140912 Queensland, Daintree River and Kingfisher Park

Queensland, Australia 2014-09-05--09-25
140912 Friday Day 8 since we left home.

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© NF Photos 140912

This day started early as we were to be at the boat at 7.00 h. We had been told that there was breakfast in our freezer but I did not pay attention to that so I forgot mine. But I managed anyway as I had a banana in my backpack. We arrived at Daintree village in good time. It was a small boat but all of us had seats in it. People was excited, they want to see crocs! I rather look at some fancy birds and great nature.  But..I´ll give you crocks!

 Daintree River
After the trip we went to visit a place that I think was a water cleaning plant. We could not go in there as it was fenced but there was lots of birds. The fence was not ment to keep birds in, but to keep people out!  

Then people was hungry and we found a restaurant. All but me ordered something and sat down in the restaurant. They had a nice garden and that is where I headed. Eating my banana and having fun with some blue butterflies I could not catch. They were too fast and too small for me and my camera. But I had fun and that is a good point.  Red waterlily and Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, below. Was also there.

It was afternoon and we drove back to Kingfisher Park. There was no agenda for the rest of the afternoon. I was tired after the days in Atherton Tablelands so I took the opportunity to sleep for an hour. I think most of us did. Then I boiled a cup of coffee and had my breakfast :)  then went out to explore the area.
There are some small meadws, a creek and some forested areas. I found some Platypus in the creek and some small birds. There should be pittas in the area but I did not find any. In one of the meadows I found some of us gathered around a fallen treetrunk. They had found a big snake in it.
The landlady is a good cook and dinner was great. We sat in the garden again with birds and kanguru rats running among the surrouding trees.
After dinner we was taken on a walk with the landlord. He showed us an owl high up in a tree.
Bar-sholdered Dove as dinnerguest.
I was washing up clothes yesterday and they are still wet. The air here is very high in moisture. It is a strange country, both dry and wet at the same time.
Uploaded the images and wrote a bit before going to bed.

A drake at the Daintree River.

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140911 Queensland , Atherton to Kingfisher Park

Queensland, Australia 2014-09-05--09-25
140911 Thursday

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© NF Photos 140911

Today we leave Chambers and will head north up to Kingfisher Park. Going through the images for the day almost makes me frustrated. How much can you actually experience in one day? It is amazing how many places you can visit in 10 hours and also be transported a 100 km up north.
First after breakfast we took a walk on the paths surrounding Chambers. It was nice as we did not had time to explore it earlier. To dark for shots though.
The first 50 km was the road we travelled earlier going south. But we made some short stops to check for birds here and there.  
This was the place with the black swans. But today I shot cows and gulls reflected in the pond.
 When we arrived at a golf course we made a stop for birds and kangaroos. That was a bit annoying as we could not enter the area as we were not members. Watching from a distance is not always fun. :(  The kangaroos seemed to have a lunch break, more or less sleeping. Birds was a bit more active.
At the next stop, a cattle market,  we saw some angels. At least it seemed like it. One of the cockatoos I think. Probably the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.  It was soo beautiful when back lit of the sun.

Next stop was quite weird. We walked through bushes and down into a dried out river. Hard to walk and easy to trip. And we did not find what our guide was looking  for. But rather fun experience still.
Se image below.
Now, one of the highlights of the day. Lunch! As usual the others found a restaurant and I took what I had with me and found a table opposite the street. While eating I noticed the trees beside me. Lots of honeyeaters. COOL! Lots of fun shooting the birds without people coming in my way. That´s what I call birding! And there was gorgeous flowers too. Probably Julatten

Next we stopped by a place called Art trail. There was lots of artwork one could enjoy but our goal was the Great Bowerbird that resided in the garden. This bowerbird collected all things white to his little garden. There was also some nice parrots there. Still have not ID:d them.

A bit further north we stopped at a dry forest with a little pond with beautiful flowers. There was some gorgeous small birds to watch. And...a heard of horses. I was in trouble, so much to keep track of. Both horses, birds and flowers soo gorgeous. I think it was a NP too but I did not catch the name.

Now it was getting late but we made another stop at Bustard Downs to look at Australian Bustards. And we had a great time watching them as the sun set.

When we arrived to the new lodge KingfisherPark, we got a bad surprise. The back doors of the van was jammed and would not open. There we were and could not get our luggage. After trying in vain the guide, Phil,  decided he had to go back to Cairns to fix it. Poor man, the landlady said he always gets in trouble and misses the dinner at their lodge. The dinner was served outdoors and very nice. It took 3h before Phil was back and we could finally unpack and go to bed after a long day.

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140910 Queensland More of Atherton Tablelands

Queensland, Australia 2014-09-05--09-25

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© NF Photos 140910

As before we birded the garden area at 6.30 before breakfast. The clothes I washed up two days ago are not yet dry so I had to let them hang in front of the fake fire-heater. Hopefully they dry till tomorrow.

 It was a fine morning with great birds in the trees.
After breakfast we left to visit the NP of an old tree but it turned out the tree was no longer there. It was blown down in a storm and the NP was gone with it.

Then we went to Lake Barrine, Crater Lake NP. We started with a walk in the forest and then arrived at the lake. There was some birds in the lake but the real treat was the flowering trees. Here I first met the honeyeaters. Such adorable birds. A little reminding me of the hummingbirds in CostaRica. So fun to watch. I also found a Wompoo Fruit-Dove  in one of the big trees. There was also time for people to have some snack at the NP Centre if they wanted.

Hastie's Swamp NP  aka Nyleta Wetlands was next to visit. A place with a great "hide", a two storey birding tower from where you had a great outlook over the lake. There was some rare ducks swimming in the lake too. I took this shot from the bus before we got to the hide.

Then lunch break in a village. With some bird as guests. We also had walk in a school area, Wom ECLA I think the name was. There was trees and a ditch behind a football plane. A few small, colorful birds in the trees.
Now we headed for Herberton Range a burned forest. The first burned forest I´ve walked in. I have seen some in the past, but not walked in them. We were looking for some birds but did not see many. And I was busy with trees. And cows. We did see at least two groups of cows in the NP.

We were back at Chambers rather early for dinner. Later on we went out again to the Curtain Fig Tree to try our luck with owls and other nocturnal birds and critters. We heard some but saw little. But we did see a tree kangaroo.
Back at Chambers I took a quick look at the balcony for Striped Possum. They really are sweet. Took a shower, uploaded images and packed as we are leaving tomorrow.
Last night at Chambers Lodge and my clothes are finally dry.

Below, a beautiful silvery tree sparkling against the sky at Herberton Range

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140909 Queensland Atherton Tablelands

Queensland, Australia 2014-09-05--09-25
140909 Tuesday
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© NF Photos 140909

Breakfast would be served at 7.00h but we met in the garden at 6.30 to see the morning birdlife in the area.

We spent the day visiting several places in Atherton Tablelands. It is a great area for birders and lovers of all kinds of nature and wildlife.

Places visited during the day:
Bromfield Swamp: We visited the Bromfield Swamp rather early in the morning as we left a 8 and then filled the bus at a gas station. It is a crater area with a wetland at the bottom. A beautiful place but for my taste the birds was too far away.

NP of Mt Hypipamee:  On this part of the park we were looking for Golden Bower bird. We found a garden and one bird. And we also found a larger bird. A family of Southern Cassowary. 2 adult and one chick. This was a great experience as the birds came close. The young was rather curious about us. But they made my companions nervous. Or scared really. But I sensed no hostility from the birds. But had to slowly back off. 

Tarzali lakes:  This place hosted a lot of Purple moorhens and the Platypus  or duck-billed platypus. It was great to watch both species. They also have a restaurant so people took their lunch there. As I don´t eat that much I walked around the ponds having a banana for lunch. There was also a fenced in area with cows and cattle herons. 

Lake Tinaroo was next stop, a man made reservoir of dam. A few birds on the shore and in the air. 

Curtain Figtree:  then we went to see the Curtain Fig Tree. It was amazing. So tall and so interesting to see how it came to be. Nature is a great creator. 

Nerada Tea Estate:  Now it was Teatime and time to see the Tree kangoroos. They procuced some very nice tea on the Estate. And outside in eh trees they hosted some Tree Kangoroos. There was a few sleeping high up in the trees so, not so much to see after all.

Owl  watching and kites, location I´m not sure. But it was very rewarding for me. The Australian Kite was there and I love that bird and it´s relatives. My birding friends stood on a gravel road looking for owls but as I noticed the Kites I has all of my attention on them. One kite sat down on a pole and I started to move towars it. Keeping an eye at my companions if they start yelling I can´t do that. But noone screamed. The owl was not expected to be in my direction. After maybe 20 min the Kite I was watching was chased away by another kite. Guess if my camera went warm then? And my day was saved.  :)

There was only one owl seen that evening and it seemed injured as it could not lift into the air. Our guide had to call somebody tomorrow to see if they can take care of the owl. 

Chambers Lodge A late dinner and Todays birdlist before going to bed. But on the way down to the room we took a quick look at a Striped Possum licking honey at a balcony they had where they lit up a feeding place for them.
Actually, I think this image is upside down. I think it had it´s head down.

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140908 Queensland Cairns to Atherton

Queensland, Australia 2014-09-05--09-25
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© NF Photos 140908

I woke up at 5,45 for an early start of the day. Breakast was supposed to be at 6.30 so I had to be packed and ready to leave by then. Now, it happend that the chef had overslept so there was no breakast ready. OK, change of plans then. We left for the Esplanade and trying to find the owl again. With no success. We walked around several places, but no owl. But it was a nice morning in the park of the Esplanade. 

Finally we went back and got our breakfast. But now we learned that one of the men had trouble with the eyes. Our tour guide decided he had to go to see a doctor. We left the two men off at an emergency and our birdguide took the rest of us for a birding tour around Cairns. Turned out to be quite nice. First we drove slowly through an old graveyard. Phil, the guide, did not let us out but we could take some shots from the open doors of the bus. The place was crowded with Bush-thick knees (bush stone-curlew). It was strange to see them in and around the graves. They seemed to fit in rather well.

Then we drove in to the Centenary lakes Botanic garden. It was a large park with several different areas and we spent the better time of the morning there. There was flowers, birds, butterflies, snakes, trees, lots of things.  Most famos for having both sweet and salt water lakes. The best Botanic Garden I´ve ever been to. Later on I will probably have to make a post for that place only. I think this species is a Carpet python. What you can see is about half the lenght of it.

We also visited Machans beach, close to Cairns, a nice, sandy, beach. It was probably low tide when we visited.
Me on the beach to the left.  

After having some lunch we realised our two lost men would not be ready to continue. It was decided they had to go by cab to the lodge for the evening and the rest of us went on our way to visit some of the planned places for the day.  So, we headed inland. Straight to Granite Gorge. It is  a Nature Park as well as a camping site. And they hosted the lovely little Rock Wallaby and two Tawny Frogmouth. And I could finally touch a Termite Mound to see what it felt like. I have a post with the Rock Wallabies and a video HERE. It shows how you can feed the small ones with pellets. The one here has a baby in her pouch. So tiny you could probably have it all in your hand. The head probably not more then 2 cm.


The Tawny Frogmoth was sitting in a tree that had a table beside it. To get better shots I climbed the table to click from there. Then I overheard Phil, our guide, talking to some other guests. They pointed out that I was on the table. He explained it like this: oh, she is from Sweden!  Giggling. Like that should explain it all. :)

After Granite Gorge we made two more stops before going to Chambers. Our lodge for the next two nights. Our two men was already there. And as it seemed OK.  I got an entire appartment all by myself in the djungle. How cool is that! Agreat place from what I can tell. We spend a few moments to look around and get our things to the rooms. Then we had dinner and the birdlist done. This place is DARK! You need the flashlight if you want to go out.
Uploaded todays images, washed up some clothes and took a shower. Then...sleep!

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140907 Queensland first day Cassowary and Cairns

Queensland, Australia 2014-09-05--09-25
Sunday 140907
click photo to view with Lightbox   © NF Photos 140907, Cairns and Kuranda

After our guide, Phil, picked us up we went to the hotel for our first stay. Acacia Court Hotel, Cairns.  
Despite our early arrival we were able to get access to our rooms. We now had time to take a very much needed shower before breakfast at 6.30. I had room 608 with a great view of the Esplanade. In the treetop was sitting a beautiful white dove. My first bird in Australia. 

As we arrived early we went to visit Cassowary House today instead of tomorrow. Which turned out to be good.. Our guide lives there and we thought it would be great to start with it. There was a family of 2 adult and 2 chicks of the Cassowary birds. Very hard to get shots though as we were too many people on a small veranda. It was very nice to see them. There was also several other birds to start off the birding list. 

The area was also good for birding the forest edge. We spent an hour birding along the road and in the forest as well. And there we met another family of Cassowary birds. But in the wild people got nervous and we had to retreat. Taking a look in my files I realised there was no shots at all from that meeting. :(  

Then we drove to Cattana Wetlands nature concervation park, a great place for walking and birding. And with great dragonflies and butterflies as well. We had a nice walk around the wetland enjoying ourselves. One thing we learned about the country already this first day is that places are subject to flooding now and then and warning signs stood at tthe parkinglot. After that we really needed to have something to eat. I also found some cool parrots to shoot. :) 

Now we turned back toward Cairns and made a stop at another pond in what seemed like a factory area. We found, among other birds, these two Straw-necked Ibis. The smaller one seemed to be injued and did not move during the time we spent there.

To finish of the day we made two stops at the coast. One just outside Cairns and then we drove to the
Esplanade to see what was there. When we arrived it was low tide and some waders and other shorebirds was there. We also were looking for an owl that was supposed to be there, but we did not find it.

Dinner at 19.30 and going through the birdlist for today. 
Back on my room I checked the window view, uploaded my images to the computer and hit the sack. 
I was sleeping before I hit the pillow. 

At the end of The Esplanade was this place to take a swim. Suitable for all ages from what I could see. I thought it was a very nice place. 

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140905-07 Stockholm Arlanda to Cairns A VERY long day

Queensland, Australia 2014-09-05--09-25

140905-07 Stockholm Arlanda to Cairns  a VERY long day or shall I say three very short ones.

We started out from my hometown by car at 9.30h on friday morning, 140905, and arrived at Cairns at 04.15h on Sunday 140907. First stop was London  and the second one Hong Kong. Hours spent in the air: Arn-London 2h 40 min, London-Hong Kong 12 h and Hong Kong Cairns 7h.
A lot of time is also spent waiting. Waiting on Terminals to be able to Check In and then to pass Security before finding the GATE. Being who I am I can´t resist clicking where that is allowed. And that means....no clicking in Security. They would steel your camera and put you in jail.
We arrived at Cairns airport at 04,15h hours. Going through costumes was annoying in a way. I was searched in costums and secutity 5 times during the trip and sniffed on twice. Nobody thinks the costums before theirs do a good job. L and I wonder why I´m going through this. Well, at least I was happy when it was finally done and we could go out to join our local guide for the first week.
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Taking a break at Lake Mälaren. Sweden,  on the way to Arlanda airport

Somebody likes squares at Arlanda Terminal 2

At London airport they had this restaurant that I liked. If I was hungry I would eat there. The center of the table was moving with lots of different dishes. Take your pick and then pay. Another shot HERE  Made me wonder...what is reflections and what is not?   Weekend Reflection
© NF Photos 140905

This is probably not Himalaya but somewhere north of it. Took it at early morning. What ever that is on a trip like this. Everyone seemed to sleep but me.

Part of Hong Kong in afternoon light

A beautiful woman selling perfumes I think. In the Terminal at Hong Kong Airport

Last stop, Cairns at 04,15h. Nowadays you can follow the flight in real time. Not so easy to read this flight path though.  :)
© NF Photos 140906

End of first part of the trip for now! Hotel next.

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