An excellent encounter with a Powerful Owl and multiple sightings of Platypus were the highlights of a three-day camp at Amamoor State Forest in the Sunshine Coast hinterland this week.
I saw Platypus at three sites around the state forest's two camping grounds. In one pool near our Cedar Grove camp, a Platypus was seen on numerous occasions. They are easier to see in winter as they can be out feeding at any time of day.
They are notoriously shy, however, and it was not until the last morning that I was able to sneak up on one to get a few pictures. I had less luck photographing Powerful Owl, although I had some of my best views of this species. A single bird was calling early morning and early evening on the first two days in the forest. After plenty of effort to see it at night and to track it to its daytime roost, I finally had the bird fly past me at head-height just on sunrise and land a few metres away in full view.
Unfortunately I'd screwed up the settings on my camera in the dark so a superb photographic opportunity was lost. Thanks to Geoff Jones of Barra Imaging for this capture. Powerful Owl is a scarce species in south-east Queensland, usually detected in the cooler months when it is nesting and calling more frequently. Just a couple of weeks ago I was watching Barking Owls at Lake Broadwater.
This is the pool in Amamoor Creek where I both saw the Powerful Owl and photographed the Platypus.
Pale-yellow Robin was found in small numbers inside the rainforest.
While Paradise Riflebird was about the place, most often around the interface between rainforest and open forest.
Dusky Woodswallow is always nice to see.
New Holland Honeyeater occurs here at the northern end of its distributional range.
Large-billed Scrubwren was the commonest bird in the rainforest.
An interesting feature during the walk from the day-use area in Amamoor State Forest.