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Bird surveys out west

The team have just returned from a week of bird surveys near Undara, recording several interesting species. Most of the area surveyed is dominated by basalt soil and savannah woodland, with narrow-leafed ironbark (Eucalyptus crebra) and Molloy red box (Eucalyptus leptophleba) the dominant species. These areas were home to the usual FNQ, dry woodland species, including galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla), pale-headed rosellas (Platycercus adscitus), striated pardalotes (Pardalotus striatus), red-winged parrots (Aprosmictuserythropterus), pied bitcherbirds (Cracticus nigrogularis), Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) and noisy miners (Manorina melanocephala).

The more interesting parts of the property were on granite soils, where the spectacular Eucalpytus chartaboma was in flower, as well as several sub-canopy species including Melaleuca viridiflora and Grevillea parallella. These areas attracted a range of honeyeaters, including brown honeyeaters (Lichmera indistincta), white-throated honeyeaters (Melithreptus albogularis), noisy friarbirds (Philemon corniculatus), little friarbirds (Philemon citreogularis), scarlet honeyeaters (Myzomela sanguinolenta) and hoardes of rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus moluccanus). They were also home to several interesting bush species, such as the lemon-bellied flycatcher (Microeca flavigaster), brush cuckoo (Cacomantis variolosus) and grey-crowned babbler (Pomatostomus temporalis).

The ephemeral creeks were all flowing after a huge wet season, attracting large numbers of azure kingfishers (Alcedo azurea) and forest kingfishers (Todiramphus macleayii). The team were also particularly excited to see the less common red-backed kingfisher (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius) foraging in the woodland. Interesting birds in a beautiful part of the country – what more can you ask for!

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