Unfortunately, the weather didn't live up to expectations of beautiful one day and perfect the next, and indeed, once the rain set in at the end of our first day it didn't stop until well after we were on the plane back to an only slightly more wintery Canberra.
This meant the Chowchillas that are resident in the rainforests around the accommodation we had in Kuranda went to ground (pun intended, sadly) and were not heard at all so could not be tracked down; nor was the local Lesser Sooty Owl calling; and I wasn't prepared to subject the hire car to the dirt (mud?) roads I had in mind for searching for the White-browed Robins.
The end result was that I ended up getting to see only one of my key target birds. But it is a magnificent bird!
So because there aren't many photos to show for my efforts, I've resorted, rather pathetically, to showing several bits of photos in a kind of jigsaw puzzle build-up to the finale. And even that is still only part of the bird - the conditions were so dark and wet that only flash photography was possible and this presented its own problems.
|Exposed and hairy...|
|ear hole in an unlikely pale blue face.|
|Wattles hanging grotesquely from a neck...|
|itself carunculated in gaudy orange, crimson and cobalt.|
|This is Missy, the people-habituated female cassowary that visits Cassowary House just outside of Kuranda in Far North Queensland.|
Although well accustomed to people, and expectant of daily handouts of fruit, Missy is a wild bird who comes and goes as she pleases. She approached me to within about 1 metre on occasion, a slightly daunting prospect given their reputed aggressive nature and ability to disembowel with a single rake of their massive claws.
But she was ever the 'lady' and it was a privilege to see such an amazing and endangered bird up so close and personal. And my apologies for calling her 'Mama Cass' until I discovered the name Missy had nomenclatural precedence.