Birdline North Queensland Weekly Update

Subject: Birdline North Queensland Weekly Update
Date: 30 Jan 2012 01:30:40 +1000

Birdline North Queensland

Published sightings for the week ending 29 Jan 2012.

Sun 29 Jan Red-backed Fairy-wren Construction Camp, Gununa, Mornington Island
For the past four days a family of Red-backed Fairy-wren have been feeding a begging, fully fledged Brush Cuckoo. Only females have been observed feeding but a male was observed passing on to a female a grub for the female to feed. When being feed the cuckoo "shields" the female Wren with one open wing.
Phil Venables

Fri 27 Jan Black Bittern, Rufous Owl Palmetum Botanical Garden, Townsville
Black Bittern (1) possibly 2, bird seen well was juv/imm. In dense vegatation at lagoon outlet. Rufous Owl (2) Black Hawk Memorial roost
Ed Pierce

Thu 26 Jan Swinhoe's Snipe or Pin-taled Snipe Gununa, Mornington Island
One bird appeared beside my stationary vehicle providing a clear close view and noting its rufous tail protruding slightly beyond its primaries. It flew uncharastically some 20 metres landing between the road and a lagoon. It did this four times. Each time I followed it in the vehicle before it flew again, Clear views of its feet protruding beyond its tail were obtained on all four occasions. It then flew off in characteristic zig-zag flight. I thought the protruding feet was sufficient to rule out Latham's but the sighting remains an ambiguous one. Snipe appear the island just prior to the wet season but not regularly seen for the duration of the wet.
Phil Venables

Bush-hen Townsville Town Common Conservation Park
Bush-hen on the road at Barramundi waterhole, where seen on on previouse occasions.
Niel Bruce

Fork-tailed Swift, White-throated Needletail Bruce Highway - Cape Cleveland Road to Cromarty Road
10:35am Travelling south along the Bruce Highway beside the eastern foothills of Mount Elliot, we witnessed an amazing avian phenomenon. For at least 8 kilometres along the Bruce Highway, from about the Cape Cleveland Road intersection past Cromarty Road to about the Emmet Creek bridge many thousands of Fork-tailled Swifts swarmed the skies around us as far as we could see. At times, there was also a small percentage of White-throated Needletails amongst them. We stopped at Cromarty Road for amazing views through binoculars. 1:30pm on our return journey there was still quite a mass of these birds that continued their aerial shows as we traversed Cape Cleveland Road, Carty Road and Goodsell Road and some were still present at Cungulla. The airspace/block that these birds covered would have been at lease 45km².
Len & Chris Ezzy and Janet Robino (et al)

Cotton Pygmy-goose, Green Pygmy-goose, White-browed Crake Townsville Town Common Conservation Park
Cotton Pygmy-goose (2) elevated hide early am Green Pygmy-goose (8) elevated hide, on lagoon and perching in surrounding trees White-browed Crake (8) 2 adult and 6 tiny black fluff balls, elevated hide, moved across open water into grassy island.
Ed Pierce

Wed 25 Jan Australian Hobby Queens Gardens: Townsville
Australian Hobby (1) Adult bird. Irregular visitor to gardens; landed in large tree in centre of the garden. Excellent views through binoculars.
Alexandra Canton

Tue 24 Jan Radjah Shelduck Yorkey's Knob Road
2 Radjah Shelduck which seem to be around a lot more regularly over the last year or two. Also, Grey Teal (12), many Wandering Whistling-Ducks, Sharp-tailed, Common & Marsh Sandpipers, Red-necked Stints, Common Greenshanks and Black-winged Stilts.
Adam Arnold

Squatter Pigeon Granitevale 10' Cell
Squatter Pigeon (10) Tight group loafing on the mown lawn of a horse stud on Granitevale Road.
Ivor Preston

Mon 23 Jan Red-rumped Swallow (possible only) Tyto Wetlands
One bird among 5-6 Welcome Swallows at far end of main lagoon. Strikingly chestnut underparts compared to the white of the others. Didn't notice any appreciable size difference. No pictures and no sign of the bird among 4 Welcomes flying from and resting on pink lotus flower heads when I got closer. Moderators note: This requires verification by other observers or photograph.
Tony Ashton

Sun 22 Jan Red-necked Crake Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge, Julatten, QLD
2 adults with 3 recently fledged chicks seen bathing in a pool beside the orchard in Lodge grounds.
John Weigel via Keith Fisher

Birdline North Queensland is sponsored by Birds Australia North Queensland and Townsville Region Bird Observers Club and co-ordinated and hosted by Eremaea Birds.



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