Dawn cruise with the Daintree Boatman

August 7, 2011 — October 10, 2011

A terrific morning was had out on the Daintree River with Daintree Boatman Nature Tours. A 2 hour dawn cruise produced all five members of the 'Daintree Big Five', and a couple of extras for good measure. 

 Terrific Dawn Cruise  Photographing the Birds of Cape York

My satisfaction was immense when the Fawn-breasted Bowerbird hopped into view directly in front of Alfred, hidden within a viewing blind. The plan had worked beautifully! Weeks earlier I had followed a bowerbird carrying a stick in his beak and found his bower, yesterday I had built a blind to aid photography, and now after waiting within the camouflaged blind for half an hour we had photos of this rarely sighted bird approaching the bower, rearranging some of his treasure, and adding a new stick to his display platform. Magic!

It was all pretty surreal as I had only met old friend and client Alfred Schulte and his wife Hanna at the Lockhart River Airport a few days previously and we all ready had photos of a good swag of Iron Range birds including shots of both male and female Eclectus Parrot interacting at a nesting chamber in a huge paperbark. Here again the blind had been used so that we could watch and photograph the birds without disturbing them. What a great experience to be able to observe at length the red polyandrous female and her loyal green gang of boyfriends!

The whole week was tremendous with other highlights including obtaining good photos of Palm Cockatoo, Golden-shouldered Parrot, and Grass Owls. It was also wonderful to watch great swarms of Metallic Starling accumulate at dusk over Chili Beach whilst indulging in a little wine, cheese and crackers.

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