|Subject:||Far north Queensland day trips|
|From:||Phil Gregory <>|
|Date:||Tue, 16 Jan 2001 21:58:05 +1000|
Two day trips to Mt Lewis (near Julatten, far north Queensland) late last
week were very productive. We called in at Mareeba wetlands en route, and
even though this new reserve is shut for the wet season we still saw 20
Finches by the entrance gate. The staff at the reserve tell me that
white- rumped birds of the southern race occur here, but I have only ever
seen the normal dark rumped form.
Lake Mitchell (north of Mareeba near Mt Molloy) is exceptionally low for some strange reason, but still held Black-necked Stork and Green Pygmy-Goose, whilst Apostlebirds and Grey-crowned Babblers were nearby.
The Great Bowerbird bower that I usually visit in Mt Molloy has relocated by about 25m, now in a flower bed right by the track, with 3 or 4 birds in evidence in the area, and suggesting an absence of certain American researchers too.
Ron's place at Kingfisher Park, Julatten has breeding Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfishers easy to see, and a quite tame Noisy Pitta by the entrance track. The quaintly named Abattoir Swamp nearby had a White-browed Crake and nesting Brown-backed Honeyeaters, whilst a birder I met claimed a Baillon's Crake.
Mt Lewis was its customary excellent self, we saw at least 6 Blue-faced Parrot-Finches within minutes on both days, feeding on grass seed heads in the lantana infested clearing 11km up the track, and also taking seeds from some sort of a sedge. The birds are fairly confiding, much easier to see well here than they are in PNG! A couple of the finches were also along a track under quite closed forest, not their usual forest clearing habitat. Mountain Thornbill are quite common here, their sweet song being a feature of the regrowth areas, whilst Eastern Spinebill and Bridled Honeyeater duly put in appearances.
Tooth-billed Bowerbirds are still singing, one mimicking a cicada
as part of its repertoire, whilst Spotted Catbirds and Victoria
Riflebirds foraged nearby. Atherton and Yellow-throated Scrubwrens
showed well, and we saw the often rather tricky Fernwren very nicely
on both days, with a group of 3 of them a surprise on the second day. A
small party of Chowchillas and lots of Grey-headed Robins
were seen on both days. One of the great stars here is Golden Bowerbird,
and we were somewhat relieved when the male eventually showed up, my fears
being that the dreaded doctor might have collected him!
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