Lil Sis and I were up early to start our day with a guided bird walk around Julatten. Saw heaps of lifers including Scarlet Honeyeater, Double-eyed Fig-parrot, Papuan Frogmouth, Metallic Starling, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin and Forest Kingfisher.
After our two and a half hour walk we had some breakfast and then headed off down the mountain to Mossman. The road was quite steep and windy but we managed to stop at a couple of lookouts.
First stop was Mossman Gorge which is at the southern end of the Daintree rainforest. There is a big, brand new visitors centre 3 km from the gorge where we parked the car and then caught the shuttle bus to the gorge. When we pulled up in the carpark at the gorge we were confronted with a Japanese film crew, filming what we assume was a tourism ad.
We wandered along the boardwalk and down to the crystal-clear Mossman River and then on up to a lookout. We walked across the Rex Creek Suspension Bridge to the beginning of the 2.4 km loop track. Sensibly, Mum and Lil Sis hung out at the river while I fanged around the walking track, which was a steep climb up the mountain side and back. I went in the hope of seeing some rainforest birds but dipped out big time. I did see some cool big fig trees though.
We caught the shuttle bus back and then drove on up to Wonga Beach in search of Beach Stone-Curlew but dipped on those too. We did however see an Osprey catch a fish so that made the drive worthwhile, Mum and Lil Sis probably thought the scenery made it worthwhile to.
We drove back up to Julatten and stopped in at out accommodation for lunch and then headed inland to Mount Molloy in search of Great Bowerbird. Mount Molloy is only 9 km from Julatten but feels worlds away. Julatten is in the rainforest at the base of Mt Lewis and Mount Molloy is all red dirt and gum trees and has a real outback feel to it. We headed to one location where the Bowerbirds are supposed to be and didn’t see them, but we did find some Pale-headed Rosella, which was more than a nice consolation prize. I had one more location for Great Bowerbird, which was a bike track in the middle of town, so we wandered along there and finally came across a group of them feeding in someone’s chook yard, yay!
With Great Bowerbird ticked, we headed north to Maryfarms which is supposed to be a reliable sight for Australian Bustard, and it was. Mum was the first to spot one on East Mary Road, so we pulled over and got the spotting scope out and watched it for a while. Further on down the road we spotted another and over on West Mary Road we saw six. We’d also hoped to get Blue-winged Kookaburra at either of these sights, but didn’t finally see one until we were back out on the highway, adding another lifer to the list.
Back to Kingfisher Park for another yummy home cooked dinner by Mum, yay! It’s a good idea to bring your Mum on holidays…