Iron Ranges Trip Report

To: Roger McNeill <>
Subject: Iron Ranges Trip Report
From: John Tongue <>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 03:53:36 +0000
Sounds like a great trip!

John Tongue
Devonport, Tas.

> On 31 Mar 2016, at 1:52 PM, Roger McNeill via Birding-Aus 
> <> wrote:
> 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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