There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 3

Subject: There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 3
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 19:43:48 +1000
There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 3

Hello all,

This is part 3 of my Toronto to Cape York Trip Report. This part will detail observations on the second trip up the Cape, predominantly Lakefield NP. Some of the records are obviously a bit old but they might still be of interest to some. Note that I'm not mentioning all species- just the few that I found interesting. Also, some of the locations mentioned are a bit vague. This is either because I was a bit vague at the time.... or because I have promised to keep the locations secret, or because I believe it would be unwise to widely broadcast some locations.

Alos, it has been pointed out to me that my date was incorrect in my previous post (trip report 2) ie it was set to 2001. So if you are wondering where trip report 2 went take a look at the back end of your inbox!


Henry Hannam Drive (east of Mareeba) 30/6/2004
Squatter Pigeon (6)
East of Mareeba 30/6/2004
Rufous Owl (2), one bird clutching a Common Brushtail Possum in its claws.
Tolga 1/7/2004
Grass Owl (heard) flying over a fallow paddock of long grass.
Atherton 2/7/2004
Buff-banded Rail (2) I watched 2 birds having a scrap over territory. Feathers flew although it only lasted for about 3 seconds!
Lakefield NP (southern end) 2/7/04 to the 8/7/04
Barn Owl, Papuan Frogmouth, Tawny Frogmouth (Cape York subsp.), Rufous-banded Honeyeater, Radjah Shelduck, Large-tailed Nightjar, Large-billed Gerygone, Double-barred Finch, Crimson Finch (white-bellied subspecies) (max. 60), Rufous-throated Honeyeater, Banded Honeyeater, Black-throated Finch (max. 4), Bush Stone-curlew, Black-breasted Buzzard, Red-browed Finch (minor subsp.) (max. 4), Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (max. 30), Lovely Fairywren, Brown Goshawk (carrying nesting material), Red Goshawk (max. 3, at nest), Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, Yellow-tinted Honeyeater, Brown-backed Honeyeater, Squatter Pigeon, Red-browed Pardalote, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Brolga, Black-backed Butcherbird, Black Bittern, Comb-crested Jacana (15, including 11 juveniles at Eight Mile Swamp).

Between 1998 and 2000 I studied the White-bellied Crimson Finches in Lakefield NP for the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Of the many birds that I colour-banded during this period I saw none on this trip! The proportion of young birds in the populations was very high suggesting to me that they have a fairly short lifespan and a high annual turnover of birds. My main study population appears to have been burnt out by late dry season wildfires over the last few years.

Saw lots of frogs and reptiles including Litoria caerulea, L. rubella, L. inermis, L. nasuta, L. rothii, Limnodynastes ornatus, Rana daemeli, Cane Toads (of course), Cyclorana novaehollandiae, Saltwater and Freshwater Crocodiles, Burton's Legless Lizard, Carpet Python, Slaty-grey Snake and Brown Tree Snake.
Lakefield NP (Northern end. mostly Knifehole Lagoon and Saltwater Creek) 8/7/04 to the 12/7/04
Brolga, Star Finch (max. 100, mostly imm. And juv.), Black-throated Finch, Pictorella Mannikin (1), Red-backed Buttonquail (only 2 separate birds seen), Red-chested Buttonquail (abundant), Brown Quail (max. 12), Grass Owl (1), Barn Owl, Rufous-banded Honeyeater, Brown Songlark, Swamp Harrier, Spotted Harrier, Diamond Dove (max. 20), White-winged Triller, Northern Nailtail Wallaby, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Large-tailed Nightjar (heard), Spotted Nightjar (2 only), Barking Owl, Black-breasted Buzzard, Azure Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher and Forest Kingfisher (aggression observed between the 3 kingfishers), Little Bronze-cuckoo, Broad-billed Flycatcher, Leaden Flycatcher, Papuan Frogmouth, Black Butcherbird, Graceful Honeyeater, White-gaped Honeyeater, Collared Sparrowhawk, Rufous Songlark.

Came across a few herps including Spotted Python, Orange-naped Snake, Diporiphora bilineata, possible Varanus panoptes, Crinia remota, Limnodynastes convexiusculus, Limnodynastes ornatus, Litoria rothii, Litoria inermis.

Between 1998 and 2000 I studied the Star Finches in Lakefield NP for the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. Of the many Stars that I colour-banded during this period I saw one of my old birds on this trip! I estimate this bird (red/ mauve on left leg, light blue/aluminium) is just over 5 years old. The bird was first banded as juvenile in July 1999 at the Palms waterhole on Nifold Plain. It was then recaptured on the Kennedy River in December 1999. I saw it on about 5 occasions on this trip usually with a small flock of adult Stars that kept mostly separate from the large gangs of young Stars. The proportion of young birds in the populations was high but not as high as with the Crimson Finches.
Low Lake 8/7/2004
Green Pygmy Goose (40), Bar-breasted Honeyeater, Wandering Whistling-duck (with chicks), Red-browed Pardalote, Northern Nailtail Wallaby.
Julatten (Kingfisher Park) (Hello Ron!) 14/7/2004
Barn Owl, Brown Quail, Buff-banded Rail, Emerald Dove, Macleay's Honeyeater, Graceful Honeyeater etc.
Tolga 16/7/2004
Grass Owl (1, male), Tawny Grassbird
Longlands Gap SF 19/7/2004 and 20/7/2004
Golden Bowerbird, Bassian Thrush, Grey Goshawk, Mountain Thornbill, Atherton Scrubwren.
Atherton, 15 km S. 20/7/2004
Brahminy Kite
Peterson Creek (Peeramon Rd) 25/7/2004
Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Satin Bowerbird, Fairy Gerygone (nest-building), Buff-banded Rail, Sarus Crane.
Atherton (Elms Rd) 26/7/2004
Platypus (4+)

By this stage I realised how long I had been away and that it was about time that I started heading south. The next part details the trip back.


Mick Todd
Toronto, NSW

-------------------------------------------- Birding-Aus is now on the Web at -------------------------------------------- To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message 'unsubscribe birding-aus' (no quotes, no Subject line) to
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 3, Michael Todd <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU