Hinchinbrook Island

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Subject: Hinchinbrook Island
From: "Ian Cowan" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2001 11:05:10 +1000
I have just returned from camping 4 nights at Macushla (18º 13", 146º 13'), on Hinchinbrook Island.  The Noisy Pittas, Rose Crowned Fruit Doves and Pied Imperial Pigeons are very common at the moment.  The pittas are quite easy to see, especially morning and late afternoon.  One insisted on hopping around my campsite, very little concerned about my presence, at one point only 2 metres away from me as I stood cooking my evening meal at the table.
The rose crowned fruit doves were calling consistently and occassionally presented good views. I saw one juvenile plumage.
The PIPs were quite common but I don't think to full strength yet - flocks flying across to the Brook islands were quite small.
I only heard wompoos in a restricted area of the South Shepherd track and emerald dove numbers seemed quite low.
This part of the island is quite dry, a tremendous amount of leaf fall occurring.
Pale yellow robins were seen feeding begging young obviously not long out of the nest.
I recorded no lorikeets at all.
My biggest surprise was seeing a small non-descript quail in the thick beachside paperbark/rainforest mix vegetation. Didn't get to see it too long but the nearest I could put it down to was a male Red-backed button quail as per Simpson & Days illustration (but I won't be ticking it).  No grasslands anywhere nearby.  Only saw the one bird and only for a short time before it disappeared.  Return visits to the site were unsuccessful.  Has anyone else encountered small quail on the offshore islands?
Ian Cowan
Clifton Beach
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