Occasional Cairns News - December 2002

To: <>
Subject: Occasional Cairns News - December 2002
From: "Keith & Lindsay Fisher" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 22:19:43 +1000
Hi everyone,
Been out of touch with the goings on around Cairns for a while, having
been up in Iron Range for a couple of weeks. I?m not going away again as
I missed all the action with the Isabelline Wheatear and the Grey
Wagtail! I missed the Wheatear by ½ a day and despite a couple more
looks it would appear that the bird has moved onto better dustbowls. The
Cairns Esplanade is still producing good numbers of waders with
excellent views all this week with favourable tides allowing watching
from the park benches. At least 3 Broad-billed Sandpipers have been
present trying to hide amongst the Red-necked Stints, 2 Grey Plovers
have been associating with the Pacific Golden Plovers allowing side by
side comparisons. The greys are a lot bulkier, bigger and have a very
noticeably heavier bill. A lone Lesser Crested Tern has been appearing
over the last week whilst his mates are breeding out on the reef at
Michaelmas Cay. Today threw up the biggest surprise for a while, 8
Pink-eared Ducks standing in the surf! This is my first record for here,
although they are on the Esplanade list I have no idea when they last
appeared. There has been at least a dozen Terek Sandpipers plus Curlew
and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwit and both
Lesser and Greater Sandplover, again excellent viewing allowing
comparisons between these species. Notable absentees have been the
Grey-tailed Tattler which I?ve not seen for several weeks. The Mangrove
Robins are easy to see in the mangroves at the northern end along with
the Large-billed Gerygones (no Mangrove Gerygones around Cairns).
Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers have started to become more active
and are calling more since we have had a few showers over the last few
weeks. I hear that Oriental Cuckoos and Black Bittern are back in the
Botanic Gardens by the Centennial Lakes. The Botanic Gardens boardwalk
has been good for Red-necked Crake, I saw 4 early one morning a few
weeks ago, and also Noisy Pittas have been around here as well. The
Crocodile Farm south of Cairns has still got a few White-browed Crakes
and a Little Kingfisher was seen this week. With a few showers of rain
the Bush-hens have started calling up at Kingfisher Park, Julatten and a
couple have been seen out on the road there.

All for now
Keith & Lindsay Fisher
PO Box 2209, Cairns QLD 4870

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