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Cairns Esplanade, Australia (Center on Interactive Map)

Map of Cairns Esplanade, Australia

Map of Cairns Esplanade, Australia

Australasian Figbird (Sphecotheres vielilloti) Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) Bush Thick-knee (Burhinus grallarius) Masked Lapwing (Vanellus miles) Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris) Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) Torresian Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula spilorrhoa) Spectacled Flying Fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) Spectacled Flying Fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) Varied Honeyeater (Gavicalis versicolor) Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus)
Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis) Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)

Walkway next to a lagoon with mud flats at low tide.


Eastern Australia

11/6/2012: After a night in the bush, my traveling companion was keen to check out the local horse racing track which was having races to coincide with the famous Melbourne Cup. I pretty much never gamble on horses, but I won 1 of the three races that I bet on (for a net loss of $5). My friend lost on all three races.

The word on the street was that the esplanade at Cairns was good for shorebirds. I made the trip over there in the late afternoon to take advantage of good photography sunlight.

My trip coincided with the high tide, and there were maybe 100 shorebirds roosting at the high tide line. 100 birds is not a whole lot of shorebirds, but they were all seen at very close range. Maybe there is a better spectacle when the tide is lower, but I did not get a chance to see this. Another possibility is that it is too early in the year for many of the migrants.

After walking the esplanade, I walked around the neighborhoods nearby. As the sun was setting, there was a good showing of lorikeets, swiftlets, and especially the Spectacled Flying Foxes which were roosting by the hundreds in a small park a couple of blocks from the shore.

Previous Visit (Davies Creek National Park: 11/5/2012)
Next Visit (Cattana Wetlands: 11/7/2012)

Species Recorded (33)

Birds ( 32 )

Shoebill ( Balaenicipitidae )
Australian Pelican - Pelecanus conspicillatus

Honeyeaters ( Meliphagidae )
Varied Honeyeater - Gavicalis versicolor

Cormorants ( Phalacrocoracidae )
Little Pied Cormorant - Microcarbo melanoleucos

Herons ( Ardeidae )
Great Egret - Ardea alba

Ibises and Spoonbills ( Threskiornithidae )
Royal Spoonbill - Platalea regia
Australian Ibis - Threskiornis molucca

Kites, Hawks, Eagles, and Allies ( Acciptridae )
Black Kite - Milvus migrans

Thick-knees ( Burhinidae )
Bush Thick-knee - Burhinus grallarius

Plovers ( Charadriidae )
Black-fronted Dotterel - Elseyornis melanops
Black-bellied Plover - Pluvialis squatarola
Masked Lapwing - Vanellus miles

Sandpipers and Allies ( Scolopacidae )
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper - Calidris acuminata
Red-necked Stint - Calidris ruficollis
Great Knot - Calidris tenuirostris
Bar-tailed Godwit - Limosa lapponica
Whimbrel - Numenius phaeopus
Common Greenshank - Tringa nebularia

Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers ( Laridae )
Silver Gull - Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae

Pigeons and Doves ( Columbidae )
Rock Pigeon - Columba livia
Torresian Imperial-Pigeon - Ducula spilorrhoa
Peaceful Dove - Geopelia placida

New World Parrots ( Psittacidae )
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet - Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus
Rainbow Lorikeet - Trichoglossus moluccanus

Swifts ( Apodidae )
Australian Swiftlet - Aerodramus terraereginae
White-throated Needletail - Hirundapus caudacutus

Bee-eaters ( Meropidae )
Rainbow Bee-eater - Merops ornatus

Swallows ( Hirundinidae )
Welcome Swallow - Hirundo neoxena

Jays and Crows ( Corvidae )
White-breasted Woodswallow - Artamus leucorynchus
Magpie-lark - Grallina cyanoleuca
Australasian Figbird - Sphecotheres vieilloti

Fantails ( Rhipiduridae )
Willie-wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys

Old World Sparrows ( Passeridae )
Scaly-breasted Munia - Lonchura punctulata




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