Townsville area trip report....31st July to 17th August

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Subject: Townsville area trip report....31st July to 17th August
From: "simon starr" <>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2004 20:05:03 +1000
Here's some of the birding highlights of my relaxed family holiday around
Recorded 201 species for the trip,21 new for me.
Thanks to people who helped with advice and to the members of the Townsville
BOCA group whom I met up with at the Townsville Common and were a mine of
Near perfect weather for the entire trip.
Well into the dry season here but still some wetlands remaining with Magpie
Geese,a Jabiru,Glossy Ibis and 3 A.Bustards flying over. Some of the many
Royal Spoonbills came within a few metres of me as I sat quietly in the
The bushland areas held plenty of interest for me,my first Brown-backed
Honeyeaters (which I saw at nearly every other location afterwards),the
beautiful Forest Kingfishers,Brush Cuckoo,Sunbirds,and Red-backed
Fairy-Wrens amongst others.
Further up the Cape Pallarenda road an area of Mangroves and dune scrub had
Shining Flycatcher,Mangrove Gerygone and Great Bowerbirds.
After a couple of recomendations decided to give this spot a try. It turned
out to be the highlight of the trip. About 45km NW of Ingham adjacent to the
Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of Lumholtz NP. A well set out and quiet
campground with well laid out walks through lowland rainforest and
streamside vegetation.The birdlife was abundant ,diverse and often quite
tame. Never a dull moment! Heres a full list (I know at least that I missed
White-browed Robin and Red-necked Crake here).

E.Yellow Robin,Red-browed Finch,WBellied Cuckoo-shrike,Northern
Fantail,Little Shrike-thrush,Laughing Kookaburra,OFScrubfowl,A
Brush-turkey,Large-tailed Nightjar,Bush Stone-curlew,Peaceful Dove,Emerald
Dove,White-headed Pigeon,Wompoo fruit-dove,Sulphur Crested Cockatoo,Rainbow
Lorikeet,Scaly-brested Lorikeet,Fan-tailed Cuckoo,White-rumped
Swiftlet,Forest Kingfisher,Rainbow Bee-eater,Large-billed
Scrubwren,Brown-backed H.,Yellow-spotted H.,Bridled H.,Dusky
H.,Lemon-bellied Flycatcher,Yellow-breasted Boatbill,Pale Yellow
Robin,Grey-headed Robin,Eastern Whipbird,Spectacled Monarch,White-eared
Monarch,Rufous Fantail,Grey Fantail,Olive-backed Oriole,Yellow
Oriole,Figbird,Spotted Catbird,Silvereye,Macleays H.,Double-eyed Fig
Parrot,Rufous Owl,Metallic Starling,Grey Whistler,Brown Cuckoo-dove,Rufous
Whistler,Pied Monarch,Cicadabird,Top-knot Pigeon,Grey Goshawk,Noisy
Pitta,Azure Kingfisher.
Also White-tailed Rats seen after dark.
Metallic Starlings were active at a nesting colony high in the rainforest
My partner found a partial albino Grey-headed Robin.After going through the
entire bird book to no avail we were lucky to refind the same bird.It had a
large white area across it's back,very odd.
Scolding Yellow-spotted Honeyeaters led me to the Rufous Owl.
And whilst enjoying perfect views of my first ever Noisy Pitta my mood was
crushed when it decided to consume a previous campers waste......the toilet
paper was right beside it!!!

A beautiful little swamp just 1km from the centre of Ingham. CCJacanas,a
Jabiru,Green Pygmy Geese and Crimson Finches were the highlights plus
Large-tailed Nightjars,Bush Stone Curlews and Whistling Ducks all making
noises after dark.The observation tower was disappointing,not much view and
no Grass Owls.

Varied Honeyeaters in the park at Lucinda and lots of mangroves up towards
Dungeness where a very brief stop turned up Lovely Fairy-wrens and
Large-billed Gerygones.

A few waders and terns,notably c.50 Great Knot. No sign of the resident
Beach Thick-knees.

Camped at the bottom of the mountains (to stay out of the cold nights) at
Big Crystal Creek. Some good birds came through the camp over a few days
such as White-browed Robins and Pied Monarch,Yellow-spotted H.,Large-billed
and Fairy Gerygones,Grey Whistlers and Northern Fantails. At night both
Large-tailed and White throated Nightjars were very vocal and what I think
must have been a Rufous Owl.
And up the mountain,beautiful,lush dense tropical rainforest......
The Ivy Cottage Tearooms exceeded my expectations.Victorias riflebirds,Satin
Bowerbirds plus bower,Spotted Catbirds,Grey-headed
Robin,Macleays,White-cheeked,Bridled and Lewin's Honeyeaters plus
E.Whipbirds all in the course of one cup of tea.
The rainforest loop walk near town provided the spectacle of about 12
Chowchillas all singing at once...each trying to outdo the other. Only 2
females in the group.The males were obviously trying very hard to
impress.They allowed very close approach.The noise was quite something. Also
some Scrubwrens staying lowdown and on the ground. I passed them off as
Large-billed and then realised afterwards that perhaps they were the
Atherton Scrubwren.Do they occur at Paluma I wonder?
Stopped at a creek on the way to Paluma dam and found Mountain Thornbills
and Bower's Shrike-thrush and Yellow-throated Scrubwrens.
And best of all on the Birthday Creek Falls track,with noone else around
,surrounded by the peace and wonder of this beautiful mountain rainforest
,my patience was rewarded when a male Golden Bowerbird flew in above its
bower,sang and displayed for what seemed like ages but was probably only a
couple of minutes, and then was gone.It doesn't get much better than that.
Highlights of our last few days heading south from Townsville as follows:
Cotton Pygmy Geese at Horseshoe Lagoon,
Rose-crowned Fruit Dove in Conway National Park,
and 3 Bush Stone Curlews at the South Molle island resort.......seen to
within 3 metres.

Regards to all,
Simon Starr,
Pyramid Hill,
Northern Victoria.

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