Monday, May 11, 2015


Continuing the story of our Olive-backed Sunbirds and their nest outside our kitchen, well Mum has now laid her eggs and is spending lots of time in the nest but this afternoon is the first time I've been able to quietly open the screen-door and creep out with the camera without her flying off.  It's amazing how quickly they get used to having people around.  And here she was a few minutes ago:-

Saturday, April 25, 2015


We love our Olive-backed, sometimes called Yellow-bellied, Sunbirds and always leave bits of string and rope hanging around as they like to build their amazing suspended nests from them.  A few weeks ago a little bird started building just outside the kitchen window but then disappeared and we feared she may have been the victim of a deadly Black Butcherbird, then happily this morning she came back and there is now some furious nest-building going on!  Here she was a few minutes ago:-

On the other side of the house, opposite our bedroom window, another nest is under construction and we love lying in bed listening to the morning news bulletin and watching the nest-builder.  This time she has used a bit of vine hanging from an old tree.  It's always the female who builds, supervised by hubby who has a shiny blue-black 'bib'.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yellow Passionfruit

On my way round our walking trail this afternoon I found the path partly-blocked by vines and was about to cut them back when I spotted quite a few yellow passionfruit - we'd been wondering what all the dozens of noisy Sulphur-crested Cockatoos were into.  Unfortunately they attack them when they're still green and unripe on the vine, often taking a single bite to get to the seeds ... and the fruit has to stay on the vine to ripen!  And they are such a lovely fruit, not as acid and sharp as the purple varieties.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

A rare moth?

When we went into one of our guests' bungalows this morning this is what we saw on top of one of their curtains (we think they can't have looked up before they went out for the day!).  Never seen one before and when I googled I found it is a Tropical Swallowtail Moth which is native mainly to Singapore and SE Asia!  It's huge - about 4 inches across!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Rainbow Bee-eaters

We're always seeing these little guys swooping low over the dam, picking up insects, but these two seem to prefer the garden in front of the house.   Here they were yesterday, perched on a bare branch near our front door.  In flight their backs are an amazing irridescent blue.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Butterflies galore - still!

Wow, have we got some butterflies now after the rain has gone and beautiful sun is drying everything out!  For the past few days the lovely blue Ulysses have been everywhere and now the first of the Cairns Birdwings are appearing.  This is a male a few minutes ago on one of the Pagoda flowers outside the kitchen - his back is a stunning irridescent green and the female is darker on the back.  She is also Australia's largest butterfly, with a wingspan of up to 150 mm (6 inches).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Butterflies galore

While we wait for Cyclone Nathan to decide where he's going to cross the coast(!) we're enjoying beautiful weather, lots and lots of different Butterflies and ... amazingly for this time of year ... very few Mozzies!  Whatever Nathan does we are in for a lot of wet weather so Peter and I have just been for a walk round our 30 acres and picked a bucket full of wild-growing limes - we like curries and these make wonderful pickles to go with them.  On the way back this lovely Blue-banded Eggfly was fluttering around us and landed long enough for me to get a half-decent shot.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Magpie Goose

A loud honking noise this morning and I looked out of the kitchen in time to see large wings flapping at the top of a tall tree overlooking our dam.  Grabbed the camera, went closer and saw this Magpie Goose - by the time I got back to the house another one had joined it.  They're often seen in large flocks on the nearby Daintree River but we don't often see them here,