BA-NQG Weekend

To: <>
Subject: BA-NQG Weekend
From: "Keith & Lindsay Fisher" <>
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2002 07:29:55 +1000
Hi Everyone,
Birds Australia-North Queensland Group (BA-NQG), have just had a successful
AGM at Etty Bay just south of Innisfail, North Queensland (1 1/2hrs south of
Cairns). As part of the weekend we explored the surrounding areas and came
up with a few interesting sightings. The most spectacular was a group of 62+
Bush Stone-curlews roosting in a ploughed field along Etty Bay road
(opposite Bulgaru Swamp), some spilling out onto a neighbouring 5ac. grassed
garden - they all appeared to be adult birds. The previous highest number we
had seen  together was 46 in Cairns.
We hired 4 boats (tinnies) on the Sunday morning to explore Mourilyan
Harbour (100km south of Cairns, 17° 36'S  146° 07'E). Here there is a large
sugar and cattle exporting facility adjacent to the boat ramp. The harbour
is on the mouth of the Moresby River and has extensive mangrove areas with a
rainforest backdrop. Whilst the mangroves did not appear to have many birds
in them we found at least 5 Little Kingfishers, 4 Azure Kingfishers and a
couple of Beach Stone-curlews. Most of the sightings were in the mangroves
adjacent to the car park, Large-billed Gerygone, Shining Flycatcher (M&F),
Gould's Bronze-Cuckoo, Yellow Honeyeater, Leaden Flycatcher and Black
Butcherbird. In season the mudflats around the harbour have large numbers of
Whimbrel which are of potential international significance, we only saw a
couple on this trip. Back at Etty Bay a couple of Cassowaries were see by
some of the group, wandering through the caravan park and onto the beach
looking for food. In the evening a Beach Stone-curlew patrolled the beach
and a big spotlight on the foreshore was attracting insects with at least 3
Forest Kingfishers taking advantage of the food source and were active late
into the night.

The area is well worth a detour off the Bruce Highway if you are heading up
this way.

Keith & Lindsay Fisher
Cairns, Queensland 4870 Australia


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