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Cassowary Country

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 10 January 2020 | Views [144]

Southern Cassowary, Kuranda NP

Southern Cassowary, Kuranda NP

WHILE VICTORIA AND NSW ARE IN FLAMES, it’s the beginning of “The Wet” here in northern Queensland.  Granted, the lakes and billabongs are still low and the waterfalls are mere trickles compared to what they will be later in the season.  But we’ve had some rain every day — sporadic showers sometimes, drenching downpours at others.  Soon the daily precipitation will be measured in tens — perhaps hundreds — of millimeters.

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                         Putting on the Ritz at Hilltop House

We have hit the jackpot when it comes to the roof over our heads.  Hilltop House in Kuranda may have set a new standard of luxury with a gorgeous view to boot.  We chose it, however, for 3 reasons — location, location, location.  In this case near Kuranda National Park and Barron Falls.  

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       Barron Falls today                         ... and in The Wet

The falls were just a dripping faucet compared to what they will become, but the canopy walkway to the viewpoint is perfect for spotting forest birds like the Pale-yellow Robin and the Spotted Catbird.   


           Pale-Yellow Robin


                                        Spotted Catbird

The area around Kuranda National Park is the stomping grounds of the Southern Cassowary.  At five feet tall with a two-tone blue face, red wattles and ahorny crest, this brute leaves little doubt that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs.  He could be a cousin, perhaps, of velociraptors of Jurassic Park.  This was the second time we were fortunate enough to get up close and personal (but not too close) with the Cassowary.  The first time was in 2012 in a different part of Queensland.  


                                                     Southern Cassowary

The Superb Fruit Dove was less intimidating but equally appreciated — and much more difficult to photograph — than his flightless relative.


              Superb Fruit Dove



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