First bird of the year

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: First bird of the year
From: Phil Gregory <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2003 16:59:57 +1000
The annual suspense over what will be first bird of the year at Cassowary House, Kuranda was resolved when a Brush-turkey walked in front of the still invisible Chowchillas that I was watching for from our veranda- damn! Last year I made Victoria's Riflebird as the first, and the year before it was Cassowary.

We spent New Years Eve out spotlighting on the Atherton Tablelands,  seeing 6 Barn Owls, a Tawny Frogmouth and 5 Bush Stone-curlew. Mammals were also good, with coppery brushtail, common ringtail, Agile wallaby, red-legged pademelon, Mareeba rock wallaby and, as a long held ambition fulfilled, stunning views of a Northern Quoll fossicking about a pile of rocks near where we saw the rock wallabies. The black tail stuck up like a toilet brush, and had a pale central spine to it. I've seen a few dead ones, but this was the first live.

A walk down by the Barron River at Kuranda gave us 3 Brown-backed Honeyeaters, lots of Metallic Starlings, Black Butcherbirds with juveniles and my first local area sighting of Nankeen Night Heron.
Happy new year to all ausbirdoes
Phil Gregory
Cassowary House

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