RFI Cape York

To: "'Tim Jones'" <>
Subject: RFI Cape York
From: "Bob Cook" <>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 21:58:51 +1100

Although I responded earlier, I just want to agree with several of the
comments about highly variable seasons and "don't try on your own at that
time of year".

Our trip with Klaus (Kirrama Tours) was scheduled as a fly in from Cairns
and drive out, but with the strong proviso that, if the wet had really hit
by the time we got there, we would have to fly back out.  We were at Iron
Range and then driving back to Cairns between Dec 13th and Dec 20th 2006.
We were lucky and the weather was just fine and the roads no problem.  Of
your asterisked birds, every one of the endemics that are only found north
of Laura was found on our trip with Klaus (plus Spotted Whistling Duck,
White-faced Robin and Lovely Fairy-wren).  Pale White-eye is only found on
offshore islands as far as I know, so we did not see that. In your position,
I would consult Klaus and I also would commit to a trip with him at that
time, but with the same proviso as we had.  You would have to check with him
whether he is willing to run a trip on that basis again.  Note that we only
went to Iron Range, not to the tip of the Cape - unnecessary!

A fly/fly trip to Iron Range, quite possible even when it is very wet, will
still get you all the endemics at Iron Range but you would miss out on
Golden-shouldered Parrot and Black-backed Butcherbird, which are found
further down the Cape, while you could get all the others on your list at
several other easily accessible places around and North of Cairns and on the
Atherton Tableland.

"Go for it".  My best friend and I both got our 600th Australian bird on
this trip.

Bob Cook

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Tim Jones
Sent: Monday, 19 March 2007 10:17 PM
Subject: RFI Cape York

Dear All,

So far I have had 20 replies re Cape York birding in December. That's a 
wonderful response - and one which at the moment will prevent me thanking 
everyone individually, so I am sending another general email out. On 
balance, though, the general opinion seems to be 'don't risk it' although 
others say do go, but with a guide (and some guides have responded). Some 
emails suggest that even guides wouldn't go at the time I suggest (the 2 
weeks immediately preceding Christmas). Others have asked exactly where I 
want to go on CY - which is a bit of a 'chicken and egg' question - of 
course I want to go where my target birds are, and part of my original 
question was where I should go to see them. Anyway, to help clarify that, 
these are my target birds and the ones marked with a * are the ones which I 
think really depend on a visit to CY or which I particularly aim to get on 
the trip (I realise I would have to spend a little time in the Cairns area 
as well).

Great-billed Heron*
Chestnut-backed Button-quail
Red-backed Button-quail
Palm Cockatoo*
Red-cheeked Parrot*
Eclectus Parrot*
Golden-shouldered Parrot*
Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo*
Oriental Cuckoo
Yellow-billed Kingfisher*
Buff-breasted Paradise-kingfisher*
Grass Owl
Red-bellied Pitta*
Yellow-legged Flycatcher*
Northern Scrub-robin*
Black-winged Monarch*
Frilled Monarch*
White-eared Monarch
Tropical Scrubwren*
Fairy Warbler
White-throated Honeyeater*
Bar-breasted Honeyeater
Tawny-breasted Honeyeater*
White-streaked Honeyeater*
Pale White-eye(*)
Star Finch
Blue-faced Finch*
Black-throated Finch*
Black-backed Butcherbird*
Fawn-breasted Bowerbird*
Magnificent Riflebird*
Trumpet Manucode*

Some of these (particularly Rainbow Pitta) I think you could never see in 
Aus unless you did CY from December onwards, so some people must do it (in 
other words 'don't go' cannot possibly be the answer, you would need to make

at least one trip in a lifetime in December - or later). At the same time, 
my marriage (not to mention my job) might come to an abrupt end if for some 
reason I didn't make it back for Christmas!!

Maybe I should 'break it up' and do one 'winter' trip, picking up some 
birds, then one in summer for the real migrants.

Anyway, if anyone wants to add to their comments in the light of the above, 
I would be most obliged to hear from you again. Similarly if anyone has any 
advice not already given.

Many thanks again to everyone who answered.



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