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Two Months of Lifers Down Under

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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 09:36   #301
delia todd
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Thanks Nora. It's so hard deciding on which bird to use. Think I'll just have to do regular swaps LOL

This one was such a lovely surprise visitor to Hans' garden, there hadn't been any 'new' birds there for a bit LOL.
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 09:53   #302
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Delia - you left too soon !

We laid on a lovely balmy 48.9C (120F) day yesterday - it was most pleasant :) - you would have loved it - lol !

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/sydney-s...ting-bushfires





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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 10:01   #303
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Gawd!!! That's not funny is it Chosun.

Yes, I saw that was expected on yesterday's news reports. Any sign of any relief for you yet?

Take care lass.
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 10:21   #304
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Arrow

Yes Delia - down to a light and breezy 30C today and even had 3 drops of rain

Need more of the H20 to snuff these fires out - or for the firefront to make like a kelpie chasing it's tail and burn themselves out.

The good thing about 48.9C is that it makes the 40C due at the end of the week seem quite fresh - I might even need to put a cardigan on - lol !



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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 11:01   #305
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From there think I've got a bit lost as to where the next stop was but in a parking area found a Noisy Miner, Grey Butcherbird and Australian Magpie. We left there and headed to Canyon Lookout.

En route, we stopped for these delightful wee creatures (lost my notebook, but think they're Pademelons); a couple of them on the grass verge. We watched them until another car came.

Another interesting walk through jungle to the viewpoint.... and what a view it was too.

Leaving there, we detoured to the Rosellas Cafe and B&B; first up a Brushturkey wandered up their drive and sat on their water dish.... to be continued
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 18:51   #306
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What a cute little creature. Splendid shot of the Turkey.
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Old Sunday 5th January 2020, 19:42   #307
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The next bird to arrive (actually more than one!) was Crimson Rosella.

We stood watching them for a while before moving on to explore the Cream Track a much wetter forest than I'd been used to, with a fine view at the end.

We then made our way to The Best of All Lookouts, the view I've chosen to show you is overlooking New South Wales and you can just make out the double-peaked Mt Cougal. Off to the right of this picture is the rather impressive Mt Warning.

So, we were making our way back to the road when suddenly Hans picked out an Australian Logrunner in the undergrowth. It was so dim in there, I'm surprised my camera managed to pick him up.

The last picture? Well, I was still mesmorised by the trees, shapes and well everything, I just had to stop and study the way this vine wound its way round the tree.
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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 03:23   #308
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Love ALL the rosellas.; spots and splashes of vibrant, shimmering color! I still miss OZ very much after all these years. Thanks for taking the time to share your trip.
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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 12:20   #309
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Yeah Sue... they really are such love birds. Enjoyed watching them.
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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 12:35   #310
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Now, I really am lost as to where we were in Springbrook. I know we explored more trails and also came into some open areas. We stopped beside a road for a while and took more pictures, but just can't put a name to the places.

At one trail, there was a sign for Albert's Lyrebird, so in case I didn't see a real one ... well here's a picture of one

So, species seen include Torresian Crow, Galah, Little Correla; a beautiful Pale Yellow Robin - remember chasing him up and down a road till I got a focused image LOL.

A Drongo species - very distant view high in a tree Top Knot Pigeon (at the Natural Bridge track), but sadly no picture, a flight of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and a Lewin's Honeyeater.

Judy pointed out to me a rather impressive Staghorn Fern too.
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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 13:11   #311
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That Crimson Rosella is amazing Delia! My favourite bird of your trip keeps changing with almost every post you make! Goodness only knows what it will be by the end of the trip, and will be most interesting to hear yours!

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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 13:19   #312
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LOL Chris! I have the same difficulty. Sometimes it's a 'pretty' one, sometimes it's one that is very hard to see, like the Logrunner, or one that's hard to get like the robin in the last post.

I dunno yet!!!
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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 22:22   #313
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O'Reilly's National Park

16 October 2019

Another very early start to get to O'Reilly's a rather famous place among birding visitors to Queensland.

However, we stopped for a break at O'Reilly's Vineyard for a cuppie and break before facing the long and hairy drive up the mountain.

During our short break here, we saw a Maned Duck with a couple of ducklings. Also seen/heard here, but no pictures were Eastern Whipbird, Pacific Black Duck, Masked Lapwing, Galah and Noisy Friarbird.

It appears the Alpaca Farm has now been re-located here too. I wondered at first if it was due to the risk of fires up on the mountain, but it seems to be a permanent move.

Shortly after we left the vineyard a Straw-necked Ibis was spotted near the river. At last I managed to get a picture of one!!!

Judy Skilfully manouvred the car on the twisty, narrow road, with loads of hairpin bends. Fortunately it wasn't busy!

On the drive up we encoutered Noisy Miner, Torresian Crow, Pied Currawong, Australian Magpie, Eastern Yellow Robin, a very flighty Grey Shrikethrush and Red-necked Pademelons; either on the road or when we pulled into one of the viewpoints.

So at last we got into O'Reilly's and had hardly recovered our breath and sorted ourselves out when Hans spotted a juvenile Eastern Whipbird just yards from the path! At last something to show for all the times I'd been hearing them call and actually got a recording on my phone (don't know how to download it onto my laptop yet though LOL). This was closely followed by an Eastern Spinebill; I'd seen one earlier that month, but not managed to get a picture at that time.

The first picture though, was left over from the day before at Springbrook and shows Australian bees on pine sap.
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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 23:00   #314
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Just love your report, surely a lifetime trip, with pictures to match.
Good on you!!

Separately, am fascinated by the bee shot, are they some native species or have European bees adapted to the demands of life down under?
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Old Monday 6th January 2020, 23:32   #315
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Hi Etudiant and many thanks for your comments.

As far as I know, these bees are native to Australia - they were tiny and looked quite different to our Honey Bee.
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Old Tuesday 7th January 2020, 00:01   #316
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Hi Etudiant and many thanks for your comments.

As far as I know, these bees are native to Australia - they were tiny and looked quite different to our Honey Bee.
Well, when I served as a bee watcher here in NYC Central Park, our guru, Jeremy Rosen, an eminent bee specialist from the American Museum of Natural History, told us there were over 200 bee species found in NYC. So it would be logical for Australia to have its own endemics.
Still would very much like to know what these were, bees using pine sap is really unknown here in the US afaik.
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Old Tuesday 7th January 2020, 00:19   #317
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I really can't be of much help Etudiant, but I Googled and found this PDF. Don't know if it's of any use to you?

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/35088746.pdf
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Old Tuesday 7th January 2020, 00:39   #318
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I really can't be of much help Etudiant, but I Googled and found this PDF. Don't know if it's of any use to you?

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/35088746.pdf
Just wow!
A really wonderful paper and a very fine piece of work. Thank you so much for sharing this.
I'd no idea that these stingless bees had developed the capacity to exploit resins so widely. Here in NYC, they are usually labelled as 'sweat bees', but not characterized more fully. Clearly we missed a lot!
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Old Tuesday 7th January 2020, 00:48   #319
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When we were in O'Reilly's in 2008 we saw a Whipbird on the path, very tame. I wonder if this one's a descendant!
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Old Tuesday 7th January 2020, 12:26   #320
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We'd only been at O'Reilly's for about 10 minutes and had already seen so much. I would have gone home happy even then LOL

A couple of 'normal' birds followed, in the pretty wee Red-browed Finch, then an Australian Brushturkey was seen strutting around.

I caught up with Hans and Judy watching a beautiful Crimson Rosella, who was keeping an eye on a stunning Regent's Bowerbird.

These were in an area where they have installed a model of the Stinson aircraft which crashed in their forest in 1937. After 11 days Bernard O'Reilly found the crash site with two surviving passengers. He made them comfortable before returning with a rescue party the next day. Obviously there's far more to this story than I've recounted here.
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Old Tuesday 7th January 2020, 21:31   #321
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There's lots of walks available at O'Reilly's and we chose the Booyong Walk.

Not long in I spotted a blob in a tree, but it was rather dark and getting focused was tricky. Got it ID'd by mjh (many thanks) as an immature Eastern Yellow Robin (not my first sighting of the species, but my first youngster).

High in the fork of a tree Hans spotted a female Paradise Riflebird (my only bird-of-paradise of the trip I think).

All the way round I could hear whipbirds calling... such a distinctive call. Then we came to the Treetop walk, which Judy and I decided to take. The picture I've chosen, shows a guy climbing up a tree ladder. Nope!!! Not doing that!!!

It was very interesting to do, but being late morning now, I guess most of the birds had taken to the shade.

Back on firm ground, we met up with Hans again and shortly after found a rather lovely juvenile King Parrot.

Then it was time for lunch. And what a view you get from their restaurant!
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Old Wednesday 8th January 2020, 11:30   #322
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A final tidy-up of this lovely visit to O'Reilly's for after lunch we then had to start making our way back.

First a female Golden Whistler in the rainforest. Then, as we were leaving the car park, a Grey Shrikethrush which I chased around the area for ages before I could get just this one image!!! We'd seen one on the way up which I couldn't get at all!

A couple of Whiptail Wallabies were found on our drive back down the mountain.

Then we have a view taken from one of the view points on the access road.

And lastly, another shot of that young Eastern Whipbird.

What a day that was.

Other birds seen / heard on this trip were White-browed Scrubwren, Lewin's Honeyeater, Bell Miner (heard), Blue-faced Honeyeater. We also saw an old nest of a Yellow-throated Scrubwren (identified by Judy), but never saw the species.
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Old Wednesday 8th January 2020, 22:13   #323
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Hope you don't go through withdrawals after you leave, Delia. I did.
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Old Wednesday 8th January 2020, 22:20   #324
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LOL Sue. I am back home now (about 7 weeks now) and yeah.... had withdrawal symptoms. Especially as I left Perth in 41 C and arrived back in Scotland at -1C.

That really wasn't funny!

Today's next installment is in preparation. Been out this evening
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Old Wednesday 8th January 2020, 22:42   #325
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Posts: 256,897
Austinville Valley

17 October 2019

But first a picture taken late the evening before of a Laughing Kookaburra on the roof of one of the cabins.

I had a wander in the grounds before breakfast and got the next few pictures; a small flock of King Parrots arrived (looked like a family group), pecking about around the kitchen area, then flew up into a tree.

A Pied Butcherbird feasting on some bread that someone had put out. Then another picture of the Noisy Miner, with the odd clump of feathers on his nape.

After breakfast we headed back up the Austinville Valley, so here's another view of the rainforest there. Judy drove very slowly, while Hans had got out and walked along the road ahead of us trying to hear and spot stuff away from the car.
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