From: Patrick Scully <>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 10:23:47 +1100
Hello All,
On Sunday my self and others were at Point Cook hoping to see the American
Golden Plover.  We had no luck but I had a lovely conversation with Jacky
and Dave about Iron Range.  Afterwards on returning home I looked up my
notes about seeing a Red-Bellied Pitta and thought you might be interested.
 Some of the details I had completely forgotten hence the importance of
writing things down while they are fresh in one's mind.  Here  is our

" As for the Red-bellied Pitta, it was an interesting story.  Being so dry
(Early December 2012) no-one had heard anything of the Red-bellied Pitta
and so most of us thought we had no chance of seeing one.  We were walking
along the road near the T-junction, where the Lockhart River road turns off
with no luck finding any birds when a bloke in a gas company ute stopped
his vehicle  and told us he'd seen and photographed a RBP the previous
afternoon at Gordon Creek.  He hopped out of his vehicle and introduced
himself as being called "Lumpy." He told us that before coming into the
park the day before he had learnt the call of the RBP and then he heard one
calling constantly  at Gordon Creek but couldn't get onto it.  As he was
about to give up and was going back to his ute, he noticed the Pitta midway
up a tree and was then able to get a photo. He told us he had heard all
about Klaus and that he was on his way back to Gordon Creek hoping to see
the Pitta again. He also mentioned that he'd love to see a Northern Scrub
Robin sometime.

The next morning, or 4th day at Iron Range,  Klaus took us straight to
Gordon Creek and he heard what seemed like a distant RBP. He played his
tape and I think got a responding call and headed off onto the bush to suss
it out.  We then all headed into the bush together but Klaus decided to go
back out and try a different but close by, entry into the bush.  We could
all hear the RBP calling and it seemed to me to be on the other side of the
river.  Klaus headed off to the right with his scope in hand, set it up and
beckoned us over. To my amazement there was the Pitta in the scope.  It is
a moment of unreality to be a seeing a bird I'd long given up on ever
seeing.  Some of the others got their bins onto it and lucky for me I
managed to be having another turn at the scope and this time the RBP had
turned from side on to front on and I could see the white on the throat
when it called.  Then it was all over. All of us were hoping we might get a
chance for a photo like Lumpy had but it was not to be.

As for whether the bird had stayed over, Klaus was not sure. On our second
day  we had been getting onto the Northern Scrub-robin at the Rainforest
camping spot and we'd had quite a big downpour of rain for about 15 minutes
and it was that afternoon that Lumpy had seen his RBP. So Klaus wondered if
that might have been the trigger for the RBP to start calling.  He said
that early on they are always up trees and not found on the ground. But
Klaus sure showed his birding skill in finding us the RBP."

Best wishes,
Patrick Scully
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