Mount Isa trip notes

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Mount Isa trip notes
From: "Dicksons" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 20:04:50 +1000
Just back from a short "non-birding" trip to Mount Isa. As we caught the train out I didn't even have a car, although a few local friends were kind enough to drive me to several spots.
The train trip out I saw 3 Emus (west of Julia Creek) & 10 Australian Bustards (mostly between Richmond & Julia Creek). In Mount Isa I was staying close to the CBD & was able to take several walks along the Leichardt River, with a suprising variety of birds in the extensive pools remaining. Unfortunately I always felt a bit on edge here - the chance of being assulted by the people that hang around in the parks & such is pretty high. I don't mean to offend anyone but it is a huge problem. The birds down there included Pink-eared Duck with the odd Grey Teal, Hardhead & some Eurasian Coots. There were a couple of Pacific Black Ducks around, but they looked as if they could be hybrids with Grey Teal. Many Australasian Grebes & also one Hoary-headed Grebe (non-br). Largish flocks of Varied Lorikeets came down to drink at the waters edge that otherwise occupied Black-winged Stilts, the odd Common Greenshank, Glossy Ibis, Black-fronted Dotterel. The riverside vegetation held, among others Chesnut-breasted Mannikin, White-plumed Honeyeater, Great Bowerbird, Dollarbird, one Red-backed Kingfisher.
I did con some friends into taking me to the sewage plant (I don't think this was what they had in mind when they offered to show us around) & Lake Moondarra, although both only for about half an hour & in middle of the day.
Lake Moondarra - this was the eastern side, not the western that Bob Forsyth recommends. Species included Black-fronted & Red-kneed Dotterel, Aust Pratincole, Whiskered Tern, Aust Pelican, Great Cormorant, Black-winged Stilt
Sewage Plant - 1000s of birds, including:
20+ Black-tailed Native Hens
42 Black Kites in dead trees
many many Pink-eared Ducks
15 Australian Bustards
many Silver Gulls
30 Wood Ducks
also Black Swan, Red-kneed & Black-fronted Dotterel, Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen, Coot, Hardhead, Grey Teal, Aust Grebe
On the way back I was suprised to find a Pied Currawong at Torrens Creek rail station.
The little I saw of the region was very promising - defiinetely worth a return visit some day. Furthur details of any sightings available on request. Thanks to Bob Forsyth, whose directions to local birding spots were very helpful (see Birds Queensland website)
Tim Dickson
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