October 22, 2011
This was a general natural history tour of the Cairns region for a group of 4 clients, one of whom was a keen birder, while the others were more interested in mammals, dragonflies and reptiles. Unfortunately the long cold (for up here) winter meant that there were very few dragonflies around and even the butterflies were in short supply however, the weather was good, with clear, sunny days and cool nights and they had an excellent time. Visiting all the major habitats in the Cairns/ Tablelands Region over a period of 6 days a satisfying mixture of birds and other wildlife was found.
Starting in Cairns and basing at Cassowary House, over the next few days we birded Black Mountain Rd, visited the dry areas around Mareeba where the Grey Kangaroos on the golf course and the Mareeba Rock Wallabies at Granite Gorge were a big hit with the ladies, and explored the Southern Tablelands. With early morning platypus sightings, displaying riflebirds at the breakfast table and regular visits from the resident cassowary - it was sometimes hard to get away in the morning but this was a leisurely tour with people who wanted good views of what they saw and no wish to go chasing a big list so that didn't matter. Sometimes we got back quite late and an echidna foraging and a Papuan Frogmouth sitting in a tree, both in the driveway of Cassowary House, were unexpected additions to an evenings spotlighting. We then moved north to Kingfisher Park and spent some time exploring that area as well as taking a very enjoyable and productive dawn bird cruise with Murray Hunt, the Daintree Boatman before returning to Cairns.