Wild Bird Protection Fighting Fund

To: Syd Curtis <>
Subject: Wild Bird Protection Fighting Fund
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 18:00:21 +1000 (EST)
A recent (mostly) work trip to the NT & WA produced a couple of sightings
I thought interesting.

I've seen on a number of occasions Button-quail sleeping on roads at
night in the NT - this trip I saw one (almost) doing it in the day.
Driving on the Stuart Highway between Pine Creek and Katherine I spotted
a Button-quail walking on the road verge.  It took a little while to
stop turn round and come back.  By then the Button-quail had moved on
to the road and was settled down fluffed up as though though it intended
to sleep, even though it was 10:30 in the morning.

I observed it only for a little while because there is quite a bit of
traffic on the Stuart Highway and I thought it might be hit.  When it
got out of the vehicle it stood up and trotted off the road giving me
excellent views - bill, eye and leg colour made ID much easier -
Red-backed Button-quail.

I've no idea why it was sitting and perhaps intending to sleep on the
highway.  The morning was already very warm so I doubt the bird needed
to warm itself.

The location is marginally outside the range indicated in HANZAB and so
is probably worth recording.  In the past I've seen several Red-backed
Button-quail near Roper Bar - further outside HANZAB's range.  Is there
any person/organization who compiles sightings for the NT?

We also flushed a Red-chested Button-Quail at Emma Gorge (near Wyndam
in WA) - again marginally outside the range in HANZAB - but with only
flight views I can't be completely confident in the ID.

Another pleasing sighting was a Great-billed Heron on the King River
about 2km from its mouth (again near Wyndam).  It appeared (in flight) to
have only one leg!  Also on the King after dark we heard an interesting
call - a continual cackling from the mangroves just in from the fringe.
We couldn't locate the bird despite some scanning with a spotlight from
the boat.  The slippery mud banks deterred closer investigation.

A visit to Parry's Lagoon (also near Wyndam) had good numbers of
waterbirds.  CALM have built a hide which lets you get some close views.

A few nights in Jabiru were interesting - seemed to be a number of Barking
Owls around the town including one calling from well up a communications
tower.  They have to compete with some nocturnal Blue-winged Kookaburras
which feed around streetlights.  The flock of Rainbow Lorrikeets roosting
in Jabiru was impressively large - at least several thousand.

Andrew Taylor

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The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU