Occasional Cairns News - March 2002

To: <>
Subject: Occasional Cairns News - March 2002
From: "Keith & Lindsay Fisher" <>
Date: Sat, 16 Mar 2002 08:54:30 +1000
Hi Everyone,
Sitting around up here waiting for the wet season along with the birds. It's
been so dry some bird have hung around rather than go off to their breeding
grounds, some Straw-necked and Australian White Ibis have stayed around over
the "wet season", they are normally gone from the coast by Christmas at the
latest. Now the Straw-necked Ibis that did go away have come back this week
and are starting to fill up the ovals and suburban gardens. A Pied Heron was
foraging in amongst 40 + Masked Lapwing's at the top end of the Cairns
Esplanade in the hockey oval last week, an unusual place to see one. The
waders are now starting to thin out in numbers as well as colour up.

The Birds-Australia North Queensland Group had a wader identification
session on the Esplanade last Saturday, notable was that none of the
Red-necked Stints were showing signs of colouring up but all the following
were changing into breeding plumage - Black & Bar-tailed Godwits, Whimbrel,
Eastern Curlew, Common Greenshank, Terek Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler,
Great Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Pacific Golden Plover, Lesser & Greater
Sandplovers. A pair of Ospreys gave us a show diving into the water and
displaying to each other and calling before they departed with a fish. 6
adult Nankeen Night Herons + 1 juvenile were perched in trees diagonally
opposite the playground by the Tradewinds Hotel, a regular spot for them
during the day.

A few Channel-billed Cuckoos have been passing through over the last couple
of weeks heading north, the Metallic Starlings are coming together in large
flocks and looking like they will head north shortly (at least some of the
population). Pied Imperial Pigeon numbers have also dropped as they head
north. Around home the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers have not been
heard for a week and the Leaden Flycatchers have gone.

John Crowhurst reported at least 5 Long-billed Corellas in town and I
suspect they are breeding to the south in the Southern Treatment works at
Kate Street, Woree (southern suburb of Cairns).

Finally for those interested in the Cairns Esplanade redevelopment log on to
the Cairns City Council web page at click on news and
then Cairns Esplanade Redevelopment, pictures & text. The proposed walkway
along the sea wall is mentioned but they don't say it is 6m wide jutting out
over the mudflats, at this stage it does not look like it will impact on the
bird feeding area but disturbance from people walking along it may be an

Keith & Lindsay Fisher
Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia

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