Sunday, 18 December 2016

Ozzie Road Trip: Part 3

Atherton Tablelands, a relic highland 
area of rain forest rivers
 & waterfalls.

13th December & it is pouring with rain! We left Mission Beach (there is a lot more birding to be done here, but no time on this trip) & drove up into the Atherton Tablelands. 

The Big Hole!
Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Australian Brush Turkey
Orange-footed Megapode
Grey-headed Robin
This individual frequented the car park 
& was very approachable.
Rufous Fantail
Dam that leaf!
Atherton Scrubwren

Mountain Thornbil

It was raining most of the time & the guys dropped me off at Mount Hypipamee National Park. They went into town & I stayed in the forest. It was very dark & nothing was calling, but perseverance paid off over the next four hours.

Bridled Honeyeater

Lewin's Honeyeater

Best birds were:
Australian Brush Turkey; 3 Orange-footed Scrubfowl; White throated Treecreeper; 2 female Golden Bowerbird; 6 Atherton Scrubwren; 4 Brown Gerygone; 2 Mountain Thornbill; Eastern Spinebill; Lewin’s Honeyeater; 5 Bridled Honeyeater; Eastern Whipbird; 3 Grey Whistler; Pied Currawong; 4 Rufous Fantail; 5 Grey Fantail; 2 Black faced Monarch; Spectacled Monarch; 4 Pale Yellow Robin & 9 Grey headed Robin.

The Curtain Fig Tree
Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Photo courtesy of Rowan James

Ceggy & Rowan picked me up at 5 pm & took me to The Curtain Fig Tree. This proved to be a very good move with lots of great birds seen both there & in the surrounding area.

Grey-headed Robin

Pale Yellow Robin

Best birds were:

25 Magpie Goose; Black necked Stork; Black shouldered Kite; 100+ Red-tailed Black Cockatoo; Macleay’s Honeyeater; 5 Barred Cuckooshrike; 3 Cicadabird; Pied Monarch; Pale Yellow Robin; Grey-headed Robin & 50+ Metallic Starling.

Just outside my cabin!

Bush Stone Curlew

Emerald Dove

Peaceful Dove

Some people are permanent residents on this site
& feed the birds.
Australian King Parrot
Chestnut breasted Mannikin

Red browed Finch

Bower's Shrike-thrush

Had a terrible night, being attacked by bed bugs! Woke early on 14th December & went birding in the caravan & camping site. It turned out to be a lovely morning & birding was good.

White-cheeked Honeyeater

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Eastern Spinebill

Best birds were:

Australian Brush Turkey; 3 Emerald Dove; Peaceful Dove; 4 Bush Stone Curlew; 12 Sulphur crested Cockatoo; 30+ Rainbow Lorikeet; 2 Scaly-breasted Lorikket; 10 Australian King Parrot; 3 White-browed Scrubwren; Fairy Gerygone; Eastern Spinebill; Lewin’s Honeyeater; 4 Yellow-faced Honeyeater; 4 Brown Honeyeater; 15+ White-cheeked Honeyeater; 3 Bower’s Shrike Thrush; Figbird; Spangled Drongo; Olive-backed Sunbird; 7 Red-browed Finch & 12 Chestnut-breasted Mannikin.

Hickenbrook Lookout Point

We then drove south with a brief stop at the Hickenbrook Lookout: very spectacular!

Tyto Wetlands

Managed by the local municipality, 
it is an absolutely brilliant area.

There are a couple of bird hides & several other
 good viewing places.

Be careful though! It is salty country!

A much less dangerous inhabitant of these wetlands,
Freshwater Turtle.

Arrived in Ingham & the guys dropped me off at the Tyto Wetlands again. I had around four hours birding before they picked me up (they went to Walluman Falls). It was a brilliant afternoons birding, with some outstanding species on offer.

Magpie Goose

Radjah Shelduck, an uncommon species.

Green Pygmy Goose

Comb-crested Jacana

This is an immature bird.

The whole area is well serviced 
by a great network of paths.

Horsefield's Bronze Cuckoo

White browed Robin

This is a really scarce & localized species.
This individual is of the cerviniventris race.

Little Shrike-thrush

Willie Wagtail

Very common here.

Red-backed Fairy-Wren
This pair were cosying up!

White-gaped Honeyeater

Yellow Honeyeater

Rufous throated Honeyeater

Brown-backed Honeyeater

Graceful Honeyeater


Crimson Finch

Quite common in long grass in wet areas.

Best birds were;

10 Wandering Whistling Duck; 2 Plumed Whistling Duck; 35 Magpie Goose; 4 Radjah Shelduck; 10 Green Pygmy Goose; 2 Pacific Black Duck; 3 Australiasian Little Grebe; Peaceful Dove; 8 Pied Imperial Pigeon; 7 Little Black Cormorant; Little Pied Cormorant; Cattle Egret; Litle Egret; 8 Great White Egret; Yellow-billed Egret; Black Bittern; 2 Royal Spoonbill; 2 White-browed Crake; Baillon’s Crake; Masked Lapwing; Red-backed Buttonquail; 15 rainbow Lorikket; 4 Scaly-breasted Parakeet; Channel-billed Cuckoo; 3 Pheasant Coucal; Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo; 3 Rainbow Bee-eater; 6 Great Bowerbird; 10 Red-backed Fairy Wren; Yellow-spotted Honeyeater; Graceful Honeyeater; 4 White-gaped Honeyeater; 6 Yellow Honeyeater; 5 Brown-backed Honeyeater; 20+ Rufous-throated Honeyeater; 15 Brown Honeyeater; White-bellied Cuckooshrike; Varied Triller; 4 Rufous Whistler; 3 Little Shrike-Thrush; 7 Olive-backed Oriole; Figbird; 10 white-breasted Woodswallow;  Willie Wagtail; 2 Northern Fantail; 3 White-browed Robin; Silvereye; 40+ Welcome Swallow; 5 Fairy Martin; 4 Metallic Starling; 5 Olive-backed Sunbird; 5 Red-browed Finch; 50+ Crimson Finch & 7 Chestnut-breasted Mannikin.

Cape Hillsborough beach

This is just opposite where we were camping.

I woke up early on the 15th December, it was sunny & warm. We packed the car & were off south, back down the Bruce Highway. Basically this was a travel day & little happened until we reached Cape Hillsborough National Park. It is a scenic spot on the map & we scouted around, first the beach & headland & then a walk in the forest.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Agile Wallaby

Bar-shouldered Dove

I didn’t see much, best were Eastern Reef Heron; Whimbrel; Spangled Drongo & Greater Bowerbird. We enjoyed a nice evening in a cabin at the campsite, the guys playing Ludo, a game which started in South Africa & now has spanned several continents! These are adults aren’t they?

Dawn at Cape Hillsborough.

16th December we drove to Yeppoon, which was a nice camp site right on the beach. It proved to be a lovely little resort town. Didn't do much apart from rest!

Drove to Agnes Water on 17th December. We arrived mid afternoon, had a little look around & spent the rest of the time in camp drinking & eating!

The last day (18th) was pure driving south & we arrived around 4 pm at South Golden Beach. It was catch up time with Toni & Johnny. Jackson & Irving were in Brisbane watching a play with their other grand parents Rosie & Geoff.

It had been a great little trip, covering 4,700 Kms over the twelve days away.Some great new birds for me, but still a few left to go for in northern Queensland.

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