Friday, 16 December 2016

Going South now -- 02 -- Karumba

One advantage of travelling late in the season is the lack of grey nomads everywhere. On the roads, in the caravan parks. Hence you have the place to yourself and, if you time your trip for pre-01 November, everything is still open. Such was life in the Karumba Caravan Park where I stayed two nights and took advantage of the early morning birding boat trip. I discovered Karumba [and the Gulf of Carpentaria for that matter] only has one tide a day, not two! Something to do with not being in the direct line of the sweep of the tides around the main coast of Australia. I don't understand. If anyone has an answer please let me know.

However they do have great birds. This Jabiru had been found six years ago by the tour folk as a neglected orphan of twins so they started giving him some extra fish on regular basis. Now he flies in to say hello most tours. He is totally independent but does accept any fish they throw him!

Black-necked Stork
Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus
Little Bronze-cuckoo Chalcites minutillus
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus
White-Bellied Sea-eagle
Haliaeetus leucogaster
We couldn't have got closer if we tried.
About 10 metres away.

The White-breasted Whistler is a difficult bird to see. Well, the male is. Here is the female.

White-breasted Whistler, female
 Pachycephala lanioides
Here is the usual view of the male, if you get to see him at all. According to the tour folk, in 14 years they had never had a clear view of the male.

So we waited a few seconds while he was still about and, lo and behold, he hopped in front of the mangrove leaf and stayed still for 30 seconds. Plenty of time! Quite a speccy bird. I was well pleased with the view [and the photo too].
White-Breasted Whistler, male
Last, but not least is the Yellow White-eye.

Yellow White-eye Zosterops luteus

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