North Queensland, Day 8, 27 July 2017. Mary Farms, Mount Carbine, Bradley Road and Kingfisher Park

I ventured west today, to the other side of the Mount Lewis massive. Luckily the weather that side of the mountain was good because it was wet and murky when I left Kingfisher Park.

My first stop after making the hour long drive was East Mary Road. Driving slowly along the farm road I stopped for a scan picking up a flock of huge Red-tailed Black Cockatoos (they are the size of a raven, no kidding!) followed by a Brown Falcon and then, driving along a little further my target species - 2 Australian Bustards literally right by the road!

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos

Australian Bustards

Agile Wallaby

Mount Carbine was next up, a few more miles away along the Peninsular Development Road.
I walked along the track to the south of the road just past the Mount Carbine Hotel for ages with very little reward. Several Australian Magpies, 2 Sacred Kingfishers, Blue-winged Kookaburra, a flock of Noisy Friarbirds, several Little Friarbirds, 2 Red-winged Parrots, Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Rufous Whistler and 2 Red-tailed Black Cockatoos.  Back near the Mount Carbine Rodeo a Brown Falcon, Nankeen Kestrel and Torresian Crow were added. 

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos

Australian Magpie

Brown Falcon

Torresian Crow

It has to be said, Mount Carbine is a bit of a hole so I turned tail and headed back to stop at West Mary Road and try my luck there. It proved to be rather good with point blank views of a pair of Double-barred Finches, 2 Leaden Flycatchers, Olive-backed Oriole, 2 Black-faced Cuckoo Shrikes, Yellow-faced Honeyeater plus 2 Nankeen Kestrels and a Brown Falcon. Back near the road junction at Rifle Creek a flock of 11 Helmeted Guineafowl were a nice find.

Double-barred Finch

 Noisy Friarbird

Brown Falcon

Helmeted Guineafowl

Bradley Road is a small dead-end road that runs off Wessel Road where I'd been yesterday. I'd had a tip off so spent a good couple of hours there in the afternoon. And sure enough my tip off was right - I smashed a very wanted bird in the form of Lovely Fairy Wren! I saw a small party that very quickly crossed the road and disappeared but further along another pair allowed longer but more distant views and even a record shot! I really thought I'd blown my chance of seeing this species after my failure at Daintree. The whole of Bradley Road was very birdy with Lemon-bellied Flycatcher, Northern Fantail, 2 Scarlet Honeyeaters, 2 Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, 2 Double-eyed Fig Parrots, Dusky Honeyeater, Macleays Honeyeater, Little Shrike Thrush, Varied Triller, a mixed flock of Red-browed Finches and Chestnut-breasted Mannikins, Spectacled Monarch and Pale Yellow Robin. I even found another new bird - a Tawny Grassbird in an open area of sedge.  

Lovely Fairy Wren 

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Lemon-bellied Flycatcher

Scarlet Honeyeater

Back at Kingfisher Park in the evening Pacific Emerald Dove, Spectacled Monarch, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, Rufous Fantail, Red-browed Finches and Large-billed Scrubwren were all notched up before a long-standing ambition of seeing Duck-billed Platypus was realised with some wonderful views down at the stream. An Australian Hobby then screamed down the side lane chasing a bat! That evening a wander along the road after dark with my spotlight and an Eastern Barn Owl I'd been told about was showing nicely at the entrance to its hole. 

 Spectacled Monarch

Eastern Barn Owl (copyright Alex Jones)

White-lipped Tree Frog 

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