Wet Tropics of Northern Queensland, Australia
Part 3: Atherton Tablelands (continued)
At Lake Eacham a couple of fruiting fig trees were a popular hang-out for Double-eyed Fig-parrots and they could often be seen feeding on the fruit of eye-level branches.
Double-eyed Fig-parrot is the smallest parrot in Australia and is a very quiet and unobtrusive species, often almost mouse-like in its movements as it clambers through the branches. Their green plumage also camouflages them beautifully, making them surprisingly hard to spot even when you know there are at least 20 of them in the tree in front of you.
Females can be distinguished from the males by the lack of a red cheek patch. Their pastel blue faces make them, to my eyes at least, even more attractive than the males.
While photographing the fig-parrots one morning, a Yellow-bellied Boatbill fortuitously came and landed on branch right beside us. This species usually spends most of its time in the canopy, so getting the opportunity to photograph one at eye-level is not all that common.
Eatern Whipbird is a common bird all the way down the east coast of Australia and should be familiar to anyone who has visited the area...or at least its whip-like call should be familiar. It usually takes quite a bit of effort to get decent views of this notorious skulker, but at least it's considerably easier to see than its western counterpart!
Another common, but skulking, species that forages on the gloom of the forest floor among the leaf litter is the Chowchilla. This is a bit of a nemesis bird for me. Last year I totally failed to see any at all, and this year, although I saw them quite frequently at Lake Barine, they never came out into the open enough for me to get any photographs without branches partially obscuring them. Maybe next year I'll have more luck...
Ray Wilson owns the copyright of all images on this site.
They may not be used or copied in any form without prior written permission.