During our visit in early September we encountered
139 species of birds. Because of that variety, I will deal with spesies/groups
rather than list them individually. Having dealt with the Non-passerines in Part
1 now Part 2. the Passerines:
Both black-faced and White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes
were very common throughout. Varied Triller, White-winged Triller and
Cicada-bird were only encountered once.
I believe that we saw all of the possibles. Nice
surprises were Jacky Winter, Grey Fantail and Grey Shrike-thrush.We located both
Little Shrike-thrush and Spectacled Monarch in pure mangrove, perhaps the only
habitat thick enough to be suitable. Also a pair of Broad-billed Flycatchers as
would be expected. Of special interest was a single female Satin Flycatcher
which we were able to video.
White throated were plentiful throughout ever in
isolated billabong vegetation around Nifold Plain. Only saw two pairs of
Large-billed, one pair feeding with Fairy Gerygones in mangroves.
These were a feature of the trip and a subject
family that Jack spent time filming. Thirteen species in total excluding allies,
friarbirds and Yellow-bellied Sunbird.Yellows, Banded, Roufous-banded and
White-throated were the most common. Brown, Blue-faced and White-gaped were less
common than one might expect. Yellow-spotted, Pale-yellow, Brown-backed,
Bar-breasted and Dusky were only encountered a couple of times. My one new
species for the trip was the Red-headed Honeyeater.
These were the great pleasure of the five
days.Black-throated finches were the most plentiful and breeding. Masked finches
were widespread in small numbers sometimes with Black-throats.Double-barred
finches were around any streamside vegetation. We only saw Red-browed Firetails
and the white-breasted form of the Crimson Finch in the southern areas of the
Park very close to each others location. The Star Finches were special. It would
appear that these birds have had a good breeding season with only about 20% of
the flocks being adults. On a Nifold Plain billabong on the first occassion we
met up with a flock of at least 150 and the following day again saw 60+ coming
in to drink.
Sadly on the way home in the
same locale we saw two Spotted Harrier and an Australian Hobby endeavouring to
round up a flock of these finches and have some for a morning
Black-faced Woodswallow were the only species
encounered feeding amongst large termite mounds and only on one
Only small numbers of figbirds encountered and odd
pairs of both orioles seen or heard.
The Black-backed Butcherbirds were the first
species to call well before daylight and around Sweetwater Lake they were
answered by at least six other pairs. Their calls are very sweet and musical and
a nice memory to take home.Black Butcherbirds were uncommon and heard only in
streamside vegetation and mangroves.
Great bowerbirds were plentiful and were regularly
seen in all timbered areas in the Park. Torresian Crows were seen daily in pairs
and small flocks particularly in open terrain.
Agile Wallabies were in good numbers and we saw one
Eastern Grey Kangaroo on the Nifold Plain. The apparent absence of Bandicoots
was a good mystery and we did not hear or see a possum despite camping in top
PESTS AND FERAL
Despite the amount of diggings we saw only two
feral pigs, both very large and only one feral cat which succumb to tropical
It all added up to a special
Del. Richards, Fine Feather Tours, Mossman,