Re 300 odd species from Lockyer Valley, southern Qld.
When compiling information for 'Birds of the Wet Tropics and Great
Barrier Reef'' a couple of years ago, the publishers asked at one stage
how bird numbers (species) for the Wet Tropics compared with other areas
of similar size throughout Australia and Tasmania. After the exercise
was completed, the Wet Tropics came out well in front with something
like 430 odd species. South-eastern Qld/north-eastern NSW was not so
very far behind, followed by the Top End of the NT.
The largest district list I have seen was made by John Young at Ingham
(Wet Tropics - NQ) where he recorded something like 387 species within
50 km of the town. This takes in mangrove and seashore etc. For an
inland area, the Mareeba Shire (N Qld) would be a contender for one of
the largest Australian district lists. About 340 species have been
recorded within the shire which takes in the western edge of the Wet
Tropics rainforest on its eastern boundary. Consequently, this list
includes all 13 Wet Tropics endemics (and a number of distinctive
endemic sub-species) as well as a great diversity of species such as
Southern Cassowary, Great-billed Heron, Red-necked and White browed
Crakes, both Pygmy-geese, Australian Bustard, Buff-breasted Button-quail
(now on the Commonwealth endangered species list), Double-eyed
Fig-Parrot, Little Kingfisher, Banded Honeyeater, Black-throated Finch,
Metallic Starling and so on. All diurnal birds of prey have been
recorded from the shire including the breeding of Red Goshawk.
Rifle Creek Reserve, a 300 hectare area of gallery forest, rainforest
and tropical woodland situated just outside Mt Molloy (Mareeba Shire)
has yielded 230 species in the last 18 months, the last being a Shining
Flycatcher ( over 20 km from the coast). In an area adjoining the
reserve a couple of years ago, two of us recorded 12 species of birds-of
prey in an hour or so. Of course, when we went back some days later
with several people, we didn't see a single bird of prey!
However, any area which can notch up 300 species has to be a good one.
I know the area well for I used to live on the Darling Downs.