Eungella NP (pronounce Ung Gulla, I am pretty sure) sits up on a mountain. The road up to it is the steepest “real” road (not logging road, or trail) that I have ever driven. When I toured fulltime, I used to drive approximately 50-60 thousand miles a year. I have seen more roads than most. Matilda did it. She does not have much power and she is very heavy, but she has heart. I have never “pushed” a vehicle that hard, but she took it and she got us to the top. I. Am. Grateful. Thank you, Matty.
|From the floor of that valley to where we are standing is about 4.5 kilometers of the steepest road I have ever driven. But it is drivable and worth the effort.|
The Eungella Honeyeater only lives in the Eungella NP. If you want to see it, you have to go up there. Once at the top, there is still another 15 kilometers or so out to where you look for them. Thankfully, that is not all straight up, although the roads are mostly dirt and gravel. We looked for a couple of hours, and although we heard them a few times, we could not locate them.
|The range map of the Eungella Honeyeater. The blue dot actually a little bit too large.|
Then we discovered (thanks to a helpful local lady who was out jogging) that we could continue further on a track about 300 meters to a bushwalk gate into the National Park. We parked Matilda at the gate and began looking. We heard them again, but again they remained hidden. Lynn suggested that we take chairs out and sit and watch. Since we had been staring up into the canopy for hours, this idea was appealing. So we did and within about ten minutes time, a pair of Eungella Honeyeaters flew into the top of the large tree right in front of us. My God, I was grateful!
|Eungella Honeyeater, Linchenostomus hindwoodi |
We got gorgeous views, even though they remained often hidden and in constant motion. I got some barely recording photos, but I was grateful for those. Could I have spent another hour or so using a lot of playback and possibly gotten a better photo? Maybe. But as I have said, this journey is not about the photos. It is about experiencing the birds. And part of the experience of the Eungella Honeyeater is that it is an illusive bird that can be difficult to see. We saw it and I am grateful!
|Eungella Honeyeater Lifer Selfie on top of the mountain and on top of the world! We did it!|
Birds. Peace. Love. Earth. Laughter. Music.