Thursday, May 27, 2010

Atherton Tablelands - Part 1 - Hastie's Swamp National Park - Nyleta Wetlands

On the road again :-) We were aiming at covering as much of the Ahterton tableland as possible and following the same argument as I used for our Daintree National Park excursion, you could argue that the rain made it all easier - There was no way we could bring the little Toyota up the wet and muddy dirt road to Mount Lewis .. guess the Golden Bowerbird and the Blue-faced Parrot-Finch will have to wait for our next visit then ;-) Cutting out the mountain gave us more time down around Atherton and we managed to visit: Hastie's Swamp, Wongabel State Forest, Mount Hypipamee National Park and Lake Eacham in the Crater Lakes National Park.

Hastie's Swamp National Park aka Nyleta Wetlands probably had one of the best bird hides I have ever visited and with a bird list clocking up 220 species it was a bit of a surprise that I should find the best spot in the bathroom sink! :-D

Just as we arrived it started to drizzle, which is not exactly what you want when hunting for waterbirds. It definitely put a damper on the action and I dipped badly on the expected Cotton Pygmy-goose. My lovely companion on the other hand happily ticked both Plumed Whistling-Duck and Wandering Whistling-Duck. Quite a few swifts were flying around and they did not all look like the "usual" White-rumped Swiftlet that we had seen up around the Daintree. However, I did not manage to get sufficient photographic evidence to make a qualified stab at what it was.

All good, we had a little lunch at the bird hide and decided to push on to the neighboring Wongabel State Forest.

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