.

A rare occasion when a Spectacled Monarch sits still long enough to snatch a pic

 

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Press play to view a short clip of Jourama Falls

 

Today….

beautiful blue skies again. We visited Tyto this morning and wow, what a difference.

Birds were chirping everywhere, Anthony got some great photos. We missed out on a Jabiru flying off and at one time there was a wedge tail eagle getting harassed by about a dozen whistling kites. Great to watch but too far away for photos.

There is always something to see here.


An Egret surveying his domain
Those Spurs on the leading edge of the wing is a good enough reason to avoid being swooped by ‘Plovers’ (Masked Lapwings)

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Here’s a selection of pics featuring the gorgous Red-backed Fairywrens

This Leaden Flycatcher allowed us to get very close and personal … bless his cotton socks

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Press Play to view Tyto Birds Video

 

Well this is our last day here, tomorrow we are heading north again and up the Palmerston Highway to the Tablelands.
We like the trip up there. We are booked into a van park in Yungaburra, one of our favourite places but it’s extremely busy and we are not sure yet if we can fit in. One of the pit falls when being so big.🙄🙄
See how we go, bye for now, Steph and Anthony.

Beautiful Lily Flowers

 

Lucinda, Taylors Beach and more Birding at Tyto

This Jetty in Lucinda is the longest in the Southern Hemisphere Supported by a staggering 660 Pylons. Sugar takes 22 minutes to travel the length of the conveyor.

 

Hello again from Ingham.
We did manage to get some maintenance done to the pod over the weekend which was great. Although we do tend to put birdwatching, hiking, sightseeing etc before keeping up with things here unless it’s a major issue of course.
Today we woke to rain which dampened our spirits a little but by the time we had our morning cappuccinos the skies were clearing so we decided to take a trip to the coast.
We drove to Taylor’s Beach first, only about 20 minutes, A very nice peaceful spot along the estuary.
As always, hoping to see ospreys and lots of shore birds but didn’t really see much birdlife.
We walked up the beach at one point where there was a little alcove but the mozzies chased us away.
A Little Kingfisher was spotted here and a Night Heron hiding in the amazing mangroves. (Sorry, no pics)
I’ve seen lots of mangroves in my life but these looked quite amazing, I had to take a photo.
We could hear quite a few birds among the trees so hung around patiently and then a gorgeous male sunbird popped out, shorty after a sacred Kingfisher appeared.

A male Olive-backed Sunbird sits proudly in the tree tops
Sacred Kingfisher

Anthony got some great photos of the little egrets squabbling and a pied oystercatcher flyby so things went really well.

 

Little (Dancing) Egrets at Taylors Beach inlet
Pied Oystercatcher Flyby

 

We drove on further to Lucinda, the gateway to Hinchinbrook Island which looked great with the low clouds hanging over the mountains. A very picturesque spot but not much of a town. It’s all about sugar here. The 5.76 km long jetty from the bulk sugar terminal is amazing to see.

So we had a great morning exploring our surrounds and even had time to pop back to the Tyto wetlands for a few hours this afternoon. Anthony has changed some settings on his camera and is getting even more amazing flyby photos now. We never get sick of walking around here as you never know what you will see, it’s fantastic.


 

Morning Flyby : Pacific Black Duck
The light shows this Forrest Kingfishers amazing colours
finally captured a Crimson Finch that I’m happy with
Intermediate Egret flyby at Tyto

 

Please enjoy the pics, there’s plenty of them, tomorrow we will head down to Jourama Falls, another beautiful spot in nature.

Bye for now, Steph and Anthony.