Last weekend I spent 3 days in a special place 45 Km west of
Ingham in North Queensland. Birds, especially cuckoos were all around the
camping area. The place is Broadwater in the Herbert River Valley at the
foothills of the Rockingham Bay Range. The weather is still very wet and
hot and I think it is fooling the birds that winter is still a long way off.
I say this because I saw: (i) a pair of Large-Tailed Nightjars mating on a
branch 15 metres above my camp just on dusk, then put on a fantastic chasing
& areodynamics display in the clearing just for me (as the park had 100mm of
rain the day before, nobody else was there all weekend);
(ii) a Grey-Headed Robin sitting on 1 egg on its large untidy nest on a
lawyer vine frond 2 metres above ground;and
(iii) a Large-Billed Gerygone feeding a young Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo only
a few metres away from the Gerygones nest.
The great thing about this park is that there is rainforest on one side of
the park clearing and 200 metres away on the other side is the typical
native bush vegetation. So when you wake up in the morning you have to make
the decision on wether to do the 2Km rainforest walk or the 4Km forest walk.
Both walks are along the very picturesque Broadwater Creek.
I observed 77 species of birds which is about half the number on John Youngs
list at the registration hut. Five species of cuckoos were in abundance
namely Fan-Tailed, Brush, Horsfields,Little & Goulds. Shining Bronze also
frequent this area.
Other sightings included Little Kingfisher in rainforest pools, Northern
Fantail, Yellow-Breasted Boatbill (4), Pied Monarchs (2), Bush Stone
Curlews, Victoria's Riflebird (3)-one swallowing whole a very large &
wriggling brown spider (ugh!), Owlet Nightjar, Double-Eyed Fig-Parrots,
Lovely Fairy-Wrens in bright breeding colours and plenty of Fuscous, Yellow,
Dusky, Graceful, Macleay's & Yellow-Spotted Honeyeaters. The Ranger said I
would probably meet a Cassowary with 3 chicks as it is in the area at
present - but no such luck.
The park facilities are excellent and I will look forward to going back
there in a couple of months when all the river trees are in flower.