Beautiful Documentary About Australian Parrots

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.

Enjoy the video!

Birdlife Australia Offers Kimberley Trek – Sept 2016

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.


Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus)

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.

IMG_1232a IMG_1229a 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.



World Parrot Trust


Birdlife Australia

Birds in Backyards


Beautiful close up to appreciate the colours on this bird.

They not only sound sweet, they are great communicators!  Check out how this one chats to a Butcherbird!


There’s Still A Lot To Be Thankful For

This has been a rough year in many ways.  Several species are even more endangered than they already were due to bushfires.  We still don’t know how many Western Ground Parrots survived the Esperance bushfires.  But we can at least be thankful that there are some in a breeding program so the species won’t be lost altogether.  Logging has been temporarily stopped on Bruny Island but we need it to permanently stop so Swift Parrots can continue to nest there.  We are still hoping and praying that more Orange-bellied Parrots show up at Melaleuca for breeding.


IMG_7384aThe 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!



Restaurant Review: The Polish Place, Tamborine, Queensland

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.

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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.

Polish Place Polish Place2The gift shop is straight out of Poland with some beautiful arts and crafts.  I loved the doll collection!

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The waitresses wear traditional Polish costumes.

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The best seating is outside on the deck overlooking a spectacular view over teh Dividing Range.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Great Holiday Gift For Birders & Eco-Tourists

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!

Scottevest Featherweight

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.

Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)

The Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis) is an Australasian robin of coastal and sub-coastal eastern Australia.

IMG_9332 IMG_9328a IMG_9336aThey 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.




Birdlife Australia

Birds in Backyards

Sunshine Coast Council


What a beautiful song!

And they like to stay clean too!




Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)

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.

IMG_3675 IMG_3829 IMG_3729King 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.



World Parrot Trust


Birdlife Australia

Birds in Backyards


There’s no shortage of King Parrot videos online.  This one is good for the close ups of the birds foraging and you can clearly see the difference between the male and female.

This little guy from the Blue Mountains in NSW has no trouble with accepting hand outs (literally)!

And here is a whole flock (mostly juveniles) that visit someone’s back yard.  Notice the pleasant sound they make!


O’Reilly’s, Lamington Park

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.

IMG_9305a IMG_9307a IMG_9300 IMG_9299a IMG_9314 IMG_3655 IMG_3675 IMG_3689 IMG_3694 IMG_3701 IMG_3727 IMG_3729 IMG_3743 IMG_3746 IMG_3748 IMG_3765 IMG_3787 IMG_3807 IMG_3818 IMG_3829 IMG_3832 IMG_3841 IMG_3910 IMG_3912 IMG_3919 IMG_3920They also have a canopy walkway in the rainforest – get here early enough and you can have it all to yourself before the tourists arrive!

IMG_3925 IMG_3926 IMG_9359 IMG_9355 IMG_9351a IMG_9345a IMG_9339a IMG_9336a IMG_9335a IMG_9332 IMG_9328a IMG_9326a IMG_9324a IMG_9321They 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.

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