NW Qld Birding Observations
Birding pretty quiet around here at the
moment.Perhaps a lot of insects did not survive
the drought which in turn has reduced the number of insectivorous
birds.In some area even the spinifex looks
A few weeks ago I spent 2 full days 200km
north of Camooweal ( 12km east of the NT border) checking out Royal Geographic
Society of Qld 1995 sighting locations of the Carpentarian
Grasswren. All these areas had been burnt out by a huge fire. There
were small patches of old growth spinifex but alas, I could locate no CGws. I
hope they found alternate lodgings.
But, I did get a 1/2 second (thru the binocs)
close-up view of the head of a female Rufous-crowned Emu-wren,
somewhat north of its known territory.
Earlier in the day I flushed from the ground a
Barn Owl. It landed on a branch & turned around to
check me out. But the sun was behind me, so it shielded its eyes from the sun
with a wing. It then swivelled its head around the other way and shielded its
eyes with the other wing. It apparently did not like what it saw & flew
At the Carpentarian Grasswren site 60km NW of Mount
Isa along McNamara's Rd (often wrongly called Lady Lorretta Rd) the spinifex has
been partly burnt out. But the CGws are still being recorded even though some
birdwatchers have taken 2 days to do so. The last
sighting was next to a creek 1 km north of the Cairn.
2 weeks ago about 20km of Cloncurry I had a
Black-breasted Buzzard having a real good look at me ...
but I was not to its taste & off it went.
Nearer home yesterday, on the western shores
of Lake Moondarra, with Bill & Del Saunders of Port Macquarie, we
watched a pair of Black Falcons for 1/2 hour.As we got to about
80m they would glide away and land again on the grass. But the scope confirmed
the species. This was my first sighting of this species near Mount
At another bay also on the western side we saw 4
Black-necked Storks walking slowly along with 5m between each
bird. All were in adult plumage and Bill pointed out only one had the yellow eye
of a female. I learn something every day !
On the way home we saw a single bird flying from
tree to tree. Although it proved to be Golden-headed Cisticola
for a while we considered a lost out of territory Zitting Cisticola. What we
kept seeing was prominent barring under the tail. Not something I have seen
illustrated in the texts, (The same under tail barring applies to
Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW
- Gazetteer section includes Birding locations
for NW Qld
- Quick Indexes for the Australian Field