North Australia, May 29th - June 28th 2000

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT


Howard & Kate Broughton.
Tel 0115 9374474.

Air Malaysia from Heathrow via Kuala Lumpur were excellent. Heathrow to KL, Jumbo jet, about 12 hrs, KL-Darwin, Airbus, 4 hrs, Darwin-Cairns, Airbus, 2 hours.

Accommodation in Australia was a Campervan from Maui Campervan Hire. Maui and Britz have depots in all major towns in Australia. Holiday booked through Boomerang of Ilford whose prices were very competitive.

The Australian Dollar was worth 2.50 per £ which was an excellent rate for visitors from the UK.
Petrol was about 35p per litre. Beer was 35-40p per can when bought from the beer store. Food and restaurants were generally cheaper than the UK.
Cash was easily obtained from cash cards with Cirrus and credit cards were taken almost everywhere.

Driving in North Australia was dead easy. They drive on the left and the Australians were in the main, careful and considerate drivers.
There was virtually no traffic in the Northern Territory and very little around Cairns except in the city.
Surfaced road are mainly good, a bit like the old A roads here, normally 2 lanes with some duel carriageways near the towns. Roads in the Atherton Table Lands are very twisty with lots of pot holes so care is needed.
We were not allowed on the dirt roads with our campervan.

These were mainly excellent and plentiful, being in most towns and parks.
All we used had powered sites if required and most had low priced cabin accommodation as well.
All had good showers and laundries and prices for a powered site per night ranged from 15-20 Aud.

Weather in June.
The weather in Darwin was perfect, sunny every day but not too hot. You need to carry water when walking.
The weather around North Queensland was very unseasonal. This is the dry season but the weather when we arrived was dull and windy with rain arriving after 3 days and remaining off and on for the 3 weeks of our stay.
We had very little sunshine. However, there are still lots of things to do and there are plenty of birds to see.
We had new birds at virtually every new place we visited and on every day of the holiday.

Creepy crawlies.
The only snakes we saw were road kills or the tree snakes and python shown to us on the Daintree River trip.
We saw no dangerous spiders but always checked around lavatory seats and showers, just in case.
There are a few frogs but are harmless except for the Cane Toads which are poisonous if eaten.
You will need a good insect repellent for the mossies and midges, particularly in the rainforest and mangroves.
We used RID which can be bought in both aerosol and roll on. The small roll ons were particularly useful as they are easily carried and applied as necessary.

Itinerary and Bird List.
Birds seen subsequently are abbreviated.

Monday 29th May.

Airport. Kuala Lumpur
Though we did not leave the airport, there is a screened garden where these species were seen.

Plain Martin.
Common Mynah,

Tuesday 30th May.

Darwin. Airport car park and park land beyond.
Brown Honey Eater, Masked Lapwing, Peaceful Dove, Magpie Lark, Bar-Shouldered Dove, White-bellied Cuckoo Shrike.
Black Kite.

East Point. Darwin.
A good place to start. Easy access with plenty of both common and uncommon species within several habitats.

Whistling Kite, Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eater, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Yellow Spotted Honey Eater, Varied Triller, Mangrove Robin, Rufous Banded Honey Eater, Grey Fantail, Yellow Oriole, Tree Martin, Red Goshawk, Grey Whistler, Yellow White-eye, Spangled Drongo, Black-Faced Cuckoo Shrike.
Striated Heron,
Blk Kit, Mas Lap, Pea Dov, Wt Bel C/S, BS Dov, Mag Lk,

Darwin Sewage Farm.
Worth a look and easily viewed from the gate.

Pied Heron, Radjah Shelduck, Sulpher-Crested Cockatoo.
Pheasant Coucal, Gull-Billed Tern.
Whis Kit.

Lee Point Beach.
Waders on the rocks accessed from the beach car park. We went to Buffalo Creek first and saw very little.

Red-Capped Plover, Silver Gull.
Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Great White Egret, Eastern Reef Egret (Dark), Caspian Tern, Lesser Sand Plover, Great Sand Plover.

Wednesday, 31st May.

Lee Point Campsite.
Convenient to Lee Point Beach. Bush Thick-knee active at night around camp.

Long Tailed Finch, Striated Pardelote, Torresian Crow, Bush Thick-knee, White Throated Honey Eater. R/bow B/E, R/T Blk Cock, Brn H/E, Ruf Band H/E.

Darwin Town

Yel Spot H/E, Pea Dov, B S Dov, Tr Mart.

East Point. War Museum.
Worth a visit. Birds seen from grounds.

Grey Goshawk, Orange-footed Scrubfowl.
Wt Bel C/S, Tr Mart.

Holme’s Jungle Reserve.
Excellent site. Best to walk down hill from car park. Small birds seen at road side. Wetlands can be viewed from car park.

Forest Kingfisher, Galah, Torresian Imperial Pigeon, Red-Backed Fairy Wren, Double Barred Finch, Brolga, Golden-Headed Cisticola.
Var Trill, Blk Kit, Span Dron, Wt Bel C/S, Or Foot S/F, Sac K/F, L T Fin,
Wt Thr H/E,

Rubbish Tip.
Just up the road from Holmes Jungle. Worth a visit if only for the spectacular number of kites.

Australian Ibis.
White-Bellied Sea Eagle, Pd Her, Blk Kit, Tor Crow,

Howard Springs Campsite.
Very convenient for Nature Park.

Blue-Faced Honey Eater, Red-Collared Lorikeet.

Thursday, 1st June.

Howard Springs Campsite.

Blue-Winged Kookaburra, Lemon-Bellied Flycatcher.
Tor Crow, Blk Kit, Whis Kit, Yel Or, Str Pard, Red Col Lori, Sul Cr Cock, R/T Blk Cock, B S Dov, Mag Lar, Or Foot S/F.

Howard Springs Nature Park.
Plenty of birds on forest walk and surrounding area.

Little Corrella, Shining Flycatcher, Grey Shrike Thrush, Pacific Baza, Northern Fantail.
Wt Spot H/E, Aus Ibis, Or Foot S/F, Bl Wngd Kook, Blk Fac C/S, R/bow B/E, Span Dron, Yel Or, Str Her, Var Tril, Sac K/F, Tre Mar.

Fogg Dam.
Allow plenty of time for this excellent site.

Magpie Goose, Black-Necked Stork, Straw-necked Ibis, Comb-Crested Jacana, Pied Cormorant, Little Pied Cormorant Crimson Finch, Willie Wagtail, Little Black Cormorant.
Whiskered Tern, Cattle Egret, Intermediate Egret.
Pd Her, Raj Shel Dk, Tor Crow, Blk Kit, For K/F, Sac K/F, Whis Kit, Ruf Band H/E, Yel Or.

Humpty Doo Dams.
Can be easily viewed from the roadside. The nearby Wetlands Centre gives a superb view over the whole area but use of a telescope is advisable.

Australian Darter, Wandering Whistling Duck.

Friday, 2nd June.

Arnhem Highway, Kakadu.
We used the campsite situated about 40 km inside the Kakadu Park gateway. There is a restaurant there where the Barrimundi and chips are worth having.

Masked Finch, Red-Winged Parrot
Wt Bel C/S, Mag Lk, Tor Crow, Pea Dov, Span Dron, For K/F, Bl Wngd Kook, B S Dov, Sul Cr Cock, Var Tril.

Mamakula Wetlands.
Woodlands walk and superb hide. Not many birds at this time of the year.

Green Pygmy Goose, Australian Grebe, White-Gaped Honeyeater.
R/Bow B/E, Pied Corm, Red Gos, Whis Kit, C C Jac, Tre Mart, Wil Wag,

Creek on Arnhem Highway.
Check all creeks and river crossings for birds and Crocodiles.

White Necked Heron (Pacific Heron), White-Faced Heron.
D B Fin, Mas Fin, Int Eg, Mas Lap, Blk Fac C/S.

Nourlangie Rock.
Signed off highway. Cave paintings, lots of birds.

Helmeted Friarbird, Black-Tailed Treecreeper, Dusky Honeyeater.
Blk Kit.

Yellow Waters Campsite.
Good facilities, hotel, cabins and campsite. Shop, restaurant and barbecue. Evening entertainment in bar area.
Buses leave here for 2km ride to Yellow Waters Cruise. Advance booking advised.
Sul Cr Cock, Bl Fac H/E.

Saturday, 3rd June.

Yellow Waters Cruise.
We went on the 6.30 cruise which is supposed to be the best for birds.
It is an excellent trip and a must for anyone visiting Kakadu.

Plumed Whistling Duck, Rufous Night Heron, Restless Flycatcher.
Black Bittern, Little Egret,
Gt Eg, Aus Ib, Int Eg, Whis Kit, Mag Goo, Wt Bel S/Eag, Wt Bel C/S, Sac K/F, Lit Cor, Grn Pyg Goo, Aus Dart, For K/F.

Walk around Yellow Waters.
These walks took in the nearby Aborigine Centre and the extensive boardwalk which starts at the boat ramp.

Collared Sparrow Hawk, Brown Goshawk. Brush Cuckoo
Var Tril, Lem Bel F/C, Blk Kit, Wil Wag, Whis Kit, Mas Fin, Wt Bel S/Eag, L T Fin, Rest F/C, Blk N Stk, Ruf Band H/E, Wt Thrt H/E, Red Col Lori, Pd Her, Int Eg, Brn H/E, R/Bow B/E, Lit Cor, Wt Bel C/S.

Sunday, 4th June.

Yellow Waters Camp.
I was awakened at 3.00AM by what I fisrt thought were barking dogs. However, the barks were too repetitive to be dogs so I went outside and spotlighted 2 barking owls.

Barking Owl.
Bl Fac H/E, Lit Cor.

Road to Ubirr.
Heading back towards Darwin and spotting road side birds.

Wedge Tailed Eagle.
Egrets, Blk N Stk.

Another site with cave paintings, many birds. and suberb views over surrounding countryside and wetlands. Well worth a visit.

Leaden Flycatcher.
Tor Crow, Sul Cr Cock, Wt Gap H/E, Wil Wag, Wt Bel C/S, Bl Fac H/E, Scar Fin, Red Bckd F/W, D B Fin, Blk Kit, Whis Kit.

Jabiru Town and campsite.

Partridge Pigeon, Grey Crowned Babbler.
Hel F/B, Wil Wag, Bl Fac H/E, Brn H/E, Blk Fac C/S, Wt Bel C/S, Red Col Lori, Lit Cor, Sul Cr Cock, Mag Lk, B S Dove, Wt Thtd H/E, Red Bckd F/W, Blk Kit, Whis Kit, C Cr Jac.

Monday, 5th June.

Jabiru Campsite. Nice camp with bar/restaurant

Pd Her, Blk Kit, Tor Crow, Brn H/E, Mak Lk, Part Pig, Hel F/B, Blk Fac H/E, B S Dov, Pea Dov, Gr Cr Bab, Blk Fac C/S, Wil Wag.

Aligator River.

Australian Hobby.
R T Blk Cock, Mag Lk, Raj Shel Dk, Egrets.

Track to Bird Billabong.

Little Wood Swallow.
Blk Tld T/C.

Wetlands Centre.
This wild life interpretive centre, situated high above the highway gives extensive views over a vast wetland that holds many birds.

Black Winged Stilt.
Brol, Lem Bel F/C, C Cres Jac, Aus Lit Greb, R/Bow B/E, Egrets, Pd Her, Lit Cor, Mas Lap, Mag Goo, Str N Ib, R T Blk Cock, Rest F/C.

Tuesday, 6th June.

Cairns Airport
Taxi-ing at Cairns Airport, the kestrel was viewed through the aeroplane window.

Australian Kestrel.

Cairns Esplanade.
One of the top wader sites in the world, though we were not there in the best season, there were always birds to be seen on the mud off the Esplanade with the pattern of species changing all the time.

Far Eastern Curlew, Wandering Tattler, Royal Spoonbill, Australian Pelican, Welcome Swallow.
Pacific Golden Plover, Bar Tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Great Knot, Grey Tailed Tattler, Crested Tern, Gull-Billed Tern, House Sparrow, Osprey.
Lit Eg, Wil Wag, Pea Dov, Fig B, B S Dov, Cas Ter, Sil Gul, Com My, Aus Ib, Gr Fac Her, Stri Her, Gt Eg, Int Eg,

Cool Waters Campsite.
This is the best campsite in Cairns for birding with lots of forest and a creek. No bar or restaurant.

Laughing Kookaburra, Australian Koel, White Rumped Swiftlet.
Sul Cr Cock, Fig B.

Wednesday, 7th June.

Cool Waters Campsite.
Laugh Kook, Yel Or, Com My, Sul Cr Cock, Yel Sp H/E.

Cairns Esplanade.

Nutmeg Manikin.
Curlew Sandpiper.
Aus Ib, Com My, Sil Gul, Lit Eg, Aus Pel, Cas Ter, Stri Her, Far E Cur, Whim, Sac K/F, Wel Swal, Mas Lap, Gr T Tat, Ho Spar, Osp. G B Ter, Cres Ter, Pea Dov, Nut Man, Gt Knt,

Cairns Botanical Gardens.
Lots of trees, lakes and a rainforest boardwalk with some good species.

Pacific Black Duck, Metallic Starling, Yellow Bellied Sunbird, White breasted Woodswallow.
Wt Rum Sw, Wil Wag, Mag Goo, Stri Her, Wan Whis D, R/Bow B/E, Mag Lk, Wel Swal, Laugh Kook.

Mount Whitfield Conservation Park.
Rainforest right next to the town with a mountainous walking trail but don’t go in the evening as this seems to be the premier jogging circuit for all the Cairns’ keep fit enthusiasts.

Rufous Fantail, Spectacled Monarch, Australian Brush turkey.
Or Ftd S/F.

Thursday, 8th June.

Cool Waters Campsite.

Laugh Kook, Yel Or, Fig B.

Kurunda Skyrail.
Our hot air ballooning trip being cancelled due to high winds, we went on the Skyrail which is just down the road from Cool Waters Camp. This cable car over the rainforest gives a superb birds eye view of the forest
The two intermediate stations are ideal for rain forest birding, also, experts give out information on the trees and plants.

Large-Billed Scrubwren, Pale Yellow Robin, Silvereye.
Wt Rum Sw, Spec Mon, Wt T S Eag, Wt Br W/S, Nut Man, Pea Dov.

Kingfisher Park.
Because of the inclement weather, we decided to head for Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge where we were to make our base for the next few days. Kingfisher Park is a must for any birder visiting North Queensland.
It’s a Lodge and campsite run for birders by birders. Visit their website on
The area around K/F Park holds more species than any other place in Australia. The Owner is Ron Stannard, assisted by an English couple, Andrew and Carol Isles who run nightly spotlighting trips around the park and also take birders to special places like the nearby Mount Lewis where local knowledge is essential if you want to see the most desired species. They are also very free with good advice on the best places to visit in the area. We had a great time there.
On the park during our stay, we saw such rare species as Tawny Frogmouth, Noisy Pitta, Red-necked Crake, Lesser Sooty Owl, Pacific Baza and many more as well as meeting other birders from the USA, Australia and South Africa.
There is also an extensive library of bird and natural history books which visitors are welcome to use.
Spot lighting on the 1st night, we had superb views of nesting lesser sooty owls.
There is a pub about 2km away that does excellent food at a reasonable price.

Emerald Ground Dove, Tawny Frogmouth, Rainbow Parakeet, McCleay’s Honeyeater, Red-Browed Firetail, Lesser Sooty Owl.
Yel Sp H/E, Bl Fac H/E, Or Ft S/F.

Friday, 9th June.

Kingfisher Park.

Ruf F/T, Grey F/T, Bl Fac H/E, Tawn F/M,

Road to Mount Molloy.
Acting on advice from K/F Park, we drove west to the drier country to sites where we would see some new species.

Cat Eg, R/Bow B/E, Com My.

East Mary Road.

Australian Bustard, Australian Magpie.
Brol, Tor Crow, Mag Goo, R T Blk Cock, Blk Kit, Rd Bck F/W, Sul Cr Cock, Tre Mar, Str N Ib, Aus Kes, Sac K/F, Gal.

Mount Carbine Lake.
Turn left after the Mount Carbine Roadhouse. Their toasted sandwiches are excellent.

Apostle bird, Australian Reed Warbler, Pale-Headed Rosella, Pied Butcher Bird, Noisy Figbird.

Bl Fac H/E, R/Bow B/E, Lit Pi Corm, Wt Br H/E, Grey F/T, Gr Cr Bab, Int Eg, Blk Kit, Lau Kook, Span Dron, Blk Fac C/S, Mas Lap.

Abattoir Swamp.
Just down the road from K/F Park. Check out the car park. There were very few birds on the swamp.

Purple Swamp Hen.
Mag Lk, Wand Whis Dk, Aus Blk Dk, Aus Dart, Aus Ib, Bl Fac H/E.

Kingfisher Park.

Br Turk, Or Ft S/F, Spec Mon, Wil Wag, Com My, Em Grd Dov, B S Dov.

Saturday, 10th June.

Kingfisher Park.

Black Butcher Bird, Grey-Headed Robin, Spotted Catbird, Little Shrike Thrush
Tawn F/M, Yel Bel S/B, BR Tur, Or Ft S/F, Em Grd Dov, Pal Yel Rob, Lit Shr Thr, Yel Spt H/E, McCl H/E,
Lge Bil S/W, For K/F, W R Swt.

Mount Molloy.
Area near school.
Mount Molloy is full of birds. K/F Park Staff will give the best advice.

Great Bowerbird, Squatter Pigeon.
Pea Dov, Mag Lk, R/bow B/E, Wt Brst C/S, Sac K/F, B S Dov, Com My, Rd W Par, Blk Kit, Bl Fac H/E,
Nois F/B, Nut Man, R/bow Lori.

Lake Mitchell.
Lake about 10 km from Mt Molloy. Leave your car by the gate and walk down the causeway between the lakes.
Scan dead trees far to the left for ospreys and sea eagles. Carry water if weather is hot.

Black Swan, Little Friarbird.
Great Cormorant.
Aus Kes, Tor Crow, Tre Mar, W R Swt, Yel Bel S/B, Wt Brst C/S, Span Dron, Pl Hd Ros, Bl Wngd Kook, Whis Kit, D B Fin, Aus Dart, Aus Ib, Blk N Stk, Wel Swal, C C Jac, Mas Lap, Int Eg, Brn H/E, Lit Pd Corm, Aus Pel, Lead F/C, For K/F, W B Se Eag, Lit Blk Corm, Osp, R/bow B/E.

Mount Molloy.
Area near lily pond.

Yellow Breasted Boatbill, Black Faced Monarch, Rufous Whistler, Brown Cuckoo Dove.
Yel Bel S/B, Aus Blk Dk, Fig, Grey F/T, Spec Mon, Sileye, Yel Spt H/E, Wt Thr H/E, Rd Wngd Par, Sac K/F.

Kingfisher Park.

Pac Baza.

Sunday 11th June.

Mount Lewis.
We were taken up Mount Lewis by Carol Isles. Carol knows the calls and proximity of all the desired species.
We would have seen very few species without her help.

Blue-Faced Parrot Finch, Golden Whistler, Russet-Tailed Thrush, Bassian Thrush, White-Throated Tree Creeper, Golden Bowerbird, Mountain Thornbill, Eastern Whipbird, Eastern Spinebill, Yellow-Throated Scrubwren, White-Cheeked Honeyeater, Double Eyed Fig parrot, Chowchilla, King Parrot, Atherton Scrubwren, Scaley-Breasted Lorikeet.
Gr H Rob, Brn Cuc Dov, Pal Yel Rob.

Kingfisher Park.
These 4 new species were seen within 30 metres of the K/F Park office.

Red-Necked Crake, Noisy Pitta, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Fan Tailed Cuckoo.
Lau Kook, Mc Cl H/E, Yel Spt H/E, Lit Shr Thr, Pal Yel Rob, Sul Cr Cock, Com My, Bl Fac H/E, R/bow Lori, R/bow B/E, Whis Kit, Lit Pd Corm, Em Grd Dov, Br Tur, Or Ft S/F, Rd Br F/Tail.

Monday 12th June.

At last, the weather improved and we drove north to the Daintree River for Chris Dahlberg’s specialised bird watchers river tour. Book from K/F Park.
Kingfisher Park.
Area across the main road behind the cairn.

Australian Pipit, Maned Duck.
Lit Shr Thr, Lau Kook, Bl Fac H/E, Mag Lk, Ruf F/T, Grey F/T, Com My, Wil Wag, For K/F, B S Dov,
R/bow Lori.

Mossman Town

Brown Falcon.

Newell Beach.
Turn off the highway at the golf course, just north of Mossman and park at the boat jetty.
This is a site for Beach Thick-knee but none were seen

Brahminy Kite.
Sil Gul, F E Cur, Blk Kit, Gt Cres Ter, Gt Eg, Aus Ib, Aus Pel, Lit Eg, Mas Lap, Span Dron.

Daintree Village. Stewart Creek Road.

Wompoo Fruit Dove.
For K/F, Gt Eg, R/bow B/E, Wt Br W/S, Tre Mar, Wt R Swt, Yel Br S/B, Lead F/C, Rest F/C, Blk But Bd,
Str N Ib.

Tuesday 13th June.

Daintree River Boat Trip.
It rained again but this was to be a highlight of our trip. Chris Dahlberg runs these trips at dawn every day using a small aluminium boat the holds about 12 people. There were just 7 on our trip. Chris seemed to have the uncanny knack of knowing the whereabouts of every good bird, reptile and animal on the river, driving into waterside trees to show us Papuan Frogmouths, tree snakes and kingfishers. We stayed at the campsite in Daintree Village which is 1 minute from the boat ramp. There are pubs and restaurants in the village.

Azure Kingfisher, Papuan Frogmouth, Graceful Honeyeater, Little Kingfisher, Topknot Pigeon, Great-Billed heron.
Ruf Nt Her, For K/F, B S Dov, Mas Lap, Spec Mon, Shin F/C, Lit Eg, Gt Eg, Cat Eg, Lit Pd Corm, Int Eg, Sac K/F, Yel Bel S/B, Lead F/C, Aus Kes, Wt Bel Se Eag, Aus Dart, Pac Blk Dck, Wel Swal, Yel Or, Whis Kit, Brn Cuc Dov, Lit Shr Thr, D E Fig Par, R/bow B/E, Sul Cr Cock, Wt Fac Her, Hel F/B, Bra Kit, Brn Gos.

Red Mill House, Daintree Village.
The proprietors of this guest house are very friendly to visiting birders. It is an excellent place to stay if you need accommodation.
They also have a pond that the little kingfisher likes to use at high tide. We had excellent views of the little K/F on this pond after getting only a fleeting view on the boat trip.

Wt Br W/S, Lit K/F, Or FT S/F, Lau Kook.

Newell Beach.
Still no sign of Beach thick-knee

Blk N Stk, Gt Cres Ter, Mag Lk, Wil Wag.

Mossman Gorge.
Nice rain forest walk up this rocky gorge.

Victoria’s riflebird.
Nut Man, Br Tur, Spec Mon, Ruf F/T, Grey F/T, Tre Mar, Pal Yel Rob, Mt Thn Bill, Or Ft S/F, Yel Thr S/W, Ath S/W.

Four Mile Beach.
On the right off the road between the Capt Cook Highway and Port Douglas.
Another alleged site for Beach Thick-knee. None seen.

Whim, Sac K/F, Wt Bel Se Eag, R/bow Lori, Nois F/B.

Cairns Esplanade.
After fruitless searches at 3 sites for Beach Thick-knee, there were 2 on the mud off Cairns Esplanade.

Beach Thick-knee.
Bra Kit, Whim, Bar T God, Aus Ib, Mas Lap.

Wednesday 14th June.

Cairns Crocodile Farm.
This is the Croc farm accessed via Edmonton, south of Cairns. They are very helpful to birders, giving out a species list and helpful map of where their best species are to be found. The crocodile tour is very informative as well.

Black-Fronted Dotterel, White-Billed Spoonbill, White-Browed Crake, Chestnut-Breasted Manikin.
Whis Kit, Lit Eg, Blk Kit, Int Eg, Roy Spnbl, Aus Ib, Mag Lk, Mas Lap, Com My, B S Dov, Pea Dov, Brn H/E, Purp S/H, Crim Fin, Stri Her, Bsh Thknee, B W Stil, Bra Kit, Nut Man.

Thursday 15th June.

Cathedral Fig Tree.
This massive tree is off the road between Gordonvale and Atherton and is well worth a visit.

Pied Currawong.
Wt Tht T/C, Br Tur, Grey F/T, Ath S/W.

Lake Barrine.
A bit touristy with tea rooms and boat trips etc.
Rain forest walk and lots of birds around the car park.

Brown Gerygone, Dusky Moorhen.
Pac Blk Dk, Br Tur, Gr H Rob, Pal Yel Rob, Ath S/W, Wil Wag, Wand Whis Dk, McCl H/E, Vics R/B, Lit Shr Thr, Dusk H/E.

Lake Eacham.
We walked right round the lake on the forest path.

Br Tur, Pal Yel Rob, Ath S/W, Gr H Rob, Brn Ger, Lews H/E.

Malanda Falls Campsite.
This is the nearest site to Bromfield swamp. The swamp is viewed from the road which is high above the swamp.
It was raining so much that viewing was impossible. It rained all night and viewing the swamp next day was just as bad. There is a river and forest around the camp.
The lady at the site told me that she had little K/F in her garden that morning.

Br Tur, Mas Lap, Com My, Pi Cur.

Friday 16th June.

Malanda Falls Campsite.

Br Tur, Com My, Pi Cur, Br Cuc Dov, Em Gr Dov, Mount T/B, Ath S/W, Brn Ger, Gol Whis, Or Ft S/F,
Gr Shr Thr, McCl H/E.

Road between Malanda and Bromfield Swamp.
Search ahead in road edges. If you see a rail, drive up very slowly and you will get a decent view.

Buff-Banded Rail.
Cat Eg.

Highway before Atherton.

Brol, Cat Eg.

Hasties Swamp.
Good wetland easily viewed from road alongside.

Swamp Harrier.

Plum Whis Dk, Wand Whis Dk, Mag Goo, Aus Mag, Mag Lk, Purp S/H, Aus Greb, Dusk Mhen, Laug Kook, Sul Cr Cock, Aus Dart, C C Jac, Int Eg, Mas Lap, Wil Wag.

Lake Tinaroo.
Good place with lots of birds. We saw many while standing near where the road crosses the concrete water outlet where it passes under the road, just past the campsite.

Scarlet Honeyeater, Yellow-Faced Honeyeater, Yellow Honeyeater.
Aus Kes, Aus Mag, Blk Kit, Com My, Mag Lk, Pac Blk Dk, Man Dk, R/bow Lori, Pi Cur, Lit Eg, Cat Eg, Wt Fac Her, Wil Wag, Rd Bck F/W, Grey F/T, Lit Pi Corm, Lead F/C, Wt Br C/S, Wt R Swft, Lew H/E, Bra Kit, Pea Dov, Pal Hd Ros, Span Dron, Sul Cr Cock, Nois F/B, Mas Lap.

Saturday 17th June.

Lake Tinaroo.

Bridled Honeyeater.
R/bow Lori, Sul Cr Cock, Scar H/E, Wt Br H/E, Span Dron, Yel Fac H/E, Pea Dov, Scal Br H/E, Bra Kit.

Road between Kennedy Highway and Millau Millau.
Another wet day. Quail seen at road side.

Brown Quail.

Lacey’s Creek Rainforest Walk. Road between El Arish and Mission Beach.
We were unbelievably lucky here. As we pulled into the Lacey’s Creek, a man emerged from the path into the rainforest and told us that there was a Cassowary nearby. We went straight into the forest to see it walking through a nearby picnic site. So a Cassowary in 20 seconds, can’t be bad.

Lge Bil S/W, Spec Mon, For K/F.

Mission Beach
Resort with plenty of amenities.
Best spot was the nearby boat ramp where there was a big roost of Crested Terns and distant views of Frigate birds and Ospreys.

Fig, Yel Bel S/B, Bra Kit, Laug Kook, B S Dov, Sac K/F, Mas Lap.

Sunday 18th June.

Mission Beach.

Span Dron, Wt Br W/S, Yel Bel S/B, R/bow B/E, Spec Mon, Or Ft S/B, Wel Swal, Hel F/B, Fig, Wt R Swt, East Rf Her (Grey & White).

Boat Jetty.

Gould’s Bronze Cuckoo.
Frigate Bird Sp. Gt Cres Ter, Wt Bel Se Eag, Osp, Bra Kit, B S Dov, D E Fig Par, Sac K/F.

Monday 19th June.

Innot Hot Springs.
We came here to escape the rain and immediately got these new species which are all around the camp site.
They have an extensive feeding program here for the parrots and we had superb views of both parrots and various crow species. No small birds here though.
There is also a lake and reed bed with lots of water birds.
Campers also get the use of the hot springs

Grey Butcherbird, Crested Pigeon, Noisy Miner.
Common Coot. Cotton Pygmy Goose.

Bl Fac H/E, Purp S/H, Roy S/B, Plum Whis Dk, Pac Blk Dk, Dusk M.hen, Aus Greb, Com My, Tor Cr, Mag Lk, Aus Mag, R/bow Lori, Mas Lap, Laug Kook, Pal Hd Ros, Scal Br Lori, For K/F, Gt Bow Bird, Pi Cur, Wil Wag, Wt Bel C/S, Rd Wngd Par, Wel Swal, Wand Whis Dk.

Tuesday 20th June.

Innot Hot Springs.

Square-Tailed Kite.
Com My, Pur S/H, Cres Pig, Bl Fac H/E, Wt Fac Her, Roy S/B, Pac Blk Dk, Plum Whis Dk, Wand Whis Dk, Com Coot, Dusk M/hen, Aus Dart, Cot Pyg Goo, Mag Lk, Aus Mag, Pi BB, Tor Crow, Pal Hd Ros, R/bow Lori, Rd Wngd Parra, Grey BB, Nois Min, Laugh Kook.

Road to Ravenshoe.

BB Crk, Aus Kes, Wt R Swt, Br Tur, Cat Eg, Pi Cur.

Crater NP.
Worth a visit if only to see this massive hole in the ground. Most birds were seen around the car park.

Gol Bow Bd, (fem) Lew H/E, Br Tur, Gr Hd Rob, Brid H/E, Wil Wag.

Road to Atherton.
2 Kites viewed hovering over road side fields.

Australian Kite, 2. (Blk Shouldered)
Brol, Cat Eg, Mas Lap, Aus Ib.

Cairns Esplanade.

Varied Honeyeater.
Aus Ib, Lit Eg, Roy S/bil, Whib, Gt Eg, Wt Fac Her, Sil Gul, Mas Lap, Int Eg, FE Curl, Bea T/Knee, Sac K/F, Aus Pel, Str Her,

Cairns City Campsite.

Bush T/knee, Str N Ib, Fig.

Wednesday 21st June

Great Barrier Reef
Another great highlight of our trip. Ensure that the boat you book on lands on Michaelmas Cay. As the Sea Star II was out of action, we booked with Noah’s Ark which was very cheap, only 49 Aud for the reef trip. You also get free snorkling and a buffet lunch which was good. You can also do an introductory scuba dive on the coral reef if you wish. This costs another 40 aud which is very reasonable.
Michaelmas Cay is a bird sanctuary but you can land on the beach and there is a roped off area where you are allowed to go. You are surrounded by the sea birds and it is excellent for photography. A 200 mm lens is ideal for close up shots.
You then go on to Hastings reef for further diving and snorkelling.
The boat is a bit slow and pitches about. Quite a few people were seasick so seasick pills are advisable for poor sailors.

Seen from boat.

Brown Skua.

Michaelmas Cay.

Brown Booby, Common Noddy, Black Noddy, Sooty Tern. Great Frigate Bird.
Gt Cres Ter, Sil Gul.

Hastings’ Reef.

Black-Naped Tern.
Brn Nod.

Thursday 22nd June

Cairns Esplanade.
Red-Necked Stint
Barwit, FE Cur, Whim, Sil Gul, Mas Lap, GB Ter, Curl sand, Str Her, Gt Eg, Lit Eg, Int Eg, Rd Cap plov, Cas Ter.

Cairns Botanical Gardens.

Wel Swal, Pac Blk Dk, For K/F, Sac K/F, Yel H/E, Brn H/E, Wil Wag, Span Dron, Mag Lk, Mag Goo, Yel Bel S/B, Com My, Var Trill, Wt R W/S, Pea Dov.

Kingfisher Park.
Back to our favourite place for a few days. More spot lighting produced:--

Barn Owl. 2.
Les Sty Owl, Rd B F/T, McCl H/E, Yel Spt H/E, Or Ft S/F, Br Tur, Pal Yel Rob, Laug Kook.

Friday 23rd June.

Some sights revisited

Abbatoir Swamp.

Brn H/E, BS Dov, Sul Cr Cock, Wt Br H/E, Wt Chkd H/E, Lew H/E, Yel Fac H/E, Whis Kit, Wand Whis Dk, Tor Cr.

Lake Mitchell.

Glossy Ibis.
Blk Fac C/S, Brn Gos, Mas Lap, Wil Wag, Blk N Stk, Aus Bus, Aus Kes, Tor Cr, Tre Mar, Mag lk, Wel Swal, Wt Bel S Eag, Aus Mag, Bl Fac H/E, Grn Pyg Goo, Aus Greb, Wht Fac Her, R/bow B/E, Lit Pi Corm, Gt Corm, Osp, Whis Kit, Str N Ib, CCJac, Blk Sw, Nois F/B, R/bow Lori, Pal Hd Ros.
Mount Molloy.

Gt Bow Bd, Fig, Sileye, Lew H/E, Scar H/E, DB Fin, Wt Br W/S, BS Dov, Yel H/E, Brn H/E, Pea Dov, Bl W Kook, R/bow Lori, Com My, Gr Hd Bab, Bl Fac H/E, Wt Bel C/S.

Kingfisher Park.
I found the Red-Necked Crake bathing in the small pool in the forest at dusk.

Rd Br F/T, Spot Catbd, Rd Nkd Crak, Lge Bld S/W, Grey F/T, Lit Shr Thr, Grey Shr Thr, Pal Yel Rob, Spec Mon.

Saturday 24th June.

Kingfisher Park.

Laug Kook, McCl H/E, Rd Br F/T, Em Grd Dov, Yel Spt H/E, For K/F, Pac Baz, Rd Brd Lori.

Coolya Beach.

Wt Fac Her, Whim, Sac K/F, Gt Eg, FE Curl, Barwit, Reef Her (Grey).

Port Douglas
Very nice town with good restaurants.

Spotted Turtle Dove.
Span Dron, Var H/E, Pea Dov, Hel F/B, Sil Gull, Fig, Brn H/E, Wt Bel C/S. Ho Spar, Wel Swal.

4 Mile Beach Campsite.
Fig trees in the village produced many birds.

Barred Cuckoo Shrike.
Whim, GB Tern, Fig, Span Dron, Em Grd Dov, Pea Dov, BS Dov, R/bow Lori, Yel Bel S/B, Aus Ib.

Sunday 25th June

4 Mile Beach Campsite area.

Mistletoe Bird.
Wt Bel W/S, Fig, Pea Dov, BS Dov, Wt Bel C/C, Hel F/B, Var Trill, Spt Tur Dov.

Port Douglas Mangroves.
We hired a small motor boat from the marina, Aud30 for 2 hours and explored the mangrove creeks. We were very pleased to find a little kingfisher.

Lead F/C, Spec Mon, Sac K/F, Ruf F/T, Lit Eg, Stri Her, Aus Dart, Int Eg, Lit K/F, Bra Kit, Mag Lk, Str N Ib.

Reddon Island, Machans Beach.
Machans Beach is just north of Cairns and access to the Island is off Marshall St, then Cinderella St, there is a gate on the right just after you cross the bridge over the creek and another near the end of the road. This is where the Barron River meets the sea so there are extensive sand bars on the beach where there are waders.

Wt Br W/S, Pea Dov, Wt R Swt, Wt Bel C/S, Nut Man, Span Dron, Blk Fac C/S, Wil Wag, Bra Kit, Hel F/B, Col Sp Hk, R/bow B/E, Re Her, Gt Eg, Barwit, Sil Gul, Rd Nkd St, Les Snd plov, Snd/ling.

Cairns Esplanade.
A last view of this superb birding site which still produced a new bird, even though it was a common species to us.

Pied Oystercatcher.
FE Cur, Barwit, Sil Gul, Com My, Aus Pel, Aus Ib, Lit Eg, Wt Fac Her, Cas ter, GB Ter, Gt Cres Ter, Rd C Plov, Rd Nkd St, Gt KNt, Gr T Tat, Sac K/F, Mas Lap, Wel Swal, Wt R Swft.

Monday 26th June.

Airport Boardwalk.
Down Airport Road on the right just before the airport entrance. Don’t forget your mossie protection.
More birds to the right of the car park where the forest opens out.

Large-Billed Gerygone.

Man Rob, Shiny F/C, Lead F/c, Aus Ib, Lit Eg, Bra Kit, Brn H/E.

Skyrail Carpark.
Still another new bird, maintaining our record of a new bird every day.
Shining Bronze Cuckoo.
Dusk H/E, Grn Pyg Goo, Pac Blk Dk, Int Eg, Com My, Will Wag, Mag Lk.

Mount Whitfield.

Spec Mon, Sileye, Span Dron, Fig, Hel F/B, R/bow B/E, Dusk H/E, Ruf F/T, Wil Wag, Grey Shr Thr.

Tuesday 27th June.

Flying out this morning so no time for birding.

Wednesday 28th June.

Kuala Lumpur.
Early AM around the Pan Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur Airport. Some birds first seen in India.

Philippine Glossy Starling, Pacific Swallow.
Indian House Crow, House Swift, Magpie Robin, Black-Winged Kite, Black-Naped Oriole.
Yel Bel S/B, Pea Dov.

click here for species list

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