Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lamington National Park - The Final Days of A Great Holiday

I have raved about the benefits of having a terrace literally reaching into the rain forest, as you can see in the photo above I am not far from the truth, our O'Reilly's accommodation was indeed pretty well placed for someone that likes their trees.

We kept going to the early morning O'Reilly's Bird Tour and we kept being stunned by the trust those small feathered guys showed the bird guides. One of the days we had more of a walk around in the area and managed to spot another (slimmer) Thrush, another Green Catbird and 6 Topknot Pigeon in flight - the Topknots were new to me. :-)

We also kept pushing those tired legs ours, all in all we probably covered 50km over the long weekend, with the brunt of the distance covered over two good long full day hikes into the forest, 22 and 18km.

Those long walks are truly rewarding! If you are there purely for the birds you are probably better off staying close around O'Reilly's, where you can see nearly all the birds of Lamington except maybe for the Rufous Scrub-bird, but for everything else - including the exercise - you do really well by exploring further into the wild. The tiny Praying Mantis in the photo above was so well camouflaged that I nearly deleted the photo first time I went through the set.

Logrunners are great birds, they just scramble around in the very darkest part of the forest floor, often close to (but not on) the path. Therefore they become a quite easy tick, but it is very difficult getting good photos - some artificial lighting increases your success rate significantly though.

The final tick of the weekend was added after the sighting of a Noisy Pitta! I have been after that one for a while, up at Kingfisher Park in far north Queensland we used nearly 45 minutes stalking one calling from the bush, but we never got eyesight of the little colorful gem. This time in Lamington, the loud call once again alerted us and half of our little group managed to see the noise-maker before it took off. Seeing pictures of Pittas in a bird book gives you the impression that they are nearly unnaturally colorful and will be easy picking for any predators, but when they are hiding in the deep darkness of their rain forest habitat they still manages to blend in pretty well.

All good! - This will be the last Lamington post for this time :-) What a great spot - I will definitely try to go there again another time, and having proven (to myself) that it is in range of the Magna, one could even anticipate it happening more frequently in the future :-)

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