Christmas Day in Cairns 2002

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Subject: Christmas Day in Cairns 2002
From: "Keith & Lindsay Fisher" <>
Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2002 18:25:16 +1000
Hi Everyone,
What do you do on a hot Christmas day in Cairns? Go birding of course!
Starting off at the Southern Treatment works in Kate Street Woree the
highlight here was a couple of Pied Herons, which are pretty much resident
these days, a Cattle Egret in full breeding plumage was perched on one of
the tanks and a few ducks (Black, Wandering Whistle + Grey Teal) were
sitting in the shade. A picnic lunch down on the Esplanade was next under a
shady tree to watch the waders. Plenty to see with the tide pushing them up
to the sea wall, mainly Great Knots + 2 Red Knots, Black and Bar-tailed
Godwits, Curlew and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Greenshanks, Pacific Golden
Plovers + Gull-billed and Caspian Terns. All the Egrets were present with
the Pelicans and Royal Spoonbills. The nesting Peregrine Falcon swooped down
off the Matson Plaza Hotel in front of us, unfortunately its mate was killed
by a car (presumed) several weeks ago and the lone bird is bringing up the
young (hopefully). The northern end of the Esplanade still had the Mangrove
Robins calling from within. Whilst we were in the mood we called into
Centennial Lakes to check out the new addition to the boardwalk which takes
you on a loop around the lakes, nothing much out of the ordinary here but a
good variety of bush and waterbirds. A single Glossy Ibis was still present
after about 2 weeks here, a Brush Cuckoo obligingly posed for us and we
heard Bush-hens calling alongside the boardwalk 35 species in 40mins. Next
stop was the lagoon at the Yorkies Knob Golf Course, to the north of Cairns.
It still has plenty of water, highlights here were a Black Bittern (new
species for here) which broke cover to land out in the open for good looks
before a Willie Wagtail harassed it and it took shelter in the long grass,
there was also another Glossy Ibis + Australian White & Straw-necked Ibis.
Normally at this time of year the Straw-necked & Aust. White have left to go
to their breeding colonies but the dry weather appears to have caused them
to stay on. Their was also was a magnificent male Darter in full breeding
condition sitting on a log in the water calling to his mate who was on the
island in the middle of the lagoon, where they have been nesting for the
past few years. Back home we had to put up with our backyard birds
including, Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher,
Superb Fruit-dove, Fairy Gerygone, Macleay's, Yellow-spotted & Graceful
Honeyeater, Grey Whistler, Cicadabird, Black Butcherbird and Metallic
Starling amongst others. All up 88 species and a very laid back enjoyable
We hope everyone else enjoyed their Christmas and all the best to you all
for the new year and hopefully we will catch up with some of you next year.

Keith & Lindsay.

Keith & Lindsay Fisher
Cairns, (16°55' 40"S 145° 46' 35"E)
Far North Queensland 4870 Australia

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