Cairns area sightings

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Cairns area sightings
From: Phil & Sue Gregory <>
Date: Sat, 3 Oct 2009 21:07:01 +1000
Oct 2 Machan's Beach
Beach Stone Curlew 1  Ruddy Turnstone 1   Lesser Crested Tern  10

Cairns Esplanade Oct 2
Asian Dowitcher 2 still present, close views
Broad-billed Sandpiper 1+

Hastie's Swamp Oct 3
Yellow-billed Spoonbill still present

Lake Barrine Oct 3
Tooth-bills in fine voice and occupying territories
Chowchilla easy to see due to the awful dry conditions, making lots of noise when they scratch among the dead leaves, saw 2 groups of 3 (2m and one f each) along the forest track to the kauri pines Black-faced Monarch 1 calling well, my first of the return, and being mimicked by a Tooth-bill.

Black Mt Road Oct 3
Superb Fruit-Doves calling but most breeding activity depressed due to the drought here, the worst so far this century here at this time of year. Southern Cassowary male and female daily, maybe another breeding attempt about to go on; The male brought in 4 chicks on July 29, we lost one in the first week, another a week later, followed almost immediately by the third, then the last survivor vanished Sept 24. Two very large pythons (4m+ and 3m) were in the area just as the chicks arrived, and the very dry conditions mean very little food in the forest, All very sad, and we had no chicks from the second half of 2008 either when the nesting attempts (2) both failed. The last chicks to fledge successfully here were the 3 in June 2008, and prior to that he bred successfully annually from at least 1998 (and probably from 1991 on, I can check this).

Phil Gregory


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