Two enjoyable weeks of birding
and relaxing were spent in FNQ. We
learnt quite a bit about birding and about travelling with a two year old! Here are the highlights of the trip
Thu 11 ? Wed 17
After a pretty average flight
with the boy (he got bored) and my wife having to stand up every 30 mins due to
her prolapsed disk, then getting lost around Cairns, we were off to Chamber?s
Wildlife Lodge. One of the reasons
I love this place (apart from the birds) is the drive in. Near volcanic lake Eacham (a maar), it
is in a well forested area, so going down the drive way gives you a sense of
descending into nature and leaving civilization behind (except TV, natural gas
and flushing toilets thankfully!)
John is an excellent and friendly
host with plenty of information on what is about in the area (and plenty to say
in general). This was our second
stay and counting. A week is a much
better time to stay than our last visit of three days. Most of our birding here was done off
our veranda our out of the windows that looked straight into the forest. The dawn chorus was always wonderful to
wake up to and I was often up well before 6 to set up my camera and tripod.
Scrub fowl are everywhere,
and to one side of our unit was a pile of feathers where an Amethystine
Python helped himself to one.
The orange footed scrub fowl were more heard than seen, but coming
down the driveway they could be spotted.
By hanging banana up on the veranda we ensured that Lewin?s Honey
Eater came by several times a day to peck away, as did the female
Victoria?s Riflebird. There
is a pine post set up as a display perch, and I am hoping that I have some good
photos of the male displaying! The
Spotted Catbird tended to run away with any fruit left out rather than
eat it in situ (often taking as many pieces as he could carry!). I soon identified a Macleay?s
Honeyeater visiting, with its scruffy plumage. A Laughing Kookaburra would often
visit as well, but not for the fruit.
My wife has a photo or two of it perched on my camera! Sulfur crested cockatoos were
often heard if not glimpsed, as were the elusive Eastern Whipbird, who
did his best to avoid my camera.
Wompoos were also heard but never seen. On the second day I found a Tooth
Billed Bowerbird singing in court. I returned on subsequent days to try and
get some good photos, hard in the low light. I discovered that there were three on
the grounds, as well as one not far off the walking track around lake
A day trip to Kuranda yielded
some Rainbow Lorikeets and Fig Birds. I also did a night tour + half day with
Alan Gilanders which was excellent.
As well as a Lumholtz?s Tree Kangaroo and a couple of possums, the day
trip yielded quite a few birds of note for me, particularly the male Golden
Bower Bird and Nankeen Night Heron.
Photos I hope will come out.