Smitten with Bitterns at Mount Isa

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Smitten with Bitterns at Mount Isa
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Nov 2001 18:07:24 +1000
g'day all,
Well the subject almost rhymes !
A  week and a half ago Darlene Kneen and I visited Lake Julius. Weather at 38C was starting to warm up.
This 107,500 megalitre/170km shoreline storage is 62km NNE of Mount Isa (115km by road).  It was built as a backup for Lake Moondarra at Mount Isa, but is now also supplying the Ernest Henry (copper) Mine NE of Cloncurry.
We were hoping to find some mud flats with waders, but were disappointed as the hills were too steep to support many mud flats. Using my 3m/15hp flat bottomed boat we checked out the Paroo Creek and Mystery Creek inlets. Only one Marsh Sandpiper was seen.
We saw Black Bitterns at 3 locations and are pretty sure they were different birds.
But there is more !  We came across a Jabiru nest...huge... and the base was only about 1-1/2m above the water. Nearby were 3 almost fully grown juveniles still being chaperoned by an adult.
One of the resident Barking Owls at the cabins had recently succumbed to a Cane Toad but at night I heard 2 duetting and later Bush Stone-curlews. 
There was the range of birds that I would expect for the area. But one bird had me tricked for 20 minutes, until I got a view of it. It was an Olive-backed Oriole giving a reasonable imitation of a Peaceful Dove
The air-conditioned self contained cabins run by Qld Gov Sport and Recreation were great...we supplied our linen. The road from the Barkly Hwy is gravel, occasionally corrugated and NOT recommended for caravans.
Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
Is heat just a state of mind ?
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