Tropical North

October 22, 2011

This was a general natural history tour of the Cairns region for a group of 4 clients, one of whom was a keen birder, while the others were more interested in mammals, dragonflies and reptiles. Unfortunately the long cold (for up here) winter meant that there were very few dragonflies around and even the butterflies were in short supply however, the weather was good, with clear, sunny days and cool nights and they had an excellent time. Visiting all the major habitats in the Cairns/ Tablelands Region over a period of 6 days a satisfying mixture of birds and other wildlife was found.  


Starting in Cairns and basing at Cassowary House,  over the next few days we birded Black Mountain Rd, visited the dry areas around Mareeba where the Grey Kangaroos on the golf course and the Mareeba Rock Wallabies at Granite Gorge were a big hit with the ladies, and explored the Southern Tablelands. With early morning platypus sightings, displaying riflebirds at the breakfast table and regular visits from the resident cassowary - it was sometimes hard to get away in the morning but this was a leisurely tour with people who wanted good views of what they saw and no wish to go chasing a big list so that didn't matter. Sometimes we got back quite late and  an echidna foraging and a Papuan Frogmouth sitting in a tree, both in the driveway of Cassowary House, were unexpected additions to an evenings spotlighting. We then moved north to Kingfisher Park and spent some time exploring that area as well as taking a very enjoyable and productive dawn bird cruise with Murray Hunt, the Daintree Boatman before returning to Cairns.

Locations visited

Cairns Area

Wildlife

Mammals 5 species
Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) 2 At Cassowary House
Mareeba Rock-wallaby (Petrogale mareeba) 1 At Granite Gorge
Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) 1 On Mareeba Gold Course
Long-nosed Bandicoot (Perameles nasuta) 1 Spotlighting at Mabi
Short-beaked Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) 1 In the driveway at Cassowary House
Land Birds 152 species
Grey-headed Robin (Heteromyias cinereifrons) 1
Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) 1
Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis) 1
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) 1
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba) 1
Torresian Crow (Corvus orru) 1
Brown Gerygone (Gerygone mouki) 1
Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis) 1
Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis) 1
Brolga (Grus rubicunda) 1
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) 1
Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) 1
Squatter Pigeon (Geophaps scripta) 1
Atherton Scrubwren (Sericornis keri) 1
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin (Lonchura castaneothorax) 1
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) 1
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) 1
Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) 1
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) 1
Large-billed Gerygone (Gerygone magnirostris) 1
Zebra Dove (Geopelia striata) 1
Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis) 1
Hardhead (Aythya australis) 1
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) 1
Chowchilla (Orthonyx spaldingii) 1
Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides) 1
Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris) 1
Pacific Baza (Aviceda subcristata) 1
Black Butcherbird (Cracticus quoyi) 1
Dusky Myzomela (Myzomela obscura) 1
Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus) 1
Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis) 1
Grey Fantail (Rhipidura albiscapa) 1
Brown Falcon (Falco berigora) 1
Grey Whistler (Pachycephala simplex) 1
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) 1
White-eared Monarch (Carterornis leucotis) 1
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) 1
White-throated Honeyeater (Melithreptus albogularis) 1
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) 1
Red-backed Fairywren (Malurus melanocephalus) 1
Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis) 1
Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea) 1
Topknot Pigeon (Lopholaimus antarcticus) 1
Australian Swiftlet (Aerodramus terraereginae) 1
Rufous Whistler (Pachycephala rufiventris) 1
Macleay's Honeyeater (Xanthotis macleayanus) 1
Striated Pardalote (Pardalotus striatus) 1
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus) 1
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) 1
Common Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) 1
Nankeen Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) 1
Large-billed Scrubwren (Sericornis magnirostra) 1
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) 1
Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) 1
Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) 1
Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata) 1
Orange-footed Scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt) 1
Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) 1
Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus) 1
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) 1
Grey Teal (Anas gracilis) 1
Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii) 1
Pied Imperial Pigeon (Ducula bicolor) 1
Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) 1
Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagittatus) 1
Little Shrikethrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha) 1
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) 1
Tooth-billed Bowerbird (Scenopoeetes dentirostris) 1
Australian Brushturkey (Alectura lathami) 1
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) 1
Channel-billed Cuckoo (Scythrops novaehollandiae) 1
Green Oriole (Oriolus flavocinctus) 1
Bower's Shrikethrush (Colluricincla boweri) 1
White-browed Treecreeper (Climacteris affinis) 1
Metallic Starling (Aplonis metallica) 1
Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris) 1
White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) 1
Fernwren (Oreoscopus gutturalis) 1
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) 1
Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vieilloti) 1
Brown-backed Honeyeater (Ramsayornis modestus) 1
Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii) 1
Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis) 1
White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus) 1
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) 1
Spotted Catbird (Ailuroedus melanotis) 1
Eastern Osprey (Pandion cristatus) 1
Asian Koel (Eudynamys scolopaceus) 1
Grey Shrikethrush (Colluricincla harmonica) 1
Black Kite (Milvus migrans) 1
Eastern Barn Owl (Tyto delicatula) 1
Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) 1
Lemon-bellied Flyrobin (Microeca flavigaster) 1
Varied Triller (Lalage leucomela) 1
Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) 1
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) 1
Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) 1
Striated Heron (Butorides striata) 1
Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) 1
Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) 1
Australian White Ibis (Threskiornis moluccus) 1
Great-billed Heron (Ardea sumatrana) 1
Lewin's Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii) 1
Lovely Fairywren (Malurus amabilis) 1
Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus erythropterus) 1
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) 1
Latham's Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii) 1
Intermediate Egret (Egretta intermedia) 1
Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) 1
Rock Dove (Columba livia) 1
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) 1
Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) 1
Mangrove Honeyeater (Lichenostomus fasciogularis) 1
Southern Cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) 1
Little Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx minutillus) 1
Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops) 1
Wandering Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata) 1
Bassian Thrush (Zoothera lunulata) 1
Papuan Frogmouth (Podargus papuensis) 1
Victoria's Riflebird (Ptiloris victoriae) 1
Great Egret (Ardea alba) 1
Pale-yellow Robin (Tregellasia capito) 1
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus) 1
Bush Stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) 1
White-cheeked Honeyeater (Phylidonyris niger) 1
Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) 1
Eastern Cattle Egret (Bubulcus coromandus) 1
Great Bowerbird (Chlamydera nuchalis) 1
Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis) 1
Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii) 1
Bridled Honeyeater (Lichenostomus frenatus) 1
Fairy Martin (Petrochelidon ariel) 1
Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) 1
Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes) 1
Spectacled Monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) 1
White-bellied Cuckooshrike (Coracina papuensis) 1
Grey-crowned Babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis) 1
Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) 1
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus banksii) 1
Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus) 1
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica) 1
Fairy Gerygone (Gerygone palpebrosa) 1
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) 1
Green Pygmy Goose (Nettapus pulchellus) 1
Golden-headed Cisticola (Cisticola exilis) 1
Yellow-breasted Boatbill (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer) 1
Black-faced Cuckooshrike (Coracina novaehollandiae) 1
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenostomus chrysops) 1
Helmeted Friarbird (Philemon buceroides) 1
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 1
Brown Honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta) 1
Seabirds 8 species
Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) 1
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 1
Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) 1
Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) 1
Greater Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii) 1
Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) 1
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) 1
Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) 1

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