Back from a week in Mackay and firstly, many thanks to those who provided
valuable advice; Tony Ashton, Nicole Spillane, Carl Billingham and Tess
Brickhill in Mackay. What a great resource this group is! Thanks folks
Up at Eungella there was success on the first morning despite severe cyclone
damage to the rainforest in some exposed areas on the eastern slopes and high
ground. I did not check all areas on Chris Sanderson's excellent "mud map" but
two out of two wasn't bad!
Chelmans Road delivered the goods right at the end at the "double gate". I had
three to five birds ( L. hindwoodi) very vocal and active on the edge of the
forest between 7am and 8.30am, then they went quiet as the bright clear day
They were feeding (gleaning insects I imagine) from cream palm inflorescences
which were well past flowering and bearing small developing fruit - and they
seemed to favour that food source, coming back time after time. They were also
seen to frequently visit the new pink leaf clusters on the pandanus or rattan?
vine perhaps for a water source as there were no flowers evident.
I also searched a km or two down the track past the gate after 9 am and while
there were some good birds, I did not see or hear another Eungella.
I also found a pair on Diggings Road the following day about half way up the
hill before the abrupt left turn - but that was one pair in about 4 hours
searching. However I found Diggings a great birding spot despite the cyclone
damage with good views of Wompoo, Brown and Topknot Pigeons, Pittas etc and
much activity in general.
I found no Eungella Honeyeaters around Broken River where I stayed for three
nights though there was excellent birding in general (White-eared and
Spectacled Monarchs, Cicada bird etc).
I had all seasons in three days from bright, clear and warm to heavy fog and
rain, so it's hard to generalise, but the two days I saw the Honeyeaters they
seemed vocal between say 7 and 9 am (Tess Brickhill from Mackay BOCA said "they
are not early risers" ie they dont start carrying on like the Yellow Robin half
an hour before dawn). They did seem to like the early rays of sun at Chelmans.
On a very foggy wednesday I went west to dry eucalypt country at Eungella Dam
where 7 Squatter Pigeons were probably the highlight.
Back in Mackay the Botanical Gardens were a real gem and the Sandfly Creek walk
along the Pioneer River was also well worthwhile.
Atlas now has all records but I would be very pleased to provide more detail -
perhaps offline - to anyone heading to Eungella.
Object achieved and Keith Hindwood would be delighted with "his honeyeater" I
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