There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 2

Subject: There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 2
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2001 11:16:17 +1000
There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 2

Hello all,

This is part 2 of my Toronto to Cape York Trip Report. This part will detail observations on the first of my 2 trips up the Cape. Some of the records are obviously a bit old but they might still be of interest to some. All of the locations mentioned are on Cape York Peninsula. Note that I'm not mentioning all species- just the few that I found interesting... a bit subjective really.

Split Rock Art Site Parking Area (south of Laura) 31/5/04
Red-browed Pardalote
Artemis 31/5/04
Spotted Nightjar, Bush Stone-curlew, Southern Boobook (Cape York subsp.), Tawny Frogmouth (Cape York subsp.) (3), Varied Sittella, Masked Finch (white-eared subsp.), Red-browed Pardalote, Golden-shouldered Parrot (at nest), Black-backed Butcherbird.
Musgrave 1/6/04
Bustard (2)

From here I headed for Iron Range where I experienced a little bit of unseasonal wet-season-style torrential rain.The road was the worst I've ever seen it (considering that I haven't been to Iron Range in the wet of course). There were some very dodgy entrances and exits to creek crossings. The road out to Chili Beach was pretty treacherous also.

Frenchmans Rd (runs north of the Archer River Road which is the road that goes down to Lockhart River Community and the Iron Range NP) 2/6/04
White-streaked Honeyeaters
Iron Range NP (2 km E. West Claudie River) 2/6/04
Eclectus Parrot (male)
Iron Range NP (Rainforest Campgrounds) 2/6/04
Rufous Fantail, Metallic Starling, White-faced Robin, Magnificent Riflebird, Shining Flycatcher, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Tropical Scrubwren, Wompoo Fruitdove, Double-eyed Fig-parrot (Marshall's), Spectacled Monarch (Cape York subsp.), Azure Kingfisher, Palm Cockatoo (2), Grey Whistler, White-rumped Swiftlet, Red-cheeked Parrot (feeding on eucalypt blossom), Eclectus Parrot, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Trumpet Manucode, Spectacled Flying-fox.
Iron Range NP (Cooks Hut) 3/6/04
Yellow-legged Flycatcher
Iron Range NP (Gordon Creek) 3/6/04
Black Butcherbird, Magnificent Riflebird, White-faced Robin, Tropical Scrubwren, Red-browed Finch (minor subsp.), Trumpet Manucode, Eclectus Parrot, Double-eyed Fig-parrot (Marshall's), Noisy Pitta, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Shining Flycatcher, Wompoo Fruitdove, Tube-nosed Bat.
Lockhart River Airport turnoff (2.5 km W.) 4/6/04
Yellow-billed Kingfisher
Iron Range NP (Chili Beach Wetland) 4/6/04
Spotted Whistling-duck (1)
Iron Range NP (8 km W. Portland Roads T/O) 4/6/04
Palm Cockatoo
Iron Range NP (300m W. Gordon Ck) 4/6/04
Green-backed Honeyeater (2), Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Trumpet Manucode.
Iron Range NP (Gordon Creek) 5/6/04
Palm Cockatoo (2)
Iron Range NP (Rainforest Campgrounds) 5/6/04
Spotted Cuscus, Yellow-billed Kingfisher (2+)
Iron Range NP (West Claudie River Crossing) 5/6/04
Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Magnificent Riflebird, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Eclectus Parrot.
Captain Billy Landing Road (Jardine River NP) 6/6/04
Wompoo Fruitdove, Magnificent Riflebird (different call to those at Iron Range!!), White-faced Robin, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Palm Cockatoo, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Palm Cockatoo, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Black Butcherbird, Gould's Bronze-cuckoo, Trumpet Manucode, Azure Kingfisher, Rose-crowned Fruit-dove, Papuan Frogmouth, Lovely Fairywren and the amazing looking lizard Emoia longicauda with its bright green belly.
Captain Billy Landing (Jardine River NP) 6/6/04 and 7/6/04
Great Frigatebird, Lesser Frigatebird, Silver Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Little Tern (small nesting colony, 6 nests found, 5 with eggs and one with chicks), Australian Brush-turkey (purpuricollis), Red-capped Plover, Pied Oystercatcher.
Canal Creek Crossing (on Old Telegraph Road, north of Fruit Bat Falls T/O, Jardine River NP) 8/6/04 and on the 13/6/04.
Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Large-tailed Nightjar, Pied Currawong, White-browed Robin, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Aust. Owlet-nightjar, Frilled Monarch, Wompoo Fruitdove, Little Eagle, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo and a little frog with the catchy name, Austrochaperina gracilipes.
Fruit Bat Falls (Jardine River NP) 8/6/04
White-streaked Honeyeaters
Loyalty Bay Camping Grounds (east of Seisia, which is on the northern coast of Cape York and not that far to the west of the Tip) 9/6/04 and on the 11/6/04.
Dollarbird (1), Barking Owl (2), Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Red-browed Finch (minor subsp.), Bush Stone-curlew, Beach Stone-curlew.
Lockerbie Scrub (a number of spots) 10/6/2004,
Magnificent Riflebird (same call as at Captain Billy Landing but still different to the call of the birds at Iron Range), Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Wompoo Fruitdove, Rose-crowned Fruitdove, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Superb Fruit-dove, Palm Cockatoo, Emoia longicauda, Trumpet Manucode, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Emerald Dove, Palm Cockatoo.
Somerset (property to the north-east of Lockerbie Scrub) 10/6/2004
Channel-billed Cuckoo, Brown-backed Honeyeater, Rose-crowned Fruitdove.
Somerset (Sheridan Point Rd) 10/6/2004
Papuan Frogmouth (2), Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Rose-crowned Fruitdove, Trumpet Manucode
Sheridan Point 10/6/2004
Reef Heron (white)
Loyalty Beach- Lockerbie Rd 10/6/2004
Superb Fruitdove
Mutee Point Rd (west of Injinoo, on the coast) 11/6/2004
Banded Honeyeater
Jardine River Pumping Station (also to the west of Injinoo, towards the mouth of the Jardine) 11/6/2004
Brown-backed Honeyeater, Banded Honeyeater, White-streaked Honeyeater, Silver-crowned Friarbird, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Red-browed Pardalote, Olive-backed Oriole.
Elliott Falls Camping Area (Jardine River NP) 13/6/2004
White-streaked Honeyeater, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Sugar Glider (2), Leaden Flycatcher (immature male getting its plumage). Also here was an amorous pair of Varanus scalaris.
Old Telegraph Track (9 km S. Fruit Bat Falls T/O) 14/6/2004
Rufous Songlark
Old Telegraph Track (Sheldon Lagoon) 14/6/2004
White-streaked Honeyeater
Old Telegraph Track (Cockatoo Creek) 14/6/2004
Palm Cockatoo, Large-billed Gerygone.
Heathlands Ranger Station Road 14/6/2004
White-streaked Honeyeater
Wenlock River Crossing, 3 km N. 14/6/2004
Red-browed Pardalote, White-winged Triller, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Varied Sittella, Red-backed Buttonquail (2).
Moreton Telegraph Station, 9.7 km S. 14/6/2004
Black-backed Butcherbird.
Weipa- Batavia Downs Rd (15 km W. Development Rd) 14/6/2004
Bustard, Black-headed Python
Arthur River Crossing (24 km W. Development Rd) 14/6/2004, 15/6/2004 and 16/6/2004
Australian Brush-turkey (purpuicollis), Rufous Owl, Wompoo Fruitdove, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Yellow-bellied Kingfisher, Brush Cuckoo, Magnificent Riflebird, Papuan Frogmouth, Black Butcherbird, Azure Kingfisher, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Trumpet Manucode, and a big surprise was the Marbled Frogmouth.
Myall Creek Crossing (Pax Piel Bridge, 15 km W. Batavia Downs T/O) 15/6/2004 and 16/6/2004
Palm Cockatoo, Striated Pardalote (breeding), Large-billed Gerygone, Red-browed Finch (subsp. Minor) (30, including many juveniles. This was by far the largest number of Lesser Red-browed Finches that I saw this trip. A distinctive taxa in my opinion). Brush Cuckoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Frilled Monarch, Papuan Frogmouth (3), Magnificent Riflebird, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Lovely Fairywren, Black Bittern, Tropical Scrubwren and the tiniest of little frogs called Crinia remota. Also here I had a fleeting glimpse of what might have been a Grey-headed Goshawk. Incredibly frustrating! I spent hours in the area afterwards hoping for another sighting but no luck. My notes state that I believed that there were clearly 2 shades of grey with the bird being darker above than below. It captured a bird in the foliage went to ground and out of sight before it flew away from me. All off this occurred on the wrong side of the river!
Weipa (Awonga Wastewater Treatment Works) 15/6/2004
Spotted Whistling Duck (30, including adults and immatures.).
Weipa (park on south side of bridge) 15/6/2004
Frigatebirds (both Great and Lesser) in their many thousands flying overhead to their roost sites.
Iron Range NP (Cooks Hut) 17/6/2004 to 22/6/2004
Frilled Monarch, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Magnificent Riflebird, Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Red-cheeked Parrot, Northern Scrub-robin, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, White-tailed Rat, Spotted Cuscus, Bare-backed Fruitbat, Noisy Pitta, Trumpet Manucode, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Double-eyed Fig-parrot (Marshall's), Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, White-faced Robin, Palm Cockatoo, Black Butcherbird, Southern Cassowary (northern subspecies- very shy), Eclectus Parrot. Marbled Frogmouths were in good voice and up to 3 pairs could be heard at times. The females and males would duet. They treated me to their full repertoire of calls (as far as I know anyway). The great surprise though was a lone Red-bellied Pitta that must have got left behind. It appeared to be a fully coloured adult bird. It was greatly outnumbered by the Noisy Pittas.
Artemis 22/6/2004
Bustard (2), Masked Finch (white-eared subsp.)(nest with eggs), Golden-shouldered Parrot (at nest), Red-browed Pardalote, Yellow-tinted Honeyeater, Yellow Honeyeater (nest-building), Squatter Pigeon.

From here it was back to Atherton for a break before heading up to Lakefield NP which will be Part 3.


Mick Todd
Toronto, NSW

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