Mangrove Robin (photo by Gail Bryant)

Two birds that have been difficult to find have finally been captured on video but only one was photographed. A trip to North Queensland was undertaken in July. We usually try to go birding each year that we travel to Townsville to visit my daughter and every year we look for the Mangrove Robin in Cairns and the Great-billed Heron on the Daintree river.

This year I caught glimpses of the Mangrove Robin on the first morning of a three day trip to Cairns. This was a promising sign. No good video was taken as the bird was quite deep in the mangroves just north of the esplanade. A couple of other visits to the site were also unsuccessful but on the last day we had success. I said to Gail that I would give it one last try before we moved on to Daintree. Gail decided to wait in the car as she wasn’t dressed for the sun and insects. This time the bird was on the edge of the mangroves as I approached, so I beckoned to Gail to bring her camera. We had a lovely time taking video and photographs but of course Gail’s arms were uncovered and badly attacked my midges. So much so that they became red, itchy and infected.

By the time we reached Daintree, Gail was in no state to catch the early river cruise we had booked. I usually look for the Little Kingfisher and the Great-billed Heron on these trips but without success. This year I saw both and was successful with the Great-billed Heron thanks to the skill of Murray, the riverboat guide. The kingfisher will have to wait for a subsequent trip.

Mangrove Robin

Great-billed Heron

The total is now 479. A trip to Broome next month should see the total approach 500. Hopefully!