Subject: Paluma
From: "Jo Wieneke" <>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 96 10:17:58 UT
As most reports are from the south here's one from Townsville.
Having a visiting birder around is a good excuse to abandon occupations such 
as writing Xmas letters or working on a thesis, and go birding for the day. On 
Saturday Rafael Furniss and I took Chris Knight keen birder from the UK up to 
Paluma trying to fill a few gaps in Chris' list. 

First stop was about half way up the hill where we'd been told there was a 
Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher's nest hole in a termite mound. We found the 
mound, not fully excavated, and heard birds calling on both sides of the road 
and eventually saw one flying across. Pittas were on the  want-list but 
despite hearing at least 6 in the rainforest, none were seen.
Up at Paluma village  a flock of King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas, a 
displaying male Victoria's Riflebird and a Barred Cuckoo-shrike were good 
sightings. Sheltering from the rain on a friend's verandah we watched a 
Painted Button-quail feeding near the house while White-cheeked, Lewins and 
Macleays Honeyeaters came to drink at a feeder. We had excellent views of a 
pair of Fernwrens in rainforest near the Field Study Centre.
Time ran out and we did not visit the Golden Bowerbird bower or check for the 
Grey Wagtail at Birthday Creek Falls!

On the way back down the hill we saw one of the kingfishers perched near the 
mound site. Alas, there were no pittas by the roadside where they can 
sometimes be seen. Back down in the heat at sea level we finally visited Big 
Crystal Creek NP camping area where we found a Northern Fantail and Fairy 
Gerygone and tracked down a White-browed Robin. This area is a reliable spot 
for all these species.

A good morning's birding with just over 50species recorded and Chris added 7 
birds to his list.

Jo Wieneke.

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