Tuesday, October 27, 2009:
I got up early. When I looked out the window, I saw roosting ibises and egrets in the trees.
Once again we were on the Cairns Esplanade at 5:30am looking for shorebirds. We quickly spotted a Pied Oystercatcher. Several more would appear before we were done. Some of the group were having breakfast at the Cassowary House, and had to leave early. The rest of us stayed to look at shorebirds. I spotted a different-looking plover that showed signs of being a Kentish Plover, but maybe it was just a variant Red-capped Plover. It did show at least two field marks more typical of Kentish.
While I was studying the odd plover, Chris spotted a Broad-billed Sandpiper. We continued north along the Esplanade, eventually finding a Varied Honeyeater. Then we worked our way back to the hotel for breakfast. By now, we had again seen most of the shorebird species we saw yesterday, and more. New species for the trip included Greater Sand-Plover, Wanderling Tattler, and Red Knot.
|Bar-tailed Godwit||Pied Oystercatcher|
|Far Eastern Curlew||Whimbrel|
|Varied Honeyeater||Common Greenshanks|
|Red-capped Plover||Little Egret|
After breakfast, we tried going south along the Esplanade. I managed to get some photos of the interesting mud-skippers, and some colorful fiddler-crabs as well as some conical molluscs that we saw moving along the mudflat. The tide goes way out here, in a way that is reminiscent of Florida Bay. We found another interesting plover that was similar to a non-breeding Wilson's Plover, but I guess it was just another Greater Sand-Plover.
|Mud Skippers & Crabs||Harbor View|
|Pacific Golden-Plover||Spotted Dove|
On to Brisbane
By then it was after 10:30 and time to prepare to leave for Brisbane. The flight was slightly delayed, leaving about 30 minutes late.
We visited the Daisy Hill Koala Centre on the way to O'Reilly's. Daisy Hill had nesting Square-tailed Kite and lived up to its name with a couple of Koalas in a tree. Then we continued to O'Reilly's. Unfortunatey, the seats in the bus made flying coach seem spacious, making for a very unpleasant ride. Dinner at O'Reilly's greatly improved my mood. During dinner, Common Brushtail Possum, Trichosurus vulpecula, visited two feeders visible from the dining room.
Trip total—287 species including 259 lifers.
O'Reilly's Rainforest Guesthouse, Lamington National Park