3 Months in northern Qld

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Subject: 3 Months in northern Qld
From: "Brian and Meg" <>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2011 17:48:45 +1000
Hi all.
We've just completed the 1st leg of our North Qld trip which we started in 
early June. The first part of the trip was basically straight north up through 
Dalby, Roma, Carnarvon Gorge, Emerald, Clermont, Charters Towers & west to 
Julia Creek. From here, we headed northwest into the Gulf country where we 
spent approx. 5 weeks zigzagging our way from Karumba to the Qld/NT border and 
back again. With visits to Normanton, Burketown, Adels Grove,
Lawn Hill N.P., Kingfisher Camp, Hells Gate and all parts in between, we 
managed to pick up all the local mangrove/riverine species - M. Golden 
Whistler, M. Grey Fantail, M. Robin, White-breasted Whistler, Arafura Fantail, 
M. Gerygone, Yellow White-eye, Great-billed Heron, Black-necked Stork & 
Red-headed Honeyeater. The Purple-crowned Fairy-Wren was common around Adels & 
Lawn Hill with the males still fully coloured. We also found them at Kingfisher 
Camp & Escott Crossing near Burketown - both being on the Nicholson River. At 
Karumba, after 3 days of careful observation, we were finally able to 
differentiate between the 2 Cisticolas.
Another 2 weeks went by as we explored from Normanton to Ravenshoe - staying at 
Croydon, Georgetown & Mount Surprise. From Georgetown, we also saw a lot of 
Forsyth & Cobbold Gorge. Just north of Forsyth was good for Black-throated 
Finch (r: atropygialis), Squatter Pigeon and (Black) Brown Treecreepers.
The last 5 weeks have been around most of the Atherton Tableland, Cairns, Wonga 
Beach and the famous Kingfisher Park. All 12 endemics were seen well with the 
highlight being a male Golden Bowerbird giving us spectacular views for about 
20 minutes in the carpark area at Mt Hypipamee. Around Daintree, we found the 
Lovely Fairy-wren - the female of which has to be one of the most beautiful 
birds around. Many of the distinct subspecies of the area have also been seen 
but we've dipped so far on Lesser Sooty Owl. In the last week at/near 
Kingfisher Park, we've been lucky to see a flock of Blue-faced Parrot-finches 
(twice), 2 Chestnut-breasted Cuckoos & excellent views of a male Superb 
Fruit-dove calling / prancing / displaying well enough for the female to appear 
and mating to occur.
All in all, we've found 14 "lifers" amongst the 302 species seen so far. We hit 
the road again later this month with Cooktown and all of Cape York ahead during 
the whole of October.
If anyone wants more info., please feel free to contact us directly.
Brian & Meg Johnson

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