Magnificent Riflebird range (Sicklebill Safaris)

To: "" <>
Subject: Magnificent Riflebird range (Sicklebill Safaris)
From: Rob Reed <>
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2016 06:12:19 +0000
Hi Phil,

I did wander around Albany a bit during my recent years at Bamaga. It is
mainly vine scrub. The NW end had some slightly thicker growth but nothing
matching the fully developed closed canopy of Lockerbie Scrub. This section
was observed from a boat only. I have never noted MRB or TM there on Albany
on any of my forays.

I do note that Draffan et al (1983) in their definitive review of "Birds of
the Torres Strait; An Annoted List and Biogeographical Analysis", which I
found to be a very good reference, states that MRB was recorded on Albany
Island (1962). Also that TM was detected on Booby, Albany, Mai, Boigu and
Saibai islands/islets (1972).

Mai Islet is a just to the NE of Albany and I've not been there.

I asked an amateur naturalist contact who is still in the area (whose
birding identification I trust sufficiently with regard to these species)
and he has never noted them on Albany and he has put in far more visits
than I in.

For accurate data on habitat he suggests "...(to) refer to the regional
ecosystems maps for qld. One can overlay them over Google earth using kml
data called qldglobe. Otherwise you can download them from the qld GIS
database and view them in programs like quantumGIS- this actually shows
them better than the google earth version but it's more involved..."

The distance from the nearest mainland rain forest holding both birds to
Albany is only about 500m so it would seem, to my untrained mind, that it
would not be beyond the realms of possibility of these birds popping over
on whim if food was available.

Lloyd Neilsen and Klaus Uhlenhut would probably be worth asking as they
have been visiting this area for 20-30 years and apparently did wander
around many islands when setting up the original "Cape York Bird Week"
years ago to find the best place to take guests for Pale white eye etc.

As for altitude, well the highest point that I know of north of the Jardine
on the mainland is only about 150m but this is taken from some very old
(but currently issued) topo maps. I never bothered to measure how high up I
was when birding.


Rob Reed
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