FNQ ? as usual, birds galore

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: FNQ ? as usual, birds galore
From: Charles Hunter <>
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 09:05:07 +1100 (EST)

Dates: 31/10 ? 6/7


Had a great trip up to FNQ with some highlights being:


Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher (Mossman section of the Daintree).

Victoria?s Riflebird (Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree)

Hundreds of Brolgas (and a few Sarus Cranes)

Double-eyed Fig Parrot (Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree)


(Also, stay tuned for info on a unique and easily accessible birding location below)


A successful trip with around 13 new species seen. Being relatively new to this sport means a couple of things, joy of regularly seeing new birds (I saw 60+ new species in FNQ in April 2005) and at the same time frustration of not being able to identify certain birds such as some honeyeaters and some other strange looking rainforest birds whose pictures don?t seem to appear in any field guides!


The 13 new species seen included:


  • Great-billed Heron (Oak beach, 15 mins from Port Douglas)
  • Brogla (literally hundreds seen on a wet paddock on the Burke Development Road, about 10 kms from Dimbulah, west of Mareeba)
  • Sarus Crane (seen amongst the Brogla?s)
  • Pied Imperial-Pigeon (several seen on a service road at the back of Port Douglas ? more on the service road later)
  • Pheasant Coucal (Mareeba Wetlands)
  • Blue-winged Kookarburra (Captain Cook Highway)
  • Lovely Fairy-wren
  • Brown-backed Honeyeater (Behind Oak Beach)
  • Grey-crowned Babbler (Mareeba Wetlands)
  • Leaden Flycatcher (Abattoir Swamp)
  • Restless Flycatcher (Mareeba Wetlands)
  • Pale-headed Rosella (Mareeba Wetlands)
  • Metallic Starling (Adult and immature, 50+ seen in a fig tree behind Oak Beach)
  • Bar-tailed Godwit (Mudflats and Cairns) 

I also saw some Helmeted Guinea Fowl when I was leaving Mareeba wetlands. I assume these were domestic?


I saw a Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher again in the Mossman section of the Daintree. I had previously seen an adult feeding a juvenile in a tree by the side of the road leading into the Park, in April 2005. We arrived at 7.15am on a Sunday. There was no one around. It was great being the only people swimming in the Gorge. A lone juvenile Great Cormorant looked over us as we swam. Several Emerald Doves and a nesting Wompoo Fruit-Dove were also seen.


Victoria?s Riflebird (Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree), previously seen in Kuranda S.F. I walked up a dry flood river (looking for Cassowary) for about 1km and first heard that unique sound their feathers make when they fly. I observed bird for several minutes feeding in the mid-canopy. Its behaviour reminded me a little of a tree creeper.


We saw hundreds of Brolga?s on a wet paddock on the Burke Development Road, about 10 kms from Dimbulah, west of Mareeba, v. near Lotus Glen Correctional centre). 20 or so Sarus Cranes were also seen at this spot amongst the Brolgas as where 2 Jabiru and a Great Egret.


Double-eyed Fig Parrots (Cape Tribulation section of the Daintree), previously seen on the service road behind Port Douglas.


The service road behind Port Douglas has to be one of the most diverse birding spots I have seen given its size (please email me privately for exact location). It is a 2 kilometre by 70 metre area that contains mangroves on one side, and sections of ?rainforest like? and ?swamp like? areas on the other side.


It was strange seeing the relatively common Orange-footed scrub fowl one day deep in the Daintree and the next see it walk around the mangroves next to this service road.


Other species seen (during April and November 2005) at the service road are:


Double-eyed Fig Parrots, Mangrove Heron, Eastern Curlew, Grey-tailed Tattler, Masked Lapwing, Double-banded Plover, Black-fronted Dotterel, Pied Imperial-Pigeon, Peaceful Dove, Rainbow Lorikeet, Gould?s Bronze-Cuckoo, Lovely Fairy-wren, Helmeted Friarbird, Yellow Honeyeater, Yellow Oriole, Fig Bird, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Varied Triller, Black Butcherbird, Mistletoebird, Yellow-bellied Sunbird, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin



Charles Hunter

Kings Cross, Sydney






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