I've been a bit quiet in the digital world. I've been busy and tired and just completely unmotivated. Lack of photo adventures is probably part of it as well, but this morning I headed to a new place. I love new places, seeing and photographing new things. This time it was Cattana Wetlands which are north of Cairns, near Yorkey's Knob. Yesterday morning was sunny (YAY!) and I was sick of being home so off I headed. When I arrived the place was deserted, well nearly deserted as there were some council workers around.
There are some lake areas and a few paths around them. It was very relaxing to walk around. I could tell where water would be during the wet, water that would turn the place into a swampy wetland. With the drier winter weather however the wetness was mainly confined to the lakes and some creeks.
I went fairly early thinking I would see plenty of morning bird life but all I was seeing were birds on high, although I could hear some smaller birds in the trees that were very good at hiding. Fairly early in this case does not mean my usual sunrise escapades but rather around 8am, as Mr Sparky is home until around then. He is at Tafe for a few weeks. On that note he is nearly finished his apprenticeship!! Yay!!
|I thought they were Ibis but (when I looked closer) it turns out they were magpie geese.|
|Sugar cane backing onto the wetlands.|
|One of the many paths circling the lakes.|
There were even places to watch birds from on the edges of the lakes so people looking are hidden from view. Tip: these were where I really was thankful I had put on some insect repellent.
On the lakes there were water lilies with tiny white flowers on them but in one muddy area I found some bigger varieties on show. They even came in different colours.
|I love these blue/ purple water lilies. My favourite I think.|
|More magpie geese.|
|Pink water lilies I have seen (I think) but this one was pretty interesting.|
There was also a boardwalk which goes through the more swampy or wetland-y area. It was pretty dry for the most part but there was still some nice and still, mosquito breeding water around. There were many paperbark trees in this area. Have you ever played paperbark? I used to when I was a school. We would peal the bark of the tree and try and get as thin a piece as we could (very few layers). We then pulled it tight and blew on it. I occasionally whip this skill out for the students we have, when I can get my hands on some paperbark that is.
|The boardwalk, the more swampy area.|
|Yay! A kingfisher caught on camera, finally.|
I would love to come back here at sunset and watch the lakes change colour. Another time I guess.
I think the largest lake is probably the best to look at, but then they were all rather pretty. There were some very nicely placed bench seats around the place. Who wouldn't want to sit and enjoy with a view like this.
|A black and white Monet??|
I had about given up on all thoughts of seeing much in the way of bird life when the birds just seemed to rock up. I am glad someone let them know I was here for the party.
It was interesting watching Jacanas walking, flapping and jumping their way around the lily pads. I've never seen them before. How clever they are. What was even more interesting to watch was the one legged Jacana making it's way around. Definitely more flapping happening there.
There were also some little geese cruising around, not at all fazed by the activities of those bouncy Jacanas. To be honest I thought they were ducks (bird identifying is not my strong spot) but after some quick research I stand corrected. What a silly goose I am. They were very dainty looking and I would love to get up close to check out their feather patterns.
|Green Pygmy Goose|
I did also see some Little Pied Cormorants, they were first to come to the party, however the photos I got were absolute crap. A head bobbing around way out in the lake is a little too small to capture for my zoom.
I will definitely have to head back there with the aim of spying some more birds, or more of the same. I enjoyed hanging out with nature again.
On the way home I headed past the Centenary Lakes. Those Magpie Geese that I had seen earlier, well some of them and possibly not even the same geese, were hanging out there.
They were floating around peacefully, madly paddling underneath I am sure.
There were even some more geese enjoying the sun on a grassy island in the middle of one of the lakes.
I am slowly adding to my list of places I've seen but there are many more I would like to go to or discover. Next time I have visitors I'll have a few more free but beautiful places to show them.
History of Cattana Wetlands