Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Down Under Part Four: Birding Queensland 3 - Mareeba

Spent a day out in the Mareeba area. The wetlands, well, the lake, was very attractive but entirely devoid of birds. This was due to the time of year being the end of the wet season meaning the wetland birds are spread out over a vast area. The only wildfowl we saw were on some shallow floods on the drive in. The site is run by a private lodge so you have to pay to visit and walk round the lake. There is a good cafe and toilets. It was very hot in the middle of the day when we arrived and whilst I walked round the lake the rest of the family gave up due to the heat and the fee was wasted really. We should have worked this out before paying, as visiting the cafe was free. Birding round the lake revealed some new stuff typical of drier ground. Vicky saw a big Frilled Lizard on the entrance road and we all saw a young one close to the cafe.

Frilled Lizard

From here we went to Granite Gorge just west of Mareeba. A scenic place partly run as a zoo and campsite. For a few dollars you can explore the area, see the Mareeba Rock Wallabies and check out a few birds.

Blue-winged Kookaburra. Our only sighting of this cool bird was on the approach track to Mareeba Wetlands.
 Double-barred Finches were common but I failed to find any Black-throated Finches.

Pink-eared Ducks (and a Chestnut Teal). These are seriously cool ducks, with a weird leathery flap under the bill tip.
 Red-winged Parrot
Red-backed Fairy-wren. Poor photo of a common bird around the lake, but hard to get close to the males! A stonking little bird.

Squatter Pigeon. Not an easy bird, so great to see a couple of confiding individuals at Granite Gorge.

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