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  • Writer's pictureKaia Colestock

Day 4: Kuranda explorations

Black Mountain Road runs north-south out of Kuranda area, and has long been considered to be one of the most reliable places to find cassowaries. Elias and I drove it each morning and evening for two days. While we didn’t see a cassowary, we found fresh scat on the road, so they are nearby. A male in the area was caring for two young chicks and was extremely protective of them. He needed to keep them in the thick of the rainforest to avoid patrolling gray goshawks. Letting the chicks out in the open is not a good survival strategy, but of course it makes it more difficult to find them. No matter, we like a challenge.

A short drive up Black Mountain Road, and we stopped for early morning dawn chorus. The eastern whipbird was so loud with its call that it made Elias slam on the brakes. We found a pair of fairy gerygones, a noisy pitta (a short, stout bird singing on the forest floor), spectacled monarchs, and yellow-breasted boatbill, scarlet myzomela, and honeyeaters to name a few. So many new sounds…

Here is a Macleay’s honeyeater extracting insects from a bark shed.

A short hike to see Barron Falls south of Kuranda. At the end of the dry season, the falls are a shallow trickle compared to what it usually is later in the wet season.

Skinks are running everywhere in the leaf litter.

It feels like there are more types of butterflies than than stars in the sky. Occasionally they alight upon vegetation for a few moments.

Buttressed tree along a river walk track.

A curious water dragon came up to visit while we were eating lunch.

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