Birding in North and West Queensland 17 May to 3 June 2005

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Subject: Birding in North and West Queensland 17 May to 3 June 2005
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 21:06:04 +1000

* An Avocet on Dangars Lagoon, Uralla, NSW and Forest Ravens nearby on 17/5/05

* King Quail - Single Male seen at Lake Samsonvale, thanks to advice from Tom Tarrant. Also seen here was the usual waterbirds, a lone Glossy Ibis and some Brown Quail, on 18/5/05

* Black-breasted Button-quail - Extended views of a single male, or two sightings of different males seen at the usual site at Inskip Point, Rainbow Beach. This was the only location during our trip where Mangrove Honeyeaters were seen. 18/5/05

*    Black Falcon - 5km on Highway south of Gin Gin 19/5/05

* Eungella Honeyeater - 2 + feeding in mistletoe clumps, in a Red Ash on Dalrymple Rd, 22 kms N of Eungella on 20/5/05. Also seen in the vicinity were Topknot, White-headed & Wompoo Pigeons, Brown Cuckoo-Doves and Emerald Dove. At the end of nearby Snake Road, in Dalrymple SF good views of 6+ Superb Fruit-Doves.

* Cotton Pygmy Goose - Many birds feeding in a roadside lagoon at Deadmans Creek, 15 kms S of Proserpine.21/5/05

* Brolga & Magpie Geese, Nutmeg Mannikin and Rufous-throated Honeyeater at Townsville Common 21/5/05

* Crimson Finches & Jacanas first sighted at Tyto Wetlands, Ingham. A great place for an hour or so's break when travelling north 22/5/05

* Macleay's & Dusky Honeyeaters first sighted at Bilyama Rest Area, south of Tully 22/5/05

* Female Golden Bowerbird seen at Longmans Gap SF 22/5/05 & at The Crater NP 26/5/05, however no males seen at any site. Bridled Honeyeaters seen on both occasions at The Crater.

* c.3000 Plumed Whistling Ducks and many Magpie Geese & a few Pinkear at Hasties Swamp, Atherton 22/5/05

* 42 Sarus Cranes were seen arriving at Brothersons Swamp, Malanda at dusk 22/5/05

* Displaying male Victoria's Riflebird and Spotted Catbirds at Chambers Retreat, Lake Eacham on 23/5/05.

* Varied Honeyeater only seen on the Cairns waterfront, along with many Reef Egrets and Gull-billed Terns on 23/5/05

* Breeding pair of Golden-shouldered Parrots at Artemis Station, Musgrave and Black-backed Butcherbirds common in the area thanks to Klaus Uhlenhut 24/5/05

* Many Green Pygmy-Geese and Rufous-banded Honeyeaters at Lotus Bird Lodge, Musgrave 25/5/05 and Red-browed Pardalotes in the area. A large Crocodile on the Lagoon at The Lodge where there were nesting Blue-faced Honeyeaters

* Lesser Sooty Owl with a large buff-coloured rat, possibly a Grasslands Melomys, which it took to a nest hollow at Kingfisher Park, Julatten. Good views of a number of Barn Owls at night, by day good for Macleay's and Graceful Honeyeaters, and many more birds 25/5/05

* 14 Barred Cuckoo-shrikes & 8+ Fig Parrots feeding in the fig trees located at the school grounds in Yungaburra 26/5/05

* Plenty of Cotton & Green Pygmy-Geese & Great Crested Grebes on the Mareeba Wetlands, where our only sighting of 6 Squatter Pigeons was made. Well worth a visit. Ex Broom Bird Observatory warden Tim Gale, is now a ranger at Mareeba wetlands, good for a talk and for information on bird locations 26/5/05.

* 20+ Black-throated Finches and some Brown Treecreepers at a stock dam, 20 k W of Mt Carbine on the Hurricane Station Road 26/5/05

* 21 Bustards and a Pacific Baza on the East Mary River Rd, Mt Molloy 26/5/05

* Chowchillas, Atherton Scrub-wren, Bowers Shrike-thrush, King Parrots and White-cheeked Honeyeaters Mt Lewis 27/5/05

* 4+ Red-backed Button-quail, Singing Bushlarks & Pipits in a cane field near Mossman 27/5/05 thanks to Del Richards.

* 5 species of kingfisher (Little, Sacred, Azure, Collared & Forest) on Mossman River Boat Trip, in addition to Large-billed and Fairy Gerygones, Great-billed Heron, Shining Starling, Fig Parrot, Leaden & Shining Flycatcher etc 27/5/05 thanks to Peter, from Mangrove Man Tours.

* Immature Cassowary at the Tam O'Shanter SF picnic area, Mission Beach, together with great views of Wompoo and Superb Fruit-Doves 28/5/05.

* Varied Lorikeet and Rainbow Lorikeets, 2 km E of Homestead, near Pentland, west of Charters Towers. Possible eastern limit of range of the Varied Lorikeet 29/5/05. Another 8 Varied Lorikeets at the Clem Walton Reserve, W of Charters Towers 30/5/05

* Spotted Bowerbird seen feeding on fallen fruit in street at Richmond, northern limit of range? 29/5/05

* No Flock Bronzewings found when staking out a known site 7 km W of Julia Creek at dusk. However Hobby, Spotted Harrier and Black Falcon all checked out the waterhole while we were waiting there 29/5/05

* Inland Dotterel on road at daybreak 7 km S of Julia Creek when looking for Flock Pigeons. 50+ Brolga & 3 Bustards seen at the same time 30/5/05.

* 4 Painted Finches drinking at the Clem Walton Park picnic area west of Charters Towers, where Varied Lorikeets, where Red-winged Parrots and Great Bowerbirds present. At nearby Lake Corella, Crimson Chats, Caspian Terns, Grey-headed Honeyeater & Diamond Doves 30/5/05.

* Many Bustards and Brolgas from Mt Isa to Boulia and through to Winton and further south 30/5/05

* Bustards and Spinifex Pigeons in the town limits at Boulia, but no Brolgas walking up the main street as per my last visit in 1987, 30/5/05

* 3 Avocets and 3 Orange Chats at a small waterhole near Hamilton on the Boulia-Winton Rd 31/05/05

* Spinifexbird and 5+ Rufous-crowned Emu-wrens, Bladensberg NP Winton 31/5/05

* 2 Rainbow Lorikeets at Greenhide Gully, south of Barcaldine 31/5/05, western limit of range?

* 4+ Slaty-backed Thornbills, White-browed Treecreeper, Glossy Ibis, Black-tailed Native-hen etc and a wonderful flock of 120 Pink Cockatoos at Bowra HSD, Cunnamulla 2/6/05

Out trip took us over 8000 km and 266 species were seen. Our target species were 13 birds (King Quail, Red Goshawk, Letter-winged Kite, Sarus Crane, Red-backed Button-quail, Black-breasted Button-quail, Flock Pigeon, Golden-shouldered Parrot, Lesser Sooty Owl, Barred Cuckoo-shrike, Yellow Chat, Black-backed Butcherbird and Golden Bowerbird). While we were often in Red Goshawk known sites , none were seen, Conditions appeared to be right between Julia Creek and Winton via Boulia for Flock Pigeons and Letter-winged Kites but none were located despite some early morning and late evening stake-outs. Yellow Chats near Curtis Island have been seen in good numbers recently on private property but our travel dates could not be matched to the dates that the survey teams were visiting the private property. We will have to return for them and the Red Goshawks when the latter are nesting.

Many thanks to all those people who helped make our trip a success including Marc Gardner, Mick Todd, Julie McLaren, Lloyd Neilsen and those already mentioned above. For further information or comments on these highlights please contact us direct.

Alan Morris & Robin Benson
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