Southern Queensland BirdingAuthor: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: December 2006
We only covered 11Km in the second hour, but saw a Buff-rumped Thornbill and White-naped Honeyeater. The Superb Fairywrens and Red-browed finches were beyond counting sitting on the barbed-wire fences.
In the third hour we watched swarms of Crimson Rosellas mow down the purple blossoms of Thistle plants. Too bad we don't have them in the US.
In the fourth hour there were fields of Strawflowers and wild Dill growing along the road with a few Elephant ears. There were Poke plants and Mulleins.
We stopped at Queen Mary Falls for an Orange Slice with Cappuccino and Iced Chocolate. This was the real Iced Chocolate -- chocolate syrup drizzled on the inside of the glass, milk and ice cream, and topped with a large dollop of cream and frosted with cocoa. Beautiful!
We stopped briefly at Daggs Falls. At Brown Falls we took the 600m-bush walk to the falls. The track was a bank-hugging, creek-crossing and rock-hopping good time. The falls was nice too.
You know you're a birder if:
1. You travel to a foreign country and the only new words you learn are bird names. 2. On your vacation in Alice Springs you spend most of your time at the sewage ponds. 3. You can spend a month in Winnie, Texas. 4. When shopping for new clothes, you check that the pockets are large enough to hold a field guide. 5. You know the correct pronunciation of Gerygone. 6. Your idea of an exotic dancer is a Sarus Crane. 7. You think a cruise is a great way to pick-up some new birds.
On Saturday, Dec 30, we drove to Main Range NP to hike Mt Cordeaux (pronounced Cor-doo). During the 35-mile route we spotted 18 birds including a Black-shouldered Kite. We started the 3.4 Km (2 mile) track at 7:30am. Right off we were dazzled by a Rufous Fantail flitting about and flashing his red tail with white tips. The climb to the top was on an arduous switchback trail with rough footing -- good thing we have boots. Once we got to the top there was a grand views of the mountain range and a square-tailed Kite soared over us.
We walked back pretty fast, but my wife froze when she heard an Albert's Lyrebird. While searching for it in the ferns and brush, we heard and finally saw a male Paradise Riflebird. Then a female Satin Bowerbird flew back and forth across the trail excitedly in front of us -- when a bowerbird chick in down-feathers appeared on the edge of the track, we knew why.
Back in Boonah we stopped for scones with coffee & a milkshake. We didn't know the butcher shop closed at Noon today. Fortunately, when we got there at 1pm they were still putting meat away and sold us 2 huge pork chops for $5US (the tenderloin was long gone).
We started our New Years Eve celebration watching a clamorous baby Golden-headed Cisticola working its parents for worms and bugs. Beautiful!
Down the road 27 Kangaroos turned out in one spot to watch us drive by. We saw over 100 Kangaroos in a 2 Km stretch of road -- no Joeys, but a few Moms with "babies at foot". These babies can really run.
We were driving the White Swamp Road. Just before we entered NSW my wife spotted a Red Waddlebird with a red tear-drop (wattle) hanging down from each eye, and a big yellow patch on the belly.
After 3 hours we had traveled 27 Km to the NSW border/rabbit proof fence. They have a cattle grid at the border. Do you think that would deter rabbits? In 4 hrs we only met one car.
While driving down a dirt road we came on Koreelah NP (28.294S 152.444E). We drove in for a look around. There were several families tent camping. The park had a nice eco-friendly bathroom and a 100m track to a falls -- except there wasn't enough water. But, we saw a red dragonfly, a beautiful butterfly and a Yellow-faced Honeyeater
We took the paved road home, but much of it was twisty and narrow. We led the parade downhill. At one point my wife screamed STOP! We backed up just in time to see a European Goldfinch sitting on a barbwire fence. We got home at 1:10pm.
For dinner my wife fixed pork steak. Cooking is a challenge on the road -- you are always missing some tool or pan you need -- or maybe an oven. My wife browned the pork, and then simmered it covered to simulate baking it, then added the Belgium Sauerkraut (cooked in white wine). Served with mash (they don't say potatoes) and substitute pinto beans. A fitting way to close out 2006!
On Jan 1 we rested at the house enjoying the bird show at the birdbath and feeder. At one time we had 24-Double-barred Finches on the bath and feeder.
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