McIvor River, Cooktown

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: McIvor River, Cooktown
From: "Phil & Sue Gregory" <>
Date: Sun, 28 Sep 2014 17:50:47 +1000
I had my first visit to the McIvor River off Battle Camp Road north of Cooktown 
on Sept 27 following our rock art tour that morning with Willie Gordon from 
what was Guurrbi Tours (but is now Adventure North Australia), an interesting 
cultural perspective with some unique insights into the history of some of the 
paintings, well worth doing if you are around Cooktown. 
Anyway, McIvor River was well worth a look even in the heat of the early 
afternoon, with the 24km gravel road section in good condition. White-browed 
Robin was vocal and easy to see, they seem to have either gone or become very 
hard at the former classic site at Big Mitchell Creek no doubt due to the 
ridiculous amount of burning there that is turning the country into a desert. I 
had brief views of Spectacled Monarch and suspect they may be the white-bellied 
taxon albiventris, but the best sighting for me was Tropical Scrubwren of that 
odd race dubius that is very like Large-billed Scrubwren but has narrow white 
wingbars. Sadly I did not hear them call, I know the northern birds sound 
nothing like Large-billed and would have liked to have heard these southern 
ones. Fairy Gerygone was common here, as was Graceful Honeyeater.
No sign yet of those odd monarchs that the guide books all call Black-winged 
Monarch- all I can say is why do they sound like Black-faced, and how come New 
Guinea Black-winged are hill forest birds and sound nothing like these? Sure a 
lot to be learned about them, and I'd love to know if anyone has actually seen 
this Australian taxon in New Guinea. I am unable to trace any 
records......Martin Cachard is the guru here with the McIvor River birds of 
Good birding
Phil Gregory

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