Sunday, December 14, 2014

Wildlife Viewing Boat - For Sale

Rarely do these specialised river boats come up for sale.

It is these types of boats that gave Daintree the reputation for seeing wildlife on their 2 hour dawn  river tours and started overnight accommodation in the Daintree.

Offered for sale with

Look under commercial - example


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Birdwatching App for Cairns & Tropical North Queensland

Screenshot of App for Marks Lane

This is an excellent app, such a good resource. We came from the UK during July and August this year and found these notes and excellent directions were exactly what we needed.

MARK'S LANE: This site in particular is not one that visitors would find easily. We had Bustards, Sarus Cranes, Spotted Harrier, several Black shouldered kites and lots of Whistling Kites along this road and thousands of Plumed Whistling Ducks at Lake Tinaroo at the end of the road.

The photographs of junctions and sites are particularly useful when looking for entrances to the right road. Thank you very much for this resource. Best value app we have ever bought!

Any chance of you extending the range to other birding areas on the East Coast?

Tom and Thelma, Focus on Birds

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Early Birds get the worms

Photo by Lance Peters
Wildlife photographer Lance Peters from Horsham in Victoria took out the Daintree Wildlife Photographic Competition in 2009 with this photo of a Black Bittern. He took it at dawn on one of the famous Daintree Dawn River Tours.

Rolf from London, Suzy from Wiepa, Loz from Nottingham and I retraced Lance's steps on Saturday 22 November 2014. We saw plenty including Black Bitterns, Papuan Frogmouths, Shining Flycatchers and Azure and Sacred Kingfishers.

Ian "Sauce" Worcester
We went with Sauce from Daintree River Wild Watch and had a great old time,

Next up we shared an Egg & Bacon Pie on the picnic tables at the jetty, wow.

After that Rolf and I went on a Daintree Bird Walk and Rolf ended up with smashing looks at Lovely Fairy-wren and Pied Monarch both of which are target species on the walk.

There is no doubt about it Daintree Village is a top world class birding spot provided you go with good guides and go early in the summer.


Saturday, November 01, 2014

They're Back

Buff-Breasted Paradise-Kingfisher

A single Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher was seen and heard at Kingfisher Park, Julatten yesterday.

Photo by Jim Bendon

Thursday, October 23, 2014

People watching.

If you look carefully in the centre of the photo there are two Welcome Swallows sitting on the boat.

In the height of the birdwatching season the Birding-Aus community were advising each other what was the best boat in Daintree to do a tour on.

As it turns out visiting birdwatchers have a choice of three operators who will take them out in small roofless boats at dawn and dusk for a modest fee.

That is a good tried and true formula that has been around since 1992. After that there are several factors that enter the equation. The obvious factor is luck. But luck can be influenced by, local knowledge, dedication to the task and lots of experience.

I was tickled to have Ian "Sauce" Worcester send me this photo of two Welcome Swallows watching his passengers during a recent tour.

Ian can be reached at: Daintree Wildlife

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Local ornithologist to be honoured.

Lloyd Nielsen
On 1 November 2014 Mt Molloy man Lloyd Nielsen will be honoured with the John Hobbs medal, see note below.
Lloyd has a connection with Daintree wildlife that spans 24 years. He has contributed to birdwatching tourism in Queensland's Wet Tropics and self-published "Daintree - Jewel of Tropical North Queensland" - ISBN 0646 13545 5.
Professional birdwatching in Daintree was new in 1992 when Lloyd was researching his birdwatching field guide "Birds of Queensland's Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef" - ISBN 0646 27200 4. He helped the early birdwatching guides get a better grasp of birdwatching in one of the best venues in Australia - the Daintree River at dawn.

Bird book launch 1996
Present: Steve Noakes, Warren Entsch, Lloyd and Chris Dahlberg
Lloyd's connection was symbiotic, his field guide for birds was funded by Clipsal a South Australian manufacturing company whose General Manager was a visiting birdwatcher.
The assemblage at the book launch included the head of TNQ tourism, the federal member and a tourism pioneer.

NOTE: The John Hobbs Medal may be awarded annually by the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union for "outstanding contributions to ornithology as an amateur scientist".It commemorates John Hobbs (1920-1990) and was first awarded in 1995.


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Dawn Chorus in the Douglas Shire

Black Butcherbird
With the birdwatching season in full swing and being spring the dawn chorus is more pronounced. The deep melodious songs in the pre-dawn, repeated over and over again are made by Black Butcherbirds and on the edges and a little later numerous Figbirds chime in with their more strident calls. 

Image: Magnus Kjaergaard


Monday, October 13, 2014

Crocodile Warning Wonga Beach

Recent Crocodile sighting

This temporary crocodile warning sign is at the southern end of Wonga Beach. The Daintree River mouth is at the northern end. There are crocodiles in this area and at this time of the year they are much more active because they are breeding. Some of the younger male crocodiles are chased out of the Daintree River by the older males and end up at Wonga Beach.
Beach Stone-curlews.
It is birdwatching time here in the Wet Tropics and birdwatchers visit Wonga Beach to see birds, in particular Beach Stone-curlews.
If you want to see Beach Stone-curlews do not walk along the beach. Go to the beach from the several tracks leading down to the beach, look around and then go back the way you came. Don't turn at right angles and walk along the beach because there could be a crocodile at the back of the beach and you would be in direct line with it's escape route to the sea.

You can not outrun a crocodile.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Daintree birdwatching time - Wonga Beach

Just sitting at my desk this morning I can hear four cuckoos. Channel-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Koel, Brush Cuckoo and Little Bronze-Cuckoo.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Cassowary sightings from the Daintree River

Ian "Sauce" Worcester" from Daintree River Wild Watch telephoned yesterday to tell me he had seen a Cassowary from his boat. It is only the third time in 20 years that this has happened with the one of the other sightings during last month.

Apparently this happens at a certain time at a certain place and Sauce hopes to rack up some more sightings in the next few days.

You can book a trip with Sauce here: Book tour >  

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Wonga Beach - Birdwatching time in Daintree

Little (Gould's) Bronze-Cuckoo

Anywhere at Wonga Beach at present you can hear and maybe see Cuckoos. There are resident Little Bronze-Cuckoos, migrating Brush Cuckoos and passage migrant Channel-billed Cuckoos and Eastern Koels.

Wonga Beach is just inside the Daintree Valley and accessed by road on the way to Daintree.

There is a bird walk on this Saturday 6 Sep 14.


Monday, September 01, 2014

Wonga Beach - Birdwatching

Pacific Baza

Pacific Baza at Wonga Beach. 10.30am 1 Sep 14 near Janbal Street and Marlin Drive. Listen for distinctive call: "Each You - Each You - Each You"

Photo from:

10:45am Just got word from my mate Sauce that the Pelican that was hanging around the Daintree Village was taken by a croc this morning. Sauce does and early morning birdwatching trip on the Daintree. 
Daintree Birdwatching

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Beach Stone-curlew at Wonga Beach

Beach Stone-curlew
Wonga Beach is well known amongst birdwatchers for 3 special species. One of them is the Beach Stone-curlew which is rare in comparison to the Bush Stone-curlew seen and heard all over Wonga. This photo was taken yesterday afternoon with my trusty old Android mobile and might explain why it is not very good.

There is a big house available for visiting birdwatchers:


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Douglas Shire Library - Bird Exhibition

Douglas Shire Library

In line with the commencement of the local birdwatching season the Douglas Shire Library has rolled out a Bird Exhibition in Mossman. The main part of the exhibition is formed by a lifelong wild bird *egg collection by Mossman man Jack Dwyer. Showcased are other bird books and the Birds of the Daintree DVD.

The eggs were collected early last century.*


It's Birdwatching Time - boogity boogity boogity shoe....

Screenshot from birdwatching app
From now until the wet is a good time for birdwatching as the migrants flock in. To help out with accommodation Mark & Kerry Gannon have made their beachfront home at Wonga Beach available for visiting birdwatchers at some unbelievable rates. The holiday home can sleep 10 and backs onto a creek at Giblin Street which by coincidence is featured on the Port Douglas & Daintree Discovery Guide app under "birdwatching":

Backs onto Beachfront holiday home
There are lots of birdwatching places at Wonga Beach which is part of Daintree:

Wonga Beachfront Holiday Home has a responsive website at 


Friday, August 08, 2014

Strong Wind Warning

South-east Trade Winds

Right in the middle of the high season we have a strong wind warning that means it will be rough at sea and many of the reef boats in Port Douglas will not be putting to sea. It will be like this for the next few days.
The strong winds even effect the Daintree River boats because the water in the river can be rough and the trees and mangroves lining the river will be blowing around making it unpleasant and very hard to see wildlife except for crocodiles.

Go at Dawn or Dusk because it is much calmer then.
Calm conditions at dawn and dusk
Book your dawn or dusk river trip here.

You can even book it on your phone with our responsive websites.

Top image from BOM website and the bottom image courtesy of Marketing Daintree.


Friday, July 18, 2014

First sign of Spring

Spring might be 1 September on the Gregorian calendar (southern hemisphere) but Spring can also be defined by the migration of birds.

This morning I heard a Brush Cuckoo at Wonga Beach......

. photo from creative Commons

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Vale Ken Simpson

Ken Simpson passed away on Wednesday 9 July 2014.

"On his last Daintree trip Lloyd Nielsen and I showed him a new Australian bird.
It was a Mangrove Robin in the lower Daintree River and the year was 1996 or thereabouts.  He had just taken some close up shots of a Great-billed Heron for Nicholas Day the illustrator of the Simpson and Day field guide because Nicholas had never seen one in the flesh as his earlier illustrations showed."

2014. The Simpson & Day Field Guide to the Birds of Australia is the benchmark for Australian field guides. 


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The secrets of Stewart Creek Road

The eGuide to Australian birds is a very good way to learn the bird calls of those small pesky rainforest birds.

Use one of the Daintree Bird Walk checklists ( ) to find out what birds are calling and listen to them on the eGuide and you are halfway there.

There is a lot going on with birdwatchers.


Friday, June 20, 2014


Top half of a wildlife list 18 Jun
After the dawn river trips and walks I couldn't help but notice the puzzled looks on the faces of day visitors to Daintree Village on Wednesday.
The village is world renowned for being a centre for wildlife in the wild and indeed it lived up to it's reputation as the list above shows. The activities for seeing the wildlife happened earlier in the day, long before the day visitors arrived and hence the puzzled looks.
One of the best ways to experience these early morning activities is to stay overnight at the village:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Carnivale 2014 Quiz - Prize for Friday 23 May - Daintree Village Hideaway

For all the Daintree Wildlife aficionados here is an opportunity to get an early start for dawn birdwatching walks and river tours. 
Tomorrow's prize is a night at Daintree Village Hideaway

To win the prize go to early and answer the question.

image courtesy of Daintree Village Hideaway


Friday, May 16, 2014

Daintree Birdwatching App

A Noisy Pitta is calling early morning from half way up Reservoir Road. Sometimes a sign of Spring.
Details of Reservoir Road, Wonga (Daintree) and 30 other birdwatching spots can be found on the Daintree birdwatching app:



Monday, May 12, 2014

Flying-fox Flyout

The photograph was taken in our backyard almost 20 years ago by Steve Parish and it shows this astonishing beautiful native animal off very well.

You can see the Spectacled Flying-foxes fly out of an early evening in Daintree (Wonga Beach) shortly after 6 pm. The best vantage point would be from the corner of Marlin Drive and Janbal Street looking north-west.


Friday, May 09, 2014

Sure sign of Winter.

The arrival of Lewin's Honeyeaters into the lowland rainforest of Daintree is a sure sign of Winter. This is not a major migration it is simply a change in altitude to warmer climes.

Photo: Aviceda

Monday, April 28, 2014

Daintree Bird Walk starts up again.

Part of this morning's list. The whole list is here:

Seeing and photographing rainforest birds in the early morning.

Book a place: 

See you tomorrow?


Monday, January 27, 2014

The Wet arrives.............

Wet season in Daintree - 27 Jan 2014

27 Jan 2014. If coming to Daintree over the next 3 months keep in mind whilst planning your trip that it is the wet season.

Weather radar on your phone,