Birds Australia North Queensland

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Report on Birding at Cardwell, 13 - 14 September 2008

Greg Bortolussi

With the invigorating Saturday committee meeting, over the few that remained standing met at the Cardwell melaleuca walk way for a look around for an hour or so. We were quickly rewarded with sightings of a few waders such as Whimbrels working the incoming tide. After walking along the beach a bit we rejoined the path in a patch of vine scrub between the bridge and a corner by the beach.  A Collared Kingfisher could be heard and was eventually seen. Mangrove Robins called from the thick forest and it did not take long for Ivor and Greg to spot a trio in what looked like a territorial dispute. Bar-shouldered Doves foraged in the wet litter. Sunbirds, Varied, Yellow-spotted and Dusky Honeyeaters and Little Shrike-Thrush were also seen at the site. Others in the group picked up a few Little Egrets and White-faced Herons. Those that stayed back later got to witness the waves of Common Mynas and Magpie Larks heading south across the mangroves presumably to their evening roosting places.

We decided over dinner to head to the lookout and waterfall behind town the next morning. The author made an early start and headed out to Meunga Creek boat ramp and turned up 18 species including Large-billed Gerygones and Macleays Honeyeaters but was driven back to town by the hordes of annoying mosquitoes. After the Sunday morning muster at the Information Centre and a quick walk along the beach where were had good views of a Beach Stone-Curlew hanging out near a fisherman we headed off only to find our way blocked by a car rally in the State forest. An alternative plan was quickly agreed and we headed south out of town towards the Dalrymple Track carpark.

Arriving at the carpark just before 0900 we got organised for a 30 minute walk along the track. On the way to the car park a Bush Stone-Curlew and some Red-browed Finches were flushed out. An Olive-backed Oriole flew across as we got ready to head down into the creek to investigate a calling dove. Highlights of the morning were a family of uncooperative Lovely Fairy-Wrens, Emerald Dove, Northern Fantails, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Grey Whistler and a very co-operative Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove. Elna saw a Grey Shrike-Thrush in the same tree as the Grey Whistler. Rainbow Bee-eaters and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos were seen overhead in the canopy. The birds were quite shy all morning which made for very challenging birding. Over twenty species for our efforts.

After a smorgasbord morning tea we headed for home. The last birds seen were a flock of White-rumped Swiftlets overhead.

Attendees: Ivor Preston, Karen Doyle, Elna Kerswell, Beth Snewin, Greg Bortolussi.