Sunday, 4 January 2009

New Year's Big Day Out 2009

The now annual big day out on New Years Day was undertaken by myself & two friends Jan and Angus, birds recorded were both seen and heard.

The morning started with a walk around Kingfisher Park, nearby Geraghty Park and McDougall Road 1km along the Rex Highway towards Mount Molloy. The first bird seen for the year was a female Australasian Figbird. The morning walk took 1½hrs and notched up 66 species, McDougall Road was particularly productive with Buff-banded Rail, Brown Falcon (uncommon at this time of year) and Red-backed Fairy-wren highlights.

Grey Whistler

The Grey Whistler was very obliging in Kingfisher Park and showed well which makes a change from hearing them call but not seeing them which is usually the case. A relaxed breakfast took just over an hour and it was back on the road to nearby Mt.Lewis for some higher altitude birds. As usual Mt. Lewis did not disappoint with another 28 species including a Fernwren 2m off the ground calling, a ground thrush which moved through too quick to identify, a pair of Yellow-throated Scrubwren making a nest 4m off the ground, at least six Blue-faced Parrot-Finch. and plenty of Bridled Honeyeater.

Bridled Honeyeater

Next stop was on the coast at Somerset Road near Newell Beach for Red-rumped and Barn Swallow which were sheltering from the showers in a barn, one Barn Swallow plus at least six red-rump’s. Newell Beach provided a few terns, gulls and four Pied Oystercatcher which were on one of two sandbars at the mouth of the Mossman River . It was then off to Port Douglas to look for a few roosting waders but only Common Greenshank and Black-fronted Dotterel were seenand a Pied Imperial Pigeon flew over, the only one for the day. Back to Kingfisher Park for a leisurely lunch with 115 species recorded. Lunch was over an hour and Jan dropped out leaving myself & Angus for the afternoon run.

Into the drier country with threatening rain clouds which caught up with us in Mount Molloy but we still managed Pale-yellow Rosella, Red-winged Parrot and Blue-faced Honeyeater before the rain became too heavy to see anything. Continuing towards Mareeba we stopped off at LakeMitchell for waterbirds, no ducks but plenty of cormorants, Green-Pygmy Geese and Jacanas. Along the edge of the lake was Grey-crowned Babbler and Blue-winged Kookaburra. A quick stop at Big Mitchell Creek found the resident White-browed Robin. A bonus was an Australian Bustard standing beside the road and cane paddock near Mareeba, good job as we had decided against going up to Maryfarms to get the resident bustards there.

Australian Bustard

Onto Mareeba Airfield where we were hoping to get Bushlark but no luck with this one, however there were about 200 Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo in an adjacent paddock along with the biggest surprise of the day 4 Little Corella. Not many sightings of this bird in this area and one I had not seen before here. Just north of Mareeba 17 Glossy Ibis flew over in a V formation, a good number for this species in the area. A stop at Abattoir Swamp gave us Brown and White-throated Honeyeater, both common birds but one which had eluded us during the day. The Masked Owls were spotlighted after dark and the Sooty Owl called late on for the last bird of the day. The total of 148 was two less than last year which we blamed on the rainy weather encountered especially in the afternoon, which restricted observations.It was a fun day and not too serious but we did see some great birds to start our year list with.
Species List

Australian Brush-turkey-KFP
Orange-footed Scrubfowl-KFP
Magpie Goose-KFP flying over
Black Swan - LM
Green Pygmy-goose-MR, LM
Pacific Black Duck-MR
Australasian Grebe-MR
Brown Cuckoo-Dove-KFP
Emerald Dove-KFP, ML
Crested Pigeon-M
Peaceful Dove-KFP
Bar-shouldered Dove-KFP
Wompoo Fruit-Dove-KFP
Superb Fruit-Dove-KFP
Pied Imperial-Pigeon-PD
Topknot Pigeon-KFP
Australian Swiftlet-KFP
Australasian Darter-LM
Little Pied Cormorant-LM
Great Cormorant-LM
Little Black Cormorant-LM
Australian Pelican-LM
Great Egret-LM
Intermediate Egret-LM
Cattle Egret-LM
Striated Heron-NB
White-faced Heron-MR
Little Egret-LM
Glossy Ibis-M flying over
Australian White Ibis-PD
Royal Spoonbill-LM
Eastern Osprey - NB, LM
Whistling Kite-GP
Black Kite-GP
Nankeen Kestrel-M
Brown Falcon-MR
Buff-banded Rail-MR
Pale-vented Bush-hen-KFP
Australian Bustard-M
Bush Stone-curlew-MR
Aust. Pied Oystercatcher-NB
Black-fronted Dotterel-PD
Masked Lapwing-PD
Comb-crested Jacana-MR, LM
Common Greenshank-PD
Little Tern-NB
Gull-billed Tern-NB
Lesser Crested Tern-NB
Crested Tern-NB
Silver Gull-NB
Little Corella-M
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo-KFP
Rainbow Lorikeet-GP
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet-GP
Double-eyed Fig-Parrot-KFP
Red-winged Parrot-MM
Pale-headed Rosella-MM, M
Pheasant Coucal-MR
Eastern Koel-M
Channel-billed Cuckoo-KFP
Little Bronze-Cuckoo-KFP
Brush Cuckoo-KFP
Sooty Owl-KFP
Masked Owl-GP
Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher-KFP
Laughing Kookaburra-KFP, LM
Blue-winged Kookaburra-LM
Forest Kingfisher-KFP
Collared Kingfisher-NB
Rainbow Bee-eater-MR
Dollarbird-GP, MR, M
Noisy Pitta-ML
White-throated Treecreeper-ML
Spotted Catbird-ML
Tooth-billed Bowerbird-ML
Great Bowerbird-MR, MM
Red-backed Fairy-wren-MR, M
Yellow-throated Scrubwren-ML
Atherton Scrubwren-ML
Large-billed Scrubwren-KFP
Fairy Gerygone - KFP

Mountain Thornbill-ML
Striated Pardalote-GP
Eastern Spinebill-ML
Lewin's Honeyeater-ML
Yellow-spotted Honeyeater-KFP
Graceful Honeyeater-KFP
Bridled Honeyeater-ML
Yellow Honeyeater-GP, AS
Brown-backed Honeyeater - GP, AS
Dusky Honeyeater-KFP
Brown Honeyeater-AS
White-throated Honeyeater-AS
Blue-faced Honeyeater-MM
Noisy Friarbird-LM
Macleay's Honeyeater-KFP
Grey-crowned Babbler-LM
Eastern Whipbird-ML
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike-M
Barred Cuckoo-shrike-KFP, ML
Varied Triller-KFP
Golden Whistler-ML
Grey Whistler-KFP
Rufous Whistler-GP
Little Shrike-thrush-KFP, GP
Bower's Shrike-thrush - ML
Grey Shrike-thrush-AS
Figbird-KFP, NB, M
Yellow Oriole-NB, PD
Olive-backed Oriole-GP, M
Black Butcherbird- KFP
Pied Butcherbird-LM
Australian Magpie-LM, M
Spangled Drongo-KFP, ML
Rufous Fantail-ML
Grey Fantail-ML
Willie Wagtail-GP,M
Torresian Crow-GP, MM
Leaden Flycatcher-KFP, LM
Black-faced Monarch-KFP
Spectacled Monarch-KFP, ML
Magpie-lark-GP, M
Yellow-breasted Boatbill-KFP
Lemon-bellied Flycatcher-G, LM
Pale-yellow Robin-KFP, ML
Grey-headed Robin-ML
White-br. Robin-LM (Big Mitchell Creek)
Golden-headed Cisticola-KFP, M
Silvereye-KFP, ML
Barn Swallow-SD
Welcome Swallow-SD
Red-rumped Swallow-SD
Russet-tailed/Bassian Thrush-ML
Metallic Starling-GP,KFP
Common Myna-GP,NB,PD,M
Olive-backed Sunbird-KFP, MR
Double-barred Finch-MM, LM, M
Red-browed Finch-KFP, ML
Blue-faced Parrot-Finch-ML
Nutmeg Mannikin-MO, M
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin-MR
House Sparrow-MO
Australian Pipit-MR

148 species

AS - Abattoir Swamp.
GP - Geraghty Park.
KFP - Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge.
LM - Lake Mitchell.
M - Mareeba.
MM - Mount Molloy.
MO - Mossman.
MR - McDougall Road near KFP.
NB - Newell Beach.
PD - Port Douglas.
SD - Somerset Drive.

Keith Fisher

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