Eremaea Birdlines
Interesting and unusual bird observations
Birdline North Queensland

Birdline North Queensland is a site for the reporting of rare or unusual birds outside their normal range, unusually high or low numbers, early or late arrivals or departures for migrant species and interesting behaviour or unusual habitat usage. The coverage for the Birdline North Queensland site is from Bowen west to the Northern Territory border and north to the tip of Cape York Peninsula and includes all the offshore islands. We encourage any one with a long list of species to enter them into Eremaea eBird.

Birdline North Queensland is supported by BirdLife Northern Queensland and BirdLife Townsville and moderated by Keith & Lindsay Fisher and Len & Chris Ezzy. Register for weekly email notifications.

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Moderators' Note

All reports are not necessarily confirmed and are published here to encourage others to confirm them.

Recent Sightings


Reports published in the past 30 hours.

November 2014
Sat 22Eastern Grass Owl
Tyto Wetlands, Ingham
Two female and one male Eastern Grass Owl flushed from swamp ricegrass at western end of main lagoon this morning. Also Red-backed Button Quail in tree reveg/weed area at north end of first (kidney) lagoon.
Tony Ashton 23/11 #220988
highlightKelp Gull
Seisia wharf, Bamaga Cape York Tip
1. About 150m south of wharf on water's edge among much human activity, mainly boats. Typical mature Kelp Gull of southern Australia: approx. 60cm size, vermillion patch lower (only) mandible near tip (excluding Pacific), dull grey-green legs, broad white trailing edge to wings and all-white tail readily seen in flight. Closest possible vagrant phenotypically would be Lesser black-backed gull but did not have the bright yellow legs in the birds (Heuglin's) I had seen this year at Mai-Po marshes. 4 previous most northerly records in Cairns (on ebird) between 1988 and 2005. Local fishing guide John Charlton alerted me to a "large, lonely gull hanging around the wharf". eBird checklist
Rob Reed 22/11 #220962
Fri 21Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher
1km offshore just south of Cullen Point, Western Cape York
Came from NW direction, looked tired! Also noticed Cattle Egrets today and a few days ago from same direction 6 first time 3 today, all breeding plumage.
David Milson & Neil Drogemuller 21/11 #220937
Thu 20highlightKelp Gull (Larus dominicanus)
Seisia near Bamaga, North Queensland
Spotted flying around the wharf at Seisia. It landed on the beach and was photographed there.
David Baume, Master of the cargo vessel Trinity Bay 23/11 #220999
Wed 19Black Falcon
TinarooFalls Rd near Favier Rd intersection
A Black Falcon shortly before dusk, briefly pursuing mynahs and then landing on top of large fig in paddock, possibly to roost.
John Grant 20/11 #220925
Yellow Wagtail
Harper Ave, Lake Tinaroo
Two Yellow Wagtails on spit to east of Harper Ave. Both dull plumaged, one quite gray and probably a juvenile. Also 2 Marsh Sandpipers and a Greenshank present.
John Grant 20/11 #220924
Sun 16highlightLittle Curlew
Cairns Esplanade
Not often seen on the Cairns Esplanade. Eleven reports from 09/11/1982 to 03/11/2008. eBird checklist
Norton Gill 17/11 #220873
Fri 14megamegaGrey Wagtail
Birthday Creek Falls - Paluma Range National Park
One individual, non-breeding plumage, observed hopping upstream from the falls at approx. 10am. Bird was flighty and flew to low branches when initially approached, then continued upstream, maintaing a significant distance from us. One distant and heavily cropped photograph attached here to support the record. I note there is one previous record from the same location from 1993.
April Boaden and David Hall 16/11 #220853
highlightYellow Wagtail
Mungalla Station--Forrest Beach, Queensland
Very plain white and grey Wagtail beside Palm Creek pool near old stockyards today. Flighty. Lost bird after low flight across extensive wetlands. My first sighting of species this season.
Tony Ashton 14/11 #220820
Sun 9Pectoral Sandpiper
Warri Park - Port Douglas
Seen well in the wide section of the drain at the southern end of the lake just before it passes under the road - busy poking around in the mud by 2 observers at 6.15am. Bill yellowish at the base and looked longer than a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper bill, markings on breast abruptly cut off, single bird not in company of others.
Doug Herrington and Bill Twiss 10/11 #220761
highlightPectoral Sandpiper
Lake Moondarra--western shore
Pete Morris has phoned to advise he had two juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper on the western shore of Lake Moondarra, Mt Isa, this morning. Also present were c.100 Oriental Plover, six Grey Plover, three Greater Sandplover and several Black-tailed Godwit as well as a few hundred Sharp-tailed Sandplover.
Pete Morris per Andy Jensen 9/11 #220758
highlightBroad-billed Sandpiper
Townsville Town Common Conservation Park - Melaleuca Viewing Area
One Broad-billed Sandpiper seen actively feeding in front of the Melaleuca Viewing Area this morning at about 7:30am. Birdlife Townsville was notified and some members were able to make it there for a look. The bird was still there at 9:30am when most observers departed. Very rare at the Town Common. (Photo: - Len Ezzy)
Niel Bruce (et al) 9/11 #220746
highlightEastern Yellow Wagtail
Townsville Town Common Conservation Park-Melaleuca Viewing Area
2 x Eastern Yellow Wagtails (Motacilla flava) found at the Melaleuca Viewing area at about 7:15am today. We notified Birdlife Townsville and quite a few members came down for a look. Initially the birds were very active on the far side of the rapidly-evaporating lagoon. They then moved well to the north still in view, and then returned to in front of the viewing area but stayed on the western side, then disappearing for a while and eventually returning to the closer side of the viewing area. Have included a very distant, heavily cropped image as an ID. (Possibbly the Subspecies Simillima)
Len and Chris Ezzy (et al) 9/11 #220745
Sat 8Pied Heron
Cairns Botanical Gardens and Centenary Lakes
1 Pied Heron seen at about 08:30 on the edges of the freshwater lake at Centenary Lakes.
Anthony Katon 9/11 #220732
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)
Townsville Town Common Conservation Park
Melaleuca Viewpoint. Single bird amoungst other waders. eBird checklist
Ed Pierce 8/11 #220723
Wed 5Spotted Whistling-Duck
Lakefield NP--Horseshoe Lagoon
Pete Morris (Birdquest group) called yesterday to advise he had 9 Spotted Whistling Ducks at Horseshoe Lagoon in the southern section of Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park.
Pete Morris (per Andy Jensen) 6/11 #220688
Sun 2Banded Lapwing
Captain Cook Hwy and Walkers Road. Across the road from Cairns Kart Hire.
First reported on the 19/10/14 still there on the 6/11/14. Two birds. eBird checklist
Norton Gill 6/11 #220692
Sat 1highlightYellow Wagtail
Mungalla Station--Forrest Beach, Queensland
Yellow Wagtail seen and heard several times by Palm Creek near old stockyards today. Plenty of yellow showing so different bird from previous report from same site. Also, male Little Bittern, in nearby hymenachne today.
Tony Ashton 18/11 #220897
Radjah Shelduck
Cairns Centenary Lakes, Botanic Gardens.
Observed about 20 Radjah Shelduck about the lakes, one pair had 10 half grown ducklings.
Stephen Gallivan 2/11 #220600
Australian Pratincole, Curlew Sandpiper, Latham's Snipe
Townsville Town Common
2 Australian Pratincole @ Payet Tower Hide. 1 Curlew Sandpiper @ Melaleuca Viewing Area. 3 Latham's Snipe @ Melaleuca Viewing Area. eBird checklist
Ed Pierce 1/11 #220582

October 2014
Fri 31Great Crested Grebe
Crater Lakes National Park--Lake Barrine
Observed some 40+ Great Crested Grebes together on the lake. The raft was at a distance of 200mts in the middle of the lake. Poor photo taken. I have never seen such a gathering of these birds before. (Moderator Note:- Rafts of at least 200 birds have been seen at this location from time to time).
Stephen Gallivan 31/10 #220568
Thu 30Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher
Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge
A Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher was heard and seen in the Lodge grounds this morning at 7.15am. This is the first one to return from Papua New Guinea for the season, as usual it arrived overnight.
Keith Fisher 31/10 #220548
Wed 29Red-necked Crake
Claherty Rd Julatten Qld
Brief and planned encounter with single bird. No thanks to the Australian Brush-turkey who vigorously chased the bird from the area before I could obtain further photos! Many thanks to Jeanette and Fred Birkbeck of Feathers n Friends BnB for access to their property.
Paul Newman 30/10 #220532
Outside normal range
Early arrival; late departure
Interesting behaviour
Hard to see
Unusual habitat
Uncommon in area
Unusual numbers
Rare vagrant
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