Photos will be labelled with as much accuracy that our paper and electronic field guides allow. To see a larger view and descriptions, click on a photo to open, then scroll with the side arrow on the displayed photo.
TOTAL TRIP BIRD SPECIES : 121 NEW "LIFERS": 11
24/02/17 - Our last 2 days in Tasmania were taken up by visiting Leven Canyon near Ulverstone and Cradle Mountain. The Leven Canyon walk was easy to the first lookout, then 697 steps down to the Edge Lookout. That was OK but the track back to the car park wasn't long but certainly got the heart pumping. Cradle Mountain was rugged with great scenery with some short walks we did and others that we didn't have time for. From the number of people there, Cradle Mountain must be THE most popular destination in Tasmania.
19/02/17 - We spent 2 days exploring the Tarkine Drive which includes a variety of habitats from coastal sand-dunes and coastal heathland through button grass moorland to dry and wet sclerophyll forest and rainforest. We started with the various access points to the rugged coastline, following the Arthur River in parts and enjoying the magnificent walks through the Tarkine forests. The large trees included 250-300 year old Beech Myrtle (Nothofagus cunninghamii) and Leatherwood Trees ( Eucryphia lucida). Even this early in the year, fungi were visible in many places. Unfortunately, there were areas we couldn't access, closed due to damage from devastating fires in February last year. Equally devastating is the amount of the pristine Tarkine that is currently being logged and the plans for further access being allowed. Such a tragedy!
16/02/17 - After leaving Queenstown, we had an overnight stop in Rosebery, wet and cold and glad to continue on to Smithton the next day. Using Smithton as a base, we toured the local area with trips to Stanley and Wynyard, history and scenery being to the fore (though a few birds were seen and photographed by accident). One day was taken up with a partial tour of the Tarkine Drive; we leave Smithton Friday to do the rest. We will stay at Arthur River overnight before heading to Ulverstone on Saturday for our last few nights in Tasmania, before getting the ferry home on Tuesday.
11/02/17 - After Bruny Island, we visited various parks around Hobart, visited the Salamanca Market on the Saturday and on the Monday, met friends for lunch down towards the Huon Valley. We left Kingston on Tuesday and headed for our next stopover, Queenstown, stopping for lunch at Lake St. Clair. What a difference 32 years makes. What was a few cabins among the bush back then is now a full scale tourist facility. It was much nicer the first time! From Queenstown we backtracked to the Franklin River Nature Trail, Donaghys Hill Lookout Track and Nelson Falls, ending back at our cabin. A trip to Strahan had us, as at Lake St. Clair, amazed at the changes from our last visit (not long after the successful campaign to save the Franklin/Gordon Rivers). We are now on the move again, heading for Smithton which we will use as a base for exploring the north-west of Tasmania, The Tarkine in particular.
I have finally finished sorting all the photos from the pelagic trips we did on Jan 27th (Arthur) and 28th (Arthur & Denise). An extremely exciting sighting on the first trip was the prescence of a pod of 3 Shepherd's Beaked Whales, believed to be about only the 15th sighting, at sea, of these extremely rare mammals which were thought to be extinct not that long ago. Unfortunately, I only saw the whales through the binoculars rather than lifting the camera immediately. My thanks go to Rohan Clarke for providing me the images for this post. I have included a number of photos of some birds to give the best idea of their characteristics as I can. I am fascinated by the White-faced Petrels which appear to 'dance' upon the water.
03/02/17 - The 27th and 28th were taken up with our pelagic trips out from Eaglehawk Neck. Lots of photos of Albatross, Petrels etc. but I will upload a series of pics when sorted. We took a drive to Lime Bay State Reserve for some birding, stopping on the way back to see an old coal mine site. Moving on from the Tasman Peninsula, we arrived at Kingston, app. 13 km south of Hobart to continue our sightseeing and birding. A trip to Snug Falls had us doing a 2km walk down to the falls (the easy part) then, of course, back up. Even though the falls were only trickling, it was worth the walk, very peaceful and a beautiful Pink Robin to greet us. On the way back to Kingston we stopped at the Peter Murrell Reserve, again, a very peaceful spot. The next day saw us on Bruny Island with a partially successful search for Forty-spotted Pardalote, heard but not seen. Fortunately we have seen it previously. On to South Bruny and the Mavista Nature Walk out from Adventure Bay. An amazing walk through the rainforest and success in seeing the remaining endemic Tasmanian bird we were after. With Denise nearly stepping on the Scrubtit, it propped and gave us excellent views and posed for a couple of photos. To finish the day, we drove to the southern tip of Bruny to the lighthouse.
26/01/17 - Arrived at our Port Arthur Cottage Tuesday p.m. after a very late ferry crossing Monday - we got to our accommodation after 9p.m. - and a prolonged drive from Devonport Tuesday - road works everywhere. We are staying in a one bedroom cottage that has all the amenities required and only a short walk to a lavender farm with cafe. The first afternoon we managed to see Black-headed Honeyeater (one of 3 Tas endemics we hadn't seen previously) outside the kitchen window. Rufous-bellied Pademelons roam the garden at dusk and throughout the night. Another of the 3 endemics required, the Tasmanian Thornbill, was seen at the cafe on Wednesday. We then had a small tour ending up at Remarkable Cave.