Trip Report: Diamond Head, Yuraygir, Lennox Head, etc.: July 2004

Subject: Trip Report: Diamond Head, Yuraygir, Lennox Head, etc.: July 2004
From: Judith L-A <>
Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 17:26:54 +1000
Oh dear - this is so late. (Also rather untidy, I'm afraid.) But hopefully it'll be of use to someone...? And perhaps a the black cockatoo query in it can be answered...?

Trip Report: Diamond Head, Yuraygir, Lennox Head, etc.: July 2004

From 21 to 30 July we travelled north from Diamond Head, spending a few days there, and some days each at Yuraygir and Lennox Head, and stopping briefly at various places on the way. The birding highlight was Yuraygir, for which a list appears below - but there were thrills to be had along the way, too, as follows:
At Muttonbird Island two Nankeen Kestrels held the high wind gloriously as they hunted above two White-faced Herons picking their way through the Wedge-tailed Shearwater burrows - some of which looked recently worked.
       A pair of Masked Lapwings at Moonee Beach had four nestlings (do you call them that, if there appears to be no nest?) - really beautiful little creatures - which scattered at the slightest disturbance, while one parent hobbled away crying.
The highlight at Diamond Head is the 'dawn chorus' of Red Wattlebirds & Noisy Friarbirds - uncanny. The Crested Pigeons come really close to camp here, so you can have a good close look. (But beware of the Grey Butcherbirds at Diamond Head - they took the food right out of our mouths! The Kookaburras'll give your plate a narrow look, too, but are not as agile.) There were Eastern Spinebills, and masses of beautiful display flights of White-cheeked Honeyeaters.
        The most amazing sight in Lismore was a Pacific Baza sitting cool-as-you-please on the telegraph wire alongside the busy highway running through the outskirt suburbs.
  Diamond Head and Lennox Head both seem excellent places for the hunting spectacle of Australasian Gannets, splendidly diving in great mobs. And of course in Yamba and Lennox Head and anywhere hospitable the Australian Pelican sails or soars tranquilly by. Whistling Kites were also variously along the coast, and we had an unbelievable close-up of a Brahminy Kite working the air just above us at Lennox.
    An unexpected delight at Lennox Head was seeing a couple of Richard's Pipits browsing daily right alongside the secondary highway.
      And Boatharbour certainly is a great birding spot (though be warned if you're alone - there's something odd there): In just two 10-minute turns up & down the path, the following were among the birds seen:

White-headed Pigeon
Columba leucomela

Emerald Dove
Chalcophaps indica

Red-backed Fairy-wren
Malurus melanocephalus

Brown Gerygone
Gerygone mouki

Lewin's Honeyeater
Meliphaga lewinii

Eastern Yellow Robin
Eopsaltria australis

Eastern Whipbird
Psophodes olivaceus

Golden Whistler
Pachycephala pectoralis

Little Shrike-thrush
Colluricincla megarhyncha

Grey Fantail
Rhipidura fuliginosa

Varied Triller
Lalage leucomela

Regent Bowerbird ('brown' bird)
Sericulus chrysocephalus

     There were others, including a Fruit-dove somewhere above, I think, but the birds seem quite shy at this site.
  Lastly, the following birds (some of which were also seen elsewhere on the journey) are our highlights from Yuraygir:

Dromaius novaehollandiae
     - A lone bird in the dunes.

Brown Quail
Coturnix ypsilophora
   - Fleeing at path-edges.

White-faced Heron
Egretta novaehollandiae

Great Egret
Ardea alba
   - A beautiful stalker!

Australian White Ibis
Threskiornis molucca

Pandion haliaetus

White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Haliaeetus leucogaster

Grus rubicunda
     - Two young-looking birds flew over as we walked along the estuary. Grand!

Eastern Curlew
Numenius madagascariensis

Pied Oystercatcher
Haematopus longirostris
    - Both of these in one place - a treat.
Sooty Oystercatcher
Haematopus fuliginosus

Red-capped Plover
Charadrius ruficapillus

Double-banded Plover
Charadrius bicinctus
    - The little winter migrant!

Masked Lapwing
Vanellus miles

Silver Gull
Larus novaehollandiae

Crested Tern
Sterna bergii

Little Tern
Sterna albifrons
       - Note that 4WD vehicles are travelling and wheeling on the beach at this declining bird's nesting site.

White-headed Pigeon
Columba leucomela

Crested Pigeon
Ocyphaps lophotes


Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus banksii ???     OR      ???
     Glossy Black-Cockatoo
   Calyptorhynchus lathami
- The guide books do NOT give the Red-tailed for this area, though some of the local info DOES!... Birds were seen through treetops flying low - profiles only - at both Diamond Head and Yuraygir, calling with the 'rusty windmill' sound...?

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Calyptorhynchus funereus

Eastern Rosella
Platycercus eximius

Fan-tailed Cuckoo (HEARD)
Cacomantis flabelliformis

Azure Kingfisher
Alcedo azurea
      - Hunting the estuary.

Laughing Kookaburra
Dacelo novaeguineae

        - All three for the region were seen easily (but the Southern Emu-wren, sadly, eluded us):

Superb Fairy-wren
Malurus cyaneus

Variegated Fairy-wren
Malurus lamberti

Red-backed Fairy-wren
Malurus melanocephalus

Striated Pardalote
Pardalotus striatus

White-browed Scrubwren
Sericornis frontalis

Red Wattlebird
Anthochaera carunculata

Little/Brush Wattlebird
Anthochaera chrysoptera

Noisy Friarbird
Philemon corniculatus

Blue-faced Honeyeater
Entomyzon cyanotis

Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Lichenostomus chrysops

White-cheeked Honeyeater
Phylidonyris nigra

Eastern Spinebill
Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris

Scarlet Robin
Petroica multicolor

  (_ An unidentified pinkish Robin seen here also.)

Eastern Yellow Robin
Eopsaltria australis

Golden Whistler
Pachycephala pectoralis

Grallina cyanoleuca

Grey Fantail
Rhipidura fuliginosa

Willie Wagtail
Rhipidura leucophrys

Spangled Drongo
Dicrurus bracteatus

Olive-backed Oriole
Oriolus sagittatus

Pied Butcherbird
Cracticus nigrogularis

Australian Magpie
Gymnorhina tibicen

Pied Currawong
Strepera graculina
      - One bird with a terribly overgrown beak; easily intimidated by even juvenile Magpies.

Australian Raven
Corvus coronoides
        - Working the seashore and dunes.

Welcome Swallow
Hirundo neoxena

Zosterops lateralis

[LIST ENDS. Report ends.]


Judith L-A
S-E Qld
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