Friday, 11 October 2013


Day 7 of our Far North Queensland sojourn and we took the Scenic Railway from Cairns to Kuranda.

From the railway station you can cross over into the village or go down to the river, where the riverwalk forms part of a 3 km loop that ends up at the top of the village. We took the latter. The walk was hot and humid, as expected, but revealed more great birds.

As we walked down to the river, a Forest Kingfisher landed on the sign next to the dock.

Forest Kingfisher, Kuranda Qld

I have to confess that I have been tempted to Photoshop the sign to say "No Fishing".

This bird was as cooperative as it's Azure cousin seen on the Daintree River yesterday, turning for a different angle as I approached it for a closer view

Forest Kingfisher, Kuranda Qld

and someone managed to capture me in the process...

Photo courtesy of Joanne Smissen

We heard the 'ka ka ka' call of what we thought was a Black Butcherbird and soon confirmed it with a sighting of the bird perched deep in the forest beside the river.

Black Butcherbird, Kuranda Qld

A little further along the river walk, another unmistakeable call revealed a common favourite.

Laughing Kookaburra, Kuranda Qld

As we got deeper into the rainforest, we heard lots of foreign (for a pair of southerners) bird calls but, at one site, they were dominated by the deep "wompoo" call that onomatopoeically identified its owner, which was finally revealed in a more open part of the forest. Not the greatest photograph but I was happy to see the bird so clearly given our difficulty in finding it (and another first time photograph).

Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Kuranda Qld

Even the village main street offered up some gems such as this figbird.

Australasian Figbird, Kuranda Qld

We returned via the Skyrail, which provided some sensational bird's eye views of the rainforest.


  1. HI Ian another great post. I have never travelled on the Skyrail but it looks amazing.

  2. Hi
    We have just moved up to Speewah and have been hearing a very strange bird call at night. Sounds a bit like a turkey, but I have never heard a brush turkey call. very complex and loud call, with about 10 notes. Is there a reference I could use to identify this species please?
    Thanks, Cheers, Richard

    1. Hi Richard,
      the only sounds I've heard from Brush Turkeys are low grunting sounds. I use Michael Morcombe's eGuide to Australian Birds (iPhone/ipad app), which includes sounds for many bird species.
      Cheers, Ian

    2. ...also Graeme Chapman's great website includes bird calls for many species he has photographed

    3. Thanks Ian - will give those suggestions a whirl. Figured it was a long shot on the brush turkey!



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