We continue our journey around Tasmania moving back inland to one of the world’s most famous Word Heritage areas, Cradle Mountain National Park in the Central Highlands, being part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Cradle Mountain is an extinct volcanic crater which surrounds Crater Lake. In the foreground lies Dove Lake, which has a walk around its perimeter which we did in several hours. Click on a photo to enlarge it.
It is near here that the famous ‘Overland Track’ begins, which we saw the end point of in a previous post in Lake St Clare NP. You will always find Wambats grazing along the boardwalk near commencement point of the track, and we were not disappointed.
It was a beautiful clear day, though quite cold and windy to start off with, as we ventured around the lake. Various forms of habitat were encountered, and amazing numbers of birds, which brings me to an important conclusion…
I have spoken with several birders and they agree with me that you can be surprised by the number of birds you do not actually see in Tasmania, especially in the dense forests. I now know that the reason for this is several fold. The dull lighting, the dense bush and very high trees, the very fast flight movements of the small birds and the propensity of the small birds to remain most of the time, deep inside the thick dark bushes. It was so frustrating on many occasions trying to photograph birds. I have deleted soooo many photos due to poor lighting and poor quality. You can appreciate that when you see a pic that looks grainy, it was the best I could do.
These are a few more nature sightings we saw around Dove Lake. Now you might ask what birds did we actually photograph, so first of all…
My Bird of the Week – The Yellow-throated Honeyeater
The Yellow-throated Honeyeater was a lifer for us, and is endemic to Tasmania, especially the central and east coast regions. It is also found on the surrounding islands of Tasmania. It mainly lives on insects with nectar and berries being a much smaller part of its diet. It snaps the insects from the air in a similar way to the Grey Fantail. It also peels bark off trees to find underlying insects and grubs. They are usually found in single or pairs and is not generally a flock bird.
Yes, the Grey Fantail was also present, and was one of the most seen birds, found in almost all parts of the state. It is always a delight to see it fanning its tail after plucking insects from the air.
The Little Wattlebird was another common bird, often found with its cousin the Yellow Wattlebird.
The Yellow Wattlebird is never very far away making a similar grating sound call to the Little one. This Yellow Wattlebird has just caught a worm and is transporting it to its nest.
The Tasmanian race of the Grey Shrike-thrush was another of my favourite birds. I love this bird’s song and the way it moves about. I find this bird doesn’t mind getting close and having its photo taken.
This tiny elusive Tasmanian Scrubwren was another lifer we were excited to photograph, as it is a very difficult bird to actually see. It hops about under thick hedges and bushes keeping well away from humans. The photos are always dark and require lighting up. We were delighted to actually get these shots.
These two birds were common here also. The raucous call of the Black Currawong could be heard throughout the day around Pencil Pine Lodge.
I had one come and sit on the railing next to us as we dined outside, hoping to get a easy feed, but the sign deterred us from doing so. It is not good to feed wildlife, as it breeds a dependency that becomes an addiction for them, not good for their health or for our peaceful dining.
This beautiful little male Spotted Pardalote visited us unexpectedly also.
Two beautiful introduced birds seen here also.
This bird was an interesting find we think it is a immature female Golden Whistler of the Tasmanian race. It is interesting how the subtle differences of the Tasmanian species make identification just that little bit more difficult.
Some of the night time marsupial creatures found around Cradle Mountain which we saw at the Devils@Cradle conservation centre in the national park.
Pencil Pine Falls flows from Pencil Pine Creek into the Dove River. This mossy, lichen covered ancient forest was a feature of this area and made for some beautiful photography. But what we saw next at first left us in amazement…
A Tasmanian Tiger or Thylacine (which has been extinct for many years) appears in the background of one of my photos. Some Tasmanians have claimed over the years to have had brief glimpses of this extinct marsupial carnivore tiger, which was hunted to extinction. Many believe that it is still alive deep in the state’s inaccessible forests. My photo of course was a set up in a Tasmanian Devil Conservation Centre, but gave us quite a surprise when we first saw it as it looked so real.
Next week we travel to the east coast to Freycinet National Park and then to Maria Island and then back to Hobart, for our final post in the Tassie Birding series.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” – Rom 8:28 My wife and I delight and enjoy the generous and loving heart of God toward us. Jesus made peace with God for us, with His very own blood, dying as our substitute, for the forgiveness of all our wrongs and selfish heartedness. Check Jesus out, find out what this coming holiday time to celebrate The Passion of the Christ, (wrongly labelled Easter), is all about, what makes Good Friday so good for you and me? How can this one man’s life death and resurrection impact so much on the history and life of this world?
The Son of God became the Son of Man so that the sons of men might become sons of God.
“He made him who knew no sin to become sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God through Him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21