IN August and September 2011 I went to Cairns with my Dad (pictured, in the top right-hand side photo) to escape the southern winter and also see some birds, which are his big passion. The highlight of the trip was to be a birdwatching tour of Cape York peninsula, one of the world's great wilderness areas. To their despair, the innards of the continent eventually revealed themselves to be a dry, dusty wasteland. The Great Inland Sea was just a myth. Finches, cockatoos both black and snowy white, and curlews which run the side of the road in the middle of the night. Exotic pigeons and jet black starlings which fly in from New Guinea. The small township seems to be about 50 per cent Aboriginal; there is a place on the main street which does a pretty mean hamburger.