Monday, July 8, 2013

Back in beautiful Daintree at last!

After 3 months holiday - 6 weeks in South America and then six weeks driving into central Australia and back, it is great to be back in Daintree with the familiar lush green rainforest, warm winter's days and our local very special birds.
Highlights from Bolivia included a four day hike from the freezing cold Andes at 5,,000metres down into the sub-tropical Yungas at 2000m, just out of La Paz. Hard on the knees and much more difficult than we imagined but a fabulous experience and our first sighting of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, which was on life's 'wish list'.

El Choro Trek Bolivia 

Many birding highlights of Ecuador, but the day in the company of Mr Angel Paz at his farm, watching him interact with Antpittas, Cock-of-the-Rock, hummers, Toucanets etc was magic. An ex hunter who now has a refuge for wildlife, he provides opportunities to see many of the more difficult birds, and in a most delightful manner.

Toucan Barbet

Home for a day, packed the ute and then headed off camping to Central Australia. Great weather, great country and some great birds including this Western Bowerbird at Ormiston Gorge in the West Macdonnell Ranges.

Western Bowerbird

 Camping in the bush on the Plenty Highway between Boulia and Alice Springs. No caravans - yeah!!!


Back to Daintree, which is about as good as it gets in mid winter!
Busy here for the school holidays, particularly with day visitors from Cairns and Port Douglas. For those lucky enough to stay overnight in Daintree the birdlife is fantastic. There have been 5 different kingfishers on the Daintree River, seen from the early morning boat tours, plus favourites like Great-billed Heron and Papuan Frogmouth.
The Little Kingfisher feeds on the pond at Red Mill House each day and Spangled Drongo, Pacific Baza and Brown Cuckoo Dove frequent the yard.
Nice winter specials here in the lowlands include Brown Falcon, seen on the Mossman-Daintree Rd, Lewin's Honeyeater, Pacific Baza, Victoria's Riflebird and Black-faced Monarch.
Southern Cassowary seen on Cape Kimberly Rd, Wompoo Fruit-Dove nesting on Stewart Creek Rd and the first Pied Imperial Pigeons recently seen, presumably returning from PNG for the breeding season. Metallic Starling also returned and busy as can be.
It's nice to be home!!

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