Saturday, 16 September 2006

Well, I'm back (as you may have noticed) and I had a bloody marvellous time. The sun shone for the first few days, then the rain bucketed down for the rest of the week. It didn't matter. Whether sunny or raining, the forest is fascinating.

I am the world's second worst birdwatcher* but I still managed to see Victoria's riflebirds, spotted catbirds, tooth-billed bowerbirds, metallic starlings, black butcherbirds, white phase grey goshawks, spotless crakes, plumed whistling-ducks and Lewin's, Macleay's, bridled, scarlet and dusky honeyeaters—among others. I've even got photos of some of them. I didn't see a cassowary. But I did find good, solid evidence of their presence.

I visited Mt Hypipamee, the crater lakes, Yungaburra, Millaa Millaa, Atherton, Herberton and Irvinebank. The last place was an afterthought but I'm glad I went. You'll hear all about it over the next few days.

I also caught up with friends while I was up there. Only one of them lives on the Tablelands. Another came up from Cairns (which is a bit of a hike). The third lives on Bruny Island in Tasmania. It was great seeing them all again.

Now all I have to do is work out how I can move up to Malanda or Yungaburra without passing through penury ...



*The world's worst birdwatcher will remain unnamed.

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