Back from the Cape

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Back from the Cape
From: "Ian Clayton" <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 22:19:25 +1000
Hi All

Just got back from Cape York, the job at Lotus Bird Lodge
was excellent, but management left a little to be desired.

Enough said about that, onto the birds.

The area of Violet Vale Station and the adjacent Lakefield
National Park is where I worked and birded (if you call taking
 people birding work). 

Some interesting sightings where:

- Numerous sightings of Black Bitterns along Saltwater Creek
  and the Lagoon on Nifold Plain, throughout late May, June and
  early July.  By the way a Bittern was seen at Toonpan adjacent
  to the Ross Dam, Townsville on the 15/7.

- A Juvenile Common Koel at the Lodge Lagoon in early June 
  seen several times.

- A pair of Dollarbirds seen at the Lodge Lagoon several times
  over the same period as the bitterns the last being on the 9/7/98.

- A Palm Cockatoo on Saltwater Creek near Laurlumba Lagoon in mid 
  June, not seen again, also recorded along the creek in April by Jamie 

- Excellent sightings of Golden-shouldered Parrots, including several
  breeding pairs at the nest, most visits to the area yielded 15-20 birds.

- Good numbers of Star Finches on the Lagoon at Nifold Plains. Other
  finches seen where Black-throated, Masked, Crimson, Double-barred
  and Chestnut-breasted. 

- A pair of Pink-eared Ducks on Low Lake in Lakefield National

- Most visits to Nifold Plain yielded Spotted Harrier, Swamp Harrier
  Black-breasted  Buzzard, Brown Falcon, Black, Whistling and 
  Black-shouldered Kites, Kestrel, Wedgies and Brown Goshawk.

- Several sightings of Brush and Pallid and Little-bronze Cuckoo.

- A couple of sightings of Square-tailed Kites on the Marina Plains Rd.

- Good numbers of Brown, Banded, Rufous-banded, Bar-breasted, 
  Brown-backed, Rufous-throated and White-streaked Honeyeaters, 
  and all four Friarbirds, in most areas.

- Two sightings of Singing Honeyeaters at the Lagoon on Nifold Plain.

-  Good numbers of Radjah Shelduck on the Lagoons and creeks
   one flock of about 50 on Boggy Lagoon. 

- The Black-backed Butcherbird is very common.

- Good sightings of Papuan Frogmouth along Saltwater Creek,
  what an awesome bird.

- Fairy Geryegone where regularly sighted in good numbers.

- Lovely Fairy-Wren seen at Annie River and Orange Plains. 

- I expected to see more Sarus Cranes but only saw one, good numbers
  of Brolgas around.   

- I thought Townsville had a good population of Great Bowerbirds until
  we visited Coen, they are like flies.

- A visit to the Archer River was not very fruitful yielding two new species
  Magnificent Riflebird and Tawny-breasted Honeyeater.  I walked 
  down stream from the crossing for about three km. and saw very little
  in some magnificent gallery forest.

- Good sightings of both species of crocodile along Saltwater Creek.

A full list of sightings will be available on request.
Ian Clayton
North Qld.

Phone 07 4721 6489




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