Birding My Way North

On Saturday I made a detour off the coast and headed an hour inland, to Dorrigo Naitonal Park.

Dorrigo is home to parts of the World-heritage listed Gondwana Rainforest strip,  one of the largest sections of diverse rainforest in the world. The park itself is known for plentiful waterfalls (the road to get there was actually called “Waterfall Way”) and the Skywalk, a boardwalk built right over the rainforest valley. I started my morning there, and the view did not disappoint:

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Enjoying the view…. normally, when I’m travelling alone, I ask a kind-looking stranger to take my photo for me. Right now, in COVID-world, I’m less inclined to do that, so I’ve resorted to taking camera selfies:

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The skywalk, ancient rainforest, and views were all spectacular… but what truly drew me to the park was birds.

The park has a “Walk with the Birds” boardwalk, which is raised right up into the canopy of the trees. It puts you eye level with the birds, with the idea being that you can see them easily and not have to crane your neck to spot a bird waaaaaay up at the top of a tree!

It might just look like a regular boardwalk… but this section was about 30 feet off the ground!

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It was a nice idea… but unfortunately, though the boardwalk was high up in the trees, the trees were taller still. I saw a few birds there but had to really crane my neck to get a positive ID.

I saw some more birds, luckily, as I wandered different sections of the park. I did a short hike to Crystal Falls, which you could walk behind!

Crystal Falls:

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In the end I added about 8 new bird species to my life list that day (which is pretty amazing!).

My bird of the day was a Satin Bowerbird. They’re a smaller blackbird, their feathers almost velvety looking, and they have the most amazing, violet-coloured eye.

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get a photo of it (the sighting was too brief)… but I’ll keep trying!

I did get a photo of a Brush Turkey, which frequent the bush and parking lots, and are a tad annoying (this one sat near my picnic table and kept trying to creep over and steal my crackers). They’re not quite as elegant as the Satin Bowerbird, but they’re characters:

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Next stop… Coffs Harbour.

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