There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 4

Subject: There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 4
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2004 10:58:12 +1000
There and Back Again- Toronto to Cape York- Trip Report 4

Hello all,

This is part 4 of my Toronto to Cape York Trip Report. This part will detail observations on the trip south and west. It starts on the NE Qld coast and then finishes near Birsdville in the far SW of Qld. Note that I'm not mentioning all species- just the few that I found interesting.

Cardwell, ~20 km S. (Porters Creek) 27/7/2004
Large-tailed Nightjar, Masked Owl (was giving the cackling courtship call), Mahogany Glider, Northern Fantail, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Dingo, Australian Goshawk, Brown-backed Honeyeater.
Fishers Creek Boat Ramp 28/7/2004
Collared Kingfisher (2), Little Kingfisher (1), Azure Kingfisher (1), Mangrove Robin (2), Striated Heron.
Paluma Range NP (Jourama Section) 28/7/2004
Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Large-tailed Nightjar (4), White-throated Nightjar (1), Noisy Pitta, Bush Stone-curlew. Also some frogs including Litoria leseurii (not sure of the current taxonomy) and what was either a Litoria rheocola or L.nannotis.
Paluma Road (3 km W. Highway) 28/7/2004
Masked Owl (male, relatively small, was giving the cackling courtship call).
Paluma Ranges NP (Little Crystal Creek) 29/7/04
Wompoo Pigeon, Spotted Catbird.

Got rained on heavily here and decided that I would head west faster than I had intended. Over the range and down towards Charters Towers, and then south and west to Bladensberg NP.

Laroon, 4.5 km S.29/7/2004
Emu (5), looked like 1 adult male and four immature birds. They were feeding on a dead Eastern Grey Kangaroo, that a more timid Wedge-tailed Eagle left as I approached.
Charters Towers, 5 km N. 29/7/2004
Red-backed Kingfisher
White Mountains NP (25 km W. Pentland) 30/7/2004
Pied Currawong, Leaden Flycatcher, and a little gecko by the name of Diplodactylus vittatus.
Warriana Creek (43 km S. Hughenden) 30/7/2004
Diamond Dove (10)
Hughenden, 104 km S. 30/7/2004
Australian Pratincole (4)
Winton, 3 km S. 30/7/2004
Red-tailed Black-cockatoo (4)
Bladensberg NP 30/7/2004 to 1/8/2004
Crested Bellbird, Red-backed Kingfisher, Masked Woodswallow (feeding on nectar), Budgerigar, Red-browed Pardalote, Nankeen Night-heron, Diamond Dove, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Australian Bustard, Spinifex Pigeon, Spotted Bowerbird, Ground Cuckooshrike (6), Southern Whiteface, Black-breasted Buzzard, Little Buttonquail, Spotted Harrier, Spotted Nightjar, Spinifexbird and Rufous-crowned Emuwren.
Atholstane 1/8/2004
Spinifex Pigeon
15 km S. Fermoy T/O (on the Winton-Opalton Rd). 1/8/2004
Here I came across the rather sad sight of a dingo strung up in a dead tree for all to see. I assume that the dingo was already dead when it was strung up but I have to say that it left a rather sick feeling in the pit of my stomach to see the splendid animal treated in such a way.
Opalton, ~20 km S. 1/8/2004
Rufous-crowned Emuwren (I found 2 separate groups here). No Striated Grasswrens though no matter how hard I looked.
Winton-Jundah Rd (4.3 km S. Mayneside T/O) 1/8/2004
Crimson Chat (8)
Lark Quarry Rd (starts approximately 100 km S. Winton) 1/8/2004 to 2/8/2004
Grey-headed Honeyeater (abundant), Red-backed Kingfisher (2), Common Bronzewing, Spotted Nightjar (4+, calling throughout the moonlit night), Budgies, Rufous-crowned Emuwren, Australian Bustard and the frog, Litoria inermis.

I took some time out here to joint the tourist trail by visiting the Dinosaur Trackways and their splendiferous modern corrugated iron shelter.
From here I headed across to Longreach via Lochern NP

Vergemont Creek (about 30 km E. of the Winton-Jundah Rd) 2/8/2004
Crimson Chat (7), Diamond Dove (2), Red-backed Kingfisher
Lochern NP 2/8/2004
Brolga (2)
Bogewong 3/8/2004
Bustard (2)
27 km N. Noonbah T/O 3/8/2004
Major Mitchell Cockatoo (2)
Katherine Creek (60 km W. Longreach) 3/8/2004
Spinifex Pigeon (5), Red-backed Kingfisher
Longreach, 8 km N. 3/8/2004
Crimson Chat (8)

From here it was to the NW up to Winton and then across to Diamantina NP and Astrebla NP via the Cork Rd which is just to the north of Lark Quarry.

Longreach, 27 km NW. 4/8/2004
Black-breasted Buzzard (roadkill).
Cork HS 4/8/2004
Australian Pratincole (12)
Old Cork 4/8/2004
Brolga (2)
Brighton Downs (10 km N. HS) 4/8/2004
Spinifex Pigeon
Brighton Downs (22 km S. HS) 4/8/2004
Red-tailed Black-cockatoo (2)
Diamantina NP 4/8/2004 to the 8/8/2004
Budgies (many flocks of many hundreds. Also nesting birds at Gumhole Stockyards and Gumhole Creek), Australian Pratincole (max. 30), Red-browed Pardalote, Spinifex Pigeon, Zebra Finch (nesting birds behind ranger station and at Gumhole stockyards), Flock Bronzewing (flock of 30 on the plain in front of ranger station, and then another flock of 12 about 2 km S. of the ranger station). Barn Owl, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Spotted Bowerbird, Red-backed Kingfisher, Diamond Dove, Australian Bustard (18, flew over Hunters Gorge one morning heading south). Black Kite and Whistling Kite (I witnessed both these species catching small fish in the Diamantina River at Hunters Gorge). Painted Firetail (2, at Hunters Gorge). Brolga (max. 17 at Gumhole Creek). Pied Honeyeater, Horsfields Bronze-cuckoo, Crimson Chat (max. 12).
Diamantina NP (Green Tank) 7/8/2004
Plumed Whistling-duck (~1000), Pink-eared Duck (~200), Wood Duck (~100), Spinifex Pigeon (25), Diamond Dove, Little Corella (30).
Davenport Downs (to the south of Diamantina NP) 6/8/2004
Australian Dotterel (2), Australian Pratincole, Gibberbird (nest with one Gibberbird egg and one Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo egg). Dingo, Budgies (flock of over 300), Spotted Harrier, Pied Honeyeater, Clamorous Reed-warbler.
Astrebla NP 6/8/2004
Orange Chat (2), Crimson Chat (2), Brolga (2), Rufous Songlark, Pied Honeyeater (5), Australian Pratincole (4).
Elizabeth Springs Conservation Park (Boulia Rd from Diamnatina NP) 8/8/04
Orange Chat (3), Brown Songlark (2), Brolga (3), Budgies (100's), Zebra Finches (100's)
Boulia, 23 km S. 8/8/04
Pied Honeyeater
Georgina River Crossing (70 km S. Boulia) 9/8/04
Spinifex Pigeon (15), Diamond Dove, Singing Honeyeater, Whistling Kite (nesting), Australian Owlet-nightjar, Barn Owl, Budgies (nesting).
Bedourie Sewage Works 9/8/04
Bustard (remains only. Looks as though it must have flown into powerlines that are between the road and the sewage works). Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed Tern.
Eyre Creek (Cuttaburra Crossing) 9/8/04 to the 11/8/04
Pink-eared Duck (3), Musk Duck (5+, some engaged in courtship behaviour), Plumed Whistling-duck (5000+, impossible to count accurately. I've never seen so many ducks altogether in such a close flock. It made them impossible to count. They were roosting on the creek itself each night). Yellow-billed Spoonbill (2), Pied Cormorant, Red-backed Kingfisher, Caspian Tern (5), Horsfield Bronze-cuckoo, Orange Chat (max. 5), Grey Grasswren (only one bird seen), Whistling Kite (observed fishing), Little Crow. Flock Bronzewing (many thousands in the area. Usually seen in flight where you would see a constant flow of flocks of 30-50 birds flying over over a considerable period of time. The largest group that I was able to actually count was of 700 birds which were feeding and rinking near the Cuttaburra Rest Area where the road goes across the creek). Also saw the tiny frog Crinia deserticola on the banks of the creek.
Birdsville, 31 km N. 11/8/2004
Orange Chat
Birdsville, 5 km N. 11/8/04
White-backed Swallow
Birdsville, 70 km S. 11/8/2004
Orange Chat, Crimson Chat, Spotted Harrier
Moongara Channel (78 km S. Birdsville) 11/8/04
Spotted Harrier, Rufous Songlark, Hardhead, Musk Duck, Red-necked Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Caspian Tern, Flock Bronzewing, Australian Owlet-nightjar, Barn Owl, Red-browed Pardalote, Black-tailed Native-hen (4), Black-faced Woodswallow (observed mating, and also playing ?scout? for feeding Budgies), Orange Chat.

I realised about now that if I was ever going to back home to eastern Australia I was going to have to start heading on a road that went east rather than south and west like the Birdsville Track! So from here I went back to Birdsville and headed east and then down towards Innamincka. This will be in Part 5 of my trip report (hopefully the last one).


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 4, 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