FNQ trip

To: Evan Beaver <>, birding aus <>
Subject: FNQ trip
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 10:32:46 +1000
A tough call Evan - there are plenty of birds that occur in the Atherton Tableland that you won't get along the coast or in the ranges. I was at Mareeba Wetlands Reserve yesterday (!) and whilst I picked up a couple of new birds, the number of species overall was quite low. To give you an example, in the Cairns Bot Gardens the day before I picked up about 30 species in a couple of hours in the early morning, including White-browed Crake, Black Butcherbird, Black Bittern, Little Kingfisher and Brown-backed Honeyeater. These birds probably occur at places on the tableland but they were quite simple to find at Cairns (well, the Bittern was a lucky one, AND I got a photo!). I only saw 18 species in a similar amount of time at Mareeba:

(sorry - these are in the order I saw them , straight out of my notebook)
Welcome Swallow
Yellow Honeyeater
Green Pygmy-Goose (they have Cotton as well but I couldn't find them)
Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Aust Pelican
Great Egret
Wandering Whistling Duck
Comb-crested Jacana
Peaceful Dove
Little Pied Cormorant
Intermediate Egret
Whistling Kite
Rainbow Bee-Eater
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Noisy Friarbird
Forest Kingfisher

There was also a group of probable Double-barred Finch - but I was in a guided tour (not a birding one!) so didn't get the chance to hang around to look for them.

On the way out to the Highway (7 Km of rough gravel) I saw Straw- necked Ibis, Nankeen Kestrel and Square-tailed Kite.

I'm not sure how representative this is on tableland birds overall - there are Brolga and Sarus Crane, magpie Geese and a number of dry woodland birds that are usually only around the main lagoon in the early morning and late evening. Our tour only got to see this lagoon, and not the Pandanus Lagoon that holds a few different wetland species. This is a great place to visit - I was there as part of an IT conference, and we were on a tight schedule - I'd recommend going for longer or maybe for a few days and doing some volunteering e.g. survey work!

Here's their website:



On 03/10/2006, at 5:04 PM, Evan Beaver wrote:

My wife and I are heading up to Cairns/Julatten/Daintree in the middle of November for an adventure holiday which will involve some birding. We've only got 5 days and are planing to spend those in KF park and Daintree with the idea being to see some spectacular habitat and animals. We've noticed some good accommodation in the Atherton Tablelands area and wondered if the diversion was worth it, or if we should save it for another trip when time
is less of an issue.

Evan Beaver
Lapstone, Blue Mountains, NSW
lat=-33.77, lon=150.64

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