Atherton Tablelands & Mossman, Nth Qld

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Atherton Tablelands & Mossman, Nth Qld
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Sun, 11 Feb 2007 14:33:04 +1000
G'day all,

I attended the annual Australia Day Nth Qld branch meeting at Kingfisher Park, 
Lodge Julatten Julatten is located between Mount Molloy and Mossman, 
Nth Qld

In between the regular afternoon & nightly rain we got some good birds.
These included
- Blue-faced Parrot-Finch at the Mount Lewis clearing (2 dozen)
- Grey Goshawk at the Mount Lewis clearing ( some of us missed seeing it)
- Masked Owl
- Pacific Baza
- Noisy Pitta (at least 4)
- Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher
- White-browed Crake (Mount Carbine dams)
- Black Bittern (Mary Farms road)
- Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo ( pix taken by Ian Montgomery  was discussed at 
and lots more !

We were entertained one night by Cliff & Dawn Frith's recent South African 
and the 2nd night by Jack Leighton's new Rainforest Birds' DVD that includes 
their calls

On the following Thursday, I went with Peter Cooper, the Mangrove Man
on his tour up the Mossman River
The number of birds was a little down from my previous several journey's with 
..but it was made up by the  unforgettable experience of >
Close view of a Juvenile Great-billed Heron standing on a sand bar.
it was trying to outstare a 2 metre long Crocodile which was sunning itself at 
the water's edge.
As the tide rose the crocodile kept moving higher onto the sand bank, until it 
invaded the Heron's personal space of 2 metres.
The Heron blinked first, & flew off lazily up the river.

Later we also got excellent views of an adult Great-billed Heron
For many years, and 4 maritime expeditions,  I thought these birds were 
mythical birds until I saw one on the Daintree River
For my 2005 pix see Dan Irby's
Guide then was Ian (Sauce) Worcester

The Daintree area is a great place to visit .. and stay.
Last year Ellen Terryl found for me a Cassowary that fed slowly right around us 
for nearly 10 minutes
Its chicks could be seen occasionally in the nearby bush. They certainly are a 
BIG bird and need to be respected.
For some links to other tour operator's of this area see

On the way home I diverted at Normanton to check out Karumba (SE Gulf of 
The trash birds were Pied Herons and to a lesser extent Little Egrets.
There were plenty of Waders out on the sandbars opposite the airstrip.. but 
generally to far away to ID
The once daily high tide, that would have forced them closer the shore, was 
much later that night.

I decided to travel home to the Isa that afternoon.
Just as well, as rains and storms from Cyclone Nelson subsequently hit the area,
even putting the 5000t vessel Cargo barge MV Wunma out of action

Regards from
Bob Forsyth
Mount Isa, NW Qld.

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