Five days in Lakefield National Park...Part 1..(Non Passerines).

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Subject: Five days in Lakefield National Park...Part 1..(Non Passerines).
From: "Del Richards" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 13:49:33 +1000
Early in September I had the good fortune to travel to Lakefield NP with fellow guide Jack Leighton of Tinaroo Birds and Barra. The park is situated NW of Cooktown which meant a drive of six hours. Lakefield as the name implies is laced with water resources of every type including lilly covered lagoons, drying billabongs and a number of picturesque lakes. General habitat is savannah woodland,riverine forest, tidal mangroves and the termite mounds of the Nifold Plain.
    During our visit we encountered 139 species of birds.Because of that variety I will deal with the species/groups rather than list them all individually. 
    All egrets were in good numbers. Also Pacific and White-faced Heron, only one Pied Heron. Noteable amongst the Ibis were in excess of 100 Glossy Ibis lakeside on the Marina Plains.
    Pacific Black Ducks and Wandering Whistling Ducks were the most prevalent. Only saw 12 Pied Geese. The very beautiful Radjah Shelduck were in family groups of 5-7 dabbling on Sweet Water Lake where we camped. Green Pygmy-geese were a joy to watch in the water-lillies and did not record Cotton Pygmy-geese.
    Observed 12 species. Most common was Whistling Kite, outnumbered Black Kite three to one. Saw Brown and Grey Goshawk singly, both harriers, four sea-eagles, one kestrel,one hobby, and a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles. Of special note were two Black-breasted Buzzards on the Nifold Plain.
    One Brown Quail in woodland and two Red-chested Button-quail at night on Nifold Plain.
    Pairs of Masked Lapwings and Black-fronted Dotterals around open lakes. Many jacanas with the water lillies,  one pair with small chicks on Low Lake. One flock of 50+ Australian Pratincoles on Marina Plains, uncommon elsewhere.
    Peaceful and Bar-shouldered Dove were abundant in all suitable habitat and would have seen 60+ Diamond Doves, which was unexpected.
    On most days we saw small groups (3-6) of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and only one group of three Red-tailed Black Cockatoos. Rainbow Lorikeets were common and daily we saw Red-winged Parrots with young. There was a pair of Little Corellas drinking at Low Water Lake in the north of the Park.
    Blue-winged Kookaburras outnumbered Laughing by about two to one.Forest Kingfishers were patchy in woodland and we located five Sacred Kingfishers. Rainbow Bee-eaters were common in suitable habitat.
    At our campsite on Sweet water Lake judging by the calls Papuan Frogmouths were located every 100 metres. In taller timbered areas we saw four Southern Boobooks and one Barking Owl on Nifold Plain.
    Absence of Nightjars in the areas that we visited, We couldn't explain this as we had both seen them before.
    ....To be continued... in Part 2..(Passerines).
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