TRIP REPORT ? NORTH QUEENSLAND
6 - 22 December 2005
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
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
(Part 3 to follow)
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