FW: Mission Beach/Townsville Trip Report

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Subject: FW: Mission Beach/Townsville Trip Report
From: Greg Oakley <>
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2010 08:06:35 +1000

Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 14:00:21 +1100
Subject: Mission Beach/Townsville Trip Report
To: ; 

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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 Geese.

All in all, a fabulous family holiday destination with the usual excellent 
birding (especially for a frozen Victorian in desperate need of some warmth)...

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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