Daintree River Cruise - wildlife and birds
We'd rung up the previous day to arrange this, having noticed in
a brochure that special wildlife cruises were available on request.
Getting out of bed at 5.30am for a 6.30am start was painful -- and the
trip would have started even earlier if we hadn't had to catch the ferry
which started running at 6am. Fortunately they provided coffee before
we set off!
a Jabiru stork
Our guide was Lee, a soft-spoken Texan who'd been in Australia for 34
years, and there was one other couple, English bird-watchers from Kent.
There were apparently fewer birds around than usual, but we saw maybe
fifteen species of birds and heard a few more, most of them new to us.
Highlights were a pair of jabiru storks, a couple of azure kingfishers,
a little kingfisher, a pair of sunbirds and their nest, and an osprey.
We also saw three amethystine pythons curled up in trees hanging over
the water, and a crocodile that slid away too far off for me to see.
Lee really knew his stuff -- he talked about the latest research on
everything from mangroves to crocodiles -- and it was great to be on a
small boat without screaming children.
Lee runs the Daintree River Cruise Centre (phone 07 4098 6115).
birdwatching specialist who runs tours is