Cairns 28/8 - 30/8

To: "Simon Blanchflower" <>
Subject: Cairns 28/8 - 30/8
From: Sue & Phil Gregory <>
Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2006 09:01:36 +1000
Hi Simon,
Sounds like a good trip. One query- I have no records of Broad-billed Flycatcher from Cairns, can you be sure it was not a Leaden, which often gets into mangroves? Satin Fly is also a good local record, this is about the time they start to pass some years.
Phil Gregory
On 02/09/2006, at 8:40 AM, Simon Blanchflower wrote:

Hello all, I had the good fortune to be at a conference in Cairns during the week and managed to get some birding in. Saw some terrific species in only a relatively short time frame (only had Sunday afternoon and early mornings).

On Sunday afternoon decided to go up to the tablelands. I visited Lake Eacham, Mt Hypipimee NP, and Hasties Swamp.

-Lake Eacham-
It was indeed very saddening to see Lake Eacham after the cyclone. Although I knew it had been damaged its not until you go there that you see how heart breaking these events area. There were many patches of rainforest that had thinned out, and only a few left in tact. I did see some interesting birds though including Grey Headed Robin, which was common along the Lake Circuit, Pale-Yellow Robin, Yellow-Breasted Boatbill, and Victoria's Riflebird, heard a number of times whilst walking around the lake and saw a beautiful male close to the track. Also some interesting honeyeaters including Bridled, MacLeay's, and Dusky.

-Bromfield Swamp-
Stopped at Bromfield swamp and there was about 60 Sarus Cranes there, as well as a single White-Necked Heron.

-Mt Hypipamee NP-
Highlights here were Mountain Thornbill (trees bordering car park), Fernwren (just after second bridge, foraging next to the track!) and Golden Bowerbird (female - on access road to car park)

-Hasties Swamp-
It was great to see the bird hide there - a excellent viewing facility on two levels. The highlight here was the huge number of Plumbed Whistling-Ducks and there was also a large numbers of Magpie Geese.

Over the next couple of days I visited the Botanical Gardens, Mangrove Boardwalk, and of course the Esplanade in Cairns and here are the highlights:

-Botanical Gardens-
The highlight was by far seeing the gorgeous Little Kingfisher. This bird is one of my favourites and it was great just to sit there and watch this little gem at close range. A close second was a single female Broad-Billed Flycatcher seen in small trees adjacent to the mangrove fringed creek. Other birds of interest included Torresian Imperial Pigeon, Double-eyed Figparrot (very common overheard - particularly in trees bordering Collins Ave), Black Butcherbird, Yellow Oriole, (common in trees bordering Collins Ave), Forest Kingfisher, Large-Billed and Mangrove Gerygones, Brown-Backed, White-Throated, and Varied Honeyeaters, Little and Helmeted Friarbirds, Metallic Starlings (often flying in closely packed groups low overheard), Varied Triller (male), Leaden Flycatcher, and a Common Sandpiper on the saltwater lake.

-Mangrove Boardwalk (nr Airport)-
Highlights here were Lovely Fairy-Wren, Satin and Shining Flycatcher as well as White-Rumped Swiftlets overhead at the car park.

Saw some really good birds in the mangrove edges to the north including White-Bellied Cuckoo-Shrike and Mangrove Robin, and on the mud saw Eastern Curlew, Whimbrel, Greater and Lesser Sandplovers, Red-Necked Stint, Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper, Grey-Tailed Tattler, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Great and Red Knots, and Curlew Sandpiper. Also were a good number of Gull-Billed Terns. The stars however were a pair of Beach Stone-Curlews which flew past the boardwalk there at close range. It was also nice to catch up with Alan Gillanders who also saw a single Grey Plover.

After a number of quick visits clocked up about 120 species.


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