|Great Bowerbird, Mount Molloy School|
|Donation box at the school where the Great Bowerbird can be seen.|
|Red-tailed Black Cockatoo|
The next series of images are from the Daintree area, some taken during our Daintree Boatman river cruise. We stayed at the excellent Red Mill House.
|Azure Kingfisher (river cruise)|
|Great-billed Heron, juvenile (river cruise)|
|Sacred Kingfisher, Daintree NP|
|Large flock of Cattle Egrets, Daintree Village|
Searching for the Southern Cassowary, a bird with a somewhat intimidating reputation, was near the top of my priorities in the Daintree National Park. They live in the lowland rainforest, much of which has already been cleared, fragmenting the cassowary populations and bringing some of the birds into close contact with people. And sometimes they are aggressive toward people, especially when looking after their chicks. One of the best places to see them is the Jindalba Boardwalk trail. I was lucky enough to spot a stripy cassowary chick on the path, then quickly realised there were two. I peered upwards through the dense forest vegetation to see the male Cassowary towering above the chicks (and with him being up the slope, me too!). One of those heart-stopping wildlife moments! Slowly, he led the chicks away from the path and I was able to continue along the trail and enjoy more views of the family group. In cassowaries, it is the male that incubates the eggs and raises the chicks on his own.
|Southern Cassowary, Jindalba Boardwalk Trail|
|One of the two chicks|
The third and last of my main target birds for the trip, the Beach Thicknee, was the hardest to find. It took three tries at different sites before I finally succeeded: at the Mossman River entrance (accessed from Newell Beach). Even then, after a long search, I was literally about to close the car door and leave the site, when one bird flew into the muddy creek. This bird was very relaxed and spent a long time preening, feeding and loafing around, gradually getting nearer and nearer. I really couldn't have hoped for better views, just awesome. This was also a great place to watch Ospreys fishing.
|Beach Thicknee, Mossman River|
|Comb-crested Jacana, Cattana Wetlands|
|Eastern Curlew, Cairns Esplanade - what a bill!!|