birding-aus Birding NQ in the Wet

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Subject: birding-aus Birding NQ in the Wet
From: "Glenn Holmes" <>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 21:56:58 +1000
It's the conventional birding season here again but my advice to those with vaguely conceived plans is to come here in the Wet.  When it's often quite dry...and very stimulating.
Seasonal visitors that you have high probabilities of enjoying include Swinhoe's Snipe, Red-rumped Swallow, House Swift, Garganey, Spotted Whistling-Duck [Weipa only ?], Little Ringed Plover and of course Barn Swallow.  On current evidence Oriental Reed-Warbler is scarce or highly cryptic.
Although not sanguine about the prospects so far south of the Cape York area, I'm systematically seeking a number of species that I've not yet seen in Australia.  These include the Glossy and Uniform Swiftlets.  The Grey Wagtail has eluded me so far despite numerous visits to high altitude waterfalls and cascades.
Summer is also the time for many breeding visitors.  The Red-bellied Pitta and Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher are exquisite.  But the Cicadabirds excite me as much as any others at present.  There are clearly two species, segregated partially by habitat.  Their calls differ greatly despite coexistence within a broad zone of overlap.  This is analogous to the situation with the Bassian and Russet-tailed Thrushes that I documented many years ago [reported in Aust. Bird Watcher 1984].   
The optimal time to come is probably January to March.  Often it is cooler and more pleasant than the Dry.  If your visit is coincident with a cyclone your itinerary may suffer but who knows what you may encounter.
WARNING to recipients:  delete these data from your files now or they may be tacitly validated.
Glenn Holmes  
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