Five days in Lakefield NP..Part 2.(Passerines).

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Subject: Five days in Lakefield NP..Part 2.(Passerines).
From: "Del Richards" <>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 11:55:18 +1000
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 snack.
Black-faced Woodswallow were the only species encounered feeding amongst large termite mounds and only on one occassion.
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 habitat.
Despite the amount of diggings we saw only two feral pigs, both very large and only one feral cat which succumb to tropical ticks.
    It all added up to a special exrerience.
Del. Richards, Fine Feather Tours, Mossman, NQ.
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