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Trip Report - Toucan2's 2nd trip to Oz - Sydney, Nabiac, Lockyer Valley, Lamington Nat'l Park, Atherton Tablelands, Julatten, Daintree - possibly of more interest to birders than non-birders

Trip Report - Toucan2's 2nd trip to Oz - Sydney, Nabiac, Lockyer Valley, Lamington Nat'l Park, Atherton Tablelands, Julatten, Daintree - possibly of more interest to birders than non-birders

Old Dec 29th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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Why do some places speak to you in ways that others don't? What makes you want to return to one place over and over?

I can't answer that question! I just know that Australia is that place for us. I've enjoyed, even loved other places. For some reason, Australia calls us back.

Part of it is probably the people we have been lucky enough to meet. Thank you to each and every one of them for making these trips such joyous experiences.

Part of it is probably the land itself. To us it is endlessly fascinating, and there is so much more tosee.

It could be the pace of life. Of course, one must keep in mind we were on vacation of course

And of course, who can forget the birds!

Whatever it is, Australia has got a hold on us. Until next time....
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Old Dec 29th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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Toucan2,
I have done a trip with carol Probets as you described and it was fantastic. She is not only a knowledgeble guide but a fun person to be in the bush with.
Glad to read you were first up on one day, but SHOPPING? ;-)
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Old Dec 29th, 2007, 06:30 PM
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A girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. I also considered getting a pedicure.

And hey, I was up--well, awake--I just wasn't out I eased myself into the days!

Yes, Carol really was a lot of fun, I hope we will see her again.
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Old Dec 29th, 2007, 09:44 PM
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Okay, I posted some pics, please view the slideshow here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/Toucan2M...traliaTrip2007

I did this off the top of my head, so if I mislabelled anything, feel free to let me know. Sorry for typos.

I also realized a whole batch is missing, but way too tired to put them in now!
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Old Dec 30th, 2007, 04:00 AM
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Thanks for posting such a hugely informative report, Toucan, have enjoyed it all.

The pic where you ask for identification of the fruit, that looks like pandanus to me, edible, but have never tasted it.
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Old Dec 30th, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Toucan, thanks for much for the great pictures! You have some lovely "vistas" that really show what the scenery looks like!

I am amazed by the bowerbird's bedroom! And you even got to see him working on it--lucky!

I will definitely look for the Lonely Planet "Watching Wildlife". When I read your trip report and Sally's--I know that those are the kinds of trips I would prefer to take. But since this is our first trip to Australia, I am afraid that we will need to do a broader focus--our relaxed days walking through quiet forests will be at a minimum. Guess that will just be a reason to start planning Trip #2 before we even go on Trip #1!!
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Old Dec 30th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Thank you for the fruit ID Pat. We saw one broken on the ground in another place, and it had a red flesh. I should remove that picture now, it's horrible!

Caligirl, that's the way to think, start planning for trip number 2 now! Believe it or not, I actually went online last night to look at fares to Australia. It's ridiculous, I need to get through this year before I start thinking of another big vacation.

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Old Jan 1st, 2008, 05:47 PM
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Toucan, now that I have read this and your post to Amy on the Lounge, I have to strongly recommend you go to Panama. Go to the Canopy Tower, it is birders' heaven.
Great report!
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Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 04:13 AM
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Thank you cmcfong, I think my husband agrees with you.

Steve: What are you reading now?
Me: A trip report on Peru and Panama.
Steve: Gerald really liked Panama.
Me: This Bnb site says a lot of birders stay there.
Steve: I wonder how much flights are to Panama?
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Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 08:29 AM
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Panama is gorgeous. If Steve prevails you will be one happy Toucan2!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 06:52 PM
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Well, Toucan, I finally read your trip report (I wanted to read it before Christmas but I had a houseful of family then got sick afterwards.) It was really the most fantastic trip report out there. Thank you so much for the effort it took to write it all down. I wish we could go to Australia together. Your last post about how the country just "gets" you is exactly how we feel. When we were there we were thinking about how it probably was the last time we'd go there, then we started thinking about all the places we hadn't been to (like Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria. . . . etc. etc.) and thought, well, maybe. The dollar needs to improve first, though, since it is quite expensive for us now, and as you said the food is expensive. The camera guy explained it to us when we commented how the camera we bought in Australia was over $200 more expensive than the one we bought here--Australia is a small market and doesn't have the clout that the US does. I envy you all the great birds you saw--and the cassowary!! and the emus!!! We went to the Mereeba Wetlands, too, but didn't see any emus. You barely mentioned how hot it was--was it? Maybe being from KC instead of cold, wet Seattle you were more used to it. Or maybe younger! Our kids love the heat. But we melted in October so I imagine it was quite toasty in Dec. in FNQ. Imagine if you were snorkelers as well as birders--you'd have to take two months to get both in. Thanks again for the great report. Now off to see your pictures.
Sally in Seattle
p.s. Funny story about Alan mentioning the couple from Seattle and you "knowing" us! He should know since he's a Fodorite, too.
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Sally, I'm glad you enjoyed the trip report (as I enjoyed yours!). Yours made me want to go to more places as well. There's so much to see and do

Yes, the heat is relative. I've been in KC now since 94. When I first moved here for a few years in 1983 I was sick with the heat. Now I'm used to it and enjoy the blue skies that you can get year round. Of course, sometimes in August you might shower 3 times a day....

So no, we never really felt hot in Australia. Happily warm, but overly hot, no. Of course, that was only the first month of their summer, so I know it gets much hotter and don't know how we'd feel with that, or the interior.
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 05:45 PM
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Toucan2
Your white fower on Mt Lewis is a native gardenia. I hope you smelled it as that is one of the better ones.
Your Pied cormorant is actually a female Darter.

the big trees at Lake Barrine are spelt Kauri.
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 06:37 PM
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Thank you very much S! I put those pictures up late at night and should have paid more attention. I made the correction, identified the flower, corrected the spelling for the pine and corrected a couple of other typos (tee or tea, do you think subconsiously I was thinking about golf?) although I'm sure there are more!
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Old Jan 4th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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Excellent, informatative report Toucan2!

I've yet to visit these areas (save Sydney) and wouldn't know a honeyeater from a pigeon, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your adventures.

Leeches...ugh...we had a run in with the nasty buggers in Tassie not too long ago. Better than snakes I guess...
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Old Jan 8th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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I'm glad you liked it Melnq8. Your trip reports of Western Australia have been bookmarked for future (I hope!) excursions to Australia. I love reading about other people's travels...gives me all kinds of new ideas
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Old Jan 17th, 2009, 09:03 PM
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I have just re-read my own trip report, and enjoyed it very much. Shameless, I know! Actually, I was reading it because I've been nosing around on flight schedules as we are playing with coming again next September, and I just got to thinking about the trip. The report brought back lots of memories.

Just in case anyone has any interest, I did find ordering information on the book on Bowerbirds published while we were there the last time. This is an absolutely beautiful book, self-published as I understand it by the authors in Australia.

The book is Bowerbirds: Nature, Art, and History by Frith and Frith. The ordering site is: http://www.publish.csiro.au/nid/18/pid/5755.htm

Finally, I do wish we could edit our own posts as there a couple of times where I sounded crankier than I meant to, and I just wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about places and people I enjoyed!
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Old Jan 17th, 2009, 10:44 PM
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Hi Toucan2 -

I hope you're still considering coming to Western Australia. I can say 'coming to' now, as we moved here a few months back.

We've got plenty of birds here too...
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 08:28 AM
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Melnq8,

Oh, yes I know! And really gorgeous wildflowers too, so I'm dying to go during that season.

We are only thinking of a short trip right now, though, just 2 weeks. My boss would probably have a heart attack if I asked for another longer period off this year. So we think we are just going to concentrate on one area, go to Cairns and travel from there. But Western Australia is definitely on the list! It's just soooo far away.

I am also wondering if Caligirl went on her trip? This report reminded me of that, too, but I haven't been able to find a trip report.
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Old Jan 18th, 2009, 01:13 PM
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The bowerbird book by the Friths is a super read even if you are not really into birds but like watching nature programs on TV. I read it in a dew days.

Toucan2, I'll have to get a mate of mine to nail the feet of some of those finches to a branch for you. (Just joking!)

Have re-read your report and seriously doubt that you got a Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater in Cairns. It is the wrong habitat and out of their range. If Steve or you could post a picture somewhere and a message to this forum, I could have a look at it. If unsure myself I'll ask either of those guides from around here you spoke so highly of.
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