North Queensland Trip - Part 2 of 3

Subject: North Queensland Trip - Part 2 of 3
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 12:07:21 +1100

6 - 22 December 2005

Cape York

Because it was so dry, there was no problem driving back to Cairns with
Klaus.  On the way, we spent two days based at Musgrave and saw a small
group of Golden-shouldered Parrots ? a real trip highlight.  As well, we saw 
Black-breasted Buzzard, Papuan Frogmouth, White-gaped, Bar-breasted and 
Rufous-banded Honeyeaters, our only Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Black-backed 
Butcherbird, and Black-throated, Masked and Star Finches.  There must be a glut 
of Oriental Cuckoos on Cape York this year because we saw another 3 here over 
two days.

A major highlight occurred when we were watching waders and a Black Falcon at 
Low Lake in Lakefield National Park when a Garganey flew in with some Grey 
Teal.  We were able to observe it for an hour or
so (and take some bad pictures) before we left it in peace.

On our last day with Klaus, we stopped at the Mount Carbine dam and put 
Freckled Duck and Comb-crested Jacana on our trip list.

Klaus dropped us off in Cairns and went home for a well-deserved rest and
Christmas with his family.  Fred and I had birded with Klaus in 1999 at
Pajinka and had been impressed with his knowledge and his organisation. He 
was equally good this time.

Julatten and Mount Lewis

We spent three nights at Julatten and two days birding around there and up 
Mount Lewis.  Both were incredibly dry, but still quite productive.  On
our morning up at the clearing on Mount Lewis, we saw 1 Blue-faced 
Parrot-Finch, 1 juvenile or female Golden Bowerbird (unfortunately), Atherton 
Scrubwren, Fernwren, Mountain Thornbill, Bridled Honeyeater, Grey-headed Robin, 
Chowchilla, Bower's Shrike-thrush and Barred Cuckoo-shrike.

The next morning, we birded the lower slopes of Mount Lewis and found Bush-hen, 
Pied Monarch and Grey Whistler.

We spent time around Mount Carbine and Mount Molloy, looking for Red
Goshawk, Square-tailed Kite and Squatter Pigeon, but we did not find them. 
 We did see Australian Bustard and the feral population of Helmeted Guinea-Fowl 
at Mary River and lots of water birds at the dam at Mount Carbine.

Around Kingfisher Park, we heard Barking, Masked and Lesser Sooty Owls and saw 
Macleay's Honeyeater and more of the lovely Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfishers.

We had been looking unsuccessfully for Little Kingfisher, so we decided to 
go boating on the Daintree River with Chris Dahlberg.  However, it is very 
hard to find at this time of the year and we failed to see one, along with 
Great-billed Heron.  Some of did see a Little Bittern and there were a couple 
of Black Bitterns.  We went back to Newell Beach to check swallows but nothing 
had changed.

(Part 3 to follow)


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