Monday, 7 October 2013

Paluma Range NP

One of the walks that I missed during the weekend workshop was to Jourama Falls in Paluma Range National Park so my wife and I took a day trip there today.

First stop, though, was the main street of Ingham where a flock of Metallic Starlings had been reported to be nesting. Precise instructions (thanks John, John and John!) proved to be spot on. The birds were flying in and out of the nesting tree squawking noisly at each other and anything else nearby.

Metallic Starling, Ingham Qld

 We were even lucky enough to find one still in juvenile plumage.

Metallic Starling, Ingham Qld

Also loudly defending its territory on the main street was this Masked Lapwing displaying the spurs for which it got it's previous common name of Spur-wing Plover.

Masked Lapwing, Ingham Qld

Heading south out of Ingham we spotted a Black-necked Stork just as we crossed over Cattle Creek so we pulled over and went back to see it more closely. The stork had wandered further away but we still managed to see a few birds worthy of the stop.

Green Pygmy Goose, Cattle Creek near Ingham Qld
Royal Spoonbill, Cattle Creek near Ingham Qld

Jourama Falls is a short drive off the Bruce Highway. The picnic and camping grounds were already busy with people enjoying the long weekend so we continued on to the falls walk at the end of the road, crossing the beautiful Waterview Creek twice.

Waterview Creek, Jourama Falls, Paluma Range NP Qld

Immediately we got out of the car, I spotted the second new species for the day, feeding on caterpillars in the low branches of a nearby tree.

Pale-yellow Robin, Jourama Falls, Paluma Range NP Qld

The highlight of the day (and perhaps the whole trip) occured as I crossed the creek further along the track.

Waterview Creek, Jourama Falls walking track, Paluma Range NP Qld

A brief encounter with a Noisy Pitta was completely unexpected.

Noisy Pitta, Jourama Falls, Paluma Range NP Qld

Yes, these birds are listed as in the area but they are so secretive that I have always had this bird on my "nice to see but don't expect to" lifetime wish list. Not the greatest photograph but the surprise of seeing and managing to capture it all was worth the trip.

A few metres further along the creek bed and lifer number four for the day!

Black-faced Monarch, Jourama Falls, Paluma Range NP Qld

After crossing the creek bed, the track climbed up to the falls lookout (not sure about the sign post at the bottom that said "Lookout 450 m"...more like 450 m vertically!). Though the view was spectacular, there was not a lot of water coming over the falls.

Jourama Falls, Paluma Range NP Qld

Crossing back along the creek bed (right at the Noisy Pitta spot) we first heard, then saw, a Lace Monitor scrambling over the rocks among the leaf litter.

Lace Monitor, Jourama Falls, Paluma Range NP Qld

Although this one was quite small (approx. 1m long), its "grand-daddy" was found back in the camping ground when we dropped in for a rest stop.

Lace Monitor, Jourama Falls, Paluma Range NP Qld

After lunch at the delightfully named Frosty Mango roadside cafe, we headed for Paluma in the Mt Spec section of the park. We were planning to stop at the various waterholes along the way but the long weekend crowds made this less attractive and it did give us more time in the rainforest

Rainforest, Paluma Qld

where I managed to find another six lifers: White-headed Pigeon, Spotted Catbird, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Grey-headed Robin, Dusky Honeyeater and Tooth-billed Bowerbird. The first three were all in the rainforest canopy so I didn't manage any worthwhile photographs but I did manage to capture the robin and honeyeater.

Grey-headed Robin, Paluma Qld
Dusky Honeyeater, Paluma Qld

The bowerbird remained elusive from the camera but we did find its bower. Nothing like the spectacular bowers of some of its relatives, the Tooth-billed Bowerbird "builds" a bower composed of overturned green leaves displayed on a suitable flat area on the rainforest floor.

Tooth-billed Bowerbird Bower, Paluma Qld

A specactacular day of birding. I can't remember a day where I've ticked off 10 Australian lifers in one day before.


  1. Hi Ian That was a lovely trip you took for the day and great birds that you found. Wonderful that you got lifers. I think the only bird I have not seen on your list is Grey-headed Robin. Ian is there any chance that you get rid of the ' Please prove you're not a robot ' It is very frustrating, not necessary as you can control what comments goes on your site in another way, the way most bloggers do and you definately would get more people commenting on your site. When I started blogging, another blogger made me aware of this and gave me instructions how to change it. If you are interested, email me. My address is on my site at the top of the right hand column.

    1. Thanks Margaret and sorry for the word checking. I had previously turned this off but it must have been reset to the default during an upgrade by Google. I have turned it off again so I hope this is OK now.

  2. What a great day! Enjoyed the read and pictures.

    1. Thanks Pete
      I'm enjoying your Bird Week posts :-)
      Must get back to P Is soon.
      Cheers, Ian

  3. Great stuff Ian! Congratulations on 10 new birds :)


Apologies for the inconvenience but I have had to turn on word verification to avoid spam (I was getting 10-20 a week)

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