Barking Owl Retreat/Atherton Tableland, Birdwatching, Birds
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Atherton Tablelands Accommodation
Atherton Tablelands Birdwatching
Barking Owl Retreat

The Atherton Tablelands is a renowned birding hot spot or you could say a Birdwatcher's Paradise! Enjoy Atherton Tablelands Birdwatching at Barking Owl Retreat. Wake to the sound of birds and relax to their songs all day long. Native Birds and Owls are attracted to the blue gum trees in the gully alongside the cottages, and as well as our landscaped native bushes and trees. Not only could you get the chance to possibly hear a Barking Owl you can also try to catch some of these wonderful birds on camera.

Tawny Frog Mouth nesting at Barking Owl Retreat
Tawny frog mouth, Atherton Tablelands
Tawny frog mouth, at Barking Owl Retreat
Tawny Frog Mouth nesting at Barking Owl Retreat

How can one bird look so different? This Tawny frog mouth was a real poser! See below larger photos of our Tawny Frog mouth family that breed in the same trees each year just in front of our house. Also see a VIDEO of a baby Tawny Frog Mouth we helped raise. If this does not load see our Facebook video here.

What a fantastic photo of this Eastern Yellow Robin taken while relaxing on the Dingo's Lair back deck. Photo by Allan of Smithfield.

Red Backed Fairy Wren by Wildwatch found at Barking Owl Retreat.
Eastern Yellow Robin on back fence of Dingo's Lair at Barking Owl Retreat on the Atherton Tablelands. Photo by Allan
Red Browed finch very prominent at Barking Owl Retreat.
Spotted Pardlote found at Lake Tinaroo - Photo taken by Jack Leighton
Scarlett Honeyeater found here at Barking Owl Retreat - Photo supplied by Jack Leighton
Yellow bellied sunbird found here at Barking Owl Retreat - Photo supplied by Jack Leighton

The three beautiful birds above were taken by Jack leighton of 'Tinaroo Waters'. Jack's Rainforest Birds of Australia's 'Wet Tropics' DVD is in the Dingo's Lair cottage for viewing. The bird photo's above are from top left to right - Red Backed Fairy Wren, Eastern Yellow Robin, Red Browed Finch, Spotted Pardlote, Scarlett Honey Eater, and Yellow Bellied Sunbird. Enquire here and " Ask how to get your photo published on our Birdwatching Page "

Blue cheeked Rosella feeding on grass seed. This pair of blue cheeked Rosellas frequent Barking Owl Retreat.
Eastern Yellow Robins breed in the gum trees around the office. The Eastern Yellow Robin feeding on a grub
The female Red Backed Fairy Wren although brown in colour so dainty and cute The Male Fairy Backed Wren is all his colour and splendor

The photogenic Eastern yellow Robin

The Eastern Yellow Robin was caught on camera again and is quite often seen around the property along with the Blue cheeked Rosellas. The Red Backed Fairy Wren is such a beautiful dainty little bird and can be seen here in abundance at different times of the year. And although the male has a magnificent coloured coat the female is also very cute!

The White0Cheeked Honeyeater has been spotted more frequently since cyclone Larry

The Green Backed Honeyeater is a frequent picture in our native gardens

These Honeyeaters above were spotted in the Dingo's Lair gardens and the photos were taken by Richard who stayed with his family in winter 2011. The Green Backed Honey eater is commonly found in the gardens around the Retreat. And the White-cheeked Honeyeater has been more previlent since cyclone Larry. And after both cyclone Larry and Yasi we seem to have gained a few extra different species of birds in our habitat. Below is the magnificent Scarlett Honeyeater male, mum and baby, and baby on our farm fence. See a video and more pics on Facebook here.

Scarlett Honeyeater Male

Scarlett Honeyeater mum and baby

Scarlett Honeyeater baby

The Tawny frog Mouth family pictured below were all taken this November and December 2011. This is the first year we have actually seen any babies and we actually helped raise one of the chicks in conjuction with mum and dad! We initially had two although after we put them back in the tree with mum and dad we could only find one the next day.

Tawny frog mouth babies

The babies back in the tree immediately held their pose

We named the only chick "Sprocket" and fed him every morning and night just before dark. He would then go out and hunt with mum and dad and learn how to fly. So we found him in all silly places the next morning and would put him back in a tree near mum and dad as shown below. See a VIDEO of 'Sprocket' here!

Sprocket eating a frog with the legs still hanging out

Sprocket on the roof after flying lessons

Sprocket ended up on the roof after flying lessons one night and also under Chilli's dog dish another time. He is so very lucky we found him.

Dad on the sprinkler hunting with Sprocket

Dad would come in and feed Sprocket around our house and he is shown above on the sprinkler in our front yard.

Can you see me? Mum is so good at camo!

The different poses of mum and dad

Will she leave us alone

The parents were so friendly and never once tried to attack us. Sprocket was so tame you could scratch his head and he would close his eyes in pleasure. Tawny Frog Mouths are closely related to nightjars and hunt at night and roost in the day well camouflaged.

Sprocket hiding with mum

I called Sprocket to take this photo and he stopped posing to say hello!

The family moved on mid December from the trees and we hope to see them back next year! Yet another shot of the friendly Eastern Yellow Robin below.

In May 2014 I visited Hastie's Swamp in Atherton. What a bird lovers paradise which is home to more than two hundred bird species. See the list of Hastie's Swamp bird species.

Mannikin at Hastie's Swamp Atherton

Plumed Whistling Duck at Hastie's Swamp Atherton

Willy Wagtail at Hastie's Swamp Atherton

Swamp Hen at Hastie's Swamp Atherton

From the top photo at Hasties Swamp we have a Mannikin, then a Plumed Whistling Duck, Willy Wagtail, Swamphen, and many more Whistling Ducks. See more about Hastie's Swamp on our Attractions page. Below is an Australian Hobby followed by a Black Shouldered Kite, a Kite eating, a Brown Falcon, and an Osprey. These photos were kindly shared by our guest Mary-Anne from Nsw. They were taken near Barking Owl Retreat around the Kairi and Lake Tinaroo Dam area. See a video of hundreds of whistling ducks at Hasties Swamp on our Facebook Page.

Australian Hobby photographed near Barking Owl Retreat on the Atherton Tablelands

 Black Shouldered Kite photographed near Barking Owl Retreat on the Atherton Tablelands

‪Kite eating his prey

Brown Falcon  photographed near Barking Owl Retreat on the Atherton Tablelands

 Osprey photographed near Barking Owl Retreat on the Atherton Tablelands

Gee I thought we were a long way from the coast! Two pelicans dropped by our dam at the house in June 2014. The Geese were not impressed!



Some birds that are found at Barking Owl Retreat. Can you spot the female red-backed fairy wren?


Hosts Chris & Tanya Bassford
409 Hough Rd, Po Box 85,
Kairi, Atherton Tablelands,
Cairns Highlands
Far North Queensland,
4872, Australia
Phone/Fax 07 4095 8455
International +61 7 4095 8455
Mobile 0407 695 685
Email us here

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See a  Barking Owl video by Jack Leighton of Tinaroo Waters

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