Mt Isa trip

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Subject: Mt Isa trip
From: "Alana Dare" <>
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 20:14:10 +0930
Hi All,

We were in Mt Isa last week mainly in search of Grasswrens and were pleasantly 
surprised by the variety of habitats and many other birds we saw there.

We caught up with the Kalkadoon Grasswren on the slopes by the water tower at 
the end of Pamela Road. We saw two pairs in an hour and they were fairly easy 
to observe, similar to the Dusky. There were also Spinifexbirds .

The Carpentarian Grasswren was far more difficult. We got onto three birds in 
all over two sessions of searching on two different days. All were sighted in 
the older spinifex beside the creekbed which runs off the track by the T and T 
site. We saw one dive into the spinifex then had a brief sighting of its white 
breast while it stood in a clearing under a small tree before it flew low, 
diving into the next clump of spinifex.  One crossed the track in front of us 
and then raced through the spinfex to the creekbed and ran up the creek like 
Roadrunner before doing another disappearing act. So much for quietly following 
along! Spinifexbirds were much easier to see in this location. The famous cairn 
containing the logbook is no longer at the site as it was bulldozed to widen 
the road. Bob Forsyth has it now and the track is now marked by two small 

The Mica Creek site is well worth a visit even if you've seen the Kalkadoon 
Grasswren nearer town. We saw Spinifex Pigeon on the road on the way. As soon 
as we got out of the car we heard Black-chinned Honeyeaters calling and they 
flew in very close and gave us wonderful views as they hung upside down in 
front of us at eye level. This northern Golden-backed form is such a beautiful 
bird. The trees were swarming with other honeyeaters including Grey-fronted, 
Grey-headed and Little Friarbirds. We also saw Black-tailed Treecreeper, 
Spotted Bowerbird, Peaceful Dove, Diamond Dove, Common Bronzewing, Variegated 
FW, Crimson Chat, Zebra and Double-Barred Finches, Mistletoebird, Weebill, Grey 
Shrike-thrush and one Red-chested Button-quail which obliged with a long walk 
past us in the creekbed.

Another good spot near town was the causeway over the river on the way to 
Moondarra dam. There were shallow pools which made good bathing and drinking 
spots. Ringneck Parrots [Cloncurry], Varied Lorikeets, Red-winged Parrots, 
Budgies , Cockatiels and Painted Finches all came in to drink while we watched 
a family of Grey-crowned Babblers busily turning over pebbles. There were many 
White-winged Trillers and honeyeaters also drinking. Along the river were 
Nankeen Night-Herons, Egrets, Wood Sandpiper and one Glossy Ibis. Black and 
Whistling Kites were present everywhere.

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Mt Isa and would recommend spending several 
days there.

Greg and Alana Dare

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