Red-chested Buttonquail

To: "birding Aus" <>
Subject: Red-chested Buttonquail
From: Goodfellow <>
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 00 15:10:03 +0000
In reply to I think it was Alan Benson - need I say more!

John Reidy and I went to Holmes Jungle (about 15 km from the Darwin CBD) 
a couple of weeks ago.  He wanted to see Red-backed Button-quails.  
However they weren't very obliging.  But we did put up half a dozen 
Red-chested Button-quails.  The area had been badly burnt days before we 
went and the birds were in small patches of grass that had escaped the 
conflagration (isn't that a great word!).  Lots of Little Curlew were 
also present, also Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Red-necked Stints.

I went back last Sunday and then Monday with my partner to find the 
button-quails had nicked off as had most of the waders apart from Little 
Curlew and a couple of Greenshanks (in reedbeds towards the coast).   
Lots of cisticolas, both Zitting and Golden-headed, and Singing Bushlarks 
were present, the latter indulging in song flights.    By far the most 
numerous birds were Magpie-geese of which there were several hundred, 
plus 150 brolga (I checked for Sarus Crane but found none).

We had breakfast while watching the birds coming into land. Orange-footed 
Scrubfowl and Rainbow Pitta were calling from the monsoon forest.  We in 
turn were watched, by a male Crimson Finch that perched in rushes behind 
us.  These plants were full of pretty little frogs, 'Litoria bicolor'.  
Then passing the reedbeds near the coast we disturbed a Bush-hen which 
fled the scene in a hurry!  

Towards the coast are mangroves, mostly pure stands of 'Avicennia 
marina'.  Birds were scarce  here - only Rufous-banded Honeyeaters and a 
couple of female Shining Flycatchers one of which performed admirably for 
our video camera.  On exploring alone I found large dog footprints and 
remembered that there have been dog attacks along nearby beaches.  
Consequently all thought of coming back alone retreated.  

The next morning when we came back the number of magpie-geese had 
increased and I estimate there to be over a thousand, plus Aus. White 
Ibis.  However there were only about a dozen Brolga including a couple of 
immature birds.

I'm going back next Sunday morning while it's dark, this time to look for 


Denise Goodfellow (Lawungkurr Maralngurra)
Specialist Guide
Ph/fax 08 89818492
PO Box 39373

Parap Bookshop
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