Visit your favourite destinations
Western Europe
North America
Eastern Europe
South America
Middle East
East Indies

A Report from

Top End and Eastern Queensland, May 4-24 2005 ,

Phil Gregory

Ken and Chris Havard, Milt and Elaine Spitzer, Dick and Lenora Flynn, Phil Cram


This was a private trip to enjoy the birds, mammals and scenery of the tropical north of Australia. We began in Brisbane where we saw the Mangrove Honeyeater immediately (for a change!), then picking up Collared Kingfisher and Mangrove Gerygone too. Next we saw the first of some 5 Square-tailed Kites for the trip at Daisy Hill, before heading up to Lamington and the delights of the famous O’Reillys guesthouse. The weather was very kind with 3 days of clear, cool sunny conditions, which are by no means the norm here, though finding some of the special species was tough. Regent Bowerbirds were almost absent until we got a flurry of them early one morning right by the cabins, though the Satin Bowerbird was still dutifully tending his bower. Paradise Riflebird was elusive at the onset of winter, but Logrunner and Bassian Thrush showed well. The dry country stuff was also good and we quickly added Red-browed Tree-creeper and Buff-rumped Thornbill, and made an epic scramble for Bell Miner. Night-birding was hard, only hearing the Owlet-nightjar and dipping on the boobook and Marbled Frogmouth entirely, but taping in a Sooty Owl was a major coup which made up for it, by far the hardest of the nocturnal birds here. Albert’s Lyrebird was unusually elusive, and the supposedly obliging male that Glen put us onto was quite the reverse.

The Cairns section based at Cassowary House was very rewarding and we mopped up most the specials without too much difficulty, including a total of 7 individual Cassowaries! Other good birds were White-eared Monarch, Victoria’s Riflebird, Spotted Catbird, Red-necked Crake and Lovely Fairywren. The early morning walk gave us marvellous looks at Double-eyed Fig-Parrot and Wompoo Pigeon, and some odd dry country migrants on the tablelands included Masked and White-browed Wood-swallows, and Dusky Wood-swallow at Hastie’s Swamp. Cairns gave us Little Kingfisher and late Pied Imperial-Pigeon, plus a good range of shorebirds including Terek Sandpiper and Great Knot. The higher elevation species were a bit harder at this time of the year, but we did all get Golden Bowerbird in the end, (along with a genuine FNQ leech experience!) plus Mountain Thornbill, Atherton Scrubwren, Grey-headed Robin and Bridled Honeyeater

The reef trip was on the Seastar 2 with new owners, and they did a first rate job, with the usual Sooty Tern and Brown Noddy plus Lesser Frigatebird and Masked Booby out at Michaelmas Cay. Next day we toured the dry country for Squatter Pigeon, Black-throated Finch and a lovely White-browed Robin, whilst Wondecla was very rewarding with a fantastic daytime Barking Owl, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Little Lorikeet, Fuscous Honeyeater and Eastern Shrike-tit. Daintree was a pleasant very early morning diversion, though sadly no Papuan Frogmouth had yet come to their winter roost sites, and Great-billed Heron has become difficult here these days.

Georgetown is always a nice outing, getting into the much more arid country, and adding a whole lot of species to the list, including Emu, Budgerigar, Cockatiel, Australian Bustard, Spotted Harrier, Spinifex Pigeon, Masked Finch and a surprise flock of Pictorella Mannikin. Phil also saw Australian Swiftlet out here for the first time, maybe one from the Chillagoe race?

Highlights in Darwin were a fine mix of species near Darwin River Dam, with lots of perched Varied Lorikeet, Northern Rosella, Masked and Long-tailed Finch, Banded and Bar-breasted Honeyeater. Rainbow Pitta was fantastic at Howard Springs, along with Brown Whistler and Green-backed Gerygone, whilst a hot bush walk gave us Silver-backed Butcherbird and another Tawny Frogmouth. The Rufous Owl in the Botanic Garden came up trumps again with two fine birds seen nicely. Palmerston mangroves were rewarding with Mangrove Fantail, an elusive Mangrove Robin and a bonus White-breasted Whistler, but Beach Stone Curlew proved elusive here at both East Point and Lee Point.

Pine Creek in the afternoon was great, with a loose flock of about 40 Hooded Parrot showing very nicely, including several fine males, and our foray out to a nearby river next day gave us great views of the rare Gouldian Finch. We then drove up to Waterfall Creek, where a fire last year has badly damaged the spinifex-type habitat and we failed to locate any White-throated Grasswren despite a lengthy search. The climb up the escarpment was rewarding, as we got onto Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon and White-lined Honeyeater as soon as we got into the dry valley area, whilst Sandstone Shrike-thrush sang and showed beautifully,

A trip highlight came with a strange dark raptor that soared up over the gorge, and proved to be the first live record of Oriental Honey-Buzzard for mainland Australia, as confirmed by Ken’s photo shots- YAY! An exploration out at Plum-tree Crek gave no sign of any grasswrens, but Partridge Pigeon were nice, then it was on up to Gagadju Lodge at Cooinda. We did the late afternoon Yellow Waters boat trip with Murray, a good guide for once, not just crocodiles for a change, and there were some fine photo opportunities and great looks at various waterbirds.

Nourlangie Rock eventually gave us nice views of the scarce and very lovely Banded Fruit-Dove, and had terrific views of 3 birds. White-lined Honeyeater was everywhere, and Black-tailed Tree-creeper performed well, as did the very distinctive Sandstone race ammitophila of Helmeted Friarbird which both looks and sounds quite different to yorki in Queensland, anywhere else but Australia would probably have it split by now. Peregrine and Collared Sparrowhawk completed the picture here, then a walk after Chestnut-backed Buttonquail produced flight views for some and a repeat performance next day with better views. A major bonus for some of us though was finding a Masked Owl, which perched up obligingly, a rare bird here and a pity we couldn’t relocate it next day, though we did find the only sighting of Australian Owlet-nightjar for the trip as compensation. A late afternoon walk by the Old Darwin Road gave us views of a Southern Boobook that we flushed, and a loose group of Spotted Nightjar showed well, so we did amazingly well for daylight views of nocturnal birds.

The final day saw us call in at several wetlands before Adelaide River Crossing for a duel with Mangrove Golden Whistler and nice looks at Arafura Fantail and Broad-billed Flycatcher. Our final stop was Fogg Dam where we picked up a few additions such as Little Bronze and Brush Cuckoo, before heading back up to Darwin.

It was a fun trip, with some great sightings and a few outstanding records, exploring a fascinating part of Australia in relative comfort. My thanks to the group for the chance to put it all together, and to Phil Cram for not snoring, and being  an ideal room-mate! Also thanks to Ken for some lovely photos, and to Sue Gregory for essentially managing the trip and doing the logistics. Hope to see you all in WA sometime.

Phil Gregory, Cassowary House, Kuranda, Queensland June 2005


Endemics in bold, * denotes a near-endemic

* Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius
            The male and four chicks showed daily at Cassowary House over the days we were there, and we also saw the big adult female and the immature male on occasion. One of the birds of the trip and surely one of the world’s great species.

Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae
            Great views of two quite confiding birds out on the gorge road at Georgetown.

* Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspiciillatus
            A few around  Brisbane, Darwin and Mareeba.

Australasian Grebe Podiceps novaehollandiae
            Small numbers at various wetland sites.

Great-crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
            One on the lake near Canungra, then 30 at Lake Eacham and one at Warruna Dam.  Amazing that this is supposedly the same species in Europe and Africa too.

Brown Booby Sula leucogaster
            We saw 29 at Michaelmas Cay.

Masked Booby Sula dactylatra
            One sub-adult was at Michaelmas Cay, a scarce bird here.

Little Shearwater Puffinus assimilis
            Astonishingly, a small black and white shearwater appeared by the stern of the Seastar 2  in a rain squall off Green Island, the first time I’ve ever seen a pelagic seabird on a this reef trip and I didn’t have my bins handy! The contrasting appearance with the pale undertail coverts and small size indicate Little Shearwater, as does the flapping flight action. Quite what it was doing here is anyone’s guess as it is very rare in the north.

Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos
            Small numbers at various sites throughout

Pied Cormorant P. varius
             A single was flying at sea off Buffalo Creek, the northern limit of the range here.

Little Black Cormorant P. sulcirostris

Great Cormorant P. carbo
            Three were at Lake Eacham.

Australian Darter Anhinga novaehollandiae
            Widespread, nice views of 3 nests with 2 juveniles at Half Moon Bay pond at Yorkey’s Knob.

Lesser Frigatebird Fregata ariel
            Four were hanging about off Michaelmas Cay.

White-faced Heron Ardea novaehollandiae
            Small numbers seen.

* Pied Heron Egretta picata
            A few around Darwin and at Fogg Dam.

Little Egret E. garzetta
            A few at Brisbane and in the NT

Eastern Reef Egret Egretta sacra
            Seen at Cairns and Darwin, all dark phase birds.

Great Egret Egretta alba
            Small numbers seen throughout.

Intermediate Egret E. intermedia
            Lots in Kakadu.

Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis
            A few were around the tablelands and in Darwin and Kakadu.

White-necked Heron Ardea pacifica
            Singles were at Georgetown, near Darwin and in Kakadu.

Striated Heron Butorides striatus
            Three were seen around Darwin.

Nankeen Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus
            One seen at Cairns, four at Cumberland Dam and ten at Yellow Waters.

Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus
            Unusually scarce, with one at Tinaroo Creek Road and just a couple in Kakadu.

Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus
            Two near Canungra and twenty at Yellow Waters.

* Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca

* Straw-necked Ibis T. spinicollis
            Widespread, with 300 in Kakadu.

* Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia
            Twelve at Canungra, a couple at Cairns and singles at Durham Dam and in the NT.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill P. flavipes
            Four at the lake near Canungra were a useful pick-up as they are scarce in the north.

* Black Swan Cygnus atratus
            Two at Canungra and ten at Warruna Dam.

* Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmatus
            Fifty at Hastie’s Swamp and a few in Kakadu.

* Wandering Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna arcuata
            A couple at Half Moon Bay pond, one at Hastie’s Swamp and eight at Warruna Dam.

Plumed Whistling-Duck D. eytoni
            80 at Half Moon Bay pond, 500 at Hastie’s Swamp, 120 at Durham Dam, 50 at Yellow waters and 40 at Pine Creek SP.

* Radjah Shelduck Tadorna radjah
            A few seen around Kakadu, Palmerston SP and Pine Creek SP.

Australian Wood Duck Chenonetta jubata
            A few near Canungra and at Cumberland Dam.

Pacific Black Duck Anas rubripes

Grey Teal A. gibberifrons
            Small numbers throughout, starting at Canungra.

* Green Pygmy-Goose Nettapus pulchellus
            First seen at Cumberland Dam, then a few at Durham Dam and up to 50 in Kakadu.

Pink-eared Duck Malacorhynchus membranaceus
            This bizarre creature was seen several times with a single at Hastie’s Swamp, 70 at Durham Dam and 6 at Pine Creek SP.

* Hardhead Aythya australis
            Small numbers throughout.

Black-shouldered Kite  Elanus axillaris
            Three were seen on the tablelands.

Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinia isura
            This is one of the rare Australian raptors with probably below a thousand pairs. Phil C found us one at Daisy Hill, then we had one near Lake Mitchell, one along Black Mt. Road, one at Darwin River dam and finally one near Pine Creek. A good trip for them, we usually get one or two sightings only.

Black Kite Milvus migrans
            Lots in the NT and a few around Georgetown and Mareeba.

Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus
            Widespread in small numbers.

Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
            Singles around Cairns and Daintree.

Crested Honey-Buzzard Pernis ptilonorhynchus
            This was an astounding find above Waterfall Creek on May 5th, a dark morph bird soaring up and giving good views before sailing off into the distance. Luckily Ken was able to grab some photos when I realized I was floundering over the identity, and my tentative i.d. was confirmed when I circulated them to sundry experts. I will now have to write it up as this is the first live bird for mainland Australia, the only other record being a dead (or moribund?) bird at Kalgoorlie in 1993 which is now in a Perth Museum. Great work to get the shots Ken, without them we’d have no hope of acceptance

White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster
            Sundry individual sightings around Cairns and Darwin with 3 at Yellow Waters.

Swamp Harrier Circus approximans
            One dark bird at Canungra and one at Yellow Waters.

* Spotted Harrier C. assimilis
            An adult at Four Mile Creek near Georgetown was unexpected, and showed really well, a very striking species.

* Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus
            A few sightings in the Darwin area.

Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae
            One over Sheridan St in the centre of Cairns was unexpected.

* Collared Sparrowhawk Accipiter cirrhocephalus
            Four singles including one at Nourlangie Rock.

* Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax
            Seen at Yungaburra, Georgetown and Kakadu.

* Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides
            One was near Ravenshoe, but sadly I drove past it and we couldn’t stop safely there.

* Brown Falcon Falco berigora
            One seen along Henry Hannam Drive near Mareeba and quite a few in the Darwin-Kakadu area.

* Nankeen Kestrel F. cenchroides
            One near Fogg Dam, one at Mareeba and one near Canungra.

* Australian Hobby F. longipennis
            Great views of two at Darwin River Dam, and also seen at Cooinda.

Peregrine F. peregrinus
            One seen nicely at the traditional spot at Nourlangie. The Matson Plaza Hotel in Cairns site has now been lost to redevelopment.

Australian Brush-turkey Alectura lathami
            Very tame and confiding at O’Reilly’s and around Kuranda.

* Orange-footed Scrubfowl Megapodius freycinet
            A nice mound was being worked at Kingfisher Park, and lots of birds around Darwin.

Chestnut-backed Buttonquail Turnix castanotus
            We twice worked the site at the Old Darwin Road, flushing birds both times and with most folks getting a fair flight view on the second day. I only heard one flush on the first day and Phil C got to see it.

* Painted Buttonquail Turnix varia
            Quite nice close flight views on two days of a loose group of 5 at the O’Reilly’s quarry on Duck Creek Road.

* Brown Quail Coturnix ypsilophora
            Five along the approach road to O’Reilly’s, which gave us a bit of a scramble to flush again, then a couple by O’Reillys quarry, several at Palmerston SP and a couple flushed at Fogg Dam.       

* Red-necked Crake Rallina tricolor
            A very obliging bird at Cassowary House, duly rewarded with cheese.

Buff-banded Rail Gallirallus philippensis
            Lovely views of 4 at Lake Tinaroo and a couple of other sightings later.

Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa
            Great views at Canungra winery creek.

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
            Good views of about 80 birds at Hastie’s Swamp, and ten near Canungra on the first day.

Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
            Five near Canungra, 20 at Hastie’s Swamp, a couple at Cumberland Dam, and six at Pine Creek SP.

Comb-crested Jacana Irrediparra gallinacea
            Seen at Canungra, Warruna Dam and lots at Yellow Waters.

* Australian Bustard Ardeotis australis
            Lovely views of this declining species at Georgetown, with 4 on one day and 8 the next.

Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris
            Two at Cairns Esplanade

White-headed Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus
            Seen at Canungra, Durham Dam and Pine Creek SP.

* Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius
            Fantastic views of 25 in Cairns, 3 at Lake Tinaroo and odd birds in Kakadu.

* Australian Pratincole Stiltia isabella
            Five at Darwin airport, 50 at Yellow Waters and then about 150 suicidal ones over the road at the South Alligator River

Grey (Black-bellied) Plover P. squatarola
            One at Buffalo Creek was a year tick for PG.

Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus
            Good views at Buffalo Creek beach.

Lesser Sand-Plover C. mongolus
            One was seen at Buffalo Creek beach.

Greater Sand-Plover C. leschenaultii
            One was seen at Buffalo Creek beach.

* Black-fronted Dotterel Elseyornis melanops
            Up to 20 at Durham Dam, 4 at Cumberland Dam and 3 seen at Pine Creek SP.

Red-kneed Dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus
            One at Canungra was unexpected, then a couple at Durham Dam and a couple at Pine Creek SP.

Masked Lapwing Vanellus novaehollandiae
            The race miles is common in the north, whilst we saw novaehollandiae at Manly and around Lamington..

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
            Four were seen at Cairns Esplanade.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
            Three at Cairns Esplanade and one at Buffalo Creek.

Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis
            A couple seen at Manly, 3 at Cairns and 2 at Buffalo Creek. This is a declining species listed as Vulnerable.

Greenshank Tringa nebularia
            A few at  Cairns and singles at East Point.

Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
            Four at Cairns Esplanade, a great little shorebird.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
            Two at Palmerston SP.

Grey-tailed Tattler Heteroscelus brevipes
            Eighteen at Cairns and two at East Point.

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
            Two were on Michaelmas Cay

Great Knot C. tenuirostris
            Twenty at Cairns.

Sanderling Calidris alba
            Five at Buffalo Creek beach were a year tick for PG.

Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis
            Five at Cairns Esplanade.

Silver Gull Larus novaehollandiae
            Seen around Manly, Cairns and Darwin

Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica
            One at Manly then seen at Cairns and the Darwin area.

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
            A couple at Manly and again at Cairns.

Crested Tern Sterna bergii
            Seen at Cairns and about 200 out on the reef at Michaelmas Cay, with 4 at East Point.

Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana
            At least 7 birds out on the pontoons at Hastings Reef.

Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata
            There were 1000+ at the colony on Michaelmas Cay.

Bridled Tern S. anaethetus
            A couple of distant birds flew by out at Hastings Reef.

Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
            A few at Palmerston SP, Yellow Waters and Pine Creek SP.

Brown Noddy Anous stolidus
            There were 1000+ birds on Michaelmas Cay.

Feral Pigeon Columba livia (I)
            Seen in Darwin and Cairns.

White-headed Pigeon Columba leucomela
            Brief flight views of one of this scarce species at Canungra for some, then 10 at Yungaburra.

Spotted Turtle-Dove Streptopelia chinensis (I)
            Seen in Brisbane Cairns.

Brown Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia phasianella
            Seen at Cassowary House and Lamington.

Emerald Ground-Dove Chalcophaps indica
            Lovely views at Cassowary House and Howard Springs.

Common Bronzewing Phaps chalcoptera
            Astonishingly, we saw none at Georgetown, probably my first ever dip there. One flushed from the road in Kakadu at Plum Tree Creek but was a glimpse only

Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes
            Seen near Brisbane, Georgetown and at Tolga.

Partridge Pigeon Geophaps smithii
            We saw some 10 birds along the drive to Waterfall Creek and back, then five next day at Mardugal and a couple on the last day in Kakadu. Seems to be getting scarcer these days.

Squatter Pigeon Geophaps scripta
            Lovely views of a group of eleven on Tinaroo Creek Road, and just a couple out at Georgetown. Another declining species nationally.

Spinifex Pigeon Geophaps
           Great views of 7 birds by the roadside as we got past Turtle Rock near Routh Creek. The sandstone escarpment here holds a population of this elusive species.

Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon Petrophassa rufipennis
            My Nourlangie site did not deliver again, but thankfully we did really well at Waterfall Creek and saw some six birds at close range.

Peaceful Dove Geopelia striata

Diamond Dove G. cuneata
           A few birds out at Georgetown were nice, then a few near Pine Creek, very much an arid country species.

* Bar-shouldered Dove G. humeralis
            Very common in the NT and a few near Julatten.

Wonga Pigeon Leucosarcia melanoleuca
            Nice views of a few up at Lamington.

Banded Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus cinctus
           Brief views for a few on one day of this beautiful and elusive species at Nourlangie, then Phil C. found us two there next day from the look out which everyone saw nicely.

* Wompoo Fruit-Dove P. magnificus
            Three at Cassowary House gave fine views.

Torresian Imperial-Pigeon Ducula spilorrhoa
            A few still about in Cairns and one late bird at Darwin, where the widespread planting of Carpentaria palms may be encouraging late stayers.

Topknot Pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus
            One flew over at the Crater.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii
            Seen most days in the NT with up to 70 birds, a characteristic species of Kakadu.

Galah Cacatua roseicapilla
            Fifteen at Canungra and many out at Georgetown and in the Territory, with lovely views of them coming to drink at the dams at Georgetown.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo C. galerita
            Seen most days away from the rain forest areas in small numbers, with 250 on the Tablelands one day.

* Little Corella C. sanguinea
            Thirty at Adelaide River and 70 at Fogg Dam were the maxima, widespread this time in the NT.

Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus
            Just one flying over at Cumberland Dam, it was unusually scarce this trip.

Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus
            Quite common in Queensland, gaudy but nice. The Red-collared form rubritorques was common in the Territory and is a potential split.

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet T. chlorolepidus
            Good views around the Tablelands and 6 at Manly for starters.

Varied Lorikeet Psitteuteles versicolor
            Good this trip with lots about, and with great views of about 70 birds feeding in flowering gums at Darwin River Dam, and fly-bys at Palmerston SP, Buffalo Creek and Pine Creek.

Little Lorikeet Glossopsitta concinna
            Nice views of 12 birds at the flowering gums at Wondecla.

*Double-eyed Fig-Parrot Cyclopsitta diopthalma
            Wonderful views of pairs at Cassowary House, this is the race macleayana.

Australian King Parrot Alisterus scapularis
            Nice views at Lamington and Cassowary House.

* Red-winged Parrot Aprosmictus erythropterus
            Good views in Kakadu and singles near Mareeba.

Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans
            The nominate race was common at Lamington. One of the small dark northern race was near the Crater.

Pale-headed Rosella P. adscitus
            Lovely views of the pale northern race around Mareeba, and a couple of the southern form at Manly and Duck Creek Road.

Northern Rosella P. venustus
            Six feeding near Darwin River Dam and a couple at Pine Creek, plus two en route to Waterfall Creek. This is always a sparse species.

Hooded Parrot Psephotus dissimilis
            Wonderful views of about 40 of this beautiful rarity at Pine Creek, with six adult males. This is one of the most striking of all parrots with that unique shade of turquoise blue.

Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus
            This quintessentially Australian bird was seen nicely at Four Mile Creek (20) and Durham Dam, where eight birds were coming in over the waterhole but were too nervous to drink.

Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus
            Two seen well at Fogg Dam and one in Kakadu.

Fan-tailed Cuckoo C. flabelliformis
            One seen nicely after a tape duel at Wondecla.

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus
            One seen well at the Crater after some great spotting from Elaine.

Gould’s (Malay) Bronze-Cuckoo C. (malayanus) russatus
            A couple of males were seen at Cassowary House.

Little Bronze-Cuckoo C. (malayanus) minutillus
            Good views of a male at Fogg Dam. Split by Australian authorities but not by Clements, and in PNG the two forms are not separable.

Pheasant Coucal Centropus phasianinus
            Good views around the Tablelands and near Mareeba.

* Sooty Owl Tyto tenebricosa
            This was quite a coup, a calling bird at the rain-forest-savanna junction on Duck Creek Road was taped in for quite good views, initially right above us then twice perched on vines. This is a very hard to see species and we were fortunate. New Guinea birds look much larger, I doubt they will be the same species once they get analysed.

Lesser Sooty Owl Tyto multipunctata (H)
            One was heard one night at Cassowary House.

* Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae
            A very unexpected find was flushing one in daylight when were doing the buttonquail thrash along the Old Darwin Road. We got good views of it perched too, when the feathered legs and big feet were obvious. This was a NT tick for me, it is very scarce here.

* Rufous Owl Ninox rufa
            Two tremendous birds in daylight in Darwin Botanic Gardens, a good stakeout for this rather rare species.

* Barking Owl N. connivens
            One in daylight at Wondecla at my stakeout, giving fine views, and heard calling in the early morning at Cooinda..

* Southern Boobook N. novaehollandiae
            One flushed in the last of the daylight at the Old Darwin Road junction, in the area where I’ve previously seen Owlet-nightjar and Spotted Nightjar similarly.

* Australian Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles cristatus
            Heard at Lamington, then wonderful daylight views when we went back to look for the Masked Owl next day.

Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides
            Two roosting in the winery near Canungra again, and one flushed up from the ground at Middle Arm. Finally one by the road as we went down early to Waterfall Creek.

Spotted Nightjar Eurostopodus argus
            Five were flushed and seen nicely in flight along the Old Darwin Road in the boobook area, amongst the turkey bushes.

Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus
            One flew over the road as we went down early to Waterfall Creek.

Australian (White-rumped) Swiftlet Collocalia (spodiopygia) terraereginae
            Widespread on the Tablelands and over Cassowary House. One out at Cumberland Dam was a surprise, I wonder if this was of the race from Chillagoe? This species is now a split from the Pacific Island White-rumped Swiftlets.

Azure Kingfisher Alcedo azurea
            Terrific views at the winery near Canungra, then on the Daintree and Yellow Waters boat trips.

Little Kingfisher A. pusilla
            Great views of one at Centenary Lake in Cairns, and again on the Daintree.

Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae
            Widespread in the east.

* Blue-winged Kookaburra D. leachii
            Nice views around Mareeba and at Kakadu.

* Forest Kingfisher Todiramphus macleayii
           Common around the Tablelands and Georgetown, with up to 10 in a day, and up to 5 daily in the Territory.

Red-backed Kingfisher T. pyrrhopygia
            The first were near Georgetown, then up to 4 around Adelaide River.

Sacred Kingfisher T. sanctus
            A few around in the north, including Daintree and Darwin.

Collared Kingfisher T. chloris
            One at Manly was strangely the only one of the trip.

Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus
            Lots in the NT, with a roost of 200 at Yellow Waters being a fine sight, and a few in FNQ.

Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis
            Two late immature birds at Daintree on April 26, and two very late at  Palmerston on May 2.

Rainbow Pitta P. iris
            Great views of one at Howard Springs, an obliging bird after a slow start.

Albert’s Lyrebird Menura albertii
            Glenn Threlfo jinxed this one for us, giving a site to see “George” who was reputedly really tame and easy, except that we got him on an off day and he scarpered pretty damn quick both times! Sorry Milt! No sign at the botanic gardens or along the tracks either, though they were heard in the distance.

Australasian Bushlark Mirafra javanica
            Nice looks of at least 6 birds at Cumberland Dam, it looked as if there had been an influx here.

Australasian Pipit Anthus australis
            Seen at Yungaburra and one out at Cumberland Dam only.

Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena
            Quite widespread in Queensland.

Tree Martin H. nigricans
            Widespread, the first at Canungra then lots in the Territory.

Fairy Martin H. ariel
            Ten at Hastie’s Swamp and fifteen at Durham Dam.

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae

Barred Cuckoo-shrike C. lineata
            A great view of one male near Cassowary House.

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike C. papuensis

Varied Triller Lalage leucomela
            Widespread in small numbers.

* White-winged Triller L. tricolor
            Lots were out at Georgetown and a few in Kakadu, mostly non-breeding female plumaged birds.

Bassian Thrush Zoothera lunulata
            A total of six seen along the tracks at Lamington, and showing very nicely on the Python Rock circuit.

Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis
            Two near Mareeba were perilously close to being Milt’s #2000! Seen nicely at Fogg Dam too.

Rufous Songlark Cinclorhamphus mathewsi
            One in the dry woodland just at the Cooinda turn-off was very unobliging.

* Rufous Fantail Rhipidura rufifrons
            This is the nominate race which we saw at Cassowary House.

* Arafura Fantail Rhipidura (r.) dryas
            Arafura Fantails of the form dryas were seen at Adelaide River, a recent split from the Rufous Fantail.

* Grey Fantail R. fuliginosa
            Widespread in Queensland.

* Mangrove Fantail R. phasianus
            Nice views after a slow start in the mangroves at Palmerston SP.

* Northern Fantail R. rufiventris
            A few around Darwin and in Kakadu, also seen along Black Mt Road and at Abattoir Swamp.

Willie-wagtail R. leucophrys
            Seen on nearly every day of the trip, but not at O’Reillys.

Spectacled Monarch Monarcha trivirgatus
            A few around Cass House.

White-eared Monarch M. leucotis
            This rather scarce species showed well at Black Mt. Road, coming in to tape eventually. This is by far the hardest of the Tablelands monarchs.

Pied Monarch A. kaupi
            One seen at Cass House, a sparse FNQ endemic.

* Broad-billed Flycatcher Myiagra ruficollis
            Seen at Mamaluka wetland and at Adelaide River crossing.

* Leaden Flycatcher M. rubecula

* Shining Flycatcher M. alecto
            Seen nicely at Daintree, Howard Springs and Yellow Waters.

* Restless Flycatcher M. (inquieta) nana
            The Paperbark race nana was common at Yellow Waters and at Fogg Dam this trip, a possible split from the more southerly nominate Restless Flycatcher which we saw at Cumberland Dam.

* Yellow-breasted Boatbill Machaerirhynchus flaviventer
            Seen at Cassowary House on a few occasions, and promoted to family status in the Howard and Moore Checklist.

* Lemon-bellied Flycatcher Microeca flavigaster
            We saw a few in the dry woodlands at Georgetown, Darwin River Dam and Kakadu

Eastern Shrike-tit Falcunculus frontatus
            We saw two females at Wondecla, a good find as these are scarce in the north. This is now an endemic family too, as well as a three-way species split.

[Northern Shrike-tit Falcunculus whitei]
           Elaine saw what sure sounds like it was one of these rare birds at Mardugal campground one afternoon, but unfortunately I only saw it drop out of the tree. The call is not known and there are no stakeouts for it, it would still be a lifer for PG. We tried several times again to no avail. Sob.

Rose Robin Petroica rosea
            We did twice find female plumaged birds along Duck Creek Road, but there was a lucky find at the Canungra Creek winery with a male showing nicely on the last morning on the way out.

Pale-yellow Robin Tregellasia capito
            Good views at Cassowary House and one at the Crater.

Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis
            Seen first at Lamington where they are very confiding, and one at Wondecla.

* Mangrove Robin E. pulverulenta
            An unresponsive bird at Palmerston SP was eventually spotted by most, lurking at the back of the mangroves.

White-browed Robin Poecilodryas superciliosa
            Good views of an obliging bird at the famous Big Mitchell Creek site. We again dipped utterly on the potential split Buff-sided Robin at Mamaluka, Adelaide River and Yellow Waters, they seem to be amazingly unresponsive.

Grey-headed Robin Heteromyias albispecularis
            Nice views at the Curtain Fig, Lake Eacham and the Crater. Clements at one time rightly split it from the Ashy Robin of PNG, which has different song, habitat and plumage, but it is now listed as the same by both Clements and the Australian checklist. A FNQ endemic.

* Grey-headed (Grey) Whistler Pachycephala (simplex) griseiceps
            A Clements split, again in my view correct as habitat, plumage and calls are distinct from the Brown Whistler in the NT. Needless to say not split in the current Oz checklist. Seen well at Cassowary House.

* Brown Whistler P. simplex
            Nice views in monsoon vine forest at Howard Springs and mangroves at Palmerston SP, a Clements split from the former species and confusingly called the Grey Whistler by him, despite it being brown above! Go figure.

Golden Whistler P. pectoralis
            Nice views at Lamington and Lake Eacham.

Mangrove Golden Whistler P. melanura
            Most got fair views of two rather elusive birds of what is a scarce and local bird in Australia at Adelaide River crossing

Rufous Whistler P. rufiventris
            Quite common in dry woodland habitats.

White-breasted Whistler P. lanioides
            A female of this rather rare large whistler came in to my tape at Palmerston SP, looking quite like Grey Shrike-thrush at times but with a heavy hook tipped beak, whitish throat and dark streaks on the breast.

Little (Rufous) Shrike-thrush Colluricincla megarhyncha
            Common in moister woodlands, the NT birds have an eye-stripe and look and sound quite unlike FNQ birds.

Sandstone Shrike-thrush C. woodwardi
            Lovely views of three above Waterfall Creek, singing beautifully with a sweet melodious song.

Bower’s Shrike-thrush C. boweri (H)
            This scarce FNQ endemic was heard at the Crater.

* Grey Shrike-thrush C. harmonica
            Seen at Lamington. and Wondecla

* Grey-crowned Babbler Pomatostomus temporalis
            Seen around Darwin and Georgetown, a striking and vocal species.

Logrunner Orthonyx temminckii
            Nice views at Lamington, we saw four and had great views of two almost buried in leaf litter tangles. This is now split from the quite different Papuan Logrunner of NG O. novaeguineae.

Chowchilla O. spaldingii
            Frustrating this trip, it was heard at Cassowary House, and two flushed off the track as we went in to the Golden Bowerbird leech experience.

Eastern Whipbird Psophodes olivaceus
            Great views at Lamington where they have become quite tame, and also seen at the Crater.

Red-backed Fairywren Malurus melanocephalus
            Males are really stunning, and showed well near Mareeba, where one was artfully stage managed to become Milt’s Official # 2000. Way to go Milt, go for 5000!

Superb Fairywren M. cyaneus
            The famous blue wren gave nice views at O'Reillys.

Variegated Fairywren M. lamberti
            Nice views of a group at Duck Creek Road, also seen at Canungra Creek and above Waterfall Creek.

Lovely Fairywren M. amabilis
            Four birds including a male gave very fine views at the site along Black Mt. Road, this is a skulking and sparse FNQ endemic of the rainforest edge. The female is the distinctive one here, very blue with the white lores and eye-ring.

Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis (H)
            This FNQ endemic is a mega-skulker and can be difficult; we heard it at the Crater.

Yellow-throated Scrubwren Sericornis citreogularis
            Common at Lamington.

White-browed Scrubwren S. frontalis
            Fairly common at Lamington.

Atherton Scrubwren S. keri
            Fine views of this sparse FNQ high altitude endemic at Longlands Gap and the Crater.

Large-billed Scrubwren S. magnirostris
            Good views at Lamington and again at Cassowary House.

Buff-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza reguloides
            Very nice looks along Duck Creek Road, the trilling call is very distinct and the pale eye shows well.

Brown Thornbill Acanthiza pusilla
            Good views at Lamington.

Striated Thornbill A. lineata
            Strangely we saw just one around the dry woodlands along Duck Creek Road, where they are usually common.

Mountain Thornbill A. katherina
            This very local FNQ high altitude endemic gave great views at Longlands Gap and the Crater.

Weebill Smicrornis brevirostris
            Common in dry woodland at Georgetown and in Kakadu, this is Australia’s smallest species of bird.

* Green-backed Gerygone Gerygone chloronotus
            Good views at Howard Springs and Adelaide River Crossing

* Fairy Gerygone G. palpebrosa
            Seen well at Cassowary House.

* White-throated Gerygone. G. olivacea
            This attractive gerygone showed very well at Abattoir Swamp, then again at Georgetown and Plum Tree Creek in Kakadu.

Brown Gerygone G. mouki
            Seen at Lamington and at Cassowary House.

* Mangrove Gerygone G. levigaster
            Nice views of two at Manly mangroves, and heard at Palmerston SP.

Varied Sittella Neositta chrysoptera
            One bird of the orange-winged white-headed race leucocephala gave brief looks along Duck Creek Road before it annoyingly vanished.  NG birds are split as Papuan Sittella so this becomes an endemic.

White-throated Tree-creeper Climacteris leucophaeus
            The small northern race minor showed well at the Crater, and the nominate was common at Lamington in both rain forest and eucalypt woodland.

Red-browed Tree-creeper C. erythrops
            One of the scarcer tree-creepers, we got fine views at Duck Creek Road where they are sympatric with White-throated. The red brow only shows at close range in good light.

Brown Tree-creeper C. picumnus
            Good views of the dark northern race at Georgetown.

Black-tailed Tree-creeper C. melanura
            Lovely views of this northern tropical species at Nourlangie and later at Mardugal camp area.

Yellow-bellied (Olive-backed) Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis
            Common around Cassowary House.

Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum
            Our only flowerpecker gave good views, the first at Manly, though Phil  C. only finally caught up with it at Cass House.

Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus punctatus
            This beautiful species gave lovely close low-level views along Duck Creek Road.

Red-browed Pardalote P. rubricatus
           Great views of three birds out at Georgetown, one by Four Mile Creek being very responsive as were two at Cumberland Dam. Once you know the call, all else follows with this easily overlooked species.

Striated Pardalote P. striatus
            Birds in the NT of the race are much paler than melanocephalus in Queensland, and have a different call.

Yellow White-eye Z. luteus    
            Frustrating views in mangroves at East Point and for Elaine at Buffalo Creek.

Silvereye Z. lateralis
            A few were seen at Lamington and Cassowary House.

* Helmeted Friarbird Philemon buceroides
            Three taxa were seen: yorki at Cassowary House, sometimes split as New Guinea Friarbird P. novaeguineae; gordoni in mangroves and woodland around Darwin and ammitophila the Sandstone Friarbird at Nourlangie and Waterfall Creek. These latter two races lack bill knobs and sound different to yorki, whilst ammitophila at Kakadu had a very obvious brown crown, almost a cap. Clearly more work is needed here to unravel the relationships.

Silver-crowned Friarbird P. argenticeps
            Good views at Darwin River Dam and Nourlangie, where we saw Little, Sandstone and this species in the same flowering tree.

* Little Friarbird P. citreogularis
            Common in the Top End and around Mareeba.

* Noisy Friarbird P. corniculatus
            Good views of them in dry woodland near Mareeba.

* Blue-faced Honeyeater Entomyzon cyanotis
            Common in the Top End and again around Mareeba.

Bell Miner Manorina melanophrys
            The little colony en route to O’Reillys is still present but has moved a tad farther back, so we had fun and games trying to get views of them, eventually succeeding after about an hour’s effort and an epic scramble down a steep slope!

Noisy Miner M. melanocephala
            First at Daisy Hill, then lots around Duck Creek Road.

Yellow-throated Miner M. flavigula
            A few at Warruna Dam, Georgetown, Darwin River Dam and Kakadu.

Macleay’s Honeyeater Xanthotis macleayana
            Common at Cassowary House, a FNQ endemic.

Lewin’s Honeyeater Meliphaga lewinii
            Common at Lamington and a few on the tablelands.

Yellow-spotted Honeyeater M. notata
            This FNQ endemic was readily seen at Cassowary House.

* Graceful Honeyeater M. gracilis
            First seen at Cassowary House, the plik call is very distinctive.

White-lined Honeyeater M. albilineata
            Great views at Waterfall Creek and Nourlangie where we saw up to five birds, the wild sweet song is a characteristic feature of the escarpment.

Bridled Honeyeater Lichenostomus frenatus
            Good views of this high altitude FNQ endemic at the Crater on our last attempt for it. They disperse out to the lowlands in winter and can be hard to find at the higher altitudes.

Yellow-faced Honeyeater L, chrysops
            Common in the dry woodland around Brisbane.

* Varied Honeyeater L. versicolor
            Good views at Cairns.

Mangrove Honeyeater L. fasciogularis
            Two came in at the usual site at Manly mangroves, giving excellent close views. If the Varied, Mangrove and Singing Honeyeaters are split, why not the equally distinct Helmeted Friarbirds?

* White-gaped Honeyeater L. unicolor
            Common around Darwin.

* Yellow Honeyeater L. flavus
            Good views near Mareeba and out at Georgetown, a Queensland endemic.

Fuscous Honeyeater L. fuscus
            Common in the curious dry woods at Wondecla where it is the most abundant bird.

Yellow-tinted Honeyeater L. flavescens
            Quite common out around Georgetown.

Grey-fronted Honeyeater L. plumulus
            Two nicely streaked birds at the usual stakeout near Flat Creek. Some Yellow-tinted out here show faint streaks too and they can be confusing. This is a scarce species in Queensland.

* White-throated Honeyeater Melithreptus albogularis
            Common around Darwin and in Queensland.

White-naped Honeyeater M. lunatus
            A few were around Duck Creek and the Bell Miner colony.

Black-chinned Honeyeater M. gularis
            One at Abattoir swamp was a good find, a pity it was so elusive.

* Brown Honeyeater Lichmera indistincta
            Very common in the Top End, and also seen around Cairns/Mareeba.

White-cheeked Honeyeater Phylidonyris nigra
            Singles of this scarce and spectacular species were seen near Hastie’s Swamp and then at Abattoir Swamp and Wondecla.

* Brown-backed Honeyeater Ramsayornis modestus
            A few still around at Half Moon Bay pond and Centenary Lakes.

Bar-breasted Honeyeater R. fasciatus
             Good views of this striking species at Darwin River Dam, this can be an elusive bird.

* Rufous-banded Honeyeater Conopophila albogularis
            Just a few this trip at Georgetown, where it was unusually sparse, and Kakadu.

Rufous-throated Honeyeater C. rufogularis
            Nice views at Durham Dam and again in Kakadu

Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
            Nice views of a few of this striking bird at O’Reilly’s.

Banded Honeyeater Certhionyx pectoralis
            One immature briefly at Abattoir Swamp, then about 13 flying over near Darwin River Dam (which mostly eluded Ken for a while!) and more at Waterfall Creek and a flowering tree along the Old Darwin Road in Kakadu This is an uncommon and elusive nomad.

Dusky Honeyeater Myzomela obscura
            Quite common at Cassowary House and also seen n Kakadu.

* Red-headed Honeyeater M. erythrocephala
            Seen nicely at Buffalo Creek and Palmerston SP, then a male at Adelaide River Crossing was unexpected.

* Scarlet Honeyeater M. sanguinolenta
            Great views of a stunning male at Yungaburra, and also one near the Crater.

* Olive-backed Oriole Oriolus sagittatus
            Singles on the tablelands and in Kakadu.

* Yellow (Green) Oriole O. flavocinctus
            Good views at Cairns and the Daintree, and a few in the Top End.

Australasian Figbird Sphecotheres viridis
            The yellow race is common in the north.

Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus
            Common in the north, this form is a likely split from carbonarius in New Guinea.

* Magpie-lark Grallina cyanoleuca
            Common in the north.

Apostlebird Struthidea cinerea
            Common, noisy and even at times in flocks of twelve out at Georgetown.

* White-breasted Wood-swallow Artamus leucorhynchus
            A few around Darwin and Cairns.

Black-faced Wood-swallow A. cinereus
            A few of the white-vented race at Georgetown and just a few of the black-vented melanops in Kakadu and at Fogg Dam.

Masked Wood-swallow A. personata
            This is an irruption year and there has been a flock of about 150 at marker 175 on the Mareeba Road near Koah since April 23, with Phil’s first sighting in the area over Cass House the day before. A single was at Flat Creek Dam on April 30, out-numbered by White-browed Wood-swallow for a change, as the reverse is usually true.

White-browed Wood-swallow. A. superciliosus
            There were twenty of this striking species at the Koah road spot with the Masked Wood-swallows on April 25, and then ten at Flat Creek Dam near Georgetown.

Dusky Wood-swallow A. cyanopterus
            Four perched on an irrigation machine out in the cane-field by Hastie’s Swamp were unexpected at this site, my first record from here of what is usually a bird of light woodland.

Little Wood-swallow A. minor
            This most local of the group showed somewhat unexpectedly with three at Routh Creek, three next day on the road to Flat Creek near Georgetown, and then six seen at Waterfall Creek, two at Plum Tree Creek and a couple over the Mardugal campground area.

Grey Butcherbird C. torquatus
            Just a single seen at O’Reillys.

Silver-backed Butcherbird C. (torquatus) argenteus
            This likely split from Grey Butcherbird was seen nicely on the Middle Arm Road, a Top End endemic.

Pied Butcherbird C. nigrogularis
            Quite common, and has a wonderful voice, singing pre-dawn at Georgetown.

* Black Butcherbird C. quoyi
            Three seen in Centenary Park, and heard at Cassowary House.

* Australian Bell-Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen
            A few near Brisbane and Mareeba.

Pied Currawong Strepera graculina
            Common and vocal at O’Reillys, and a few seen on the tablelands.

Paradise Riflebird Ptiloris paradiseus
            Winter is a bad time to find them, and only Elaine and Phil saw a male very briefly at O’Reillys. We did hear a couple call but none close enough to nail.  They are always much harder to see than the next species

Victoria’s Riflebird P. victoriae
            This is a much easier bird to find than the above species, and gave terrific views of both sexes at Cassowary House. A FNQ endemic.

* Spotted Catbird Ailuroedus melanotis
            Great views at Cassowary House. This is actually a possible split from the very different and far shyer NG birds.

Green Catbird A. crassirostris
             Nice views of a few up at Lamington.

Tooth-billed Bowerbird Scenopoeetes dentirostris (H)

            Heard at the Crater, they are hard to locate in winter. A high altitude FNQ endemic.

Golden Bowerbird Prionodura newtoniana
            We saw the bower at Longlands Gap, and a couple of folks got to see the male fly in briefly nearby. Luckily we found a female perched up high in a big tree at the Crater on the way back to Cairns for everyone to see. This is an uncommon high altitude FNQ endemic, which is much easier to see in the breeding season.

Satin Bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus violaceus
            Lots of them at O’Reillys, where a bower with lots of blue plastic bits was still being well attended.

Regent Bowerbird Sericulus chrysocephalus
            They wander off in winter, so the O’Reilly’s corporate logo was hard to find at this time until some fine males and a few females and immatures appeared off our verandas early one morning, with more seen perched up in Bunya Pines opposite the lodge entrance.

Great Bowerbird Chlamydera nuchalis
            A fine bower at Cumberland Dam and again at Middle Arm, then common in Darwin and Kakadu,

Torresian Crow Corvus orru
            A few around Brisbane, Cairns and in the Top End

Australian Raven C. coronoides
            A couple at Georgetown and a few in Kakadu.

Metallic Starling Aplonis metallica
            Most have gone to NG but a few late birds were at Centenary Park.

Common Myna Acridotheres tristis (I)
           This noxious pest was depressingly common around Cairns and Mareeba, also in Brisbane.

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
            A few in Cairns and Brisbane.

Double-barred Finch Taeniopygia bichenovii
            A few white rumped nominate race birds near Mareeba and at Georgetown, and black-rumped annulosa in the Top End.

Long-tailed Finch Poephila acuticauda
            A single was near Darwin River Dam, and we had about eight along the Old Darwin Road and a couple at Mardugal.

Masked Finch P. personata
            We saw six of the white cheeked form leucotis at Cumberland Dam, then few of the nominate race were seen at Darwin River Dam, Mardugal and Pine Creek.

Black-throated Finch P. cincta
            Two along Cobra Road by the water impoundment, then about 25 out at Cumberland Dam and Flat Creek Dam. This is one of the smartest looking finches, declining and now decidedly uncommon.

* Crimson Finch Neochmia phaeton
            Good views at Darwin River Dam, Fogg Dam and Kakadu.

Red-browed Firetail N. temporalis
            Good views at Lamington, Cassowary House and Kingfisher Park.

*Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (Munia) Lonchura castaneothorax
            A few of this smart looking bird were on the tablelands.

Pictorella Mannikin Heteromunia pectoralis

           These were a lucky find as we had at least ten birds including 4 juveniles at Cumberland Dam, where it is a rare visitor. These were my first record from here

Gouldian Finch Erythrura gouldiae
           Great views of about 12 birds at Fergusson River, including some stunningly bright-plumaged males. This is a threatened species from a variety of complex causes and has gone from about 80% of its range. Phil Cram’s bird of the trip.


The trip racked up quite a good mammal list as well, with highlights being Koala and Platypus.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo Macropus giganteus. A couple around the Duck Creek area.
Common Wallaroo (Euro) Macropus robustus This grey, shaggy haired beast was quite common at Georgetown.
Antilopine Wallaroo Macropus antilopinus A couple seen as we were leaving Kakadu.
Agile Wallaby M. agilis. A few around Mareeba, Georgetown and in the Territory.
Pretty-face (Whiptail) Wallaby M. parryi. One of this delightful species near Lamington.
Red-necked Wallaby Macropus rufogriseus. One along Duck Creek Road.
Red-legged Pademelon Thylogale stigmatica. One in the road by Cassowary House, and 4 up near Kingfisher Park.
Red-necked Pademelon  T. thetis. Common at Lamington at night.
Musky Rat-Kangaroo Hypsiprymnodon moschatus. Up to 3 daily at Cassowary House.
Koala Phascolarctos cinereus One fabulous animal by the roadside as we got towards Canungra, which caused a bit of interest with some passers-by too
Northern Brown Bandicoot Isoodon macrourus. Nice looks at one at Cassowary House.
Long-nosed Bandicoot Perameles nasuta One scurried across the road one night near O’Reillys.
Common Ringtail Possum Pseudocheiris peregrinus. Three spotlit on the Wishing Tree Trail at Lamington.
Mountain Brushtail Possum Trichosurus caninus. One fat animal was coming in to feed at O’Reillys at night.
Green Ringtail Possum Pseudochirops archeri One very nice view of one in daylight at the Crater. This is a FNQ endemic.
Bush Rat Rattus fuscipes. A few at Cassowary House.
Duck-billed Platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus. Great views of three in the Barron River up near Yungaburra.
Spectacled Flying-fox Pteropus conspicillatus. 150 at Tolga Scrub, and a few seen near Kuranda.
Black Flying-fox P. alecto. Just two animals at Howard Springs
Dingo Canis lupus dingo.  One at Routh Creek near Georgetown was very wary, but two far tamer ones were hanging around Cooinda.
Brumby Equus caballus A few in Kakadu.


Green turtle One was seen out on the Reef.
Saw-shelled turtle One at Lake Eacham.
Carpet Python One obliging animal sunning up by our cabins at O’Reillys
Red-bellied black snake One had a hole right by the sunning python and showed very nicely once.
Green tree snake Chris Dahlberg did his tour guide thing with one on the Daintree, and there was one of the golden form at Yellow Waters.
Saltwater crocodile One on the Daintree and quite a few at Yellow Waters.
Frilled lizard Good to see a couple, one at Palmerston and one near Fogg Dam, still surviving despite the newly arrived cane toad menace.
Merten’s water monitor One at Howard Springs and one at Pine Creek.
Lace monitor A couple in Kakadu.


Cairns Birdwing One was at Yorkey’s Knob on April 24.
Ulysses swallowtail A few of this morpho look-alike around Kuranda and Cairns.
Green-spotted triangle
Blue-spotted triangle
Clearwing swallowtail

Phil Gregory May 2003


Why not send us a report, or an update to one of your current reports?