Birding Far North Queensland
2013 New Years Big Day at Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge
January 1, 2013
Laid back birding on new years day within a 1.5km radius of the bird lodge to find as many species of birds as possible.
We have a bit of a tradition of birding on New Years Day to see how many birds we can list, the record stands at 153. To achieve this we normally whiz around the countryside to clock up the greatest list and kilometres, however, this year we decided to slow down and count only species within a 1.5km radius of the bird Lodge, which is the area of our Lodge bird species list. The total time spent birding was almost six hours, travelling about 25 km and even finding time for eating and sleeping! A few rain breaks provided more rest periods.
A quick one hour around the Lodge grounds to start with at 7am produced 43 species before breakfast. Then 1½ hours at nearby McDougall Road to check out a couple of lagoons, which are on private property but can be viewed from the road, and the Julatten School surrounds (just inside the 1.5Km's) moved the total onto 84. It was now 12.00 and time for lunch and a siesta. Back on the road to check out the local Barramundi Farm ponds and adjacent bushland along with a second visit to McDougall Road moved the total onto 95. Another coffee break and a walk around the Lodge grounds and down to the local nursing home produced four more new birds bringing the total up to a tantalising 99! We knew we could get an Eastern Barn Owl to finish off with 100 species for the day, so come dusk we headed out luckily seeing a White-throated Needletail zoom overhead with a flock of Australasian Swiftlet. On cue the Eastern Barn Owl appeared to finish the day at 101.
Best birds were White-necked Heron and Glossy Ibis (rare here), Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Noisy Pitta and Yellow-breasted Boatbill and, of course, Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher. Greatest dip was Torresian Crow and Pied Monarch.
Just goes to prove you don't have to travel vast distances to clock up 101 species if you are in the right place, which we are! The total was 93 seen and 8 heard.