Just back from a trip to Cape York, Atherton
Tablelands and Mt. Isa
I was looking for 5 life birds, and scored four out
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
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
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
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!
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