Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cape Tribulation

Travel day ... back to Sydney. Here are a few images from our day in the Daintree Rain Forest and Cape Tribulation.

Top to bottom:

White-bellied Sea Eagle

WB hiding the mangroves a low tide

Rain Forest

Rain Forest Tea patch

BB at Cape Tribulation

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What's this?

Came across this critter in the North Coast rainforest? If any paleontologist can tell me what it is, I will offer a reward :-)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Feathers and furs

A few pictures of beasts and birds, all with the exception of the Roo family, from the last few days around the Port Douglas area.

Beasts from top to bottom: Kangaroo family (if you enlarge the photo you might share my hunch that dad Roo is of a mind to expand the family); wallaby mom and little one; wallaby baby portrait; and a Koala who peeked briefly before going back to sleep (we found out that these guys eat eucalypt leaves for four hours a day, then sleep for 20 hrs, apparently because some "toxin" in the leaves requires long and leisurely digestion -- me thinks the toxin might just be some delicious drug that send the Koala to LaLaLand -- in any case, the life of a Koala cant be all bad).

Birds: Rosy-crowned fruit dove; double-barred finch; the marvelous forest kingfisher; the male Red-winged parrot.

For those interested, a few more of my Aussie bird photos are here If I wasn't having so much fun and a faster internet connection, I'd post lots more. Eventually ....

Tomorrow Brenda is going on all-day outer reef trip and I am going birding. Would love to see the reefs but I am a water-dreading landlubber. Brenda has been practicing with the camera, so some pics might find there way here.

Some rainforest pictures coming next time.
Rose-crowned Fruit Dove

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

North Queensland

Have now been humidifying and heating ourselves for two days in the tropics of northern Queensland. Base is Port Douglas and the famous 4-mile beach. Apart from the beach (a day or so is enough for this dedicated bushwacker), there is much to do and see here: from the high tablelands just across the mountains east of the Coral Sea coast to the World Heritage site of Daintree National Park a bit further north, and Cape Tribulation. Today we headed across the hills to the highlands -- destination the Mareeba wetlands (a renowned birding hotspot) and the coffee plantations that produce high elevation rainforest coffee. Both were splendidly rewarding.

Here are a few photos (no birds -- the pics still await processing; remember to click on the photos for larger versions). From top to bottom:

A couple of cuppas at Skybury's Australian coffee plantation (PM for Glen: a bag of beans of the type that went into these most delicious cups is coming your way!)

A patch of sugarcane from one of the many huge plantations in the tablelands

Willi leaning against one of the more spectacular termite mounds that dot the highland woods

Sunrise at the 4-Mile beach in Port Douglas

The 4-mile beach in pano

I promise birds in the next post

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Kangaroo Island

We have just come off five days on Kangaroo Island, name well deserved. Rustic, no internet, but lots of lovely scenics and lots of 'roos, wallabies, ichidnas, koalas and birds. Sorry about the very episodic nature of my posts.

Love the Crimson Rosellas! And the Australian sea lions. And the Remarkable Rocks. And the stunning southern hemisphere colours. The light is different here. And the sunsets.

And we killed NO Roo!

Next posting hopefully from the north-east coast area.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

South Australia

After a day in the Blue Mountains (west if Sydney) went by air to Adelaide, then two days by car south east to the Coorong, rugged ranchland and wine country. Ended up in the little seaside town of Robe, the oldest settlement in the area. Next day we meandered along the coast, then across the Fleurieu peninsula to Victor Harbour, just south of Adelaide. From here we go to Kangaroo Island for several days.

Photos from top to bottom:

Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains

Willy coffee in Robe

Hew Holland Honeyeater

Willie Wagtail

A swarm of Galahs

Ghost Tree (a species of eucalypt)

Leni (Willi's sister) and WB on the Coorong coast (Indian ocean)


Harbour of the town of Robe

Friday, July 9, 2010


Last day in Sydney -- off to Adelaide and Kangaroo Island. The Kookaburra here does not laugh! It is the Blue-winged variety.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bats and Birds

We arrived and have had too much fun and too little internet access to deliver on my promise of daily posts.

We are in our third day of exploring the Sydney area. A fabulous city, for sure. I'll try to post a few more pictures and narrate a few highlights, such as the Royal Botanical Gardens, the endless variety along the seashores, and the birds of course

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Travel day

Today is travel day - Edmonton, a stop-over in Vancouver long enough to have coffee with Anita and Brenda's parents, then a LONG flight to Sydney.

Had hoped that my loons would have their young before we leave, but I will have to wait and catch them next summer.

Brenda is hurrying up and waiting at Edmonton airport.

(click on images to enlarge)