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Birds of Tasmania - #4 - Cradle Mountain (26 June 2014)
contributed by cougar15
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Our trip from Queenstown to Cradle Mountain was relatively uneventful - more winding roads and only fleeting glimpses of startled birdlife along the way.
On the approach to Cradle Mountain there is a roadside lookout (on the LHS). The view from this lookout is panoramic and well worth the effort to stop and reach the top.
On my walk back to the car I noticed a large bird way off in the distance. Although it was too far off to photograph at the outset, it was circling in the thermals and definitely heading in my direction.
As it got closer I could see it was a magnificent Wedge-tailed Eagle. It was the first raptor I had seen in nearly 2 weeks on "the Apple Isle".
Thankfully, this ruler of our skies flew almost directly overhead and I was able to get a reasonable image of it before continuing on to our cabin accommodation at the Discovery Holiday Park.
That afternoon, I walked around our park to see what lived in its heavily vegitated grounds. I could hear a few different bird calls and saw Black Currawong and Green Rosella in distant trees but generally they were too far away to photograph the detail I seek.
I did however get a couple of shots of the two species before I called it a day. As there seemed to be plenty of birds in the area, I thought I would do better the following day.
Unfortunately, the heavens opened up over night with torrential rainfall that lasted all of the following day. So much so that we couldn't see Cradle Mountain and only ventured out to take in a view of Dove Lake (from the car) and to do a quick circuit of the Enchanted Walk which starts from the bridge at the entrance to the national park (near Peppers Lodge).
This is a lovely well-named walk, regardless of the weather, but, on that day, offered only a single pademelon to photograph for my wildlife collection.
It was very disappointing that we struck such terrible weather at Cradle Mountain but plan to return as it certainly offers a wonderful outdoor experience.
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