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.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Queensland Road Trip 12 - Out and About Cairns

Australian Swiftlet

After our visit to the Daintree (see following post) we shifted south to Palm Cove for a 2-night stay in the local caravan park, driving down the scenic road from Port Douglas.

Port Douglas-Cairns road

Buchans Beach
The nearby Buchans Point Beach has always been one of my favourite beaches.

Catanna Wetland
We checked out the Catanna Wetlands near Yorkey's Knob - Green Pygmy-Goose was showing nicely. Excellent to see how the local authorities have converted a sugar cane farm into a first-class wetland; lessons here for the still undecided fate of the Yandina Creek Wetland on the Sunshine Coast. 

Green Pygmy-Goose

Green Pygmy-Goose pair and Jacana
White-browed Crake was less co-operative, but I managed a decent shot during a second visit to the wetland. Over both visits I saw 4 crakes and heard 6-8. A Chesnut-breasted Cuckoo had recently been reported here; I saw a Fantailed-type cuckoo and considered it a well-coloured Fantailed Cuckoo. List of species at Catanna is here.

White-browed Crake
White-browed Crake
Australian Swiftlet finally availed itself of photographic opportunities on a headland at Yorkeys Knob.

Australian Swiftlet

Our next destination was Cairns where we stayed with friends Bart Grother and Jane Bentley, with superb views over Cairns from their City View home. I have spent a good deal of time in Cairns over many years and it is always a pleasure to be here.

We checked out the Fletcher Botanical Gardens/Centenary Lakes site where a Radjah Shelduck was keeping company with a Magpie Goose; up to 5 shelducks were present on subsequent visits.

Radjah Shelduck & Magpie Goose
Then it was on to the mangroves at the northern end of The Esplanade, where Mangrove Robin was found easily along the mangrove edge about 300m north. One bird was feeding in open parkland on the edge of the mangroves.
Mangrove Robin
I failed to find the Rufous Owl at a couple of known roosting trees in the Cairns CBD so made do with Varied Honeyeater in flowering trees along the esplanade.

Varied Honeyeater

Cairns Esplanade

Back in City View, Shining Starlings were in surprisingly good numbers for this time of year, while Red-necked Crake and Pale-vented Bush-hen were heard in the distance.

Shining Starlings

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