Cairns Trip

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Cairns Trip
From: "Matt Hughes" <>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2003 23:02:03 +1000
Hi Birders,
Visited Cairns at short notice for a conference between 14/8 & 18/8 & had a great time - (although more research needed & a bit careless with the birding - a friend once said one should always leave something for next time - no probs here & especially a comfort for my son Maddie (10), who was quite touchy about missing out on this trip despite cunning attempts to get a jumper). Took a bit of a while to adjust to the different habitat but plenty of new birds & some 'old friends' in a new place. 
Highlights included:
Spotlighting & birding with Alan Gillanders around Yungaburra & Atherton. Saw Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroos along with Green Ringtail & Coppery Brush Tail Possums. Spotlighted on my own later on that night & at 4.30 am when I misread the time, caused in part by the smiley sticker put on my watch by Ryley(4) for me to remember him whilst I was away - very pleased to find more tree kangaroos & possums on my own - dipped on owls & birds of the night. Birded with Allan in the morning with Brolgas & Sarus Cranes impressing along with the variety of Atherton locals. Added Musky Rat-kangaroo & Atherton Srubwren at Lake Barrine, a very beautiful spot. Also encouraged by Alan's knowledge & enthusiasm for things Botanical. 
Cairns Botanical Gardens & old cemetery. Plenty of varied bird life & excellent gardens. Little Kingfisher; Black Butcherbird, Fig Parrots, Metallic Starlings & the wonderful calls of Yellow Orioles impressing. Not many waders on the mudflats - a real shame as my hotel room's balcony provided a comfortable viewing platform above the esplanade works.
Kingfisher Park spotlighting with Andrew Iles & birding. Giant White-tailed Rat, Common Striped Possum & Long-nosed & Northern Brown Bandicoots & others. More time needed here next time. 
Daintree river cruise with Chris Dahlberg -  White-rumped swiftlets putting on a drinking display en masse all around the boat. A spectacular river - I still can't believe I was actually there - lots of great views including Papuan Frogmouths & courting Azure Kingfishers. Oh for a lazy day or two with a canoe - until I saw crocs.
Cheers Matt 
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