I'm pretty sure myself and Peter Lansley were the last observers to definitely
see Buff-breasted BQs near Mt Molloy in early 2007. I was speaking to Lloyd
Neilsen about this at the time and he told me it was his aim to try to take a
photograph of one, as this had never been achieved before. If Lloyd is reading
this he can confirm.
At the time of the sighting (late January) FNQ was on the cusp of its first
genuine wet season in roughly seven years. So the habitat had been very dry,
but daily heavy showers at the time were stimulating new growth. So, early in
the wet (before it gets too dense) seems to be the best time. The habitat was
around the base of low rocky hills - the birds took shelter higher up when
flushed. My "technique", such as it was, was to freeze if I flushed one bird,
and to scan the ground closely for its partner which, over three days of
observations, was always nearby. However, I was never able to view the bird on
the deck for more than a couple of seconds before it was up and out.
There are Painted BQs in the area too, and care needs to be taken with ID.
Don't assume any BQ is the one you're after! Among other pointers, a female
Buff-breasted BQ is comparatively huge - the first time I flushed one it was
more like putting up a bronzewing!
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