Sunday, 18 December 2016

Ozzie Road Trip: Part 2

Plumed Whistling Duck
According to the campsite owner, 
these birds are wild!
They fly off to feed at dusk every night & use the
 campsite as a safe refuge during the day.

The 11th December was glorious! Saw around 20 Plumed Whistling Ducks in the campsite. These are wild birds, but are tame due to daily feeding. Blue winged Kookaburra was also present.

Ceggy on top of the very
 dry falls!
Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Drove north & called in at Cedar Falls. Unfortunately due to the drought, no falls!

The Big Mango!
Another one in the bag!
Photo courtesy of Ceggy.

Feeling a bit cheated, we pressed on to the Big Mango! Yet another of the big’s around Australia! A quick photo stop was in order!

Alligator Creek

Australian Brush Turkeys seem to be in every
 car park ,along this stretch of coast.
Peaceful Dove
Yellow Honeyeater

Our next stop was at Alligator Creek picnic area in the Bowling Green Bay National Park. This proved to be a bit of a gem, deserving of longer than the hour we spent there. I quickly saw Yellow Honeyeater & asked Rowan to look out for Australian Swiftlet, which she did admirably, by spotting five birds a few minutes later! That’s my girl! Two new birds in a few minutes!

This is for Angie & Ryan!
Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Rowes Bay, but no one is in the sea!
Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Here is a list of all the nasties which will get you!
Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Australian White Ibis colony in the mangroves.

Sharing the mangroves with hundreds of fruit bats.

Silver Gull minus a foot!
Pied Imperial Pigeon was common
 in the mangroves.

Brown Honeyeater

Varied Honeyeater

We stayed at Rowes Bay in Townsville & then we had a walk along the coast called The Strand. It was a beautiful & interesting walk in the late afternoon, early evening. Townsville looks a nice place to live with lots of outdoor facilities beach side.

Best birds were:

Astralian Bush Turkey; 80+ Magpie Goose; 20 Plumed Whistling Duck; 2 Radjah Shelduck; White faced Heron; 2 Striated Heron; 100+ Australian White Ibis; 3 Whistling Kite; 2 Australian Black Kite; Swamp Harrier; Brown Goshawk; Red Billed Gull; 5 Little Tern; 2 Pied Imperial Pigeon; Peaceful Dove; 3 Red-tailed Black Cockatoo; Sulphur-crested Cockatoo; 75+ Rainbow Lorikeet; 2 Scaly-breasted Lorikeet; 5 Australian Swiftlet; 2 Blue-winged Kookaburra; 6 Rainbow Bee-eater; Weebill; 2 Noisy Friarbird; White-gaped Honeyeater; Varied Honeyeater; 2 Yellow Honeyeater; Brown Honeyeater; White-throated Honeyeater; Magpie-lark; Figbird; White-breasted Woodswallow; Australian Magpie; Pied Currawong; Torresian Crow; 10+ Great Bowerbird; Welcome Swallow; Olive backed Sunbird & Mistletoebird.

It rained most of the night but we stayed in a cabin! Good choice! The 12th December was overcast with showers. I walked along the beachfront again seeing White bellied Sea-Eagle; Caspian Tern; Mangrove Gerygone & Nutmeg Mannakin.

Townsville Common, this looks a brilliant spot,
 but is extremely large & will have to wait
 for another day.

Australian Brush Turkey

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
a very common & widespread species
 in this area.

We then explored the Townsville Common, which is a well known birding site. This area is huge & I just had a scout around seeing Tawny Grassbird, a few Pied Imperial Pigeons and two Chestnut breasted Mannikins. Will have to come back here another time & spend a full day birding.

Townsville from the hill.
Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Rowan & Ceggy at the hill viewpoint.

A quick trip up Castle Hill, gave great views over the town & a local race of Peregrine, which was really dark.

Agile Wallabies

We motored north, & next stop was the Tyto Wetlands, near Ingham. This proved to be a gem of a place, but something unfortunate & very fortunate happened! When we all set off into the wetlands it was raining a little, but this soon turned to heavy rain & Ceggy & Rowan turned back & I gave them my camera to keep it dry. Bad decision! They had only been gone a few minutes when a Lewin’s Rail walked out of the reeds, stopped & looked in horror at me & promtly turned tail & ran back in! It was a four to five second view, whether I would have got a shot of it is debatable, but no camera! I then walked on to the next wetland and spotted a Spotless Crake right out in the open! Unbelievable! It just fed there in full view. I could have had my fill of photos!

Best birds were:

Magpie Goose; 14 Green Pygmy Goose; 3 Wandering Whistling Duck; 2 Plumed Whistling Duck; Black fronted Dotterel; Austtralian Jacana; Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo;  Brush Cuckoo; Brown backed Honeyeater; Yellow Honeyeater & 4 Crimson Finch.

Here is the species that Ceggy & Rowan saw
 & photographed with my camera!

Bush Stone Curlew

On arriving back at the car Ceggy & Rowan asked me to identify two birds which they had photographed with my camera. They turned out to be Bush Stone Curlews! I never saw them!

I have to come back to this place for a full days birding. The potential is enormous.

Mission Beach

Photo courtesy of Rowan James

I haven't seen it yet though!
Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Found it! They are sooo big!
Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Southern Cassowary
This is a male, with two immature well grown chicks 
in attendance.

A spectacular bird!

My only sighting, then they were gone!

Another hour saw us at the camp ground in Mission Beach. There are signs everywhere saying beware of Cassowary. I was in the office completing formalities when Rowan burst in & said there were Cassowaries just outside! I ran outside, picked up my camera & shot a few frames of a male with two chicks! Unbelievable stuff!

White breasted Woodswallow

Agile Wallaby

I had a little walk around some forest in late afternoon but the only birds of note were two Black Butcherbirds. We then had a little drive around & went to the beach but rain stopped play. What a day though! Two mega species seen well & this is not a birding trip!

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