Slaty-backed Gull gone

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Slaty-backed Gull gone
From: "Moorhead Family" <>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 06:50:55 +1000
Had a good look for any interesting gulls in the Cooktown
area with Jack over the WE.
Speaking with locals, it appears a large fuel ship was close
to the area about the end of March and one of them thought
it disappeared at about the same time. The fella that does the
crocodile tour (who seems to know his birds a bit) backs up
another suggestion that he'd seen it flying higher as though
getting ready to leave?

On Sunday, the whole town was expecting 1900 people from
a crusie ship....apparently too windy on the actual morning, it
was there were huge preparations for the people
....everything from buses, to an aboriginal dance group, to masses
of food etc.....sad for the the local econonmy but good for us I suppose
.....wasn't keen on sharing that wonderful area with those masses.
The script would have been better had the gull stayed until then
and followed the ship into the sunset!....Not to be.

Hopevale can be a bit tricky too. It is aboriginal land and as such
you can't just go where you rather than jump through all
the bureaucractic hoops on talk from weeks ago about the
'the other albatross gull', we went to the tablelands in the spare day
available. We did, however , check other beaches, boatramps etc
around Cooktown. Hopevale is also 20 something km's from the
coast, so any vagrant gull would be at the end of one of the goat-tracks
to the east of the township.

Anyway, as usual, if you want to see these vagrants, best go
as soon as possible.........just impractical for us most of the

Called into Kingfisher Park on the way back to Cairns.
Just the best spot. As usual, Lindsay and Keith were charming
hosts.We were rewarded with sensational views of Chowcillas, Pied
Monarchs, Double-eyed Fig-Parrots etc at Julatten. Ran into Peter Fuller
at Mt Lewis where we couldn't find the Blue-faced Parrot-Finch but saw
easily and photographed the Mountain Thornbill, Fernwren, Atherton
Scrubwren, Tooth-billed Bowerbirds etc.

Jack saw 11 new birds (now 591)
Butterflies were brilliant the whole trip....50 species I that
Orange Plane!....Dragonflies also Tropical Rockmaster.

Great excuse to visit FNQ again regardless.


Bill Moorhead


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