"Jo Wieneke" <>
Mon, 16 Dec 96 10:17:58 UT
As most reports are from the south here's one from Townsville.
Having a visiting birder around is a good excuse to abandon occupations such
as writing Xmas letters or working on a thesis, and go birding for the day. On
Saturday Rafael Furniss and I took Chris Knight keen birder from the UK up to
Paluma trying to fill a few gaps in Chris' list.
First stop was about half way up the hill where we'd been told there was a
Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher's nest hole in a termite mound. We found the
mound, not fully excavated, and heard birds calling on both sides of the road
and eventually saw one flying across. Pittas were on the want-list but
despite hearing at least 6 in the rainforest, none were seen.
Up at Paluma village a flock of King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas, a
displaying male Victoria's Riflebird and a Barred Cuckoo-shrike were good
sightings. Sheltering from the rain on a friend's verandah we watched a
Painted Button-quail feeding near the house while White-cheeked, Lewins and
Macleays Honeyeaters came to drink at a feeder. We had excellent views of a
pair of Fernwrens in rainforest near the Field Study Centre.
Time ran out and we did not visit the Golden Bowerbird bower or check for the
Grey Wagtail at Birthday Creek Falls!
On the way back down the hill we saw one of the kingfishers perched near the
mound site. Alas, there were no pittas by the roadside where they can
sometimes be seen. Back down in the heat at sea level we finally visited Big
Crystal Creek NP camping area where we found a Northern Fantail and Fairy
Gerygone and tracked down a White-browed Robin. This area is a reliable spot
for all these species.
A good morning's birding with just over 50species recorded and Chris added 7
birds to his list.
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