Birdline North Queensland Weekly Update

Subject: Birdline North Queensland Weekly Update
Date: 26 Dec 2011 01:30:45 +1000

Birdline North Queensland

Published sightings for the week ending 25 Dec 2011.

Sun 25 Dec Fork-tailed Swift Smithfield, Cairns Northern Beaches
A massive flock of at least 1000 Fork-tailed Swifts have been swarming above my place all morning - arriving on cue for Christmas!! Some of these are in various stages of tail-moult (see att rough pic), looking a little like House Swifts, but this group of birds purely consists of Fork-taileds. Last season they arrived a few weeks early, but today's arrival of very large numbers is more typically-timed. I notice that Greg B recorded a small group last night in the southern suburbs of Cairns - it appears that many birds must have arrived in our vicinity overnight with Santa!!
Martin Cachard

Sat 24 Dec Fork-tailed Swift Anderson Road, Woree
Small quickly moving flock of 12 only overhead a few minutes as they headed in a northerly directon. Sighhted at 19:45 - just enough light to clearly identify them. Storm celss scatted about the region this afternoon.
Greg Bortolussi

Oriental Pratincole Turf Farm, Hill Road, Edmonton
Very poor distant photo attached
Dominic Chaplin

Little Bittern Tyto Wetlands
Little Bittern male at edge of scleria close to hide early today. Posed neck extended and withdrawn briefly before making short low flight deeper into scleria.
Tony Ashton

Wed 21 Dec Little Bittern Tyto Wetlands
Two male Little Bitterns flushed (one twice) close to tracks. Drabbish male flew from scleria in creek SE from lookout at 6.20am. Low flight N along creek and E into bladey grass. Same bird flew from grass at 9am, highish (5m) around trees toward distant scleria closer to pony club. More strongly marked male rose from flooded sedge near SW corner of lagoon at 7.08, 10m flight into thicker sedge, grasses. Also four sightings of Black Bitterns (but may be merely one pair).
Tony Ashton

Tue 20 Dec Pacific Baza Townsville 10' Cell
Pacific Baza (7) Nesting bazas located at 1) Aitkenvale Park end of Johnson St; 2) Green St adj to SES car park on S side of Castle Hill ; 3) Queens Gdns in Hoop Pine. Distance between 1) and 2) = 4.35km; distance between 2) & 3) = 2km.
Alexandra Canton

Red-backed Button-quail Shannonvale
Three walked across the road in front of me when I was out for my morning bike ride. They disappeared into the grass at the side of the road so I dismounted and approached as stealthily as possible and managed to get a good view of one walking through the grass. Within a few seconds it saw me and flew off into the sugar cane, followed almost immediately by the other two. Having found 7 of them dead on the road in the last couple of months it was quite heartening to see some live ones at last. It does suggest that there is quite a robust, though secretive and lacking road sense, population in the area.
Peter Houston

Mon 19 Dec Tawny Grassbird Mt Lewis
1 bird seen at 950m in grass clearing.A first for me at this site and maybe a new record.
David Crawford and Guests [ Close-up Birding Adventures ]

Black Bittern Gununa Dam, Mornington Island
, Seen again this wet season following heavy rain. This evening a single bird flew over the dam overflow and landed in a Melaleuca in a melaleuca swamp from where it moved down into the canopy of the tree.
Phil Venables

Sun 18 Dec Sooty Owl Shannonvale
Heard at about 4.45 this morning and again just as I was typing this at 7.20pm. Only ever heard them around here before in the winter.
Peter Houston

Birdline North Queensland is sponsored by Birds Australia North Queensland and Townsville Region Bird Observers Club and co-ordinated and hosted by Eremaea Birds.



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