Port Douglas, far North Queensland, 2012

A week in Port Douglas November 2012 was the adventure with the total solar eclipse on the morning of the 14th the icing on the cake. I took the opportunity to do some guided bird tours in the hinterland around Port Douglas and in the elevated habitats on the Atherton Tableland. Here 13 endemic species are found. The guides were truly excellent having intimate local knowledge of where these specific bird species and all the others were located and the ability to bring the birds out into the open to get a good look and hopefully a photo for the record. The pied monarch was my favourite - such a delightful little bird!

Highlights were excellent views of the lovely fairy wren, pied monarch and the rare golden bowerbird. My knowledge about birding in the tropical north was greatly enhanced. For example, I learned that the great bowerbird is not particularly fussy about human activity where he builds his bower; in busy school grounds or in shrubbery on the main street of towns will do him nicely. No shortage of materials to decorate his bower either; white stones, bone, green glass from broken bottles, coloured plastic articles such as drinking straws and pens are avidly collected and positioned for maximum impact.

 

Apostle Birds Australian Pratincole Beach Stone Curlew Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher Chestnut-breasted Mannikin Chowchilla (deep in the rainforest) (E)

Cicadabird (f)

Golden Bowerbird (male - deep in the rainforest) (E)

Great Bowerbird (m)

Mountain Thornbill (E)

Pale-headed Rosella

Pied Monarch (m)

Spectacled Monarch

Spotted Whistling Duck (unusual sighting)

Squatter Pigeon

Olive-backed Sunbird (f)

Olive-backed Sunbird (m)

Varied Honeyeater

                                                                                                           

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Images Russell Cockman