4 more lifers

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: 4 more lifers
From: "John Penhallurick" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Aug 2005 13:57:23 +1000
Hi all,
Just back from a trip to Cape York, Atherton Tablelands and Mt. Isa
I was looking for 5 life birds, and scored four out of five.
I picked up a flock of 10 Golden-shouldered Parrots, including at least 1 magnificent adult male, with the help of Susie from Artemis Downs.
I found them at a point 3 km north of the Artemis Downs/Dixie turnoff.  There is a 3-barred gate with curved corners on the left of the road where you can pull in.  The parrots were in the woodland on the right (East) side of the road.
Red Goshawk near Lotus Bird Lodge east of Musgrave.  A pair had been seen refurbishing a nest a week earlier.  I did not see the birds at the nest, but had one soaring, and another which flew into the trees behind the nest tree. Lotus Bird Lodge is open again.  It's not cheap but the food is fantastic and the lodge very comfortable.
White-streaked Honeyeater in Rokeby National Park north of Coen.  Thanks to Scott Templeton from the AQIS office north of Coen for help with this location.
The bird was found in thick Jacksonia to the left of the road into Rokeby (marked only by a sign giving the distance to the ranger's house) not far from the begining and before the first track to the left. The bird flew up out of the Jacksonia into the lower branches of a tree.
I found more White-streaked Honeyeaters at Shipton's Flat south of the Lion's Den pub.Thanks to Lloyd Neilsen of Mt Molloy for help in fidning this population.
I dipped on Buff-breasted Button-Quail (predictably - I reckon this is the second hardest bird in Australia).  I first tried the Mt Molloy location along Bakers Road listed in Thomas and Thomas on page 96.  I found their map and directions of little use.  There are now only two cattle grids on the road, so giving instructions in terms of the fourth cattle grid is not much use.  As it was I could not find the hills that they mentioned.  I learned that Glenn Holmes had seen a pair in the Mareeba Wetlands in June, so I headed down there.  Though I found Glen's location, I had no luck.
Finally I flew Macair to Mt Isa to look for Kalkadoon Grass-Wren.  I would favour Ballara Grass-Wren as the English Name of this species as its Latin name is Amytornis ballarae.  Ballara is the location where the bird was first found.  As the Kalkadoons were a fierce and warlike tribe, it seems odd to call a little grasswren after them.
Many thanks to Bob Forsyth of Mt Isa for advice on locations, and for going out birding with me.  I found 3 Grass-wrens on the second day.  They were on the higher slope northeast of the big white water tank with a green band around the top above the end of Pamela St.  This seems to be a good location.  I found three birds, 2 male-plumaged and 1 female-plumaged with the rufous flanks.  The birds responded very well to the song on the CD-Rom.
I had some other nice birds: Black-tailed Treecreeper at the Carpentarian Grasswren Spot on McNamara's Road.  No sight of the Carpentarian, which was not a lifer.  I gave up when rain started to fall about 2.30 pm.  Bob was very excited about a Spotless Crake I spotted in the middle of the day at Clear Lake, the body from which Mt Isa draws its water supply.  Also an overwintering Black-tailed Godwit, which according to Bob was a first record for Lake Moondarra.  I enjoyed four stately Australian Bustards near the Lake. 
Off to Bolivia and southeast Brazil on Sept 4. Retirement is wonderful!
John Penhallurick
Home: 86 Bingley Cres,FRASER,A.C.T. 2615,AUSTRALIA
at 35deg.11'40.2"S,149deg.03'26.2"E
Phone: (61 2) 62585428
Mobile: 0408 585 428
Mail:P.O.Box 3469,BMDC,BELCONNEN, A.C.T. 2617
Please visit my website at:
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