Amazing Eclipse and Helmeted Guineafowl

Subject: Amazing Eclipse and Helmeted Guineafowl
From: John Weigel <>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 13:08:49 +1100
Jenny and all, 

When you said 'John at Mareeba', I thought at first you meant me (a different 
John!), as I was at Mareeba at a friends house to watch the eclipse spectacle 
between birding. I didn't notice any unusual bird response, in fact the 
overhead flock of magpie geese continued as business as usual, and perhaps the 
backyard honeyeaters and lorikeets quietened down a bit.  This contrasted with 
a noticeable behavioural response from the humans in the vicinity, with plenty 
of justifiable hoots n hollers. It was an amazing few minutes - more dramatic 
than I'd expected. I did shake off the effects of the Champaign to get to last 
year's Mt Molloy Buff-breasted BQ site by 7AM, not long after the eclipse, and 
have just now given up, five hours or so later.  There doesn't appear to be the 
same grain-bearing state of the grasses as I noticed in January, at which time 
I failed. Main reason I came back to Cairns was to pursue that bad-boy, not the 
eclipse, but with or without the BQ, I'm very than
 kful I had the chance to see the eclipse. AND I managed to snag one of the 
last of the common bird species I need to see on the mainland, just a few 
minutes ago - Eastern (Pacific) Koel, which I think makes my year total 728.  
But cannot find proper feral population of Guineafowl.  Please, if anyone has 
recent info, would really appreciate the help. Will invest tomorrow on the job 
if given good clues; please contact me off-line  
Going to do the obligatory night (two nights) at Kingfisher Park from tonight, 
so will ask there as well.

No super rarities on Boigu, Dauan or Saibai last week, but did get chance to 
photo all three of the regular specialties - Red-capped FP (saw 6 on Boigu, 
none on Saibai); Collared Imps, a few single flyovers on Boigu and Saibai, and 
a nice perched bird in the mangroves of Saibai; and lots of Singing Starlings 
in bush, and at the Church fig tree on Boigu only.  Off to Christmas and Cocos 
at end of week - will advise listserve if the Fairy Pitta and or Asian Brown 
Flycatcher grace me with a view. Then the Albany to Hobart and Hobart to Macca 

Best wishes all,
John Weigel

Message: 2
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2012 10:54:30 +1100
From: "Jenny Stiles" <>
To: "'John Leonard'" <>,
        <>,    <>
Subject: Birds at the eclipse
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="us-ascii"

We were watching the eclipse from Coconut resort at Cairns and to our relief
had pretty good views! Totality did look like it was going to be hidden but
just after it started appeared from behind the clouds, ging us an amazing
view of the void like sun and surrounding corona followed by the diamond
ring. I was too distracted by the eclipse to think about birds at totality,
but did see several Torresian Imperial pigeons flying overhead [coming from
the coast] shortly after.
John; how early did you leave for Mareeba and what was the traffic like? We
considered driving there too.

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