Gulf Country Birding Tour

18 to 29 May 2005

18 May Cairns to Georgetown
19 May Georgetown to Karumba
20 May Karumba,
21 May Karumba to Gregory River
22 May Gregory River
23 May Gregory River to Cloncurry
24 May Cloncurry
25 May Cloncurry to Mt Isa
26 May Mt Isa
27 May Mt Isa
28 May Mt Isa to Hughenden
29 May Hughenden to Cairns

Participants: Colin Officer, Don & Rhonda Jennings, Mike Doyle, Rosemary Ryan.

Tour leaders: Philip & Patricia Maher

The severe drought prevailing over most of the inland and southern Australia pushed many birds into parts of the Gulf that had received some rain during the previous wet season, producing a swag of surprises on this tour.

Those surprises included two freckled ducks, one orange chat, hundreds of crimson chats almost in the mangroves at Karumba, budgerigars, cockatiels and diamond doves; as well as dozens of red-backed kingfishers and spiny-cheeked honeyeaters (only three seen on the same tour two years prior). Also surprising was a striped honeyeater north of Hughenden, a single black honeyeater near Normanton and several red-capped robins around Mt Isa.

Species not so surprising, but highlights nevertheless, were two lovely assemblies of flock pigeons, one of about 300 and the other 15 birds.

A shower of grey-headed and grey-fronted honeyeaters pouring down to drink at waterholes south of Cloncurry was unforgettable, as were spinifex pigeons in the same area, and scores of painted finches and zebra finches drinking at waterholes near Mt Isa.

A dozen or so of the Cape York race of star finch drinking at a dam near Karumba was another good sighting. A couple of flocks of the red-bill form of long-tailed finch were seen along the Gregory River and near Mt Isa and we saw about 50 of the black-rump race of black-throated finch in the Georgetown/Croydon area. Both races of the masked finch were seen and we saw one pair of the uncommon black race of brown treecreeper near Georgetown.

Other highlights included hundreds white-browed woodswallows and masked woodswallows feeding in the flowering bloodwoods Corymbia terminalis in the Normanton area; thousands of zebra finches at waterholes south of Cloncurry and good numbers of spotted harrier were also seen.

Luck turned up a male painted honeyeater south of Cloncurry.

Kalkadoon and Carpentarian grasswrens and rufous-crowned emu-wren, the key targets on this trip, didn't disappoint.

Scarce, just four birds seen, about 90 km south of Cloncurry.

Australian brush Turkey
Sightings at 40 Mile Scrub picnic area

Brown quail
One covey seen between Croydon and Normanton; two coveys south of Cloncurry and another covey at a creek between Julia Creek and Richmond.

Plumed whistle-duck
Flocks on large dams near Georgetown and north of Hughenden.

Freckled duck
A surprise, one on Cumberland Dam near Georgetown and another on a large dam near the Burke and Wills Roadhouse.

Radjah shelduck
Small flocks around Karumba

Australian wood duck
A surprising number of sightings of this predominantly southern species; seen on five days at localities including Georgetown, Burke and Wills Roadhouse and Mt Isa. There were no sightings of this species on the previous tour two years ago.

Green pygmy-goose
Few at Cumberland Dam and flocks at Lake Moondarra, Mt Isa.

Pacific black duck
A few seen most days

Grey teal
A few seen most days

Pink-eared duck
Exceptional numbers this year of what is predominantly an inland species. Flocks on any large body of water.

Small numbers on most of the larger dams; reasonable number on Lake Moondarra.

Australasian grebe
A few on most large bodies of water.

Great crested grebe
Unexpectedly, three on the dam, which was quite low, near Burke and Wills Roadhouse. Quite a few on Lake Moondarra, Mt Isa.

A few on most of the larger water bodies

Little pied cormorant
A few on most of the larger water bodies

Pied cormorant
A few feeding with flocks of little black cormorants on Lake Moondarra.

Little black cormorant
A few on the larger dams; hundreds feeding with pelicans on Lake Moondarra.

Great cormorant
Just a few on Lake Moondarra

Australian pelican
A few on most larger bodies of water

White-faced heron
A few seen on most days of the tour.

Little egret
A few around Karumba and Lake Moondarra

White-necked heron
A few seen on most days of the tour

Great egret
A few seen on most days of the tour

Intermediate egret
A few on Cumberland dam and around Lake Moondarra

Cattle egret
Just a few around the Atherton Tablelands, Georgetown and Mt Isa

Striated heron
One on the Norman River at Karumba and another on the Leichhardt River west of

Nankeen night-heron
Single bird at the outflow from Lake Moondarra and about six at the Corella River below the dam.

Glossy ibis
About six around Lake Moondarra

Australian white ibis
Just a few, mainly about Karumba

Straw-necked ibis
Moderate numbers, mainly around the Karumba/Normanton area

Royal spoonbill
Moderate numbers, mainly around the Karumba/Normanton area; some juvenile birds on the estuary at Karumba.

Yellow-billed spoonbill
A single bird on Cumberland dam

A total of about nine seen; mainly around Karumba/Normanton with a few at Lake Moondarra and the Cloncurry River.

Two pairs at Karumba, one pair nesting on a platform in the estuary.

Black-shouldered kite
A few on the Atherton Tablelands and a couple south of Cloncurry.

Black-breasted buzzard
Four in total compared to three on the 2003 Gulf tour. A pair seen west of Normanton and singles south and east of Gregory Downs’ hotel, one of which was an immature bird.

Black kite
A thousand plus birds seen; highest numbers between Normanton, the Gregory River and Burke and Wills Roadhouse; many feeding on roadkills (red kangaroos).

Whistling kite
Scores of birds in all but the driest areas around Mt Isa; not as numerous as black kites but very common.

Brahminy Kite
One at Cairns at the start of the tour, and about three at Karumba.

White-bellied sea-eagle
About seven in total; mainly about Karumba but a few from Normanton across to the Gregory River.

Spotted harrier
Twelve birds seen compared to two on the 2003 Gulf tour; clearly many birds have been pushed north by the drought. Highest number on any day was four between Georgetown and Normanton. Some excellent views of birds hunting alongside our vehicles.

Brown goshawk
About 20 birds in total; highest numbers (c10) in the mangroves at Karumba. Very few of this species seen on the 2003 tour – numbers presumedly drought related.

Grey goshawk
Just one of the white phase perched beside the road on the Atherton Tablelands.

Collared sparrowhawk
Around 10 seen compared to 2003’s four; mainly from Georgetown through to Gregory River.

Wedge-tailed eagle
Over 100 birds seen compared to the 2003 tour’s 50. Thirty was the highest number in a day, seen mainly between Gregory Downs Hotel and the Burke and Wills Roadhouse – feeding on roadkill (red kangaroos).

Little eagle
One seen over mangroves at Karumba and two seen west of Normanton, one of which was a dark phase. Fairly scarce in the north.

Brown falcon
One hundred and twenty plus for the tour, about twice as many as seen on the 2003 Gulf tour. The maximum was about 40 around Karumba.

Australian hobby
Four seen on the tour, same as the 2003 Gulf tour.

Black falcon
Just a single bird for the tour in grassland about midway between Normanton and Burketown where there were large numbers of cockatiels and flock pigeons not far away.

Peregrine falcon
A single bird near Croydon

Nankeen kestrel
Over 160 birds seen compared to the 30 seen on the 2003 tour. Over 30 birds seen in a day on several occasions.

Sarus crane
Around 50 birds seen as we crossed the Atherton Tablelands near Broomfield Crater and about a dozen in the Karumba/Normanton area -– at least one juvenile with adults in this area. The short wet season presumedly prompted the birds to return earlier to winter on the Atherton Tablelands.

In excess of 500 seen, mainly between Normanton, the Gregory River and Burke and Wills Roadhouse, compared to about 150 seen on the 2003 Gulf tour. Many pairs had juveniles indicating a successful breeding season.

Australian spotted crake
A single bird in swampland near Normanton – presumedly a refugee from drought.

Purple swamphen
Few about the reedbeds at Lake Moondarra and Clem Walters Park near Mt Isa.

Dusky moorhen
One at Clem Walters Park and creeks south of The Lynd.

Eurasian coot
Low numbers at Cumberland Dam and the dam near Burke and Wills Roadhouse.

Australian bustard
At least 110 birds for the tour seen on every day of the tour, compared to about 70 seen on the 2003 Gulf tour – evident of the drought pushing birds out of the inland. Thirty, between Julia Creek and Hughenden, was the highest number seen in a day.

Little button-quail
A single bird flushed in spinifex country near Mt Isa.

About 20 around Karumba

Eastern curlew
About 20 around Karumba

Marsh sandpiper
At least 50 on a freshwater dam at Karumba

Common greenshank
About 10 on the estuary at Karumba Point.

Grey-tailed tattler
About four at Karumba Point.

Red-necked stint
About two at Karumba Point

Comb-crested Jacana
Couple at Cumberland Dam and about 10 at Lake Moondarra

Pied oystercatcher
Single bird at Karumba Point.

Black-winged stilt
Moderately common and widespread

Red-necked avocet
Two on Clem Walton Dam near Mt Isa

Red-capped plover
About 50 at Karumba Point

Lesser sand plover
Few at Karumba Point

Greater sand plover
Few at Karumba PointBlack-fronted dotterel
Moderately common and widespread

Red-kneed dotterel
About 11 in total mainly on the larger dams and water storages. (Only four on the
2003 Gulf tour).

Masked lapwing

Few in the wetter areas

Australian pratincole
Moderately common on the Karumba plains and a few in Mitchell grass country near Julia Creek.

Silver gull
Small numbers mainly at Karumba and Lake Moondarra

Gull-billed tern
About 20 at Karumba Point

Caspian tern
About two at Karumba Point

Rock dove
Flocks about Mt Isa

Spotted turtle-dove
Few in Cairns at the start of the tour.

Brown cuckoo-dove
One seen while we were crossing the Atherton Tablelands.

Common Bronzewing
Moderate and widespread around Cloncurry and Mt Isa; about 20 drinking at dusk at a waterhole south of Cloncurry; two west of Croydon.

Flock bronzewing
One of the great birds of inland Australia. I hadn’t seen this species for about 10 years and fear their numbers are well down.

A flock of about 300 adult and immatures was resting and preening beside a drying out ditch in Mitchell grass country along the Leichhardt River floodplain west of Normanton. The flock allowed a close approach. Scattered pairs and small parties were seen over the next 10 kilometres. A small flock of fifteen adults and juveniles came in to drink when we were standing beside a waterhole south of Cloncurry a few days later.

Crested pigeon
Common and widespread

Spinifex pigeon
Some good flocks coming in to drink south of Cloncurry; about 80 seen on one day. A flock walked down a bank right beside us for a drink.

Squatter pigeon
Some great sightings of both the red and blue-eyed races were recorded. About 50 of the 'red-eyes' (race peninsulae) were seen east of Mt Garnett to well west of Croydon. About 15 of the ‘blue-eyes’ (nominate race) were seen in the Porcupine Gorge area north of Hughenden.

Diamond dove
None seen until Karumba thereafter good numbers were seen every day for the rest of the tour until The Lynd. Hundreds drinking at a waterhole south of Cloncurry in company with thousands of zebra finches.

Peaceful dove
Common and widespread in all but the driest areas.

Bar-shouldered dove
Moderately common from Cairns, through the upper Gulf to the Gregory River; none in the drier country.

Wompoo fruit-dove
One seen while we were driving across the Atherton Tablelands.

Red-tailed black-cockatoo
Moderately common in the upper Gulf. A flock of over 100 was seen north of Hughenden.

Common and widespread; large flocks on the power lines in Croydon were impressive.

Little corella
Moderately common west of Normanton and in the low Gulf country. Dead trees west of Normanton were awash with thousands of corellas.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Widespread in low numbers

Common and widespread, spectacular flocks west of Normanton and across to the Gregory River; also good numbers north of Hughenden.

Rainbow lorikeet
Small flocks about Mt Garnett and The Lynd of the rainbow form (race moluccanus) and small flocks of the red-collared form (race rubritorquis) along the Gregory River.

Varied lorikeet
Incredible numbers this year with flocks continuously flying over at Gregory River and good numbers in the Mt Isa and Cloncurry districts. Only about 20 seen on the 2003 Gulf tour.

Red-winged parrot
Common and widespread.

Pale-headed rosella
Common near the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.

Australian Ringneck
Quite a few of the Cloncurry form (race macgillvrayi) seen about Cloncurry and Mt Isa and as far north as the Burke and Wills Roadhouse and up to 60 kilometres north west of Mt Isa.

It was great to see this exquisite little parrot on most days of the tour. Hundreds about Gregory River and south of Cloncurry.

Pallid cuckoo
A single bird south of Cloncurry.

Horsefield Bronze-cuckoo
Just two around Lake Moondarra.Shining Bronze-cuckoo
Calling on the Atherton Tablelands

Channel-billed cuckoo
A single bird along the Gregory River

Pheasant coucal
Just three for the tour: two near the Great Dividing Range and one near Gregory River.

Barking Owl
Calling both nights at Karumba and one seen well at night along the Gregory River.

Southern boobook
One calling at Gregory River.

Spotted nightjar
One spotlighted on a stony rise near Gregory River.

Australian owlet-nightjar
One flushed in a snappy gum Eucalyptus leucophloia country north west
of Mt Isa.

White-rumped swiftlet
Moderately common about Cairns and the tablelands.

Laughing kookaburra
Seen around the tablelands and The Lynd.

Blue-winged kookaburra
Seen every day from Mt Garnett to the Gregory River. One at Lake Moondarra and one north of Hughenden.

Forest kingfisher
One seen when we were leaving Cairns and another at Cumberland Dam.

Red-backed kingfisher
About 50 birds seen in total, compared to the 2003 Gulf tour’s 10. Seen almost every day of the tour. The highest number for a day was about 12 south of Cloncurry.

Sacred kingfisher
Four in the mangroves at Karumba, one at Lake Moondarra.

Rainbow bee-eater
Common and widespread

Brown tree-creeper
A pair of this very distinctive dark form (race melanota) seen not far from Cumberland Dam, Georgetown.

Black-tailed tree-creeper
First seen along the Gregory River, moderately common in snappy gum country around Cloncurry and Mt Isa.

Purple-crowned field-wren
On my first visit to the Gregory River hotel area twenty-seven years ago, this species was quite common; however, only one group could be located at that locality this year. Four groups were located some way to the north of the hotel along the Gregory R; only one partially coloured male seen, the rest in full eclipse.

Variegated fairy-wren
One group in woodland near the Gregory River; several groups in spinifex country about Cloncurry and Mt Isa. Another group near Julia Creek.

White-winged fairy-wren
Several groups including a well-coloured male in spinifex country south of Cloncurry.

Red-backed fairy-wren
Groups seen most days from Georgetown to the Gregory River; a large group of about 20 south of The Lynd; only one partially coloured male seen.

Rufous-crowned emu-wren
Several groups of this delightful bird seen in spinifex country south of Cloncurry, with some great views had.

Carpentarian grasswren
At least two pairs seen in spinifex country north west of Mt Isa. The first pair led a merry chase for an hour before allowing excellent views. The second pair was had on the walk back – not 150 metres from our vehicles.

Kalkadoon grasswren
Superb views of a group of three, located after a short search, in the rocky hills near

Red-browed pardalote
First seen near Georgetown; a few about the Gregory River; and towards the Burke and Wills Roadhouse. Hard to see, as is their way.

Striated pardalote
Black headed form (race uropygialis) or as Mike calls them unstriated pardalote. Common and widespread seen most days of the tour.

Large-billed scrubwren
A couple on the tablelands

Common and widespread

Brown gerygone
A couple on the tablelands

Mangrove gerygone
Common in the mangroves at Karumba

White-throated gerygone
A pair about Georgetown and Karumba

Mountain thornbill
A few on the tablelands

Inland thornbill
A pair was located in a gidgee Acacia cambagei clump about 26 kilometres north up the Lady Loretta Mine road, close to the northern limits of this species’ distribution.

Yellow-rumped thornbill
One group south of The Lynd.

Spiny-cheeked honeyeater
An exodus from the inland evident with a few seen almost every day of the tour in contrast to a total of three recorded on the 2003 Gulf tour.

Striped honeyeater
A surprise bird seen 65 kilometres north of Hughenden.

Noisy friarbird
Small numbers south of The Lynd.

Little Friarbird
Low numbers seen while we were en route to Georgetown and along the Gregory River.

Blue-faced honeyeater
Moderately common near the Great Dividing Range; few at Karumba.

Noisy miner
Few near the Great Dividing Range

Yellow-throated miner
Common and widespread

Lewin’s honeyeater
Few on the tablelands

Singing honeyeater
A few seen on most days of the tour.

White-gaped honeyeater
Common along the Gregory River

Grey-headed honeyeater

Common about the hills around Cloncurry and Mt Isa. Scores drinking at a waterhole south of Cloncurry.

Grey-fronted honeyeater
One west of Normanton; common around Cloncurry and Mt Isa in snappy gum country. Quite a sight to see them descending to a waterhole to drink with grey-headed honeyeaters, outnumbering the grey-headed by about three to one.

Yellow-tinted honeyeater
Common from Georgetown through to Gregory River, not seen thereafter.

White-plumed honeyeater

Common about Cloncurry and Mt Isa in river redgums, neatly replacing the yellow-tinted honeyeaters.

Black-chinned honeyeater (golden-backed form, race laetior)
Calling south of Cloncurry; a group of three seen near the hills at Lake Moondarra.

White-throated honeyeater
Common near the Great Dividing Range

Brown honeyeater
Common in all but the driest areas about Mt Isa.

Painted honeyeater
One adult male seen briefly before being chased off by a white-plumed honeyeater at a creek line south of Cloncurry.

Rufous-throated honeyeater
Just three seen in flowering bloodwood Corymbia terminalis, west of Normanton, scarce this year.

Eastern spinebill
One on the tablelands.

Banded honeyeater
About 10 in flowering bloodwood west of Normanton; a couple along the Gregory River.

Black honeyeater
A single adult male in flowering bloodwood west of Normanton was a surprise.

Red-headed honeyeater
About 10 in the mangroves at Karumba.

Crimson chat
A huge exodus from the inland saw this species recorded on all but one day of the tour. The greatest numbers (100+) were recorded south of Cloncurry. Only a few coloured birds seen.

Orange chat
A single male seen south of Cloncurry took us by surprise.

Jacky winter
Common in the drier woodland.

Red-capped robin
A couple around Lake Moondarra; one north of Hughenden; one east of Julia Creek.

Hooded robin
Just a few seen up the Lady Loretta Mine road.

Pale-yellow robin
A couple seen on the tablelands

White-browed robin
About a dozen of the beautiful buff-sided form (race cerviniventris) seen along the Gregory River.

Grey-headed robin
About four seen on the tablelands.

Grey-crowned babbler
Common and widespread; seen most days.

Eastern whipbird
Heard on the tablelands.

Varied sittella
Only one group of the beautiful white-winged form (race leucoptera) seen west of Burke and Wills Roadhouse.

Crested bellbird
One south of Cloncurry and three seen along the Lady Loretta Mine road.

White-breasted whistler
A least 20 in the mangroves at Karumba, twice as many as recorded on the 2003 Gulf tour.

Rufous whistler
Common and widespread, seen all days of the tour.

Little shrike-thrush
A couple at the Forty Mile Scrub.

Grey-shrike thrush
Not seen until the Gregory River and then daily until we departed Cloncurry.

Leaden flycatcher
One adult male seen at the Forty Mile Scrub.

Restless flycatcher
Common and widespread in all but the driest areas.

Magpie lark
Common and widespread, seen all days of the tour.

Grey fantail
Widespread in low numbers

Mangrove grey fantail
About eight in the mangroves at Karumba.

Northern fantail
About four along the Gregory River.

Willy wagtail
Common and widespread

Black-faced cuckoo-shrike

Common and widespread, seen all days of the tour.

White-bellied cuckoo-shrike
Moderately common in the upper Gulf

Ground cuckoo-shrike
Three sightings of this spectacular species: One pair east of Georgetown, another pair west of Normanton and a group of five along the Gregory River.

White-winged triller
Moderately common from Georgetown through to the Gregory River.

Olive-backed oriole
A couple along the Gregory River.

A few about the Great Dividing Range and around Karumba.

White-breasted woodswallow
Few about Georgetown, Karumba and Lake Moondarra.

Masked woodswallow
Few with flocks of white-browed woodswallows feeding in flowering bloodwoods from west of Croyden through to Gregory River.

White-browed woodswallow
Spectacular flocks in the hundreds feeding in the flowering bloodwood with many other species in the Normanton area. Smaller flocks about the Gregory River; not seen elsewhere.

Black-faced woodswallow
Common and widespread, seen nearly everyday; both white vented (race albiventris) and black vented forms seen.

Little woodswallow
Good numbers seen most days from west of Georgetown through to Mt Isa.

Grey butcherbird
Few about Mt Garnett and south of The Lynd. There is more white in the wing than in southern birds.

Pied butcherbird
Common and widespread.

Australian magpie

Common and widespread.

Pied currawong
Few about the Great Dividing Range.

Victoria’s riflebird
A lovely pair at the Crater.

Australian raven
Common and widespread.

Little crow
Moderately common south of Cloncurry.

Torresian crow
Around the Great Dividing Range and in the upper Gulf as far west as Normanton.

Common and widespread, seen most days of the tour.

Spotted bowerbird
Moderately common around Cloncurry and Mt Isa through to Julia Creek and north of Hughenden. Co-existing with great bowerbird at Lake Moondarra.

Great bowerbird
Moderately common from about Mt Garnett through the upper Gulf to the Gregory River.

Singing bushlark
Small parties scattered throughout the Gulf in suitable habitat.

Australasian pipit
Small numbers scattered throughout the Gulf.

House sparrow
About towns

Zebra finch

Common and widespread. Thousands drinking at waterholes south of Cloncurry; huge numbers drinking elsewhere in the lower Gulf. Definitely the most numerous species in the Gulf.

Double-barred finch
Common and widespread, highest numbers drinking at waterholes in the upper Gulf around Karumba -– all the white-rumped race (nominate race).Long-tailed finch
Our best sighting of the stunning red-billed form (race hecki) was 20 birds about 20 kilometres north of Gregory Downs Hotel. There appears to be a decline in this species, which was common in the late 1970s. Another family party was seen about 30 kilometres up the Lady Loretta Mine road in spinifex country.

Black-throated finch
About 50 of the black-rumped form (race atropygialis) seen in the Georgetown/Croydon districts.

Masked finch

Great looks at both races of this stunning finch. A family party of the white-cheeked form (race leucotis) was seen feeding in woodland near Cumberland Dam; and several groups of the race personata were seen in woodland near woodlands along the Gregory River.

Crimson finch

Moderately common along the Gregory River.

Star finch

About 15 of the race clarescens drinking at a waterhole near Karumba was a nice surprise.

Painted finch
Good numbers of this delightful finch drinking at waterholes south of Cloncurry and hundreds drinking, and feeding in spinifex, around Lake Moondarra. They were feeding in flocks with many juveniles present – indicating an early breeding

Chestnut-breasted mannikin

Flocks on the Atherton Tablelands and a couple at a reedbed near Richmond.

A few seen or heard most days.

Welcome swallow
A few about the Great Dividing Range and Mt Isa/Cloncurry.

Tree Marten
Common in the upper Gulf.

Fairy Marten
Moderately common in the upper Gulf.

Clamorous reed-warbler
A couple at Lake Moondarra.

Tawny grassbird
One on the Tablelands.

Little Grassbird
A couple at Lake Moondarra

Proved to be the most difficult bird to see this year. One heard in spinifex south of Cloncurry. One eventually was seen well in the big spinifex near Lake Moondarra. About 10 seen on the 2003 Gulf tour.

Rufous songlark
A few about Georgetown and Normanton and in the Cloncurry/ Mt Isa areas.

Brown songlark

Just a few west of Normanton on the floodplain of the Gregory River; and one in Mitchell grass country near Julia Creek.

Golden-headed cisticola

A few sightings, mainly in the upper Gulf.

Yellow White-eye
Moderately common in the mangroves at Karumba.

Common at 40 Mile Scrub.

Common myna
Atherton Tablelands to Mt Garnett.


Short-beaked echidna
One seen at night in desolate grassland west of Hughenden.

Rufous bettong
One roadkill west of Mt Surprise

Agile wallaby
Common in the upper Gulf, just a few in the lower Gulf.

Antilopine walleroo
One roadkill 15 km west of Georgetown.

Eastern grey kangaroo
A small number north of Hughenden.

Small numbers of the dark form (subsp. robustus) seen about the Great Dividing Range (Mt Garnett to Hughenden); race erubescens common in the hills around Mt Isa/Cloncurry.

Red kangaroo
Many, including dozens of roadkill, between the Gregory River and Burke and Wills Roadhouse and south of Cloncurry. Numbers appear to be increasing in the Gulf due to increased poisoning of dingos, their main predator.

Purple-necked rock-wallaby
About four in the hills south of Mt Isa/Cloncurry. One flushed from under my feet in the hills near Duchess.

Two seen south of Cloncurry including one tame female.

House cat (feral)
A couple seen.

One-humped camel
A cow and young calf seen south of Cloncurry and one adult between Mt Isa and Cloncurry.

Feral pig
One group seen near Julia Creek.

Indo-pacific humpback dolphin

About six in the estuary at Karumba Point.


Freshwater crocodile
One at Lake Moondarra.

Saltwater crocodile
About five at Karumba.

Gilbert’s dragon
Many in the creek bed south of Cloncurry while we were watching honeyeaters drink.

Bearded dragon
An attractive, large bearded (type) dragon, about 30 cm long (12 in) was seen in spinifex country down Lady Loretta Mine road but could not be positively identified.

Sand goanna
A beautiful (roadkilled) specimen was seen near Normanton.

Water python
One about a metre and a half in length was waiting in a waterhole where lots of small birds were drinking near Karumba.

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