FNQ trip report - part 2

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Subject: FNQ trip report - part 2
From: "polymath" <>
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2004 16:00:27 +1100

FNQ trip part II


After leaving Chamber?s on the 18th (with the usual cast, including a Golden Whistler) we went off to Kingfisher Park to see the famed Buff-Brested Paradise Kingfisher (more on that below).  This is different territory to Chamber?s, with cane fields about, a little creek (privately owned but access allowed).  There is some remnant forest on the property as well as an orchard.  The usual Brush Turkeys and Scrub Fowl, Emerald Doves were thick on the ground as well as Red Browed Finches.  Ron Stannard is a good host and quite a character.  He feeds a Red Necked Crake on cheese!  This was a special bird to see, quite shy but very lovely.  A couple of old birding hands (Dave and Moreen) were staying to help out, and Dave led a 3 hr walk around the property and surrounding cane fields the next morning from 5.45 (yawn).  Birds too numerous to mention, but highlights were Striated Pardalote, Sunbird, nesting Metallic Starlings (I loved the communal nesting, and my first citing of the immature form with the white brest), a nesting Papuan Frogmouth with young, a brief view of the Buff-Brested Paradise Kingfisher, and on it goes. 


Under my own steam (including by the bird bath) were the Noisy Pitta (a lovely bird), leaden flycatcher (I think), spectacled monarch, peaceful dove, blue faced honey eater and buff-banded rail.  Also, a quick drive to Abattoir Swamp was masked lapwing, forest kingfisher, cattle egret and forest kingfisher.  A trip out in the 4WD with Dave and 30 mins peering into the trees finally got me a banded honeyeater.  Also a brief citing of a Great Bowerbird (the bower was in someone?s front yard in Julatten) and female and male (displaying!!!) Australian Bustard.  What a sight!


From the 21st onwards we were off to Daintree Village and the wonderful Red Mill House with Trish and Andrew Forsyth.  Great hosts, great breakfasts, so-so birding this time in the gardens, although a really nice view of a great egret in its breeding plumage.  I really wanted a picture of a Yellow Oriole since my last efforts were so-so, but they were elusive but continued to call all day!  A walk on the common and along the river yielded a few birds, including cattle egrets in breeding plumage.  Chris Dahlberg?s river tour also didn?t yield too many stand out birds this time, various egrets, darter, lapwing, and a nesting Papuan Frogmouth.  Azure Kingfisher?s flashed past.  Better birding was had with Alan on Dan Irby?s boat.  As Chris? engine was playing up we didn?t get into the creeks.  Ian?s tour was a nice complement, getting into the mangroves.  Striated Heron (a first time bird) as well as (hopefully some) nice pictures (almost a whole roll) on the Great-billed Heron!  There were also nesting Papuan Frogmouths (nice and close), Shining Flycatcher, Yellow bellied sunbird. 


It was raining in Cairns and we were only there for an afternoon, so we?ll go to the Esplanade another time.


All in all, a pretty good trip.  A lot of film went to the developers on Friday.  I can?t wait.

Mick Pope - Natural Philosopher
"Zum Erstaunen bin ich da"

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