Several years ago, Michael Hunter and I searched several hillside
areas on the western edge of the Atherton Tablelands after waiting for the
right conditions to occur.
After a couple of days of walking hillsides in oppressive heat we flushed two
Buff-breasted Button Quail late in the afternoon. In fading light, we flushed
another bird, which landed in a open area covered in cream coloured, button
quail sized rocks. We decided not to walk through the area but instead return
at first light for further views and maybe photos.
The following morning we positioned ourselves on a rocky outcrop only 20-30m
from the clearing and waited for over an hour for some movement in the area.
During that hour I scanned that small open area countless times. I
individually checked every rock in that small clearing and there was no grass
or other plants for the bird to hide behind.
After convincing ourselves the bird had moved to elsewhere during the night, we
climbed down and walked towards the rocky clearing. Halfway across, the BBBQ
flushed from under our feet. It had been sitting in the middle of the clearing
the entire time!
They're virtually impossible to see in a landscape of rocks the same colour,
size and shape as they are!
Sent from my iPad
On 18/05/2011, at 12:18 AM, martin cachard <> wrote:
> Andrew, I heartily agree with you on the size of the females - they ARE huge
> & this is what struck me the most when I saw my pair!
> Painteds up here are a little smaller (about the size of a female Black BBQ)
> than they are further south , but I would still say that the female Buff BBQ
> I saw was easily the biggest BQ I've ever seen - by quite a long way....
> I've seen heaps of southern female Painted BQ's too & they are still much
> Let's hope for a long dry !
> Martin Cachard
>> Date: Tue, 17 May 2011 23:12:01 +1000
>> To: ;
>> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Photos of Buff-breasted Button-quail
>> 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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