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.