02.10.18 - After 11,600 km and a further app. 1600 km with our guided trip into Iron Range, we arrived home on Sunday. The last 3 days were driving only. The photos show the different habitats we came through. Apart from birds, we saw 28 mammals (8 new) and 14 reptiles (6 new).
27.09.18 - Stayed at Nowra for 3 nights, mostly raining for Wednesday but beautiful weather today to explore Barren Grounds Nature Reserve and Budderoo National Park. Spring is evident in the flowering in the parks but the wildlife action was a bit disappointing.
23.09.18 - We have spent the last 5 days at Port Macquarie exploring the scenic ocean views, pockets of rainforest and travelling through a few of the smaller towns along the coast. Trying to get scenes without people or houses in them can prove difficult. In spots, the whole coastline is residential. The next 2 days will be spent travelling south until we reach Nowra.
19.09.18 - Iluka (north) and Yamba (south) are either side of the Clarence River Estuary. The estuary has a number of breakwaters, built over the years, to stop the sea reclaiming the habitable areas with shifting sand dunes. Good walks around the estuary and in littoral ( a closed forest ecological community recognised by its close proximity to the ocean ) rainforest. a
15.09.18 - We came to Southport for Arthur to do a pelagic whilst Denise caught up with an ex work colleague. On the trip out to pelagic waters we saw a number of Humpback Whales and had Offshore Bottle-nosed Dolphins riding our wake. Out 60kms to sea, the variety of birds were small but there were good numbers. Two 'lifers' for me, Kermadec Petrel and Black-bellied Storm-Petrel. We leave the skyscrapers tomorrow with both of us looking forward to quieter surrounds again as we continue south.
12.09.18 - A visit to the local Ewan Maddock Dam was an interesting time, with some wildlife showing well. We had another visit to the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve and spent today visiting the Glasshouse Mountains. Tuesday and Wednesday were spent catching up with family and some friends that left Melbourne last year to live in the area.
08.09.18 -We are currently at Landsborough, a small town in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, approx. 20 kms inland. We visited Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve in the hope of finding the Paradise Riflebird, a new 'lifer'. Within 100m of starting of our walk we came across a male feeding beside the path, oblivious to us. Today we ventured to the coast in search of waders, with limited success. Obviously, the weekend is not the time to go. Absolute pandemonium, so much growth, too many people and vehicles without the infrastructure to handle it all.
06.09.18 - Our time in and around Maryborough was hampered by some, much needed, rain and also that we both got a dose of head cold. We last saw Hervey Bay 20 years ago, so went for a look, never again, it was total suburbia along the whole coast. A trip to Tin Can Bay was a washout when we arrived and stayed that way all day. A few good walks but not as much as we would have liked.
01.09.18 - The last 5 days have been spent seeing Bundaberg and the surrounding areas, most of which is beach based - swimming, fishing etc. We did find a few nature walks, wetlands and, of course, the local Botanic Gardens which are more to our liking.
29.08.18 - After Mackay, we stayed 2 nights at The Capricorn Caves which are approx. 25 kms north of Rockhampton. The above-ground limestone caves were discovered by John Olsen in 1881 and the maximum depth of the caves is 5 metres below ground level.
24.08.18 - A trip to the Mackay Botanic Gardens provided some beautiful colour in the form of butterflies, moth and a Spiny Orb-weaver spider. Then a day trip to Eungella, a great area for spotting platypus and enjoying more rainforest. The Eungella plateau is 683m above sea-level, most of which is attained in the last 4km of road. Today was a rest day before visiting Hillsborough N.P., our last day staying at Mackay.
20.08.18 - A brief stop at Cardwell and on to Ayr where we have spent the last few days out birding in the mornings and relaxing in the afternoons. Our morning endeavours rewarded us with a new 'lifer' - Mangrove Honeyeater. We are off to Mackay in the morning for 5 nights as we continue south.
19-08-18 - Well known for its Cassowary population, Mission Beach has some lovely rainforest walks and isn't far from Tully Gorge N.P. - a pleasant drive through cane and banana plantations before again encountering rainforest meeting the river.
14-08-18 - Part 2. The photos in this post show the diverse conditions we were in during our visit to the north plus some interesting and amusing town aspects. Bitumen, some good dirt roads and some corrugations that were bone jarring.
12-08-18 - Part 1. We are back in Cairns after a week in the Lakefield and Iron Range National Parks. I am posting the wildlife photos of some of what we saw whilst up there. We managed to see many of the birds we saw in January but in some cases the opportunity for photos was much better. New birds from the week were Black-backed Butcherbird, Golden-shouldered Parrot, Black-throated Finch and Rufous Owl. I will put up pictures of the environment in Part 2.
04-08-18 - Cairns is a lot more comfortable than when we were here in January. We had a walk along the Cairns Esplanade Thursday afternoon then spent app. 4 hours at the Cairns Botanic Garden. The gardens are always on the visit list, as there is always something different to find. We leave tomorrow - Sunday - on our tour further up the Cape.
01-08-18 - We arrived at the Atherton Tablelands for a 4 night stay exploring some familiar spots for birding and to do some spotlighting for the nocturnal mammals. We were especially looking for Lumholtz's Tree-kangaroo and managed to find a couple resting during daylight hours. At Mt. Hypipamee we also got our 4th new bird - Tooth-billed Bowerbird. Off to Cairns tomorrow to get ready for our trip to Lakefield and Iron Range N.P.s.
30/07/18 - Our day trip to Paluma saw us going from near sea-level to 892m above, in a distance of 18km. Paluma is known for its rainforest and as a top birding destination. The pictures tell their own story. We also went searching for the Golden Bowerbird, which we missed in 2014. but successful this time.
28/07/18 - The highlight of Ingham is the Tyto Wetlands on the edge of town. The natural beauty of the wetlands as you walk around the various pools with water lilies and lotus flowers, is accentuated for us by the abundant wildlife. From here, we also did a day trip to Paluma which I will post next.
25/07/18 - Our last day in Townsville (whilst heading north) was to visit the Townsville Palmetum and the Anderson Botanic Gardens. All photos are from the gardens. Now in Ingham.
23/07/18 - Having an extended stay after all our travelling has allowed us to get out visiting the local area. Townsville Town Common took up a day and a short trip down the highway to Horseshoe Lagoon - Giru and Bowling Green Bay C.P. occupied us today. A very productive stop between the Lagoon and Giru gave us our second lifer of the trip - Zitting Cisticola. Next we are visiting the Townsville Palmetum and other gardens within the town. Wednesday we have a short journey to Ingham where we will stay for 4 nights.
21/07/18 - After 3700km (inc. 6 consecutive days driving from Cunnamulla)we have reached Townsville where we will stay for 4 nights touring the local area and visit Paluma Range N.P. Below are some shots taken from the car showing the difference between the aridness of Bowra (previous posting) and the coastal areas.
17/07/18 - A trip into Gundabooka N.P. to see the Aboriginal Art before we set off to Cunnamulla and Bowra Station. We were at Bowra in 2010 and what a difference our latest visit was. Areas that had healthy vegetation and prolific wildlife have no ground cover and dead or heavily stressed understory. The larger drought resistant trees are coping but there has been little flowering for some time. The only wildlife we saw were birds, but many that would normally be present were gone, to return, hopefully, with the rain. A bonus was our first new 'lifer' White-browed Treecreper.
12/07/18 - At Bourke, leaving Friday for Cunnamulla and a return visit to Bowra Station after 8 years. Everywhere is extremely dry, so much so that we constantly see kangaroos feeding on the roadside during the day. The Darling River is flowing but standing water away from the river is non-existent. Much of the varied wildlife we saw in 2010 is so scarce we wonder if it will ever recover.
08/07/18 - Left home on a cold wet and windy day, fortunately losing the rain after passing through Seymour. Overnight at Tocumwal then on to Hillston for lunch allowing enough time to have a walk along the Lachlan River and take a few photos. Moving on to Cobar tomorrow then to Bourke where we will have a few days break.
30/06/18 - We leave Saturday July 7th for a 3 month trip to Cairns, taking 4 weeks to get there. From there we will do a 7 day tour of Lakefield N.P. and Iron Range before taking app. 8 weeks to return.