Atherton Tablelands sightings

To: <>, "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Atherton Tablelands sightings
From: "Alan Gillanders" <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2007 09:59:53 +1000
Yesterday ,11/07/07, on the Atherton Tablelands it was very cold with heavy frosts in the gullies and widespread lighter ones. Milder today but with cloud and wind.

There are huge flocks of Sarus Cranes and Brolgas camped at Bromfield Swamp and many smaller camps of Sarus Cranes on little wetlands and the edge of Lake Tinaroo. A pair camped on the corner of the road from the Curtain Fig where it meets the Atherton - Malanda Road. There were 38 at my neighbours' wetland and some walked up almost to our house fence!

Topknot Pigeons, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Pied and Spectacled Monarchs at the Curtain Fig.

A yellow-billed Spoonbill flying low across the road at Upper Barron was an unusual sighting.

No sign of Golden Bowerbird activity at the famous Longlands Gap site, nor on the ridges nearby. Last year was the first in 28 when there was not an adult male in residence there. But while there I had an Atherton Scrubwren doing what the books describe, staying close to the ground. In fact in barely left the ground to hop around and came within a metre of my feet. this contrasted with two at Mt Hypipamee where they were feeding higher than one of the Large-billed S'w. in a mixed flock. This flock loosely included a Grey-headed Robin, a White-throated Treecreeper, a Grey fantail, two Pale Yellow Robins, some Brown Gerrygones and Mountain Thornbills. One of the thornbills and the treecreeper came to the ground after disturbed prey. The thornbill then stayed lower than a metre for about a minute and a half gleaning in the understorey. Not their usual behaviour.

Must be over a thousand Plumed Whistling duck at Hasties Swamp. Magpie Geese are there in good numbers as well. A red-backed Kingfisher is still using the power lines and trees on Hasties Road east of the swamp. A pair of Blue-winged Kookaburra is there too.

The previously reported pair of Red-backed Kingfishers at Lake Eacham were not seen yesterday despite three passes.
Alan Gillanders

Alan's Wildlife Tours
2 Mather Road
Yungaburra 4884
Phone 07 4095 3784
Int. + 61 7 4095 3784

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