Maitland wildlife photographer Jim Thomson continues his series on his big inland trip through Northern Australia.
For the last week I have been moving through the Cloncurry and Mount Isa area spending a lot of time in the bush searching for birds and insects.
This area is magnificent with numerous dams and water holes.
For the visitors moving through Cloncurry and Mount Isa, both visitors centres are fantastic, very helpful people with a great understanding of what the traveller requires.
Half way between Cloncurry and Mount Isa is Mary Kathleen. Nearby is Clem Walton Park which has a magnificent dam for kayaking and boating. There is also a great numbers of local birds in this area. Some like the White Plumed Honeyeater, were building nests.
I arrived at Mount Isa, and for bird watching you really need a week in this area. Places of interest are Mica Creek which is 6km away and one of the westernmost localities in Queensland.
The rear of the information centre is also a good spot - you walk through small dams and Australian bush, and this was where I found the Spotted Bower Bird and spent some time working on it. There were also numerous Honeyeaters present.
Another great spot for birding was Lake Moondarra. I managed to locate small dam that was loaded with birds - I was in heaven.
All the birds you would expect to find were there, but my favourite find was the Painted Finches, truly magnificent little birds. I nearly missed them, in fact, but fortunately found them in a shallow end of the lake coming in to drink.
I set myself up and waited and was rewarded with numerous shots of the finches.
Another bird, very similar to the willy wagtail, was there too. I have to admit I don't know what it was ... so I'll do what I usually do in these situations and get Maitland bird expert Jim Smart on the case.
Travelling through this area is fantastic, certainly very popular with caravans in big numbers (dad's army).
Tomorrow I move on towards the three ways and then north towards Kakadu and Darwin where I expect to see changes in the country side as well as wildlife.
Till next time.
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