Trip Report - atlassing beyond the red stump [part 6]

Subject: Trip Report - atlassing beyond the red stump [part 6]
From: Laurie & Leanne Knight <>
Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2001 18:26:33 +1000
Tuesday 18 Sept

The Bowen Rd appeared to be another blank on Andrew?s maps, so I made a
point of atlassing a number of sites on the way to Collinsville.  The
pick of the sites was Police Creek near Mt Coolah [old mining town with
Jon Wren?s favourite pub].  I had lunch by the Bowen River, which was a
pleasant change because it had flowing water [about the first I?d seen
in x thousand km] ? obviously the water board was releasing some water
from Eungulla Dam for the farmers.  There I saw the only great bowerbird
for the trip.

I got into Bowen and spent the afternoon birding with Jon Wren who
kindly showed me the sites round his home town.  The old doctor was
operating, so it was a bit hard looking for boobies round Horseshoe Bay
[though I did see a rock wallaby on the rocks the next day].  There were
quite a few waders round the old marina.

Wednesday 19 September

I drove down to Mackay and popped up to Eungulla NP to catch up with the
local endemics.  As luck would have it, Huey was thinking about rain and
it was pea soup conditions on the range.  I saw a few birds from the
teahouse [I think the devo tea is a better bet than the cappuccino] and
as I was dressed in bushwalking gear, was asked if I was from someplace
exotic [I guess they don?t get too many bushwalkers there]. Anyhow, it
was nice having a bit of a rainforest interlude after a week or so in
the Channel country.

Mackay beach is a fairly good place to look for waders [godwits,
whimbrels, curlews, sandpipers, tattlers, oystercatchers, plovers] as
well as the odd gull billed tern, osprey and jabiru.  I also heard my
first channel billed cuckoo for the season at the Caravan Park.

Thursday 20 September

One of Jon Wren?s BOCA friends in Mackay recommended Clareview [location
seven, 22 07S  149 32E] as a good spot to atlas.  Initially there didn?t
seem to be much there, other than the odd gull and oystercatcher. 
However, with a bit of poking around, I found quite a few interesting
birds.  There was a whimbrel, red capped and golden plovers, sooty and
pied oyster catchers standing side by side, later joined by a beach
thickknee.  There were sunbirds, blue faced honeyeaters, black faced
monarchs, drongos, figbirds, pied currawongs, silvereyes, golden and
rufous whistlers etc in amongst the yards, mangroves and monsoonal
forest.  However, pride of place was a pair of orange foot scrub fowl,
which [according to slaters] aren?t so common that far south.

Friday, Sat  21, 22 September

Drove from Yeppoon to Theodore to catch up with an old mate and headed
off to Robinson Gorge.  Nothing of any great birding significance along
the way, though the red tailed black cockatoos were again in attendance
at Theodore, and there were quite a few emus and bustards about.

Robinsons Gorge [location 8,  25 18S 149 11E] is a nice place to knock
about and had a fair bit of birdlife.  The main species of interest was
a tufted honeyeater, which I suspect was probably near the northern edge
of its range.

Sunday, Monday 23, 24 September

Drove from Theodore [where unfortunately the local TV stations did not
telecast the one-sided match between the Lions and Tigers] through
Crackow to Eidsvold.  I atlassed a site about 15km west of Eidsvold
because I noticed a squatter pigeon beside the road, and decided that it
too was probably approaching the limits of its range.  

>From there it was a case of following the Burnett Hwy out to Gympie and
on to the big smoke.  

As a point of interest, I saw a pacific baza doing a display flight
routine near Mapleton on the Monday morning ? one of birdings little
pleasures ?

The koels were calling when I got home on Monday lunchtime.

All up, I filled in 70 atlas sheets ? 8 incidentals, 17 area searches
and 45 two ha searches.
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