Cairns Photographer Pine Creek Pictures
Cairns Photographer Dominic Chaplin

2023 Wildlife Photos of the Day

I hope you enjoy Dominic’s insights behind the photos taken during the year

Despite never having seen one before, there are said to be somewhere between 8-10 million Black-winged Petrels racing about over our oceans.

Here is just one, at Ned’s Beach, Lord Howe Island last week. This species is one of the better sea birds as it can be conveniently viewed from the comfort of solid and dry land.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Arriving back home in Cairns today where the place seems to be mostly underwater. To cheer the local people up (those who still have electricity that is) here is a colourful bird from a distant sunny tropical island.

Most viewers are of course very keen to find out if we got a sighting of the Lord Howe Silvereye subspecies Zosterops lateralis tephropleurus.

These were not too difficult to track down with an estimated 5000 pairs on the island and birds at most locations.

I was somewhat surprised to find another photo in focus after a dreaded Ball’s Pyramid boat excursion from Lord Howe Island.

This is the Kermadec Petrel, a tricky bird to see in most places. There are said to be about 100 individuals on the Pyramid. Plus a few on Phillip Island (off Norfolk Island). The birds on Phillip Island get attacked by Purple Swamphens but fortunately the Pyramid is so steep a Swamphen would not have any chance of landing

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Another perfect weather day on Lord Howe Island yesterday with the White Terns coming in to nest on the Norfolk Pines around the CBD

Whilst on Lord Howe Island we visited Ball’s Pyramid.

Unfortunately there is little progress on the boardwalk so we had no choice but to take the horror boat trip out to the Pyramid. It is situated 20km South of Lord Howe Island but feels like it must be closer to New Zealand.

Looming over half a kilometre into the sky, the Pyramid is incredibly impressive and like a scene from another planet. Thousands of seabirds wheel around the vertical sides. A Grey Ternlet can be seen left of centre.

The world’s rarest insect, the Lord Howe Stick insect lives on the Pyramid and there are estimated only 20-40 still there. They can be found about 1/5 of the way up and by zooming into this image you can see a few in the dark bushes.

 We decided not to try the climb this time and mostly spent the trip clinging to the side of the vessel. Photography from a violently moving boat is obviously impossible but I was pleased to get this quick shot away.

Ball's Pyramid Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Out on Lord Howe Island and it is such a joy to see the results of a rare successful conservation campaign.

As recently as 1980 there were only 15 individuals of the endemic Lord Howe Woodhen in existence. Sailors, pigs and rats had taken a severe toll on these delightful flightless rails.

The sailors eventually found something else to eat and the pigs were despatched so by 2007 the population was up to the 250 mark which was a great achievement.

But this was nothing compared to the elimination of rats. In 2019 a massive aerial bombardment and ground campaign of baiting was begun. It is the largest populated island on which the eradication of rodents has ever been attempted.

The last rat was spotted in August 2022. Our local boat driver said there had been a dramatic change in the numbers of birds almost straight away. There are thousands upon thousands of nesting seabirds here which also benefit.

As of March 2022, 779 Woodhens were counted. By now there must surely be far more as these things are everywhere.

I came upon this tame and curious family of four up along the Malabar Cliff walk.

Out at Lake Eacham, Far North Queensland the Orange-thighed Treefogs Litoria xanthomera were in good voice this week.

This individual showing how he got the name.

Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Bats by Dominic Chaplin

Well in all my time I have never photographed a bat before so here is the first.

It is hard to make bats look pretty. He is an Eastern Horsehoe Bat. It is always important to add some interesting detail to any social media photo. So after much research I have learnt that he gets his name because his nose looks like a horseshoe. Also he can hang upside down using just his toes which is a feat few people can achieve.

Eastern Horseshoe Bat Rhinolophus megaphyllus
Davies Creek, Far North Queensland, Nov. 2023

Out along Tinaroo Creek Road, Mareeba, Far North Queensland, controlled burns in the Lamb Range National Park made conditions smoky at home earlier this month.
But, despite the lack of rain, the green shoots of recovery are starting to come through. This helps some of the locals with a larger than normal number of Whiptail Wallabies (12) and Common Wallaroos (5) seen along the road yesterday morning.
The Whiptail Wallabies were rather jumpy but this old Wallaroo has been around the block a few times and was relatively non plussed.
Wildlife Photos of Mammals by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Mammals by Dominic Chaplin

Ongoing lack of rain means frog activity remains very low in the Mareeba district.

But we did happen upon one of these thumbnail sized peepers, the Ornate Nursery Frog, Cophixalus ornatus down the rainforest section of Davies Creek last week.

They do pack a punch but are hard to find. Abundant in upland areas of the northern half of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area

Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Out at Paluma last weekend I tried a remote camera on GB107 and was lucky to get him coming in with a Melicope flower.

Cliff Frith first showed me GB107 which has been known since at least the 1980s. He has moved around a little, notably in 2021 when his entire bower got wiped out by a big treefall. Nonplussed, he just set up again 30m away, moving likely thousands of sticks in the process.

Golden Bowerbird.
Paluma Nov 2023

Over in North America I think it is their big turkey day today.

Up in Far North Queensland the locals are keeping their heads down just in case the trend catches on over here.

Australian Brush Turkey at his nest.
Wongabel, Far North Queensland, Nov. 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

We rescued this big guy yesterday who was stuck right in the centre of the Kennedy Highway. Huge semi trailers were doing 100kmh literally 50cm past him.

He had to suffer some indignity being picked up and was a little stunned but otherwise none the worse for wear.

Frill-necked Lizard
Far North Queensland

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
After the 17 year study of rainforest birds in North Queensland, Steve Williams at JCU was unable to come to any conclusions about the status of this bird as it was seen so infrequently.
It’s the NQ subspecies of the Bassian Thrush, Zoothera lunulata cuneata. Sometimes they can be glimpsed on the edge of higher altitude roads through rainforest, where they come out to the edge to look for worms, especially on a wet day.
I was lucky to get a good view of one on Wednesday near Ravenshoe.
Wildlife Photos of Mammals by Dominic Chaplin

Just like buses, you don’t see some things for 60 years, then they all come at the same time. Views on 3/3 visits in the last 4 weeks. This one at a different location.

Daintree River Ringtail Possum.
Mt. Spurgeon.
Far North QLD

Pic of the day for today can be the Atherton Scrubwren.

These birds are always very busy and can be hard to pin down in dark forest, but a pair came out into the open late evening on Sunday up at Mt Spurgeon, FNQ

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Slowly but surely improving on trying to take pictures of critters up in trees at night without an assistant. Here is an Australian Boobook in our garden at Mareeba FNQ yesterday.

Technique is to find the animal using a big torch. Then turn it off the second I find him before he/she flies/climbs off. I have a Wolfeye torch on red light mode which is strapped to a canon flash connected to the camera by a transmitter.

Animals don’t seem to mind the red mode on torch. I can hold the torch/flash to focus in one hand at arms length. You still get red eye sometimes but it is a big help

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
A rare good news wildlife story.
Along Chewko Road, Mareeba, FNQ, Brolgas and Sarus Cranes often feed in a large cattle paddock. Sometimes there are only a handful or none but other times up to 200 birds.
But last month Luke Jackson noticed a few deceased birds. On investigation these were found to be juvenile Brolgas that had hit the powerlines. Early morning the birds fly in from the West Barron storage reservoir.
We contacted those nice people at Ergon and within just a couple of weeks they had installed nine spinners up in the powerlines.
We will keep checking but this should enough to deter them and all the cranes continue to fly free.
Thanks Ergon for a prompt solution!

Fernwrens seem to be everywhere and very active at the moment.

At the weekend I walked a 1km stretch around 800m altitude and they were the most common species heard.

A big tour group from the USA turned up and photographed one on their first ever day in Australia.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Mammals by Dominic Chaplin

Following some good fortune with both Striped Possum and Northern Long Nosed Bandicoot this week I thought I would push my luck and headed up to the hut at Mt Lewis after some bowerbird surveys last night.

Up until about 3 weeks ago I had never seen a Daintree River Ringtail Possum but eventually tracked one down with Murray Lord.

But I wasn’t really satisfied with my photos at the time and gave it another shot to see if a clear view was possible.

(I must add, none of my last 3 mammal photo posts were achieved without the help of the Wolfeye David Stowe Special red light torch)

Shy and elusive, bandicoots can be dangerous when cornered and one here was seen in attack position last week in Far North Queensland when out with Angus Emmott.

This used to be the Long-nosed Bandicoot but HMW looks to have separated animals north of about Mackay to be the Queensland Barred Bandicoot Peremeles pallescens.
Does anyone know how they came up with the name?

After a long and arduous search we eventually tracked down the elusive Striped Possum last night in the distant rainforest back blocks of Far North Queensland.

Very pleased as I had not even seen this animal for 15 years.

Inspired by some sensational images of the Streaked Bowerbird by Joshua Bergmark yesterday I had a look through my shots of close relative, the Vogelkop Bowerbird from our trip to West Papua last month. There were a couple of keepers.
The Vogelkop Bowerbird builds perhaps the most spectacular construction in the animal world, again just to try and impress a girl. This thatched house is decorated by various natural treats.
But in the 21st century we have rubbish everywhere. Instead of decorations from the forest here are two different bowers where the owner prefers man made objects…
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Have spent the week counting bowerbirds in the Wet Tropics. Numbers generally steady but I was very surprised to find a Satin Bowerbird still active at his bower. I thought June-July-Aug was their season. You learn something new every day.

It is another very dark bird that operates in the gloom on the rainforest floor, testing the limit of photography especially with my good camera away being fixed.

Wet Tropics Satin Bowerbird
Ptilonorhynchus violaceus minor
Tully Falls Rd, Ravenshoe
Far North Queensland.

Wildlife Images of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

We only very occasionally get Barn Owls here and so I was a bit surprised to find this cute pair down our road a couple of weeks back.

Mareeba, Far North Queensland.

The boulders at Black Mountain near Cooktown, Far North Queensland only cover an area of about 6km.
But they manage to harbour an endemic frog, gecko and skink.
Arriving last week in the middle of the day in the dry season, we were unlikely to find all three.
But it was not too difficult to spot a couple of these big Black Mountain Rainbow Skinks Liburnascincus scirtetian

We were lucky to find all three species of Australian Frogmouth last week.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell which one you are seeing. But the diagnostic red eyes of the Papuan Frogmouth do sometimes stand out. One photographed here just above the clearing on Mt Lewis, Far North Queensland.

It can be very difficult to impress a girl.
Maryfarms in Far North Queensland is as good a spot as any to search for an Australian Bustard. But we were quite surprised to count 30 of them last week.
Included was one male in full display pose. But the female didn’t really seem too interested.
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Mammals by Dominic Chaplin

Another view of the Common Spotted Cuscus in the Iron Range last week. One of the very few Australian Mammals that is not just brown or grey..

A typical view of a Red-cheeked Parrot at the Iron Range National Park, North Queensland, is of a pair screeching overhead at speed. For many years it was believed they never actually came to the ground except to nest, much the same as Black-breasted Buzzards.

But last week we got lucky and spotted one in a tree. This one just opposite the delightful Greenhoose accommodation.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
A pair of Australia’s rarest bird of prey, the Red Goshawk was resting by their nest at Musgrave last week.
I hadn’t seen one since 2001 and even that was just a head. So nice to get the chance to see the whole animal in the evening sun
The first image is the female and the second the male.

Northern Scrub Robins used to be elusive and difficult to see up in the Iron Range National Park. But this one at the Rainforest Camp was singing away non stop for at least half an hour and has become quite tame.

Actually he did take a little while to spot last week, until we realised he was not down on the ground but up in the trees.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Mammals by Dominic Chaplin

According to Wikipedia the Common Spotted Cuscus is typically very shy and rarely spotted.

But we had a bit of luck last week at the end of the Rainforest Camp track in the Iron Range National Park where this big male was out and about in the early morning sending all the Black-eared Catbirds diving for cover.

Living out in the savanna country we don’t see pythons too often any more. But we came across two good sized Carpet Pythons over two nights last week.

This one was hanging around beside our bird table, watching with interest the critters feeding on left over scraps.

At around 4 feet long I am not sure he could manage a whole Northern Bandicoot and they completely ignored him but the larger Brush-tailed Possum was distinctly alarmed.

Mareeba, Far North Queensland, Australia

Wildlife Photos of Snakes by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Have had a rare chance to get out and about locally last week with a bit of spotlighting.

One highlight was this Lesser Sooty Owl. He seems to comprise almost entirely of head with very little actual body!

Base of Mt Lewis Road, Far North Queensland, Australia.

Laughing Gulls can be a lot of fun. There was a remarkable record of one in Cairns on Monday which had perhaps crossed the entire Pacific Ocean.

Many people missed seeing it but they don’t need to despair. This bird is not too difficult to spot at Las Penas in North West Ecuador.

(With Elegant Tern, Royal Tern, Great Egret)

Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Out in the dark and gloomy forests of the Arfak Mountains, a Black Sicklebill considers how to feed fruit to her fast growing youngster.
As a one meter long bird of paradise, with a bill to match, you would think this is no easy challenge.
But she takes it all in her stride and with great dexterity plucks off a morsel and feeds her big baby.

Of all the difficult birds to see in New Guinea, the Catbirds are high up there in difficult to see ness.

But sometimes you have some luck. Last week we spent 5 hours watching a collection of sticks, put together by the spectacular Masked Bowerbird. After just 4 hours this bird came by for 2 seconds, the Arfak Catbird, another bowerbird, but not one that ever builds a bower. Perhaps he was trying to figure out if it was worth the evolutionary behaviour change.

Arfak Moutains West Papua

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
One of the very few birds that occasionally came out into the open in the Arfak Mountains was the Western Smoky Honeyeater.
Here the interested viewer can compare with the second image, Common Smoky Honeyeater in PNG.
Travellers uncertain if they are on the Birds Head Peninsula or the mainland can easily coordinate themselves by checking on the honeyeaters seen out the window.

Another strange critter from the Arfak Mountains last week was the Feline Owlet-nightjar. I don’t know how our trusty guide Demas Wongorr managed to spot one and it is always handy to have Martin Sam Willis nearby to borrow his tripod

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

One bird I hadn’t seen before up at Camp German in the Arfak Mountans, West Papua was the Ashy Robin.

This perky individual sat longer than usual. In the past it was thought these were the same species as the Grey-headed Robins in Far North Queensland. But someone eventually spotted they look and sound quite different.

Another black restricted range endemic Bird of Paradise from the Arfak Mountains of West Papua.

The Long-tailed Paradigalla can practically only be observed along a less than 1km stretch of path around 1700m above the village of Syoubri. Back in 2017 with Theo Tasoulis and Tony Palliser we were lucky enough to find one feeding in the distance.

But last week, thanks to kind help from Demas Wongorr, Martin Sam Willis and I were privileged to get a cracking close up view of this rare species, supporter of the Ukraine resistance.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Well this might not look like much to most people, but I was extremely pleased to see an Arfak Astrapia on last weeks expedition to the Arfak Mountains, West Papua.

It has taken three trips to the region and three slogs up into the hills, but persistence pays off and finally this elusive Bird of Paradise put in an appearance.

Back in the 1980s, Tony Palliser found this bird to be regular around Syoubri village at 1500m. These days a trek up to Camp Japan around 2100m is required for any chance of a glimpse. It might be climate change driving the species up the mountain but more likely intense hunting pressure driving all wildlife further and further away from populated areas.

Thanks to the very good natured Zeth and Demas Wongorr for their kind assistance.

Back in Makassar. Survived the week in the Arfak Mountains. West Papua. Would have been good if my luggage had turned up.

Dominic Chaplin Wildlife Photographer
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Looking forward to heading out for a relaxing break in the Arfak Mountains, Papua tomorrow.

Hard to believe it is almost 5 years to the day since the last visit to see the Wattled Brushturkeys.

Over in Borneo many people head out to the islands and Palau Manukan near Kota Kinabalu is very popular. It’s not hard to see why as this is the only place where we saw Combtooth Blennies.

There were large groups (shoals?) of these fish out of water on the rocks where they feed on algae, apparently more comfortable than in the sea.

At first we thought they were mudskippers. But they are one evolutionary step behind. Only another 50 million years or so and they too will be building rockets to get to Mars.

March 2023

Enjoyed watching the movie The Outfit on Netflix the other day. The entire movie is filmed inside a tailor shop. More like watching a play than a film. Certainly recommended.

Here is the tiny Ashy Tailorbird out at the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands, in Borneo, a mangrove swamp with no mosquitos.

March, 2023

Partridges are few and far between here at home East of the Wallace line. So on our Borneo trip I was pleased to have a chance to photograph one.

We first encountered these noisy Red-breasted Partridges in the hills of Sarawak but they were very wary and I didn’t get a glimpse.

Our second attempt at Gunung Alab was even less successful with not a single one even heard.

So we decided to get serious and armed with multiple packets of Partridge food, made a third attempt back up the Gunung.

More success this time with perfectly positioned Partridge pic procured.
Sabah, March 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

My friend Tony Palliser has a personal project to photograph one member of every bird family in the world. There are 252 families and he has needed more than a bus pass to reach 249 photos over the years. A chance to help him try to reach get 250 seemed too good to miss.

So in March we set off for Sarawak in hope of finding the Crested Jayshrike, a bird so wary it is the only member of its family.

Out in the mountains beyond Bakalalan, near the border with Kalimantan, with the assistance of superguide Yeo Siew Teck we did see one on our first day but it never really came out of the bushes.

A few days later, deeper into the hills, we found another small group which didn’t come out of the bushes either but we were lucky enough to snatch a few quick images through gaps in the foliage.

Overall in Ecuador we were lucky getting to see and photograph nine Antpittas. I think this was my favourite. Although extremely nervous and wary, we were eventually treated to a clear view.

Rufous Antpitta
Zuro Loma, Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

While we were staying at Wild Sumaco, another traveller showed us a recent close up image of a Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan at Guango Lodge near Papallacta.

This was exciting news as Guango was our next destination. All we had to do was wait beside a bunch of bananas for a short while and we would be able to see the Toucans at close range.

We watched the bananas the entire day. Nothing came in except a thrush once, even when some fresher bananas were tried. Hard to have more fun than watching bananas all day.

But eventually the Toucans did arrive in the distance. Of course they were much happier eating the abundant local native fruit and never came down. Still, any day seeing a new Toucan is a good day.

Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan
Guango Lodge, Ecuador, Feb 2023

According to ebird, Wld Sumaco, in the foothills of Ecuador’s East slope is the number one bird hotspot for the country with 631 species recorded. This is around the same number as the entire continent of Australia.
Space doesn’t permit putting up a photo of each one so instead here are some of the other night creatures at the lodge. It is of course very difficult to ID any of these small animals.
Wildlife Photos of Butterflies by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Insects by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Insects by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Insects by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Spiders by Dominic Chaplin

Today’s pic of the day can be the Toucan Barbet. Very easy to see at Balcon Tumpiki

Mindo, Ecuador, Feb 2023.

Zuro Loma, near Yanacocha Reserve, 3500m was so good we visited twice.

The first time on our first day I left the lights on the car and drained the battery. Car very difficult to start again until a kindly local came and helped us despite the cold rain.

The second time on our last day we got lost and couldn’t find the place, even though we had been there before. On top of that when we left we got lost again and couldn’t find Quito, a major capital city of a million people.

But it was of course all worth it for the chance to see a Sword-billed Hummingbird, pictured here in typical conditions of rain.

Zuro Loma Private Reserve
Ecuador, Feb 2023

The hills above the 4000m Papallacta Pass are a brutal location to look for wildlife. Near freezing temperatures, strong winds and lack of oxygen make for challenging conditions. But this isn’t so bad as long as you can actually see out.

We hit lucky on our 2nd out of 3 visits and on our way back down to the pass were very pleased to see this Andean Bear strolling across the distant paramo. For about 30 seconds, until the standard conditions of thick fog rolled in and visibility was back down to 10 meters.

This was the only true bear I have ever seen. Readers will be surprised to learn the Koala Bear is not classified as a Bear at all and the closest relation to the Andean Bear seems to be the Panda which surely isn’t really a bear either!

Andean Bear
Papallacta Pass, Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Bears by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Continuing to look for small subjects who don’t get much exposure on social media. We would have had no hope of even seeing one, let alone knowing what it was, without kind assistance from Ben Lucking.

Rufous-crowned Tody Flycatcher
San Isidro, Cosanga
Ecuador, Feb 2023

For anyone visiting the Antisana Volano, don’t forget to stop off at the Tambo Condor restaurant on the way home for excellent food whilst watching the Condors, Giant Hummingirds and this strange hummingbird, which doesn’t even look like a real animal.

Sparkling Violetear
Tambo Condor, Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Whilst spending the day watching a lone bunch of bananas any distraction is welcome. While not so colourful as yesterday’s offering even a small wren deserves his 15 seconds of fame.

Rufous Wren
Guango, Ecuador, Feb 2023

It doesn’t get much more green than a Quetzal. This one spotted by Naun Amable Silva was a welcome distraction after a whole day spent fruitlessly looking at a bunch of bananas.

Golden-headed Quetzal
Guango Lodge, Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Mammals

For those of us living East of Wallace’s line it’s always fun to see a squirrel.

We stopped off at a cafe where a rare Maroon-chested Ground Dove had been visiting. The Dove didn’t make for such an exciting image and this little fellow was vying for his place as the pic of the day.

With 32 subspecies pinning down an exact ID is difficult for the Red-tailed squirrel. Could be Sciurus granatensis carchensis or S.g. manavi.

Any ideas anyone?

Red-tailed Squirrel
Lower Tandayapa Valley
Ecuador, Feb 2023

If there is one subject even more overwhelmingly popular than Antbirds on social media it is Antpittas. So I am jumping on the bandwagon and putting one up here for the pic of the day.

Yellow-breasted Antpitta
Balcon Tumpiki, Mindo
Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Orange-bellied Euphonia
Mashpi Amagusa
Feb 2023

While most hummingbirds are beautiful iridescent green and purple, not all get the memo about the dress code. But I do like the more subtle tones of this one.

Brown Inca
Balcon Tumpiki, Mindo
Ecuador, Feb, 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

We only saw this colourful critter once who came past almost too close.

Orange-breasted Fruiteater
Balcon Tumpiki, Mindo
Ecuador, Feb, 2023

A stroll along the famous Guacamayos trail on the Andean East Slope, with superguide Ben, paid off with a sighting of our second Mountain Toucan of the trip. Though rather distant, seeing this uncommon species was the highlight of the day, having never seen a Mountain Toucan before over various trips adding up to 12 months in South America.

Black-billed Mountain Toucan
Guacamayos Ridge, Cosanga, Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Today’s pic of the day is a parrot in attack position.

Rose-faced Parrot
Mashpi Amagusa, Ecuador, Feb, 2023

This is what you could call a unicolour image.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet
San Jorge Tandayapa, Ecuador, Feb, 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

This is what you call a low key image.

Predawn, illuminated by moth sheet light.

White-whiskered Puffbird
San Jorge Milpe, Ecuador, Feb, 2023

This is what you call a high key image.

Great Egrets
Las Penas, Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

An anthropomor pic.

In our whole month in Ecuador we saw only 2 species of monkey. This one was trying to keep warm in the rain, protecting her baby whilst contemplating life, slightly annoyed by our presence.

Sharp eyed viewers will recognise her as the Ecuadorian subspecies of the Mantled Howler.

Mantled Howler
Alouatta palliata aequatorialis
Umbrellabird Reserve, 23 de Junio
Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Pic of the day from Ecuador.

One day I hope to find out if these things are pronounced Arakaree or Arasari.

Collared Aracari
San Jorje Milpe Lodge
Ecuador, Feb 2023

Today’s pic of the day. Although a long way from Blackburn, Lancashire, this species seemed to be fairly widespread in the hills of both Ecuador and Colombia with an individual here seen on the west slope at the delightful San Isidro Lodge.

Blackburnian Warbler
San Isidro Lodge, Cosanga
Ecuador, Feb, 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Social media is just full of photos of antbirds these days and it is not hard to see why.

This one is called the Bicoloured Antbird although the colours seem to be brown and white which I am not sure are even really colours at all.

At the delightful San Jorge, Milpe Lodge
Ecuador, Feb 2023.

Another good day out in Ecuador, well every day is a good day out in Ecuador, was to the Jocotoco Chakana Reserve. This area at around 3600m, adjacent to the icy Antisana volcano, was purchased by the Jocotoco Foundation to help preserve the local wildlife including the Andean Condors that roost on the cliffs.

Just like the Californian Condors, they get thrown the occasional cow to keep them happy.

There are said to be only 150 Condors in Ecuador of which 40 roost at the reserve. We got there just after they had taken off and counted 23 flying at the spot we visited.

They have this alarming habit of peering down at you as they go by. Presumably this is to assess how you are holding up with the altitude and how likely you are to become a suitable meal in the near future.

Andean Condor (Sub adult)
Chakana Reserve, Antisana, Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

In Ecuador I was keen to see the Glistening Green Tanager which had been coming into a small garden. Our visit there was a lot of fun. We got up in the dark and drove a couple of hours to a slightly remote place, which was closed when we arrived. Then the hire car promptly locked itself with the keys in the ignition and everything we owned inside. Being miles from anywhere there was no alternative but to smash a side window with a rock.

For the next two weeks we operated with a plastic bag over the window until we could get it fixed. But eventually the garden owners turned up and in spite of an extremely noisy bird guide, we got some very close views.

Glistening Green Tanager
Mashpi Amagusa, Ecuador, Feb 2023

You don’t always have to go very far to see colourful, new and exotic wildlife. This beetle was on our horse hitching rail near the shed, Mareeba, Far North QLD.

Never seen him before. Perhaps 1cm long.
The Hibiscus Harlequin Bug

Wildlife Photos of Insects by Dominic Chaplin

Today’s pic of the day is a Mountain Toucan. Back in the day these were mythical creatures. Having dismally failed to see this over two previous trips to Ecuador many years ago and even two to Colombia etc I was keen to find one.

So it was very exciting to see a real wild Mountain Toucan for the first time in a cow paddock up in the misty Tandayapa Valley.

Of course these days they are easy and you can enjoy them at close range coming into feeders. We did get much closer views later in the trip. But the first one is always the best.

Plate-billed Mountain Toucan
Upper Tandayapa Valley
Ecuador, Feb, 2023

Green-crowned Brilliant

Milpe, Ecuador, Feb 2023

Not too many birds of prey seen in Ecuador. But we did come across this strange looking thing a few times. One here beside the highway at a roadside stop on the Western slope.

Hook-billed Kite, Rio Silanche,
Ecuador, Feb. 2023

No trip to Ecuador is complete without a visit to Angel Paz and his famous performing Antpittas. 4 out of 5 species were available on the day. This is Suzanna.

Moustached Antpitta, Paz De Aves, Mindo
Ecuador, Feb, 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Down in Ecuador earlier this year I was hopeful we might see a hummingbird. These tiny jewels are just such a joy and I can watch them all day. Trying to get one to sit still for a good photo can be harder than you might think. Some look different in every image. But eventually we got lucky, seeing 42 species during our visit.

Crowned Woodnymph
San Jorge de Tandyapa, Ecuador, Feb 2023

A bit of a distant crop, but the most famous creature at Monterey is the Sea Otter. We saw quite a few close to the boats in the marina. They dive down and collect a clam and rock. Then they tap the clam on the rock vigorously to break into it. Smart critters the Sea Otters.

Monterey, California, Feb 2023.

Wildlife Photos by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos by Dominic Chaplin

A day of some excitement yesterday when we finally completed the sale of our house at Little Mulgrave, Gordonvale, QLD.

Slightly sad after 27 years living there, we will no longer ever see some of the locals, like the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher which occasionally nests on the property.

Still, onwards and upwards and from now on Mareeba will be our only home and we have the chance to make some big lifestyle changes.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Back in the Pinnacles National Park, California, the Rufous-sided Towee which can form itself into a ball and roll away to escape predators

Good night out on Friday with Cathy Retter who is doing such a fantastic job keeping an eye on the very rare Kuranda Treefrog Litoria myola.

Kuranda, Far North Queensland, Australia

Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Cedric, Pink 88 was born at the World Centre for Birds of Prey and is 6 years old.

Condor Cedric Pink 88

A third frog photographed in Sydney back in January was the Red-crowned Broodfrog Pseudophryrne australis.

I did post a shot of this species at the time but you so seldom see posted images of Broodfrogs and they are so cool they deserve a second viewing.

Thanks to Robert Hynson for tracking one down & Murray Lord for organising the expedition.

Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin

With 159,816 records, the tiny Common Eastern Froglet, Crinia signifera is the #1 most recorded frog at Frog ID.

But who here has ever seen one?

A small bunch were calling enthusiastically in a little rock hole at North Sydney, back in January.

Finally taking a breath this week after a very long period of continuous activity and am starting to have the time to look through a bunch of photos taken on various trips earlier this year.

This one was 5 months and 2 days ago in Sydney, Australia. Accompanied by the intrepid Murray Lord we launched a gruelling but successful expedition to search for the Green Stream Frog Litoria phyllochroa

Little Kingfishers are doing well with 3 at the Centenary Lakes, Cairns, Queensland, Australia this week. Also Azure Kingfisher and Black Bittern. Look around the reeds near the Red Pagoda.

Imperial Fruit Sucking Moth
Very large moth, last night feeding on Star Fruit in our garden, Little Mulgrave, Far North Queensland. Moth bigger than a Star Fruit. Never seen before here in 25 years but perhaps I should look up more.

Wildlife Photos of Butterflies by Dominic Chaplin

Possibly the rarest animal I have ever been lucky enough to see is this one, the Critically Endangered Armoured Mist Frog, Litoria lorica.

The story of these is well known. They were thought to be extinct and not seen since 1991 after most were wiped out by a virus. Then in 2008 a small population was found in a small portion of just one stream on the Carbine Tablelands, Far North Queensland.

This waterfall is perhaps the only place on earth where they still exist and here is one, clinging to the rock as the water crashes past, waiting for a tasty insect to come by

Cogger’s Barred Frog. This individual moved in next to the pond three years ago. In wet conditions he gives out a loud Wark!! once a minute which makes you smile every time.

Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Insects by Dominic Chaplin

25 years a go we planted a few Corkwood trees which are the food plant for the 4 O’Clock Moth caterpillar. Nice to see them taking advantage. I don’t know why they sit up like this pretending to be a twig

When we first moved here Stoney Creek Frogs were quite common but now they seem to be harder to find. But you can’t miss the loud call of these Common Mist Frogs which have moved in along Pilba Creek many years after we reforested the section by the house.

The most common snake we see on the ground around our house is the near harmless Slaty Grey Snake. They are often out at night round by the pond. But I had never got a very good photo so was quite pleased to find one curled up under a piece of wood in the garage this week.

He had a few pieces of dry grass lying on top spoiling the photo, but these were easily removed by hand and he didn’t move too much.

Last night I sent the photo on to snake expert Theo Tasoulis who kindly pointed out it is actually a Small-eyed Snake. #8 in the top 10 most venomous snakes in Australia.

Occasionally you have to go to great physical difficulty to get a wildlife photograph. But usually it is not so hard, with this Brown-throated Sunbird photographed out the window of our guesthouse whilst having breakfast last week.

Bakalalan, Sarawak, Borneo

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Best not to kiss this one.

Poisonous Rock Frog
Odorrana hosii

From the pleasant township of Bakalalan, top Borneo guide Yeo took us far along the road being hacked through the wilderness towards Bario, near the Kalimantan border. We found a few rare birds there but also this rather more common Temminck’s Sunbird. Spider webs can be a problem when you are only the size of a sunbird

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Snakes by Dominic Chaplin

Paradise Flying Snake Chrysopelea paradisi at Kota Kinabalu Wetland Ramsar Site was a good find yesterday evening.

We watched him for a while but he just sat there and made no attempt to fly anywhere

Winner of the best haircut in Borneo goes to the Crested Partridge. A few seen at Tambunan above Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, yesterday.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Out here in Borneo photo opportunities have been thin on the ground this week, especially over in Sarawak. But here back in Sabah today we had some luck near Tambunan.

I especially liked this character who I believe could be a Mountain Treeshrew Tupaia montana, one of 63 mammals endemic to Borneo.

P.S. iNaturalist informs this could be a Large Treeshrew Tupaia tana

White-throated Screech-Owl
Zuro Loma, Ecuador, Feb 2023

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Pic of the day from Texas.

Finding ourselves with 14 hours to kill at
Houston International Airport we decided to risk it, hire a car and explore Texas. Very luckily Ben Lucking suggested some top spots to visit. First up was an unlikely location next to a busy road. This was said to be a good place to see an Endangered Whooping Crane.

We could hardly believe it when we got to the spot, got out and a crane was right there already.

Although somewhat distant there is no mistaking North America’s tallest bird which can reach over 5 feet high.

Back in 1941 there were just 23 cranes left in existence. North Americans are pretty good at putting effort in to conservation and now the population is up to 800 birds. This one has rings on the legs, but unlike the Californian Condors I haven’t been able to find a site which details the history of this individual

Last pic of the day from Ecuador.

The first pic of the day from Ecuador was a Sword-billed Hummingbird and the last one is the same.

Yesterday we went back up to Zuro Loma as we missed a few species on the first day. We ended up rather lost and drove the hire car for hours along goat tracks eventually arriving rather late. But all worked out well with an excellent Antpitta and Owl.

These hummers were still buzzing around and it was hard to avoid getting a few quick shots

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

We have been lucky enough to see all three species of Mountain Toucan in Ecuador. This one was by far the closest.

Plate-billed Mountain Toucan
Balcon Tumpiki

Chaplin’s Antpitta.

Antpittas are mysterious shady characters that skulk in the dense undergrowth of the forest floor. They are rarely seen well except for perhaps a brief glimpse of a blur. But all this has changed with the introduction of worm feeding stations where they can now be seen relatively easily.

There is a school of thought that a sharp clear photo of the bird is not really showing its true character at all. i.e. That it is very difficult to see sharply and clearly. The more crisp the image, the less accurate the representation and the worse rendition of real true spirit of the bird.

The Eastern subspecies of the Plain-backed Antpitta, Grallaria haplonota chaplinae is long overdue for elevation to species status. There is really only one logical common name.

Wild Sumaco Lodge, Eastern Andean Slope

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

South America is the place for parrots but we have not seen so many. Usually they are racing past overhead at great speed. One exception is this rather strange species, the Rose-faced Parrot. We saw a few at Mashpi Amagusa near Mindo

The outcome of 6 hours looking at a stick yesterday.

Wire-crested Thorntail.
(He’s about 9cm long including his tail)

Wild Sumaco Lodge, Eastern Slope of the Ecuadorian Andes.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Mammals by Dominic Chaplin

Surprisingly you don’t see a lot of photos of rabbits on social media so here is one to balance out the difference.

This little guy is an Andean Tapeti, Silvilagus andinus. We saw these brave bunnies out and about in a number of locations including at 4300m in 3 degrees, icy wind and fog up near the antennas at Papallacta

Female Torrent Duck looking very pleased with herself after a refreshing dip

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Night time in South America and a new cast of strange characters take over. To avoid competition with the day monkeys, the Night Monkeys move in.

With the help of sharp-eyed superguide Ben Lucking we saw a small troop at San Isidro Lodge, Cosanga. Everything in Ecuador just loves the fruits of the Cecropia tree and the night monkeys were no exception, heading straight there as soon as the sun went down.

Before 1983 life was simple and there was just one known species of Night Monkey. But the taxonomists eventually got involved and now there are 12 known species, all very similar and one extinct. Seeing them all would be quite a challenge.

Still we were very happy to see just one species and this one pictured is said to be Spix’s Night Monkey

Another species we were very keen to see was the Long-Wattled Umbrellabird.

At the small village of 23 De Junio, near Los Bancos local Luis Ajilla owns a small private reserve which contains a lek of the Umbrellabird. It is an excellent example of small scale ecotourism where locals protect the forest with a little commercial gain. We stayed at his traditional homestay and were up at first light to try and find the Umbrellabird. As soon as we arrived at the reserve one was already extending his wattle and giving very low pitched airy hoots.

Light was terrible and soon he flew off. We enjoyed about 4 hours exploring the reserve seeing amongst others Choco Toucans and Ecuadorian Mantled Howler Monkeys. Eventually he returned to his display tree in slightly better light and this was the view we had.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

A couple of days ago we had an excellent but breathless morning starting up at 3600m at the Jocotoco Chakana Reserve. This reserve includes the largest Andean Condor rookery in Ecuador and we counted 23 taking off from the cliffs below. Another 17 or so roost on a nearby cliffs.

But a real highlight of the morning was seeing this Ecuadorian Hillstar. These brave little hummingbirds only live at super high altitude between 3500m and 5200m. Not shown in this picture is the fact that they have very large feet so they can perch on the shrubs rather than hover to save energy in this harsh environment. Cold, wind, rain and fog are the main weather types they have to endure. They love these Chuquiraga flowers which give nice colour contrast to their blue heads. I had been really hoping we would find one and it was hard to decide whether to watch the Condors or watch the flowers for another Hillstar to turn up

Everyone will of course be familiar with the American Pygmy Kingfisher which occurs in every South American country except Chile & Uruguay.

Here is one from 2 days ago in the mangroves by the beach at Las Penas, Ecuador

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Mammals by Dominic Chaplin

Most of the mammals we have seen here so far have been squirrels but also a couple of Howler Monkeys and I always enjoy seeing Agoutis which were at two locations.

There are said to be about 12 species of Agouti and this cheeky one has just stolen a guava fruit and is running for cover. He could be a Central American Agouti.

San Jorge De Tandayapa.

We have left the seaside and headed back to the hills around Mindo where heavy rain continues to be a thing.

Don’t think I have put up enough Toucan photos yet.
So here is another one. This one was quite friendly at a couple of locations.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet
San Jorge de Tandayapa

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

A bit of colour to brighten the day with a slightly angry looking Red-headed Barbet at San Jorge Tandayapa Lodge.

Ecuador is said to full of colourful treefrogs. But in practice they seem to be mostly brown and sit on the ground.

One exception was this character at Septimo Paraiso in Mindo. Local opinion identified this species as possibly the Pinnichio Rainfrog Pristimantis appendiculatus. One small but perhaps fundamental flaw in the ID seemed to be that he had a rather short nose…

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Pic of the day from Ecuador.

Today we are roughing it in the San Jorge Milpe Ecolodge. Our quest to see a toucan continues and despite heavy rain Collared Aracaris were doing the rounds yesterday.

Pic of the day from Ecuador.

It took quite a long while yesterday, expectations were low and our man in Mindo, Angel Paz was not full of confidence, but eventually, with no little sigh of relief, we were treated to a glimpse of Maria.

Maria is the most famous individual of the otherwise rather rare and reclusive species, the Giant Antpitta.

Angel has spent many years acclimatising Maria over 16 years by putting out titbits and throwing pieces of wood into the forest. At the moment Maria was said to be nesting and especially shy and difficult.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Ecuador all going well so far. We had a very good start up at Zuro Loma up above Quito where the Sword-billed Hummingbird was unconcerned by the rain.

We learnt that it can be a good idea to turn off the lights of the hire car after parking it. Zuro Loma is a particularly bad spot to get a flat battery. But we were saved by a friendly local still in the rain, with a couple of thin pieces of wire to jump start us.

In the USA, land of the brave and home of the free where a fly past Bald Eagle is appropriate.

Much bigger than I realised and we had a good view of this one crossing highway 25 at Dry Lake south of the Pinnacles National Park, California.

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin

Spending a couple of days in California at the moment. Of course one of the main reasons most people visit the USA is a chance to see the iconic Greater Roadrunner in the wild.

It took us quite some time to track one down, but at our very last stop along Highway 25, South of the Pinnacles National Park, we got lucky.

And here is a Roadrunner exactly on Highway 25 running across the road of course.

Another reason many people visit Sydney is the chance to see an Eastern Bandy Bandy Vermicella annulata.

We got lucky when sharp eyed Rob spotted one beside the road on our night walk. The Bandy Bandy is a very graphic snake and has this strange defence reaction of coiling some of its body up into the air.

Said to be ‘not really’ venomous perhaps because its mouth is to small to put in a really good bite on a whole person.

Wildlife Photos of Snakes by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin

Just overnighted in Sydney en route to South America. Stuck to the regular tourist activities that everyone does here and headed out at night to look for the Red-crowned Broodfrog Pseudophryrne australis.

With the assistance of some local expert help, despite dry conditions, they located a few of these tiny creakers who were a lot more lively than their northern cousins that I’m used to seeing, the Magnificent Broodfrogs.

Nice to see a few people braving the mozzies and using the revamped Cairns Airport Mangrove Boardwalk yesterday. Here is one of the residents. Now called Torresian Kingfisher even though it is south of the Torresian divide. What is going on?

Wildlife Photos of Birds by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin

Gee we are having a wet year here in Far North Queensland. Just like the wet season used to be. Thank goodness for La Nina. Enjoy it, as according to the Saturday newspaper predictions are that it will likely revert back to the usual trend (hot/dry) next year.

Waterfall Frog Litoria nannotis
Dinden National Park, Far North Queensland

The Whirring tree frog Litoria revelata was a good find on the road at Mt. Hypipamee National park, FNQ, this week. Some effort was expended to confirm the ID as he wasn’t whirring at the time.

There are only 4 Frog ID records of this species in North QLD.

The frogs can be heard whirring right down in the crater, which is a tricky spot to access.

Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin

In January many people head up Mt Lewis in heavy rain on a dark night and it is not hard to see why. Conditions are perfect for a chance to view the Peeping Whistling Frog Austrochaperina fryi.

These tiny frogs live in the rainforest leaf litter and again are generally impossible to find. But with persistence and the sharp eyes of Murray we had some luck last week.

Mt Lewis
Far North Queensland.

Heavy rain always makes for an interesting time and birds start to move around. This one was a very unusual visitor to our block this week. We have seen this species here, for just a day or two, only 3 times in the last 14 years.

It is not hard to figure out how they came up with the name.

Brown-backed Honeyeater
Mareeba, Far North Queensland

Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin

Rain, rain, rain means yet more frogs. Here is a big female at Ravenshoe, Far North Queensland, earlier this year.

Camouflage – The Green-eyed Treefrog, Litoria serrata, is perfectly patterned and coloured to be almost invisible in the forest. Unless of course someone has carried out a controlled burn recently.

Spent time spotlighting for mammals last week, with limited success in very wet conditions. So here is one from a drier night out.

This is the Northern Greater Glider, hanging out near Mareeba, Far North Queensland.

It is a very big day for these Gliders. The plan is to bulldoze large parts of their home at nearby Ravenshoe, to put in a wind farm.

Wildlife Photos of Mammals by Dominic Chaplin

In January people flock from all over the country for a chance to see the Montane Toadlet, Uperoleia altissima.

This tiny amphibian is about the size of a thumbnail, looks much like a stone and is generally impossible to find.

It is often confused with the identical sounding and appearing Uperoleia mimula. Luckily we brought our portable DNA test kit along.

They have been calling at a number of locations this week with hundreds at the Millstream National Park, Ravenshoe, Far North Queensland. After only about half hour searching we got lucky and came across this little character.

Some people will have enjoyed reading the excellent new book by Stan Breeden – A Feeling For Nature, over the Christmas break. I did like chapter 65 where he discusses the continual ‘absurd, unwarranted and unneeded’ name changes of various species.

Usually the change is away from the species being named after a historical figure, no longer deemed to be of suitable good character. A descriptive name is used instead. But other times the descriptive name is done away with.

Some time back the Crested Hawk had its name changed to Pacific Baza. ‘What is a Baza?’ anyway.

We have had a few of these in the garden this week including a family with a pair of young ones. Here the parent is feeding the juvenile a tasty stick insect.

Crested Hawk, Mareeba
Far North Queensland, 2/1/2023

Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin

Out near Ravenshoe, Far North Queensland, this week good rains mean the Magnificent Broodfrogs were becoming active, but they look worried.
It’s a very big week for these small frogs. They are threatened by land clearing for the wind farm.
The deadline is fast approaching.
People have only until the end of this week to let the wind farm people know if you think their development is a good idea. 
You can email them at

Good season for Squatter Pigeons getting friendlier at the moment with a gang of 12 next to the house this morning. Mareeba. Far North Queensland, Australia

Wildlife Photos of Birds Dominic Chaplin
Wildlife Photos of Frogs by Dominic Chaplin

Very heavy rain in the area last night was good news for the frogs.

Here is a species I hadn’t photographed before  – So here is his 5 seconds of fame – The Tawny Rocket Frog Litoria nigrofrenata.

Distribution is woodland in Far North Queensland and New Guinea. This one at Tinaroo Creek Rd, Mareeba, FNQ 30/12/2022

Thank you for looking at Dominic Chaplin’s wildlife photos of the day for 2023. If you would like to purchase or use any of these images, please contact us and ask for a quote.