Some updates including Carpentarian Grasswren & Mataranka Red Goshawk

To: "" <>
Subject: Some updates including Carpentarian Grasswren & Mataranka Red Goshawk
From: Martin Cake <>
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2013 11:35:05 +0000
Hi all

I am part way through a trip around the country and can offer updates on a few 
'well-known' sites for the benefit of other travellers and/or the archives:

* Carpentarian Grasswren were seen today at the famous cairn 8km along 
McNamaras Rd near Mt isa. Despite concerns about the recent fire it seems this 
was mosaic to some extent and has left some scattered patches of old spinifex. 
However the only CGW I saw today (2) were not in spinifex but were in tall 
grass along the dry creek close to the cairn (~100m E of the cairn, ~50m S 
along the creek bed).

* The well-known Red Goshawk pair in Mataranka seem not to have returned yet 
this year and have not been seen according to the manager of Mataranka Cabins 
(ditto for Rufous Owl). She attributes this to 3 years of drought in the area.

* The Dreamtime Statues in Wyndham (WA) have fallen into disrepair and the 
water feature here no longer contains any water. This used to be a known site 
for Gouldian Finch but is now useless. Locals suggested trying early morning 
sprinklers at the Shire offices for Gouldians.

* Chestnut-backed Button-Quail were seen at Chinaman Creek near Katherine 
(close to where the old Hwy crosses the creek). I tried for this species 
several times at the Old Darwin Rd site near Cooinda in Kakadu but it seemed 
overgrown and unsuitable. I'm no expert but the best-looking CBBQ habitat I saw 
in Kakadu was around the fringes of Cooinda airport (though admittedly I saw no 
sign of them here).

* In Kakadu Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon was only seen at the Bardedjilidji 
walk, despite also spending time at Gunlom escarpment, Nourlangie and Ubirr. 
They were absent on this walk at 10am but easily found at 4.30pm so it really 
pays to consider the time of day.

* Without wanting to inflame any arguments on the merits of Bill's recent Grey 
Falcon site post, his info was spot on and a pair was present yesterday at 
dawn. There is an approved overnight camping area approx 2-3 km W of here. 
Thanks Bill!


Martin Cake

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