FOR birdwatching visitors from the southern states, it is interesting to note what species are NOT present in Cairns. For starters (and this is just my observation, during the month or so I spent here at the start of spring in 2011), there are no galahs, rosellas, noisy miners, magpies, crows, topknot pigeons and other familiar friends from down south. There are rainbow lorikeets, but nowhere near as many as can be seen in Sydney, where they have attained pest status. 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. It is the largest natural inland lake system, and parts of the lake have become a sanctuary for bird watching. 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.