Birds of Mt Carbine Caravan Park

If Looks could Kill : Blue-winged Kookaburra
Well it’s very windy this morning here at Mount Carbine Caravan Park lots of clouds about. We had a quick look for birds but we are also in a hurry as we have to pack up and head off to Cooktown, not a good combination when trying to spot birds.
The Great Bowerbird has been fantastic to watch here, he has only just started tending his bower so I will try to get more video footage when we come back on our return trip. He does some pretty groovy dance moves I would love to capture but missed out this time. Anthony also got some great photos. Some of the bird tours around the area bring their customers here as the birdlife is very reliable.

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Great Bowerbirds are everywhere here

Tending his Bower

 

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike

 

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Press Play to view Stephanie’s Video Snippets

 

A sleeping Tawny Frogmouth

 

The Tawny Frogmouths are always perched near the lights over the loos…..they don’t have to go far for insects at night time.
The owner here, Nicky also keeps an eye on what birds are where according to flowering and fruiting trees so it’s a really nice relaxing place to hang out for a few days.
And if you have a cat in an enclosure……well all the birds will just come to you to sound off their warnings🙄🙄
Have a great day whatever you are up to…..we are off to Cooktown shortly.
Cheers Steph and Anthony.

Common Glider Dragonfly

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

In search of the (elusive) Golden Bowerbird… Paluma, Nth Queensland

 

Would you believe we woke this morning to perfect blue skies??? Very lucky ……so we quickly had our morning cappuccinos with my sister Denise and her hubby Mark, packed our camera gear and headed up to Paluma which is about 1 hours drive from here (Bluewater).

The 20 km winding range road is a bit hairy as it’s so narrow and we have the big wide dual wheeled F truck, which is really not made for narrow windy roads. We stopped at Little Crystal Creek on the way up which is a really beautiful spot with the old stone bridge and great picnic areas…..very picturesque. Then drove through the small mountaintop town of Paluma and on a dirt road out to Birthday Creek Falls and the Paluma Dam.


Golden Bowerbird (Photo courtesy of Mark Stanley)
We know where there’s a Golden Bowerbird bower and were really hoping to get some good photos etc. Well we were lucky enough to get some glimpses and their call is unmistakable but they proved very very elusive for us to get a photo. Well done Mark for capturing the above image.
I got some video snippets but not very good, I think they spotted us very quickly…. I don’t think my bright blue jacket and bright red backpack helped….ooops. We only saw them once, the boys had flashes on their cameras and maybe they didn’t like that either but we sat there near the bower for 4 hours and never saw them again.
We may need to get a bit more sneaky in future, maybe even get one of those collapsible bird hides, that would have been perfect there.

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Press play to view Video
The drive down the range was more hairy than going up, people seem a little crazy, no one likes slowing down and pulling over a little to pass each other, we all breathed a sigh of relief when we got to the bottom.
It was very quiet on the bird front, hardly heard a peep all day, they did have a huge amount of rain here though so maybe that had some sort of effect. We still had a good day though, it’s always good getting out in nature.
Bye for now Steph and Anthony.

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