I was at Binna Burra in Lamington National Park in S.E. Qld. from 11th to 17th
January 1999. This is a regular birding spot for me at this time of the year
it is generally pretty easy to see the common endemics over that time span.
also lovely and cool while Brisbane is pretty hot).
One of my best sightings was a small group of 3 male Regent Bowerbirds. This is
pretty good for Binna Burra as I have only seen one there, once before. there
heaps at O'Reilly's but up there they get fed.
I had fun trying to pick the Basian Thrush from the Russet-tailed Thrush. I'm
satisfied that I did see both, mainly from the degree of scaling on the upper
back. I watched a pair of Basians for a long time, noticing how the bird would
take about 3 to 4 quick steps then prop and rock as if trying to shake the earth
under its feet. It them probed half a bill length into the earth, brought out a
little morsel, paused briefly and ate it. I'm wondering about this 'shaking of
earth' follower by almost unerring aim at some hidden creature. It seems a bit
like the foot-stirring of the water practiced by some water birds. Does it
some response from the creature which the Thrush can detect?
At this time of the year the Albert's Lyrebird calls very reliably near that
of the Boarder Track approximately 3.5 - 4km from Binna Burra. I haven't
encountered one in the open here for many years but one was calling within a few
meters of the track near the crest about 800 meters before Joalah Lookout. I
enjoyed hearing it go through its repertoir of mimicry and noted that the one
calling from the Coomera River valley and the one beside me on the ridge
each other's last song phrase almost instantly. A bit later, I was in an area
where I have seen Noisy Pitta and I heard what I thought was another Lyrebird
starting up with its initial 'clonk clonk' but nothing else happened. I'm
wondering if what I heard was a Noisy Pitta cracking a snail shell and that
clonk' is another bit of mimicry for the Lyrebird. I think I did read that
There were a couple of White-headed Pigeons in good view from the Boarder Track
the same general area as the Lyrebird. To my surprise, one had broad dark
on the back and sides of the neck angling up towards the front at about 45
degrees. I checked very carefully to make sure it wasn't a trick of the light.
checking in Pizzey and Knight, it would appear to be a juvenile. They gave away
their position by the sound of their heavy flapping and they watched me watching
them for a long time.
Heavy flapping and a flash of red helped me spot the Paradise Riflebird which I
been unsuccessfully stalking (along the track) throught the canopy by its call.
imature, male Australian King-Parrot flew and flapped at it and moved it on a
Luckily it landed within view, albeit very high up. It began to display from a
bare branch of a very tall fig with alternate wing jerking while they were fully
extended and curved up over its head. Its head was back, chest puffed out and
and body jerked from side to side with the wing movements. It is a pretty
strenuous movement which makes it quite a balancing act. The click/flap sound
the jerk was plainly heard from down below. I watched for 15 minutes and left
still performing. From my position the mirror blue of the tail was easier to
than the throat colour.
About 2.5km along the boarder track I saw a Pale-yellow Robin. I have seen it
before but I also go for years not seeing it at all. In the same general area
Yellow-throated Scrubwren appeared for me, One bird. It is not nearly as common
here as is White-browed Scrubwren.
Golden Whistlers are normally very common in the Binna Burra area of Lamington
National Park but they seemed pretty scarce to me and to others in my party.
During my standard, 'control', solitary walk from Binna Burra to Joalah Lookout
which I have done every January for years, I only encountered one in the first
and no more until back in the same general area (around the Tullawallal peak).
Black-faced Monarchs are also reasonably common, but they seemed to be present
very large mumbers. Without proper analysis of my records and, without
evidence, I'm wondering if Black-faced Monarchs are elbowing out the Golden
Whistlers, or what? It would be nice to have some software to help with this
I also used to hear Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove quite reliably not far from the
entrance to the Boarder Track but there has not been a peep for several years.
There was no problem seeing most of the other common endemics. Green Catbird,
Eastern Whipbird, Eastern Yellow Robin, Logrunner, Satin Bowerbird, Boobook Owl,
White-throated Treecreeper, Wonga Pigeon and Crimson Rosella etc were all very
to see. I had my usual problem with little brown birds but Large-billed
is easier to id.
Black-Cockatoos were there but I couldn't see the tail colour. The calls
make it Yellow-tailed.
Regards to all,
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