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
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
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.
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
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.