If you’ve read my reports about Western Australia, Tasmania and Queensland and wished you could see all these magnificent parrots in person, this will put you over the edge! I really want to go up north to see those Golden-shouldered Parrots!
You’ll see Eclectus Parrots worthy of a soap opera, cheeky Cockatoos, parrots from all over Australia – forests, the dry Outback, rainforests and those who frequent farms – much to the farmer’s consternation.
This looks like an amazing trip and I really wish I could go but I already booked our travel for 2016. Maybe next time!
By day, trek across the red plains of The Kimberley and spot Gouldian finches, White-quilled Rock-pigeons, honeyeaters, Northern Fantail and Leaden Flycatchers. By night, fall asleep to the sounds of wildlife, knowing that your support is helping BirdLife Australia create a brighter future for Australia’s birds.
You can get to Kununurra with airline miles! If you are coming to Australia from overseas using a OneWorld partner’s miles program, the closest you can get is Broome or Darwin, then you need a short Air North flight to Kununurra. Starting in Australia, your best bet is Virgin Australia who offers connections to Kununurra via Perth from all over Australia. Here is an example from Brisbane, you are better off using the points plus cash for the tax option. Please note that Kununurra is not served daily so you can either fly in early or spend a couple days in Perth.
The Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus), is a broad-tailed parrot of the genus Platycercus native to northeastern Australia. This beautiful parrot is special for me as they sometimes come into our property. Their visits are sporadic so I always feel honoured when they come around.
Pale-headed Rosellas have a large range extending from the far north of Queensland into New South Wales. They are readily seen both in bushland and in suburbs of Brisbane (lucky me!) and prefer open forests. They were very easy to see at Lake Coolmunda and Mosquito Creek Road.
The miles and points game (aka The Hobby) also took a major beating with huge devaluations by Club Carlson & American Airlines and the potential loss of the SPG to airline transfer which will make airlines tickets much more difficult to get for free using normal household spending.
At the traditional time when Americans count their blessings (a tradition that really needs to be world wide), let’s remind ourselves of what we can be thankful for.
I am thankful that I have the opportunity to travel and see the world. If miles and points went away tomorrow and I couldn’t travel any more then I have still had an amazing run!
I am thankful that there are beautiful nature reserves all over the world that protect so many endangered and not-endangered species. Please get out there and see them!
I am thankful that there are birds in the world whose beauty enchants us and charm delights us. Protect them and treasure them!
I am thankful that there are organizations such as the World Parrot Trust, Birdlife and many others who have research biologists out there trying to save endangered parrots so we don’t lose them from the planet. Help them as best you can.
I am thankful for the local people who gave up poaching wild birds and are now working as guides and other occupations because of ecotourism and that they are able to share their local wildlife with us. Support them by employing them when you visit their localities.
I am thankful for the social media that allows us to be more aware and informed and teaches us to respect, cherish and protect nature. Share, share, share!
Wild turkeys in Australia are probably thankful that Thanksgiving ISN’T an Australian holiday! This is as close as they get to being on one of our tables!
I don’t often do restaurant reviews but the Polish Place in Tamborine, Queensland does also offer accommodation which I hope to try someday. It’s kind of a surreal experience. If you hadn’t just driven up from Brisbane or down from Lamington you could believe that you were in a quaint little Polish village in Europe. Not even the hot, tropical Queensland climate interferes as you are high up enough for a pleasant, cool breeze.
Whether you are staying in Brisbane or the Gold Coast, The Polish Place is just a short drive away. We drove down from O’Reilly’s in time to have lunch here. There’s plenty of birding in the area at Tamborine National Park.
The gift shop is straight out of Poland with some beautiful arts and crafts. I loved the doll collection!
The waitresses wear traditional Polish costumes.
The best seating is outside on the deck overlooking a spectacular view over teh Dividing Range.
My photos of the menu didn’t come out well but you can see more about the cuisine here. My pierogi were delicious and it was all I could do to finish the iced coffee before I was mobbed by Rainbow Lorikeets!
This was the most fun I have had at a restaurant in ages! The brilliant lorikeets put on a great show every time someone gets up from their meal to leave, hoping to steal the leftovers before the waitress can get to it.
The cheeky little devils were all over my iced coffee. I had to hide it under the table while I drank it as it really isn’t good for them. I then put some water in the glass to dilute the leftovers. They were undeterred and still tried to lick the glass clean! Don’t worry, they didn’t get much – I took my photos quickly and gave the glass to the waitress! Next time I’ll order some orange juice for them – unsweetened.
Are you looking for the perfect Christmas/Chanukah/Kwanzaa/Eid gift for the budget/eco-tourist in your life? Or something to hint for to your loved ones? Here’s the perfect idea!
During our trip around Africa, the use of Scottevests was essential to allowing us to stick to carry-on bags only. It wasn’t the size of the bags, it was the weight. Most birders have lots of heavy camera gear and bird field guides. At several airports, they weighed our carry-ons and we would have been forced to check some bags if we didn’t have the Scottevests to stuff the heavy stuff into! If you are traveling to hot climates, I recommend the Featherweight Vest. It is available in men’s and women’s sizes and comes in cement & cadet blue. The cement is a better choice for birding.
Those afternoon tropical rains won’t be a problem as it is even waterproof – watch Scott in the video below as he demonstrates the features.
Always check out the daily sale tab at the top, they have a different item on sale each day!
If you use my link, I will get a small commission for which I thank you. I wouldn’t recommend these products if I didn’t use them myself and were very happy with them.
The Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) is an Australasian robin of coastal and sub-coastal eastern Australia.
They are readily seen in a wide range of habitats: heaths, mallee, acacia scrub, woodlands and sclerophyll forests, but is most often found in damper places or near water within a large range across Eastern Australia. The rainforest canopy walkway at O’Reilly’s is a great place to find them close enough to photograph.
The Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis) is endemic to eastern Australia found in humid and heavily forested upland regions of the eastern portion of the continent, including eucalyptus wooded areas in and directly adjacent to subtropical and temperate rainforest. They feed on fruits and seeds gathered from trees or on the ground.
The male has a bright red head and breast wheras the female is mostly green. Although this female has a leg band, she is actually one of the wild parrots that hang around O’Reilly’s for a free meal.
King Parrots are easily found within their range as the males are very bright and conspicuous and the females stay close to their mates. You are pretty much guaranteed to see them at O’Reilly’s and the small cafe near Jolly’s Lookout near Brisbane.
O’Reilly’s is a great place to practice your bird photography skills as you can see several species very close and they are predictable. If you start early, you can make this a day trip from Brisbane with a 2.5 hour drive. It’s not really far but the road to the top of the mountain is very twisty. Exact directions are on their website. They also have some lovely eco-villas overlooking the rainforest and some good deals can be found mid-week outside of school holidays. Every year, they have a Bird Week in November.
Bird feeding is touristy but fun. The area is open daily from 10:00am – 4:00pm (weather dependent) and costs $4.00 per tray (suits 2 people). Get up close and personal with some of Lamington’s iconic birds, such as King Parrots, Crimson Rosellas, or you might be lucky enough to see our ‘mascot’, the Regent Bowerbird.
I’ve been there a few times, usually to take friends up or to practice photography. Here’s a few scenes from the bird feeding. They gather in the trees and come down when someone offers a tray of seed or drops seed on the ground.
They also have a canopy walkway in the rainforest – get here early enough and you can have it all to yourself before the tourists arrive!
They have a nice gift shop and restaurant with seats overlooking the spectacular view. You can also see birds out here. There are signs telling you not to feed the birds but the birds have discovered that sometimes they can beat the waiters to the leftovers before the scraps can be cleaned up.