Sunday, 4 May 2008
Flecker Botanic Gardens
After four days of glorious weather, it rained. That didn't stop me. I took my camera and binoculars to the Flecker Botanic Gardens, Cairns, which is a good spot for some of the more common lowland birds.
But the more common lowland birds were all tucked up somewhere dry. I did the circuit twice, but nothing moved. Dispirited, I went to the café and had raisin toast and a mug of coffee (they also did bowls of coffee, they told me). As I sat there, wondering where I could go next, a black butcherbird (Cracticus quoyi) joined me. The bird caroled quietly for a few minutes — as if it were singing to itself —and then flew back to the trees.
Black butcherbirds are restricted to the tropical NE coast and Top End. They prefer rainforests but occasionally move into more open areas. The last time I saw a BB was in the rainforest at Lake Eacham, where a parent was feeding a water dragon to a lazy lump of a juvenile, which refused to do anything for itself. That was two years ago. It's probably tagging trains now.