Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Queensland Road Trip 3: Golden Bowerbird & Little Kingfisher at Possum Valley

Golden Bowerbird
Following our visit to Undara (see following post) we moved on to the delightful refuge of Possum Valley Rainforest Cottages near Ravenshoe for a 5-night stay. The transformation from tropical savannah to highland rainforest and dairy pastures of the southern Atherton Tableland is as impressive as it is fast.

Maple Cottage at Possum Valley
This 63ha Possum Valley property abuts the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Many of us did our bit in the 1980s to secure the protection of North Queensland's extensive tracts of tropical rainforest.

Golden Bowerbird
The property is beautifully maintained and organised by its owner, Paul Tredgett. Visitors can stay in one of two timber-lined bush cabins with plenty of room in the midst of the forest. We stayed in Maple Cottage, which has an added advantage of Internet access.

Golden Bowerbird

Golden Bowerbird
A stay here for a few nights costs not that much more than fees for camping sites at better known birding destinations in the region. I'm surprised that Possum Valley (Google it) is not at the top of any wildlife enthusiast's destination list when visiting tropical Queensland.

Golden Bowerbird female
It's been delightful to be reacquainted with wet tropics birds and mammals that I had not seen for a very long time. The last time I was in this part of the region, as a backpacker in the mid-1970s, my camp was the floor of the mens' toilet at The Crater National Park.

Rainforest lake - Possum Valley
Wonderful encounters with two species on our first day here sums up the value of this place. Golden Bowerbird is at top of any birders' wishlist for North Queensland and I found two females, then a male and a female on my first walk along one of the property's rainforest trails.

Little Kingfisher
The male was feeding low in the canopy and was ridiculously tame – it was so close to me that it was difficult to get the whole bird in the frame of my new big lens. Very low light conditions so images not quite as bright as I would have liked.

Little Kingfisher
The property has three small lakes nestled in the rainforest. On one of these I found a Little Kingfisher, another highly prized ornithological target in northern climes.

Little Kingfisher
A small boat was tethered to a jetty on the lake. I was able to follow the kingfisher around the lake by rowing the boat.

Little Kingfisher
Full list of birds seen on the first day at Possum Valley can be found here. More on other birds and mammals later.


  1. Wonderful blog and photos - many thanks - though I thought you would be heading further west for the np!!

    1. No Steve. One day those things will be on tap. Happy to wait