With over 700mm of rain in the past week it would be safe to say that the wet has arrived here in the Daintree rainforest, The frogs seem pretty happy and the creeks are overflowing. This image was taken after 120mm fell in just one hour swelling the creek to capacity.
I had an excellent early morning cruise on the Daintree river with Solar Whisper cruises. We set out from the ferry crossing before sunrise and set off down stream to capture the sunrise from a wide section of the river, Although it was an overcast morning the sun put on a great show as it rose above the river. We then set off up river to explore along the banks for wildlife, as we cruised along we came across a large array of birds including Egrets, Striated Herons and Azure Kingfishers, as the morning went on we came across 3 baby crocs, several green frogs and snakes hanging on branches that overhung the rivers edge. Then a Great- Billed Heron came flying by before we found a nesting Papuan Frog-mouth. Further up river was the daddy of all birds, A large adult White-Bellied Sea Eagle up high on a dead tree watching over it’s domain.
The Graceful Treefrog only grows to a length of 45mm, They can be found near streams in rainforest and woodlands. This small one was photographed on a night walk next to a fresh water creek in the rainforest, They are common throughout the Daintree and the east coast of Queensland. As the wet season starts to kick in here in the Daintree with 600mm falling in the past 3 days many of the frogs are now on the move throughout the forest.
Found between Cooktown and Townsville in the far north of Queensland the Macleay’s Honeyeater feeds off mainly insects and spiders found among dead leaves and large leaves of the rainforest canopy. This Macleay’s Honeyeater was photographed in the Daintree rainforest on a fan palm leaf while feeding off the insects found in the flowers of a nearby Umbrella tree.
Some trees in the Daintree rainforest can put on a spectacular display of colour, This Lepiderema Hirsuta found in the Cooper creek valley at an attitude of around 250 feet has bright red flowers that flower from the base of the tree and extend all the way up it’s trunk to the crown. Only found in small pockets of coastal lowland rainforest below an altitude of 900 metres throughout the Daintree mainly in the Cooper and Noah valley’s. It’s common name is Noahs Tamarind.
After living and photographing in the Daintree rainforest for over 25 years I was lucky enough to come across and photograph this Bennett’s Tree kangaroo. A first for me as they are quite rare and extremely shy. They use their large bushy tail to balance in the rainforest canopy and are quite awkward when on the ground. The Bennett’s Tree Kangaroo is only found in lowland rainforest from the Daintree river to Cedar Bay just south of Cooktown.
Along the 40 kilometre stretch of road from the Daintree ferry to Cape Tribulation you will travel through dense lowland rainforest, cross several coastal creeks and drive past some spectacular tropical beach’s including Thornton’s and Coconut beach. The ancient rainforest that adjoins the road supports a large array of wildlife and it is best to be cautious of crossing Cassowary’s, snakes, Red-Legged Pademelons and even the odd turtle near coastal mangrove systems that adjoin the beach’s. The wildlife seen along this stretch of road is present all year long but seem more active during the early mornings and late afternoon.
Spring has arrived here in the Daintree rainforest with the young Victoria’s Riflebirds getting in some practice for later life. These birds of paradise will practice with other juveniles the mating display performed by adult males to lure in the female.