A Barred Cuckoo-Shrike feeding on Fruit in Cairns
Barred Cuckoo-Shrike

Just back from a quick trip up to Cairns (Nth Queensland, Australia). It truly is a magnificent place to visit – at the right time of year. I took my new 400mm/2.8 Nikon lens for a decent try out. It just fitted in the carry on baggage, when attached to the camera, so I was comfortable in the knowledge that I did not have to let it out of my site.

I had many firsts for the trip, and am keen to go back for seconds!

My Cairns Daily Highlights

Day 1: Saw my first Southern Cassowary in the wild, although this bird was a frequent visitor to the place I was staying, and was often on the look out for an easy meal. She was so inquisitive that she started pecking at my shoe! They truly are a formidable looking bird, and quite deserving of the respect you must give them in the wild (especially when the males are caring for their young!). Also saw a Red-necked Crake lurking in the dark.

Day 2: Got my first images of a Victoria’s Riflebird (male) on his display perch, although it was a little early in the season for him to perform his spectacular dance. Other noteable bird species included Northen Fantail, Graceful Honeyeater, Olive-backed Sunbird, a pair of Brahminy Kites on the Daintree River (as well as some female Saltwater Crocodiles) and my first pictures of Dusky Honeyeaters.

An Orange-Footed Scrubfowl searching for food in Cairns Botanic Gardens
Orange-Footed Scrubfowl

Day 3: Got my first images of Orange-footed Scrubfowl. Yes, I know that they are everywhere in Cairns and common as the preverbial, but the first decent pictures of any animal are always nice. Also saw Radjah Shelducks with young (so cute) and Bush Stone-Curlews.

Day 4: I went out to the Great Barrier Reef! Saw Frigatebirds, Common Noddy and some fantastic marine life. Will try and get some video uploaded of the reef.

Day 5: Got my first pics of Black Butcherbird, Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo and a close encounter with a Jacana.

Day 6: Well, this was the day that we had to get up at 4.00am to fly home – so nothing for today, although it was the first time that I had flown that early in the morning!

All in all a great trip!