Mission Beach/Townsville Trip Report

To: Birding Aus <>, Greg Oakley <>
Subject: Mission Beach/Townsville Trip Report
From: Greg Oakley <>
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 2010 14:00:21 +1100
Hi all,

Just back from a very pleasant family trip up to Far North Queensland which
included 10 days at Wongaling Beach and a few days at Townsville.

Birding in the rainforest areas was a little slower than I have experienced
up there in recent years, perhaps attributable to the unseasonal higher
rainfall over the past couple of months.
Nonetheless, I managed a pretty good list of the usual suspects in the
rainforest and some really good birds offshore. Also many butterfly spp and
several snakes & reptiles (including a couple of Green Turtles).

1. Rainforest around Mission Beach
As mentioned, the birding was slow. The forest looks really good however
with the extra rain, although the mozzies (thousands), leaches and March
Flies made conditions a tad unpleasant!
I also dipped on Cassowary this year despite lots of walking on the tracks
around Mission Beach. Highlights were Superb, Rose-crowned and Wompoo
Fruit-Dove, Noisy Pitta, Red-necked Crake, Spectacled Monarch, Cicadabird,
Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Pale-yellow Robin and Chowchilla.

2. Frankland Islands Group
Did a day trip out to the Frankland Islands with the family. This is a small
Island group about 30km NE of Babinda, the main destination being Normanby
Apart from a great day snorkelling with the kids, this was an excellent trip
bird-wise with several unexpected sightings. A deep low pressure trough was
stationed right on the coast the day we went out, and although the
conditions were fine out to sea, there had been steady rain falling on the
coast for several days. This weather pattern possibly contributed to higher
numbers of seabird closer to shore than normal. Sea was slight inshore,
rising to around a 2m swell further out. Highlights were a single Masked
Booby (seen diving for fish at Normanby Island), a single Black Noddy (also
at Normanby Island), several Bridled Tern (pelagic), Lesser Frigatebird
(pelagic) and several Brown Booby (pelagic). On the island itself I also
recorded Varied Honeyeater, Beach Stone-curlew, Sooty Oystercatcher,
Grey-tailed Tattler, Whimbrel, Lesser Sand Plover, Buff-banded Rail and
Osprey. I also had a Black-naped Tern on a boat trip out to Dunk Island a
day later.

3. Townsville Common
The Common has some good birding and I spent a few hours checking out all
the usual haunts there. Highlights were Channel-billed Cuckoo, White-gaped,
White-throated and Rufous-throated Honeyeater, Leaden Flycatcher, Brush
Cuckoo, Red-backed Fairy-wren, Double-barred Finch, Eastern Koel and many
others. Also a spectacular (and noisy!) sight of hundreds of honking Magpie

All in all, a fabulous family holiday destination with the usual excellent
birding (especially for a frozen Victorian in desperate need of some
Full Trip List below,


Australian Brush-turkey - Townsville Common
Orange-footed Scrubfowl - Lacey Creek
Magpie Goose -  Hundreds, Townsville Common
Grey Teal     
Pacific Black Duck 
Rock Dove - Townsville
Spotted Dove -  Mission Beach
Brown Cuckoo-Dove - Tam' O Shanter NP
Emerald Dove -  Tam' O Shanter NP
Peaceful Dove     
Bar-shouldered Dove
Wompoo Fruit-Dove -  Lacey Creek
Superb Fruit-Dove - Tam' O Shanter NP
Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove -  Tam' O Shanter NP
Pied Imperial-Pigeon
Topknot Pigeon -  Tam' O Shanter NP
Large-tailed Nightjar -  Near Silkwood
Australian Swiftlet -  Mission Beach
Lesser Frigatebird -  Single, Pelagic - Frankland Islands
Masked Booby -  Single, Frankland Islands
Brown Booby -  Several, Frankland Islands
Little Pied Cormorant
Great Cormorant    
Little Black Cormorant
Pied Cormorant     
Australian Pelican 
Black-necked Stork -  Pair, Wongaling Beach
Eastern Great Egret -  Wongaling Beach
Intermediate Egret -  Townsville Common
Cattle Egret -  Common in pastures
Striated Heron -  Normanby Island
Little Egret -  Wongaling Beach
Eastern Reef Egret -  Normanby Island
Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis  
Royal Spoonbill -  Townsville Common
Eastern Osprey -  Normanby Island
Black-shouldered Kite
White-bellied Sea-Eagle -  Wongaling Beach
Whistling Kite     
Brahminy Kite     
Black Kite     
Nankeen Kestrel    
Brown Falcon     
Brolga -  Townsville Common
Red-necked Crake -  Mission Beach
Buff-banded Rail -  Normanby Island
Bush Stone-curlew -  Common around Mission Beach
Beach Stone-curlew -  Normanby Island, Wongaling Beach
Sooty Oystercatcher -  Normanby Island
Lesser Sand Plover -  Normanby Island
Masked Lapwing     
Whimbrel -  Normanby Island
Grey-tailed Tattler -  Normanby Island
Black Noddy -  Single bird, Normanby Island
Bridled Tern -  Several, pelagic - Normanby Island area
Gull-billed Tern -  Townsville Common
Black-naped Tern -  Single bird, pelagic out from Dunk Is
Lesser Crested Tern -  Normanby Island
Crested Tern -  Common
Silver Gull     
Galah -  Townsville
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Rainbow Lorikeet   
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet -  Townsville
Double-eyed Fig-Parrot  -  Small flock, Wongaling Beach
Pheasant Coucal -  Townsville Common
Eastern Koel -  Townsville
Channel-billed Cuckoo -  Townsville Common
Little Bronze-Cuckoo
Brush Cuckoo -  Common, rainforest around Mission Beach
Azure Kingfisher   
Laughing Kookaburra
Blue-winged Kookaburra -  Townsville Common
Forest Kingfisher  
Sacred Kingfisher  
Rainbow Bee-eater  
Noisy Pitta -  Lacey Creek
Spotted Catbird -  Rainforest around Mission Beach
Great Bowerbird -  Townsville
Red-backed Fairy-wren -  Townsville Common
Yellow-throated Scrubwren -  Tam' O Shanter NP
Large-billed Gerygone - Babinda
Fairy Gerygone - Wongaling Beach
Yellow-spotted Honeyeater
Graceful Honeyeater
Varied Honeyeater - Normanby Island
White-gaped Honeyeater - Townsville Common
Yellow Honeyeater - Townsville Common
Brown-backed Honeyeater - Common
Rufous-throated Honeyeater - Townsville Common
Dusky Honeyeater - Common
Brown Honeyeater   
White-throated Honeyeater - Townsville Common
Blue-faced Honeyeater - Townsville
Helmeted Friarbird - Wongaling Beach
Noisy Friarbird - Townsville Common
Little Friarbird - Townsville Common
Macleay's Honeyeater - Common, Rainforest Mission Beach
Chowchilla - Tam 'O Shanter NP
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike - Townsville Common
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike - Townsville Common
Cicadabird - Wongaling Beach area
Varied Triller     
Grey Whistler - Rainforest, Tam O'Shanter NP
Little Shrike-thrush - Rainforest, Tam O'Shanter NP
Australasian Figbird
Yellow Oriole     
White-breasted Woodswallow
Black Butcherbird  
Australian Magpie  
Spangled Drongo    
Rufous Fantail     
Willie Wagtail     
Torresian Crow    
Leaden Flycatcher - Townsville Common
Spectacled Monarch - Tam 'O Shanter NP
Yellow-breasted Boatbill - Tam 'O Shanter NP
Pale-yellow Robin - Tam 'O Shanter NP
Horsfield's Bushlark - Townsville Common
Golden-headed Cisticola - Townsville Common
Welcome Swallow    
Fairy Martin - Townsville Common
Metallic Starling  
Common Myna - I    
Olive-backed Sunbird
Double-barred Finch - Townsville Common
Nutmeg Mannikin - Townsville Common, Babinda, Mission Beach
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin -  Babinda
House Sparrow -  Townsville Common
Australasian Pipit

134 spp    

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