Friday, June 25, 2010

Rainbow Bee-eaters


Not a great variety of birds around at the moment apart from lots of these pretty Rainbow Bee-eaters swooping low over the dam after insects and, yes, bees!

Fantails, Fly-catchers and Spectacled Monarchs and of course the ubiquitous Sulphur-crested Cockatoos which have beaten 'Junior', the Cassowary to ALL the ripe Carambolas!  We now have no ripe fruit to attract him back so may have to wait for the warmer months when Malay Apples and Star Apples start ripening.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rainforest

I find it tricky to take photos of the rainforest - really must learn how to use the camera properly one day rather than relying on 'auto'!  This one didn't turn out too badly and was taken from one of the glades on our walking-track, looking down into the deep gully which leads into the wetlands-dam.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wompoo Fruit-Dove

Heard the very distinctive deep call of a Wompoo Fruit-Dove on my walk yesterday and, amazingly, caught sight of it high up in the rainforest canopy.  The call sounds just like the name - Wom-Poo!  It's not a very good shot as I had to zoom in so much - if you check my archives there are some better earlier photos there.

PS  The Cassowary was back again yesterday.  Hadn't seen him (her?) for a few days and thought it might have moved away but it was back checking out the Carambola (Five-Corner) fruit which are just starting to ripen.   We seem to have named it 'Junior'!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lovely Fairy Wren

For ages now I've been trying to take a good shot of one of these beautiful little Fairy Wrens - lots of them along our walking track at the moment but they move so fast!  This is still blurry but is the best I've managed so far.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

More about Cassowaries


We were delighted to have Lloyd Nielsen and Dorothy stay again last night - Lloyd is a famous ornithologist and author of many books (http://www.birdingaustralia.com.au/  

The Cassowary didn't appear before they left
this morning (although I heard it 'honking' very early on) but I showed Lloyd the photos and he confirmed that it is a juvenile, about two years old, although at this stage it's not possible to tell the gender. 

They can roam a territory up to 10 square miles but we are hoping that our large variety of fruit trees, fruit being one of their main food sources, will encourage it to stay around here.  Lloyd thinks it could very well become a long-term resident so here's hoping!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cassowary - first sighting!

There we were sitting in the lounge after lunch today - looked out and what did we see, right by our front doorstep?!!!!  We were totally blown away!  It (we're not sure if it's a he or a she - perhaps quite young as the red wattle isn't very bright?) wandered around, had a good look at us, left us another 'message' on the lawn, honked a few times then ambled off into the rainforest!  They are quite territorial birds and the breeding season is from now until November so hopefully it will stay around for a while. 

Great excitement!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cassowaries!

Well, it's now official - we have a Cassowary at Daintree Valley Haven!  A while ago a guest saw what he thought was a Cassowary footprint and this afternoon I saw a strange pile of 'something' (below) on the driveway behind the bungalows and upon checking this site -http://www.amazingaustralia.com.au/animals/cassowary.htm  it confirmed what I suspected!  Very exciting and I do hope to get a photo of it.  We will of course now have to warn guests to be careful as they are very big birds and can be dangerous if provoked.

If you look at the above website you'll see a very rare photo of Cassowaries mating - this photo was taken at Coopers Creek by Rosemary Mulcahy the first time she and Brian stayed with us!



Saturday, June 5, 2010

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea

An annual event when community groups throughout Australia host morning teas to raise funds for cancer research and we've just got home from tiny Daintree primary school's (total 13 students) event this morning. 

Everyone took a plate but otherwise the kids organised everything themselves and did a fantastic job - they made the lovely table decorations and organised a series of quizzes (we adults made a complete hash of answering the nursery rhyme questions!!!)

Now there are rumours the school may be closed due to low numbers but there would be local outrage if this happened as the Daintree Village population is very small and not only is it vital for the children to have a local school it is also a focal point of community life, as the great support this morning proved.

(That's the back of Peter's head on the right! - our friends Di and Barry to the left.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Orchids


An orchid at last!  I'm not the world's best orchid-grower and this plant has sat in it's pot outside the front door for many years more or less fending for itself with just the occasional pruning and the even more occasional dollop of water.  So we were tickled pink (or should that be mauve?!) yesterday to find a single, beautiful bloom. 

We've had it so long I can't even remember what variety it is ... !