A day out on the Atherton Tablelands combined business with a bit of bird watching. Raptors were in evidence starting with a Square-tailed Kite soaring over the treetops of the Rifle Creek rest area in
also here was Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck, Hardhead, and more Purple Swamphen – some with young and Buff-banded Rail. Nothing out of the ordinary but this swamp is always worth a look as it can turn up some interesting birds. A lunch stop at Hallorans Hill picnic area produced White-naped and Scarlet Honeyeater, White-throated and Brown Gerygone.
Along the road from Atherton to Malanda just past Marks Lane was a field with at least 500 Sarus Cranes foraging, there may have been some Brolga but we did not have time to do a detailed scan. Heading back towards Mareeba a loose feeding party of over 100 Red-tailed Black Cockatoos were feeding beside the highway beyond Rocky Creek.
It made a welcome change to see some dry country birds instead of our rainforest ones and emphasises the diversity of species found within a few hours drive.