We were met in Brisbane by Graham of Murray Transport and wisked along towards O’Reilly’s, stopping at Daisy Hill Koala Park (where we saw no koalas) but did see a red-necked wallabee and a pair of Laughing Kookaburros. Next stop was Buckholz’s Park, where a large pond and wetlands had attracted many species, including a large number of long-billed Corella (outside their normal range, per Bill). Dave and Marilyn, it reminded us a bit of the “impromptu swamp” we saw with Martin in East Africa. Arriving at O’Reilly’s, we found it to be smack in the middle of the rain forest with lots of wildlife on view right on the grounds! Among others we saw a red-necked pademelon, Crimson Rosella, Eastern Yellow Robin (one of my favorites), Regent and Satin Bowerbirds, etc…… More birding before dinner in Lamington National Park (the entrance is right across the street from O’Reilly’s) turned up, among others, a King Parrot (gorgeous red and green). We learned that when on an organized birding tour, the group meets (in the bar before dinner), and over drinks, reviews the species seen that day. Marilyn, thank you for giving me your print out of John Watson’s detailed list. With that in hand, it was easy to just check off the birds seen that day. A rugby match between New Zealand and France was on the TV in the bar and had attracted lots of guests from Australia – fun to chat with some of them. Dinner was excellent, but we were all so exhausted, it’s a wonder no one fell head first into their plate!
Monday and Tuesday have been even more enjoyable as we all had a good night’s rest on Sunday night. Bird highlights have been an Owlet Nightjar (it is neither an owl or nightjar, per Bill!) and a Noisy Pitta as well as a Southern BooBook owl. We also had great views of a Ringtail Possum.
The group is very compatible and Bill is a great leader. O’Reilly’s tour leader for yesterday was Duncan Fowler – very knowledgeable and a great sense of humor. He found a piece of wood that, when propped up and viewed from a distance, looks like a wallabee – so he propped it up where the next visitors to the spot will see it as they walk toward the campsite. Tomorrow we go out with Glenn, an older guide whom Bill has clearly spent lots of time with over the years.
Note from Marilyn:
Due to technical problems, Louise sent photos via Flickr and text to me via email. I will need to spend some time figuring out how to make those photo images larger on the website. Her photos are really terrific and we want to show you what they're seeing! Please bear with me until I figure it out.