Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Queensland Road Trip 8: Shipton's Flat & White-streaked Honeyeater

White-streaked Honeyeater
Following our stopover at Mt Carbine (see following post) we continued north to the iconic hotel of Lions Den, at the northern end of the coastal Daintree-Bloomfield Road, for a two-night camp.

Annan River

Lions Den Hotel
I've stayed here occasionally over the years and the place maintains its rustic charm, with a few rough edges.

Orange-footed Scrubfowl
The camping ground by the Annan River is pleasant enough, with Orange-footed Scrubfowl scraping around the tents. The river cuts through this charming countryside of hills and valleys with its interesting mix of rainforest, eucalypt and health-like scrub.

With Charlie & Lewis Roberts, Shiptons Flat
The highlight was a day spent in the Shiptons Flat area with brothers Lewis and Charlie Roberts - true bushies by any measure and third generation tin farmers and cattle ranchers. They were close friends with another friend of mine who lived locally, Jeanette Covacevich, who passed away recently. The stamina demonstrated by Charlie and Lewis, with his trademark bare feet, is something to behold.  

White-streaked Honeyeater
We spent most of the day going up and down rainforest gullies in an unsuccessful search for Bennett's Tree-Kangaroo. Some compensation was on offer with good birds, notably White-streaked Honeyeater; Shiptons flat is at the southern end of this Cape York endemic's range. We flushed a Rufous Owl but did not manage to track it down for a photograph.

Graceful Honeyeater
Graceful Honeyeater is a tad more mundane but it was good to see one again after so long.

Northern Fantail
Northern Fantail was present in small numbers though not as common as Grey or Rufous Fantails.

Yellow-breasted Boatbill
Yellow-breasted Boatbill is always a pleasure.

Lovely Fairywren pair
As is the Lovely Fairywren, with the female's distinctive plumage.

Grey Whistler
Grey Whistler showed nicely.

Pied Monarch
The distinctive northern race of Pied Monarch put on a show.

Tropical Scrubwren
Tropical Scrubwren was also present; this species is at the southern end of its range here. However, there is considerable debate about whether these are true Tropical or if this is a hybrid zone with Large-billed Scrubwrens.

Black Butcherbird
Black Butcherbird was among other birds present. List of species found in the Shiptons Flat area can be seen here.
Black Mountain
We had a look at Black Mountain as we headed on to Cooktown.

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