Iron Ranges Trip Report

To: "" <>
Subject: Iron Ranges Trip Report
From: Roger McNeill via Birding-Aus <>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 02:52:02 +0000
Hello BirdingAussers, Myself,Megan McNeill and Richard Carden are just back 
from a 4 day trip up to LockhartRiver and Iron Ranges NP (three full days and 
PM and AM on either end).  Much of the sites are well known but Ithought I 
would share a bit of recent Gen.  We focused primarily on birds not seen south 
or on a previous trip toPNG.  We spentalmost all our time in the Rainforest as 
I was attempting to do soundrecordings and most of our targets were there.   
Specifically, where didwe spend our time? Ourfavourite was the Coen Track.  A 
wonderfulwalk after a brief creek crossing. We also spenttime at Cook’s Hut, 
the Rainforest Campground and ‘between the bridges’ at theend of Portland Road 
Rainforest area.   Sortieswere required to the heath for White-streaked HE and 
the Portland Road VillageMangroves for Varied HE and some shorebirds.  We 
visited the Poo Ponds twiceand saw bugger all.  The Mango Farm Damwas good, but 
not as productive as it must be in the Dry. We stayedat the Green Hoose and 
walked the track behind the lodge multiple times.   Everytime we visited one of 
these areas we picked up different birds, so there was alot of recycling and 
movement of individuals at this time of the year. Key targets for me were:  
Northern Scrub-Robin, Yellow-legged Fly-Robin, Tropical Scrubwren,Frill-necked 
Monarch, White-streaked Honey-eater and Green-backed Honeyeater. All wereseen 
well, the Scrub-Robin was only seen one and took a bit of doing.  At the 
Rainforest Campground a pair wasfound. The Fly-Robinwas probably not-uncommon 
but we only saw two. They were both in the sub-canopy and their call blended 
with thebackground.  It was only when I caught abit of song did we stop and 
look.  I amsure if we tried and played tapes at various spots we could have 
found plentymore.  Seen at the Cook’s Hut toilets andRainforest Campground. All 
theother targets were encountered multiple times through general birding. THEN 
NEXTtarget list were all the regional specialities shared between Cape York 
andPNG.   Westruggled with Black-winged Monarch,perhaps many have started 
leaving?  Wesaw one on the grounds of the Green Hoose and along the Coen Track. 
 I expected them to be much more common. The Manucodes were not calling, I 
fuked one feeding by the Coen Creek Crossing, but it wasnot until the last 
morning that we found a small group…between the bridgesalong the Portland Road. 
 Thankfully onewas trumpeting between the bridges. We dippedbadly on the 
Red-cheeked Parrot.  Probably because we spent most of our timeunder the 
rainforest. Spotted Whistling-Ducks were around but with all thewater were not 
coming into Mango Farm.   Stu,owner of the Hoose saw Cassowary, but we did not. 
Note toself, Lovey Fairywren do not respondto pishing.  We saw a few, but they 
werequite cryptic for Fairywrens.  Heard andthen bush bashed off Cook’s 
Campground for one group and then a couple of K’sdown the Coen Track   The 
Fawn-breasted Bowerbirds were notbehind the Poo Ponds where the traditional 
bower was, but seen in the forestbetween the Mango Farm and Mango Farm Dam. 
Yellow-billed KF and BBParadise KF were common, love them.
 Papuan Froggies were common while spotlighting in the open fieldsand at one 
point we had a Marbled sitting up along the road in the rainforestjust 100 
meters from a Papuan. The size difference is amazing... Red-bellied Pitta were 
still calling in the mornings and we saw two; didnot try for any others. At 
MangoFarm we flushed a Common Sand fromthe shore and it attracted the attention 
of a Saprrow-hawk.  The sparrowhawk dove on the bird and forced the sand into 
the pond and under water for afew seconds until the hawk flew off.  Then, it 
popped to the surface andflew off.  Never seen that before!   The 
mostinteresting bird was a Mangrove Gerygonein the Mangroves at the beach in 
Town.  I heard Fairywren and pisshed...uppopped this bird and it gave a bit of 
a song.  They are not supposed to bethere? All theother regional specialities 
were seen well. THEN NEXT,as a bit of fun, targeted all the ‘Cape York named’ 
ssp from BirdLife’s AussieList, some of which are targets for future splits: 
YES, CapeYork Australasian Figbird, Sphecotheres vieilloti flaviventrisYES, 
CapeYork Australian Brush-turkey, Alectura lathami purpureicollisYES, CapeYork 
Black Butcherbird, Cracticus quoyi jardiniDip, CapeYork Black-backed 
Butcherbird, Cracticus mentalis kempiDip, CapeYork Black-faced Woodswallow, 
Artamus cinereus normaniDip, CapeYork Blue-faced Honeyeater, Entomyzon cyanotis 
griseigularisYES, CapeYork Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Macropygia amboinensis 
quinkanDip, CapeYork Brown Treecreeper, Climacteris picumnus melanotusYES, 
CapeYork Eclectus Parrot, Eclectus roratus macgillivrayiYES, CapeYork Fairy 
Gerygone, Gerygone palpebrosa personataYES, CapeYork Frilled Monarch, Arses 
telescopthalmus lorealisYES, CapeYork Graceful Honeyeater, Meliphaga gracilis 
imitatrixDip, CapeYork Laughing Kookaburra, Dacelo novaeguineae minorYES, 
CapeYork Leaden Flycatcher, Myiagra rubecula okyriDip, CapeYork Little Corella, 
Cacatua sanguinea normantoniYES, CapeYork Little Shrike-thrush, Colluricincla 
megarhyncha normaniYES, CapeYork Marbled Frogmouth, Podargus ocellatus 
marmoratusDip, CapeYork Masked Finch, Poephila personata leucotisDip, CapeYork 
Noisy Miner, Manorina melanocephala titaniotaYES, CapeYork Noisy Pitta, Pitta 
versicolor simillimaYES, CapeYork Olive-backed Oriole, Oriolus sagittatus 
grisescensYES, CapeYork Orange-footed Scrubfowl, Megapodius reinwardt yorkiDip, 
CapeYork Pale-headed Rosella, Platycercus adscitus adscitusYES, CapeYork Papuan 
Frogmouth, Podargus papuensis rogersiDip, CapeYork Pied Currawong, Strepera 
graculina magnirostrisYES, CapeYork Rainbow Lorikeet, Trichoglossus haematodus 
septentrionalisYES, CapeYork Red-browed Finch, Neochmia temporalis minorDip, 
CapeYork Red-browed Pardalote, Pardalotus rubricatus yorkiDip, Ouch, CapeYork 
Red-cheeked Parrot, Geoffroyus geoffroyi maclennaniDip, CapeYork Rufous Owl, 
Ninox rufa meesiYES, CapeYork Rufous Whistler, Pachycephala rufiventris 
pallidaYES, CapeYork Silver-crowned Friarbird, Philemon argenticeps kempiYES, 
CapeYork Spectacled Monarch, Symposiarchus trivirgatus albiventrisYES, CapeYork 
Spotted Catbird, Ailuroedus melanotis joanaeDip, CapeYork Star Finch, Neochmia 
ruficauda clarescensYES, CapeYork Tawny-breasted Honeyeater, Xanthotis 
flaviventer filigeraYES, CapeYork Trumpet Manucode, Phonygammus keraudrenii 
gouldiiYES, CapeYork Varied Triller, Lalage leucomela yorkiYES, CapeYork 
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Coracina papuensis oriomoYES, CapeYork Wompoo 
Fruit-Dove, Ptilinopus magnificus assimilisDip, CapeYork Yellow Honeyeater, 
Lichenostomus flavus flavusYES, CapeYork Yellow Oriole, Oriolus flavocinctus 
flavotinctusYES, CapeYork Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Machaerirhynchus 
flaviventer flaviventerYES, CapeYork Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, Meliphaga 
notata notata Our lastgood bye was my best ever look at Channel-billed Cuckoo.  
While waiting atthe air strip one landed in the fig tree about 2 meters 
overhead and could notbe bothered we were under it.  Amazing bird. 
Bigdisappointment was no Cuscus or Green Python. We went spotlighting every 
nightand found little.  According to "Steve the Snake Man" thePythons are 
getting poached badly.  We did see the famed Rainbow Serpent akaWater Python 
and another snake I need to key out.  TwoDingos were nice and I need to look up 
a bandicoot. I got alot of good recordings so I am happy about that.  It was 
fun to spend 3full days in the same forest and get to know the birds a bit.  
Shouldanyone like specifics, please let me know. Lastly,thanks for Rob, Sarah, 
Gus and Chris for their advice and mud-maps.
Cheers, Roger RogerMcNeillSamfordValley SEQ
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