See Appendix 1 for a translation of all Gilbert’s bird names, a document which was compiled with the help of now-retired Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service naturalist Bruce Lawrie (see his article “In the footsteps of Gilbert” in Wingspan 2007 vol.17 (1): 46-49). Gilbert’s list of birds sighted on 16th April 1845 translates as follows: Tree Martin Petrochelidon nigricans, Black-faced Woodswallow Artamus cinereus, Singing Honeyeater Lichenostomus virescens, Fuscous Honeyeater Lichenostomus fuscus, White-plumed Honeyeater Lichenostomus penicillatus, Noisy Friarbird Philemon corniculatus, Melithreptus sp., possibly the White-throated Honeyeater Melithreptus albogularis, Squatter Pigeon Geophaps scripta, Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus, Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinia isura, Southern Boobook Owl Ninox novaeseelandiae, Blue-winged Kookaburra Dacelo leachii, Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus, Grey Shrike-thrush Colluricincla h. harmonica. Gilbert’s use of “Pachycephala pectoralis” is probably not as in the Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis, which was originally named as “M pectoralis” by Latham in 1801, but as in Turdus pectoralis Lewin, 1808, which is a synonym of the Rufous Whistler Pachycephala rufiventris. This identification is supported by the fact that a specimen in Liverpool, LIV D1640g, is a Pachycephala rufiventris which was collected at the Burdekin River on 5th April 1845. Black-faced Woodswallow Artamus cinereus, Little Woodswallow Artamus minor, Pied Butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis, Australian Magpie-lark Grallina cyanoleuca, White-winged Triller Lalage sueurii tricolor, Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike Coracina novaehollandiae melanops, Fairy-wren Malurus sp, which Gilbert later supposed might be “melanocephalus”, which is the Red-backed Fairy-wren. According to Peters Checklist of the birds of the world 1986, volume 11, page 395, the two subspecies of Malurus melanocephalus (M. m. melanocephalus of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland and M. m. cruentatus of northern Australia) intergrade between the Burdekin River and Cape York Peninsula, which is possibly why Gilbert was unsure of his identification. White-browed Scrubwren (Buff-breasted Scrub-wren subspecies) Sericornis frontalis laevigaster, Brown Songlark Cincloramphus cruralis, Hooded Robin Melanodryas cucullata, Silvereye Zosterops lateralis, Weebill Smicrornis brevirostris, White-throated Gerygone Gerygone albogularis, Grey Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa, Restless Flycatcher Myiagra inquieta, Willie Wagtail Rhipidura l. leucophrys, Leaden Flycatcher Myiagra rubecula, Jacky Winter Microeca fascinans, Striated Pardalote (black-headed, cinnamon-rumped form) Pardalotus striatus melanocephalus, Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum, Double-barred Finch Taeniopygia b. bichenovii, Crimson Finch Neochmia phaeton. Of the two latter species, Leichhardt recorded on 16th April (1847: 220) that “the isolated waters near grassy flats were visited by swarms of little finches”, and that these had been seen by Gilbert at Port Essington (Fisher & Calaby 2009: 194 (Neochmia phaeton), 196 & 198 (Taeniopygia bichenovii annulosa)). “Climacteris ...?” must either be the Brown Treecreeper Climacteris picumnus melanotus or White-throated Treecreeper Cormobates leucophaea, neither of which Gilbert would have encountered until 1844 (at the earliest) and were therefore unfamiliar to him. Note that a White-throated Treecreeper now in Liverpool (LIV D5472s) could be from the Leichhardt Expedition. Another now in Oxford (OUMNH B/12181) was once in the Natural History Museum (BMNH 1822.214.171.12433) and could also have been collected during the expedition. Black-Cockatoo species Calyptorhynchus, Pale-headed Rosella Platycercus adscitus palliceps, Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus, Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus. The “second example” of the “yellow Ptilotis” was another Yellow Honeyeater Lichenostomus flavus (see footnote for the Gilbert’s first record of this bird, on the previous day, 15th April 1845), this individual is almost certainly one of the specimens now in museums in Liverpool, Tring, Exeter, New York and Philadelphia.
Gilbert did not record a name for their camp of 17th April. On Leichhardt’s sketch map it is rather clumsily called “Camp where the stream crosses the riverbed”. McLaren gave the co-ordinates of this camp as GR 770 552 on the 1: 100,000 Ewan map 8059, just south of the junction with Ethel Creek. The “stream [which] crosses the riverbed” must be the watercourse which crosses from the east side of the river to the west, at the junction of an anabranch and the Burdekin within GR 76 57, but also crosses the Burdekin from west to east at GR 770 564. From Leichhardt’s sketch map (which does not show the junction with Ethel Creek, but does show the anabranch) it appears that the campsite was actually north of Ethel Creek, probably adjacent to the west to east crossing, about a kilometre north of McLaren’s position.