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John Gilbert diary entry

15 May 1845

Page 100. Volume 2

[in left margin]


danger, and both the Dr α myself fully expect he will ere long pay for his temerity he never having seen wild natives before joining the expedition, accounts in some manner for the extraordinary curiosity he has at all times displayed in throwing himself among them. it is only equalled by the Natives themselves, who approach us so near, in ignorance of our weapons, Roper although he knows their weapons, and their mode of using them is totally ignorant of the general character of the Australian Natives, and places a mistaken confidence in them all, The Dr came in very much fagged, so much so, that his head was affected, and we could with difficulty make him perfectly understand any thing; While out he saw the first Gigantic Ant-Hills met with in the expedition. Contrary to our expectations the Natives did not make their appearance. As we leave the Burdikin tomorrow, and may probably very soon be in a totally different character of country the following species of Birds603 may be enumerated as being observed at this Latitude. Haliaster sphenurus - Pandion leucocephala breeding near our Camp. - Falco Melanogenys - Ieracidea Berigora - Astur approximans? - Milvus isurus - Circus Jardinii - Athene Boobook - Athene strenua? - Strix Cyclops? - Aegotheles Novae-Hol. - Hirundo neoxina - Collocalia ariel - Merops ornatus - Dacelo Gigantea - Dacelo Leachii? - Halcyon pyrrhopygia - Dicrurus bracteatus - Oreica gutturalis - Colluricincla - Pachycephala pectoralis? - Artamus cinereus - Artamus minor - Cracticus destructor? - Cracticus nigrogularis - Gymnorhina -----? - Strepera -----? - Grallina Australis - Campephaga -----? - Graucalus melanops? - Graucalus -----? - Megalurus galactotes - Cysticola -----? - Calamoherpe ----- - Cincloramphus cruralis - Cincloramphus lesser? [the “lesser” deleted] - Myrafra ----- - Eopsaltria (new.) - Zosterops dorsalis? - Gerygone brevirostris - Gerygone albogularis - Rhipidura Motacilloides - Rhipidura albiscapa - Seisura volitans - Microeca macroptera - Myiagra plumbea? - Monarcha -----? - Pardalotus melanocephalus? - Dicaeum hirundinaceum - Poephila cincta - Estrelda

Note 603

See Appendix 1 for a list of the modern names of these birds seen at Whitsunday Camp. It is rather odd that no specimens have been found that had been collected during the long period Gilbert spent at Whitsunday Camp (11th-16th May), although Leichhardt’s absence and Gilbert’s concern that the Aborigines might attack seem to have confined him to camp, and he may have felt discharging his gun would worsen the situation. Gilbert birdwatched instead, hence the list.