Sunday, August 21, 2011

Daintree River Experience

I’ve been planning a trip to Tropical North Queensland for months now and  finally I’ve arrived in Cairns for a couple weeks of birding.
Today I enjoyed a wonderful morning birding along the beautiful Daintree River.
 While waiting out the front at 5am this morning at my Cairns Esplanade accommodation I enjoyed the company of 3 Bush Stone-Curlews who walked right up to me.

Deb and Andy run the Daintree River Experience where you can go birding on public sunrise or sunset tours of the Daintree River or, opt for a private charter like I did. I also arranged transfers to and from Cairns.  I chose them because they have all the required permits to access all areas along the river and with their boat being small, it can travel in only 4 inches of water which allowed us to travel into the narrow Barratt’s Creek and get great views of Little Kingfisher.
The morning mist was stunning and I was amazed that the first Lifer of the day was a Great-billed Heron which flew through the mist and we were able to then quietly approach it and it posed for photos.

It was wonderful birding for the rest of the day with 40 species. Hightlights were Pied Imperial Pigeon, Papuan Frogmouth, Little Kingfisher.
Papuan Frogmouth

I also was very happy with good views of Azure Kingfisher,  Yellow Oriole, Shining Flycatcher, Striated Heron, Grey Goshawk, Large-billed Gerygone & Yellow-bellied Sunbird.
Azure Kingfisher


Immature Nankeen Night Heron

Shining Flycatcher

Yellow Oriole

The Daintree River is absolutely stunning and so peaceful. Barrats Creek was an excellent area for birds and was also very beautiful.

Deb was most obliging when driving me back to Cairns – stopping frequently to allow me to photograph birds – Forest Kingfisher, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin and Crimson Finch.

We had a very successful morning and they also extended my tour by over an hour without extra charge to ensure I got as many bird photos as possible.

Contact Deb  and Andy at Daintree River Experience – 07 42222655 or 0408 426 544
The Daintree River has a wonderful selection of birds and was a fantastic way to start my trip up to Cape York!!