A short trip up Cape York just as far as the Musgrave and Lakefield region. This is the best area on the Cape to see the Golden-shouldered Parrots and the nesting Red Goshawks are an added bonus. The avifauna of Lakefield National Park bears more similarity to the that of the Northern Territory than to the nearby areas of Queensland, and the dramatic silhouettes of the magnetic termite mounds on the Nifold are also reminiscent of the NT. This is a great short break and is an interesting add-on to any time spent in the Wet Tropics.
This is not a difficult tour and is suitable for anyone with a moderate standard of fitness. The road up the Cape is unsealed and can be rather bumpy and dusty.
There is a choice of basic air conditioned rooms with shared bathroom at Musgrave Roadhouse close to the Golden-shouldered Parrot site or the very comfortable comfortable Lotusbird Lodge on a lagoon full of waterbirds near to the entrance to Lakefield National Park.
Day 1 – Cairns to Musgrave
Pick up from hotel and set off north, birding en route to Musgrave area part way up the Cape York peninsula. This is the easiest area to see endangered Golden-shouldered Parrot. The rare Red Goshawk nests close to the area. The huge Papuan Frogmouth and Palm Cockatoo have also been seen here.
Days 2 and 3 – Birding the Rinyirru National Park
Star Finches, Zitting Cisticola, Rufous-banded, Red-headed and Bar-breasted Honeyeaters are just some of the birds we will be looking for, as well as exciting marsupials such as northern nail-tailed wallaby and maybe spectacled hare-wallaby. At night Grass Owl and the the tiny Southern Boobok are possible.
Day 4 – Musgrave to Cairns
After breakfast we will head southwards back to Cairns arriving mid afternoon.