|Danbulla National Park - Lake Tinaroo||August 17 - 21 2019|
|We camped by the road. We'll have a shopping day next day.
It seems there are birds no matter where we are. We think another yellow honeyeater.
|The Laura River flows into the Normanby River which flows
through the Laura Basin to the Princess Charlotte Bay on the east coast of
Cape York Peninsula.
The Palmer River flows westwards, to join the Mitchell River that flows into the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Looking south we are leaving Cape York.
|We will shortly pass through Mt Carbine.
When we headed north we followed the coast, through the Daintree Rainforest. It looked to us as if the road to Cooktown around the coastal mountains would be uninteresting.
Quite the opposite.
|We completed some sort of circuit when we reached Old
Laura, and another when we came through Mt Molloy. At Mareeba we see the
junction were we came in from the west.
We will head south, trying to follow the Dividing Range without getting too tangled up along the coast.
|Just south of Mareeba a wind farm.|
|We followed roads on the map, wondering why there were no
signs to Lake Tinaroo or Danbulla National Park.
All was revealed at the end of the road. The map said the road went further, around to the right. We thought about washing the truck but decided we should turn around.
|Camping at Downfall Creek we are greeted by a large flock of Wood Ducks.|
|With a few Black Ducks for company.|
|A lazy afternoon, but next morning woken by a
Its a flycatcher with a peculiar bill.
|A Common Tern joined the ducks.|
|There's a 2km walking track between Downfall Creek and
Kauri Creek camping grounds.
Rainforest that is regenerating after being cleared about 50 years ago.
The forest is alive, with birds we cannot see through the dense foliage.
|So we resort to touching trees.
The smooth, cold, bark of the Python Tree.
|Totally failed in our endeavours to identify this bird. One of those "it should be obvious but it isn't" days.|
|But we know this is a Yellow-Spotted Honeyeater.|
|There's all sorts growing in the forest.
This bumpy satinash flowers and fruits from bumps on its trunk. It attracts different pollinators than are in the canopy.
|A Spectacled Monarch Flycatcher.
We've seen them previously, but this one is easiest to identify.
|Back at camp the ducks are joined by swamphens.|
|But most of all .... we spent a bit of last night trying to
take a pic of the nocturnal Bush Stone-Curlews. They have a very mournful
cry to let us know they were near.
We could have had more sleep, they stayed around the campground during the day.
|Next day we drove to Kauri Creek and walked around the
track from the campground.
Kauri Creek is quite big, we got our feet wet, and discovered (yet again) that there are leeches in rainforests. We don't like leeches.
We heard many birds, and tried to picture a few, but the forest is too dense.
|So we resorted to looking at fungi.
The forest is World Heritage listed.
|Lake Tinaroo is quite busy at weekends. Monday still had a
few campers in Downfall Creek, including a noisy party, so we moved to
Fong-On Bay camping area. Capable of holding 385 campers there were only two
others, the nearest more than 100m away.
There are many Bush Stone-Curlews around the camp. We counted about 40 without really trying.
They spend most of the day almost still. Certainly still, like stones, for long periods.
These two were near the truck.
|After a while they kneeled. That's what knees are for.
They aren't sufficiently aggressive to have been the inspiration for Dr Who's stone angels, but they do a good imitation.
|A quick diversion to watch another bird we couldn't identify. Catching flies and picking grubs out of the bark.|
|By the time we returned to watching the curlews one had sat
We have no idea what they were looking at.
Most of their activity is at night, but strangely that was performed away from the truck.
Perhaps I should mention that having seen Beach Stone-Curlews its nice to complete the set with the Bush Stone-Curlews.
We have no idea if the semblance of plumes is similar to those that regale the plumed whistling ducks we saw. I guess everything that flies is related in some way.
|Next morning, a surprise encounter with a Great Crested
Grebe. Just something about it suggested it wasn't like the ducks we'd seen.
Our eyes aren't very good, we needed binoculars and camera to be sure.
Only the one, it disappeared when fellow campers approached the edge of the lake.
Since there is only one its unlikely we'll see any of the courtship displays grebes are known for. We'll keep looking.
At last .... the bird book says "uncommon".
|A brisk walk to the end of our little peninsula, and back,
is about 5km.
While resting a flock of ducks, like no other ducks we've seen so far, flew past and landed just around the corner.
The sun could not have been in a worse position, they looked all black, with no distinctive markings.
A little while later, as the sun had moved, I looked again, they were gone.
But then the flotilla appeared. Pelicans and, I think, Little Black Cormorants.
I've seen such behaviour once before, on the Brisbane River. A flotilla of pelicans and others following a shoal of fish. No camera last time, and no fish jumping this time.
|Next day the urgency had left the cormorants.|
|But when disturbed (oops, sorry, got too close ...) the flotilla set sail with air cover from the egrets.|
|Watched by the Lemon-Breasted Flycatcher that was hiding in the tree next to the truck. The small birds are very elusive.|
|Its about now that I became confused over the many
variations of honeyeaters.
I think "yellow" will suffice. But which variation of yellow is beyond me.
|A stroll in the darkness, and a small mammal hopping around
in the grass. Though once disturbed it headed for the nearest bushes.
We wondered if we were lucky enough to see a bettong, though more likely a white-tailed rat. But then we wondered about the long nose, and figured its a bandicoot.
|Hasties Swamp and Girringun National Park - Blencoe Falls||August 22 - 24 2019|