Tuesday 5 July 2022

Cairns Esplanade, Centenary Lakes and Botanic Gardens, Queensland.

Our first day in the frozen North, well not quite but it was a tad more chilly than expected.
Australia, Day Twenty.
Cairns Esplanade, the Sunshine State 😁😁😁 we arrived on the coldest day for 39 years.
We left the Cairns Queens Court Hotel and headed down to the Esplanade / Prom for us Brits and found one of the many free parkig places, the tide was quite low but we still picked up quite a few new species including one of my top target species the Beach Thick-knee (Esacus magnirostris) which was the first bird we saw out on the mud.
Beach Thick-knee (Esacus magnirostris).
Beach Thick-knee (Esacus magnirostris).
In the same area we had Great White (Ardea alba) and Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca), Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis), Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Magpie-lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) and Varied Honeyeater (Gavicalis versicolor).
Varied Honeyeater (Gavicalis versicolor).
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis).
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena).
Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus).
We walked down towards the port, on the way we picked up Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris), Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes), Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles), Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena), White-breasted Woodswallow (Artamus leucorynchus), Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus), immature and adult Striated Herons (Butorides striata), a fly over of a smart looking Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus), Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vieilloti), Hornbill Friarbird (Philemon yorki) and White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae), Pacific Reef-Heron (Egretta sacra).
Pacific Reef-Heron (Egretta sacra).
Pacific Reef-Heron (Egretta sacra).
Striated Heron (Butorides striata) adult.
Striated Heron (Butorides striata) immature.
Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus).

White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae).
Near the Port we stopped for a coffee and watched a very smart immature Nankeen Night-Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus), Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis) and a slightly less good looking Hornbill Friarbird (Philemon yorki), Coffee stops were going to become a nice habit during the trip, later we retraced our steps back to the point where the car was, Ian went over to the car whilst Deb and I continued on along the front down as far as the Mangrove area.
Australian Ibis (Threskiornis molucca).
Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis).
Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus).
Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus).
Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus).
Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida).
On the way we picked up Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus), Australian Gull-billed  (Gelochelidon nilotica ssp macrotarsa), Great Crested (Thalasseus bergii) and Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia), Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus), Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis), Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus), Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata) and just before the Mangroves an Eastern Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) sat on the roof of a block of flats.
Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles).
Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris).
Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes).
Terek Sandpiper (Xenus cinereus).
Pied Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus).
Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris).
In the area behind the Mangroves we had Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen), Brown Honeyeater (Lichmera indistincta), Australian Swiftlet (Aerodramus terraereginae) and the ever-present Willie-wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys).
Double-eyed Fig-Parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma).

Double-eyed Fig-Parrot (Cyclopsitta diophthalma).
Great Crested Tern (Thalasseus bergii).
Spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis).
Australian Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica ssp macrotarsa).
Scaly-breasted Munia (Lonchura punctulata).
Mud-Skipper Species.
We returned to the Esplanade and walked back down towards the car, on the way a stunning pair of  Double-eyed Fig-Parrots (Cyclopsitta diophthalma) flew into a palm tree next to us and allowed us to get some nice pictures.
Trying to keep out of the rain but we all failed.
Australian Bush-turkey (Alectura lathami).
Barred Cuckooshrike (Coracina lineata).
We reached the car and we went for a run to the nearby Centenary Lakes and Botanical Gardens, by now it was starting to rain and when we arrived we found the area was very wet and even flooded in parts but we still had a couple of hours of great birding even if the photography was difficult.
Hornbill Friarbird (Philemon yorki).
Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii).
Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis).
We walked several of the many trails dodging the showers by any means possible but added a good number of new species again including Australian Bush-turkey (Alectura lathami), Orange-footed Scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt), Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii), Barred Cuckooshrike (Coracina lineata), Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto) female, Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis), Hornbill Friarbird, Blue-winged Kookaburra (Dacelo leachii), Black Butcherbird (Cracticus quoyi), Olive-backed Oriole (Oriolus sagittatus), Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus), Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita), Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis) and Deb also had a Pallid Cuckoo (Cacomantis pallidus) which Ian and I missed.
Radjah Shelduck (Radjah radjah).
Great White Egret (Ardea alba).
Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii).
We walked from the Botanical Gardens into the area of lakes and did a loop around there before rain finally stopped play but not before we again added a good number of species, in amongst the many Australian Swiftlet Deb again picked up a species which I missed but Ian managed to get onto, a Pacific Swift (Apus pacificus).
The Pools.
Terrapin Species ??????
I did manage to see Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae), Radjah Shelduck (Radjah radjah), Magpie Geese (Anseranas semipalmata), Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa), Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vieilloti), Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus) and a Terrapin species which still needs a name.
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita).
We returned to the hotel and later Ian and I headed out to get a take-away and hit the Booze shop.

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