A good day out on the Daintree River yesterday Nov 14, with Chris
Dahlberg's early morning boat trip, highlights:
Two obliging Great-billed Herons, an amethystine python being
battered by 3 Black Butcherbirds, probably after being run over on the
nearby road and crawling up into the bushes to die. Two nests of
Papuan Frogmouth had single juveniles. Hundreds of Torresian Imperial-
Pigeons were flying over, and the most unexpected record of the day, a
female King Quail that flew above the boat, landed in some lush grass
in a cow paddock, and was flushed again by Chris who nobly volunteered
to go wade after it. It gave a great flight view as it came back and
across the river. The tiny size, dark brown colouration, lack of pale
wing coverts and blackish feathering on the rump made identification
straightforward, I picked it on the diminutive size right away. A new
bird for the Daintree i imagine, just sheer dumb luck we were there as
it flew over!
A Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher was calling well along Stewart
Creek Road, they are amazingly late back this season as we have none
as yet along Black Mountain Road at Kuranda, and there are apparently
none at Kingfisher Park,yet, though we did see one nearby, as well as
a gorgeous Noisy Pitta.
There was a Black-necked Stork and a Rajah Shelduck at the barra ponds
near the Daintree ferry turn-off, also a Pacific Golden Plover and 2
White-winged Black Terns.
Nov 13 we had 10 White-throated Needeltails over a cane field just
north of Mareeba, my first of the return season. About 50 Sarus Crane
and a similar number of Brolga were along Henry Hannam Drive near
Mareeba, quite a late date for so many Sarus to be still here. 4
Squatter Pigeons along Tinaroo Creek Road were also nice to see.
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