North Queensland, Day 6, 25 July 2017. Newell Beach, Mossman Gorge, Abattoir Swamp, Mount Molloy & Kingfisher Park

I quite the scene early from Lync-Haven and made my way down to the Daintree River to catch an early ferry south.

I was missing waders from the trip so decided on a look at Newell Beach again. Despite my early arrival there was still a fisherman there and with the tide well in it was largely a waste of time. Just 3 Black-fronted Dotterel and an Australian Ibis were present. I decided to look at the river mouth at the north end of Marine Parade in Newell and here I found 2 Beach Stone Curlews (just like buses they all come along at once!) a Whimbrel and 3 Striated Herons. It was time to leave and get to Mossman Gorge.

 Australian Ibis
I'd not actually planned on going to Mossman Gorge but as it was supposed to be nice and I had a little spare time I decided to give it a go. I was so glad to be there early (08.00) because when I left 2 hours later the place was tourist-ville! Even with my early start I wasn't very impressed  - the gorge wasn't very spectacular and it cost $9.50 to be bussed up to the carpark from the reception. Birds were also fairly thin on the ground but in the end I managed and decent list - Grey Fantail, Pacific Baza, Spotted Catbird, Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, Australian Figbirds, Golden Whistler, Black Butcherbird, Spectacled Monarch, Silvereye and Mistletoebird but the best from a listing point of view was Metallic Starling by the reception centre.

Golden Whistler

 Grey Fantail

I left the crowds and headed down into Mossman for some chores (groceries from Woolworths Supermarket and a petrol fill up) before hitting the winding road up towards Julaten and Kingfisher Park which was to be my 'home' for the next 5 nights. En-route I stopped (illegally!) at a bit of a hot spot and had Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Long-billed Scrubwren and Rainbow Bee-eaters.

When I got to Julaten I decided that the attractively named Abattoir Swamp would be my first port of call. The swamp itself was dried up but around the carpark and boardwalk were a number of goodies. A female Rufous Whistler was my first and was quickly followed by 2 Yellow Honeyeaters, several singing Brown Honeyeaters and then back at the carpark a superb family party of Varied Sitellas, White-bellied Cuckoo Shrike, Northern Fantail, White-throated Honeyeaters and an entertaining Eastern Yellow Robin.

Rufous Whistler

Yellow Honeyeater

Varied Sitella

Eastern Yellow Robin

I got chatting to a guy at Abattoir Swamp who told me about a good spot for honeyeaters on the edge of Mount Molloy village. So it was here I went next as it was only a short drive away. The flowering shrubs he'd directed me too were indeed awesome for honeyeaters in less than an hour I had 10 species -  White-cheeked Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Dusky Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Scarlet Honeyeater, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Yellow Honeyeater, Macleays Honeyeater, Brown-backed Honeyeater and White-throated Honeyeater! 2 fly-past Red-winged Parrots and numerous Rainbow Lorikeets added to the fun.  

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

White-cheeked Honeyeater

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Brown-backed Honeyeater

Macleays Honeyeater

On the way back to Julaten I stopped at a roadside wetland I'd spotted earlier. I called it Edmonds Road Wetland after the nearest side road! With a bit of barbed wire fence 'negotiation' I got a unobstructed view of the wetland and it was full of birds - loads of c20 Hardhead, c30 Pacific Black Duck, 3 Australasian Grebes, 1 Australian Darter, 1 Australian Pelican, 1 Australian Ibis, 1 Little Pied Cormorant, 4 Comb-crested Jacanas and by the road a noisy flock of Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Chestnut-breasted Mannikins and a Olive-backed Oriole.

Scaly-breasted Lorikeets

Australian Pelican


Australasian Darter

Olive-backed Oriole

Chestnut-breasted Mannikins

After checking in at Kingfisher Park I just had time for a very quick visit to their 'orchard' area before dusk. I met Rick Franks and Colin Lunt here who were a good couple of guys and some very welcome evening company. The birds around the orchard included Grey-headed Robin, Little Shrike Thrush, Grey Fantail, Scarlet Honeyeater, Pale Yellow Robin, Spectacled Monarch and Yellow-spotted Honeyeater.

  Grey-headed Robin

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