TRAVELLING NATURALIST TRIP REPORT
Friday 10 Wednesday 29 October 2003
Chris Dahlberg (Daintree)
Russ & Jenny Watts (Oakhampton)
CAIRNS Light cloud, warm
After our long flight via Bangkok and Sydney we arrived at Cairns at mid-day to be met by Richard hobbling along on crutches with one leg in plaster while his Achilles tendon mended. However Richards misfortune (and he was bearing it very cheerfully!) was our gain, as we would have two leaders from Australia throughout the trip: Richard himself and Glenn Holmes, one of Queenslands top birders.
By quarter past one we had met all the independent travellers, had checked into our motel and were raring to go. Cairns waterfront was the first stop, renowned as one of Australias wader hot spots. The shoreline didnt disappoint, with such birds as Great Knot, Red-necked Stint, Terek and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers. We also saw our first Far Eastern Curlews and both Pacific Golden and Greater Sand Plovers. Australian Pelicans and White Ibises lounged on the shore while Gull-billed Terns hawked to and fro, and an Osprey flew over.
We tore ourselves away to head for the Botanic Gardens and an excellent lunch. As we arrived, a superb blue Ulysses Butterfly glided past. Lunch was a salad feast with our first Australian Brush-turkey occasionally wandering past the tables, but the Orange-footed Scrubfowl in the gardens after lunch were a bit less tame, and were actively building their mounds. We saw two of these huge nest/incubators.
Under Glenns sharp eyes and superb tuition we were soon into the honeyeaters, lorikeets and others that go to make up Australias totally distinctive avifauna. Yellow-bellied Sunbird and Rainbow Bee-eater were from familiar families, but what about the Magpie Larks, Willie Wagtails and Mistletoebirds? And it took us a while even to learn to pronounce Gerygone, at least before it disappeared into its hanging nest. Highlights around the Centenary Lakes were a superb pair of Double-eyed Fig-Parrots, Australias smallest parrot feeding on fruits, and elegant Bush Thick-Knees beginning to display in the late afternoon. All too soon it was time to head back to the hotel, dinner and a well-earned sleep.
ATHERTON TABLELANDS - YUNGABURRA Sunny early. Rain & drizzle later
We emerged to the sound of a pair of Kookaburra's laughing cries across the road. A warm early morning walk to the beach gave us close up views of some new waders, including Red-capped Plover and Grey-tailed Tattler.
After breakfast we loaded up and headed off for the birder's favourite destination in any town - the local sewage farm. Here we saw Black-winged Stilts and Black-fronted Dotterel with chicks. There were also several duck including Hardhead and a group of highly elusive Radjah Shelduck.
Up into the nearby hills we stopped in dry eucalyptus forest at Heales Lookout with superb views down the valley. By now the clouds were building and it was pretty overcast. Here we saw Eastern Yellow Robin and our first Yellow-faced Honeyeater. We continued up the winding curves and within a mile we were within thick rainforest - and right on cue it began to rain. We stopped at Lake Barrine and walked a narrow trail through the forest. A number of birds above and below us proved difficult to see but a Bower's Shrike-thrush showed quite well. The lake itself held a remarkable concentration of Great Crested Grebes.
Then it was on up to the open farmlands of the Atherton Tablelands near Lake Tinaroo. Apparently the lake was less than forty per cent full, its lowest for many years. Nonetheless it held an excellent assemblage of waterfowl, including the strange Pink-eared Duck and Cotton Pygmy-goose. Further around we stopped by a field with Sarus Cranes but Glenn was looking at one of the feeder creeks and found three more Radjah Shelduck, this time giving superb views. We then headed back for lunch at Yungaburra.
In the park outside the restaurant we had excellent views of Scarlet Honeyeater and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets. Then we went onto the famous Curtain Fig, a tree with spectacular roots. Here we saw three species of monarchs, including the very local Pied Monarch. We also saw our first Victorias Riflebird high overhead. We then headed to Lake Eacham and another forest walk. Here we all caught up with Tooth-billed Bowerbird and saw a superb Yellow-breasted Boatbill. We also heard the dramatic call of Eastern Whipbird which was to become so familiar throughout the trip. It was getting quite cool now and drizzling, but the dull conditions seemed to make the birds more active.
At the end of the trail we emerged into a clearing with cabins, Chambers Forest Lodge, where the owner welcomed us and pointed out his posts where Riflebirds came to display. Incredibly, right on cue a male flew down from the trees and promptly starting arching its wings in display. It was soon joined by a female on the same post. The male's iridescent plumes still gleamed turquoise despite the dull light and its displayed yellow gape was startling: a real Attenborough moment right out of the wildlife film library.
The clearing was also busy with other birds on an excellent variety of fruiting trees. Brown Cuckoo-Doves were nice, but totally outshone by the gaudy colours of Wompoo Fruit-Doves. We had excellent views of these canopy birds feeding. We also saw our first marsupials: Red-legged Pademelons feeding unconcernedly on leaves on the lawn. Overhead new birds were continually appearing.
We eventually dragged ourselves away and headed back to Yungaburra via the Lake Eacham Hotel for essential supplies of stubbies. But the day wasnt over. At six p.m. in the gathering gloom Glenn walked us down the road to a small creek, more a large ditch really, where we waited quietly. Within ten minutes we saw ripples in the water and there was a Platypus swimming towards us and diving beneath the weed. We had fabulous views as it proceeded along the creek below us surfacing and at times nearly coming out of the water. A superb end to a truly amazing day.
YUNGABURRA, ATHERTON, MAREEBA Rain early - drier & warmer later
It was cloudy and cool with a few spots of rain as we went for an early morning walk in Yungaburra. We were soon adding new species including stunning Red-backed Fairy-wrens. An Agile Wallaby loped across the forest for our first marsupial of the day.
We drove to nearby farmland and watched an excellent assemblage of over a hundred Magpie Geese and dozens of cranes, Sarus and Brolgas feeding on stubble. Further on another stubble field had at least fifty white birds, all Sulphur-crested Cockatoos looking remarkably like egrets at a distance.
Then we went to the high altitude rain-forest at Longlands Gap where it really was raining. We walked through a narrow trail overhung with dripping vegetation keeping a sharp eye open for leeches (one or two were in fact picked off our clothes later) to a small clearing in the forest. Here was a tangled structure of twigs decorated with lichens in the shape of a two-pole marquee, a Golden Bowerbird's finest creation. In fact Glenn told us that it was at least thirty years old, so several bowerbirds had been involved in the construction. We saw the bird itself briefly but it wasnt going to oblige us with close views.
After a look at Mountain Thornbill on the way back we stopped at the bus and, remarkably, a Crested Tern flew over, the first Glenn had ever seen in this inland forest. A loo stop gave us views of Satin Bowerbird and Grey-headed Robin and then we headed down to the drier country around Atherton. We made for the suburbs where Glenn got us to stop at his house with its superb collection of trees in the garden, and a garden list of over one hundred and fifty species. However today the birds had temporarily deserted it and we had to drive a few hundred yards along the road for excellent views of White-cheeked Honeyeater.
More suburban birding followed in the dry outskirts of Walkamin. We stopped by a schools 'bush tucker' area for a view of a Great Bowerbirds bower and the remarkable sight of two or three hundred Red-tailed Black-cockatoos roosting and flying about. It was getting pretty hot as we headed to Mareeba Golf Course where groups of laid-back Eastern Grey Kangaroos were hanging out in the shade, seemingly not minding how close we got with our cameras.
After lunch at a picnic shelter we headed for Big Mitchell Creek, a dry creek amidst dry tropical paper-bark forest complete with termite mounds, our first taste of the real bush. We clambered down and walked the creek bed gaining glimpses of White-browed Robin and better views of Little Friarbird.
Then onto Lake Mitchell where we saw our first Black Swans amidst a host of waterfowl including Green Pygmy-geese and a few Comb-crested Jananas. The open mud flats were also productive, with Australian Pratincoles running about catching insects like Coursers. Over the second lake we saw White-bellied Sea-Eagle, and a scan of the opposite shoreline gave us Greenshank and a few similar sized brown waders. We walked across and confirmed their identity as four Little Curlews, a great bird to find. Back at Mount Molloy, a small village, we tried for some raptors but did see a Great Bowerbirds decorated bower together with at least two male birds before heading for our lodge at Kingfisher Park, Julatten.
JULATTEN - MT CARBINE - MT LEWIS Rain early, hot and dry later
There had been heavy rain overnight and it was a damp but sunny dawn that greeted us, along with noisy kookaburras. By the veranda Emerald Dove stalked the lawns and our walk round produced Macleay's and Yellow-spotted Honeyeaters amongst others.
At breakfast a Buff-banded Rail and several Orange-footed Scrubfowl joined us around the breakfast tables. It rained again at breakfast and we decided to reverse the day and go to Mount Carbine, the dry area, in the morning.
At Mount Molloy we diverted the bus across the local cricket pitch to check out a raptor nest site. We failed to see the birds, but on the way back a lady came walking up to us. We thought she was going to tell us off but actually she wanted to give us the cheerful news that an axe murder had been committed in that very spot in 1936 just thought you would like to know, she said. Back at the village we had superb views of Red-winged Parrot and Double-barred Finch, while a Yellow-bellied Sunbird couldnt have got much closer to us: it actually perched on the bus wing-mirror.
Then we headed up to the dry woodland of Mount Carbine. A side turning took us to an area of dried rough grazing called Mary Farms. Here Glenn and Richard told us to keep a sharp eye open for Bustards, and we immediately set to work, scanning the far edges of the fields carefully. Theres one, said Glenn - not looking in the distance but pointing to the track verge just a few yards ahead. A magnificent male Australian Bustard was proudly stalking right towards us. It remained unconcerned as the bus drew alongside just a few feet away and then walked casually into the field by the road. Another seemed to appear from nowhere and only slightly further away on the other side of the bus: unbelievable views of both of these.
We drove on to some more dry woodland where Glenn soon found us a cryptic skulking Squatter Pigeon that we all managed to see in the scopes before it exploded away into the bush. Nearby a flock of Apostlebirds - definitely twelve in number - called noisily. After a quick ice cream stop we headed back to Mount Molloy where we saw Lemon-bellied Flycatcher feeding young, the latter sitting on a tiny nest on an exposed branch.
In the afternoon we headed back to Kingfisher Park for lunch and a siesta watching the activity around the feeders. Late in the afternoon most of the group then headed up a trail near Mount Lewis. Eddie our driver managed to get the bus a good way up so we could walk back down seeing Fernwren and glimpsing a group of Chowchillas scurrying over the forest floor.
After dark we headed out with spotlights around the grounds. Fireflies sparkled in the trees and a bandicoot was seen but none of the hoped-for night birds. However two members of the group nearly turned into night birds when they came back to find that the door to their upstairs room was locked. Nothing daunted, Eddie climbed up a nearby tree, swung himself onto a ledge and let himself in through an upstairs window, saving the day.
DAINTREE RIVER - CASSOWARY HOUSE - CAIRNS Sunny and fine
We left Kingfisher Park at five fifteen in the dark and drove down to the coast seeing several Pademelons in the headlights.
It was fine and calm when we got to Daintree and we met Chris Dahlberg on the quay. We were soon gliding through the mangroves watching Shining Flycatcher and both Forest and Sacred Kingfishers. Chris took us under a tree and left us to find the remarkably camouflaged Papuan Frogmouth on its nest, its slit-eye lazily half-opened as it kept its lichen-patterned body and long, beautifully marked tail absolutely still. As we came back into the open, two huge Channel-billed Cuckoos, the largest cuckoo in the world, flew over calling: an exciting moment. Further along the river we saw Nankeen Night-Heron and had great views of a crocodile in clear water. Then we headed for a maternity camp of Spectacled Flying Fox in the trees, a wonderful sight in the daytime. Next on the menu was Azure Kingfisher, an electric flash of violet along the bank and then giving us excellent close-up views. We penetrated deeper and deeper into the mangroves up increasingly narrow creeks, until suddenly a tiny flash of blue dashed across: a Little Kingfisher. We sped back, pausing briefly for Striated Heron, to meet the second group. Their trip scored with five Pacific Bazas and a Satin Flycatcher.
Meanwhile after a hearty breakfast and some retail therapy in Daintree we walked up the road getting superb views of Lovely Fairy-wren. It had been an excellent morning - and it was only ten thirty! We headed down the coast road back to Cairns stopping briefly for views of Crested Terns on a beach and then at a bus stop to let Richard bravely hobble off to hospital to have his leg reset.
From here we climbed steeply into the coastal forests to Cassowary House. The group settled down to a superb spread for lunch while Glenn and Jamie wandered off onto the trails on the off -chance. Within minutes Glenn had found our quarry and sent Jamie scurrying back breathlessly to get the group. Soon everyone was getting views of different parts of a female Southern Cassowary in deep cover and then better views as she stood and revealed herself, stalking slowly off vanishing into the tangled forest. A breathtaking moment.
We had an elated and superb lunch on the veranda accompanied by Macleays Honeyeaters and Musky Rat Kangaroos feeding with the Scrubfowl and Brush-turkeys below. We spent the early part of the afternoon relaxing in this charmed spot before heading down to the coast and a small pool at the splendidly named Yorkeys Knob, the subject of much merriment at the evening log call. Yorkeys Knob proved extremely productive with both Green and Cotton Pygmy-geese and a flock of Plumed Whistling-duck amongst others. A short look at a windy Machan's Beach completed the day, and then it was back to Cairns and the delights of the launderette.
CAIRNS - GREAT BARRIER REEF Sunny, hot, SE Force 5/6
A sunny and breezy start to the day out on the Great Barrier Reef meant choppy waters as we left Cairns Quay on the Ocean Spirit at eight thirty. It was actually gusting to force five or six but the water calmed as we went over the reef and by eleven o clock we were shuttling across to the tiny sandbar of Michaelmas Cay.
Here there were clouds of birds, mainly terns, and Glenn persuaded the boat driver to take us round the far side of the cay where we had excellent views of Brown (Common) Noddy, Sooty Tern, Crested and Lesser Crested, Bridled, Roseate and Little and Black-naped Terns as well as a huddle of Brown Boobies on the sand.
Landing in the restricted area gave us fabulous views of the terns beyond the ropes, many Noddies actually perched on the ropes as we walked up to them. Some then enjoyed the snorkelling with fabulous colourful fish, corals and giant clams while Noddies and Sooty Terns calling 'wide-awake' flew low overhead.
We then headed back for a slap-up lunch on board and watched the to-ing and fro-ing of birds to the colony. At one point a Great Frigatebird flew overhead causing much consternation amongst the terns. Shortly afterwards we watched a Green Turtle surface just beside the boat. Then it was time for a trip in the semi-submersible with wonderful views of the reef alongside the glass wall. We marvelled at the fabulous variety of fish, corals and other marine life and saw several more turtles, this time in their real element grazing algae off the coral.
All too soon it was time to return to Cairns fortified with a glass of sparkling wine. Before dinner a few group members wandered down to the mangroves with Glenn for views of Mangrove Robin.
BRISBANE - LAMINGTON NP Sunny, showers later
A four-thirty start in the dark at Cairns didnt seem too bad, and left us landing in Brisbane in bright sunshine at eight o clock to meet Roz with John and Rosemarie. We were soon installed in the Emu Tours bus and heading on the main road south, turning off into the mountains of Lamington National Park and going up through the narrow curves of the road to the famous OReillys Guest House.
Rain and Regent Bowerbirds welcomed us but we could make our way to our rooms along dry passageways and enjoy a substantial lunch while it rained. After lunch we headed straight out to the feeding area and we were soon plastered with parrots, both Crimson, Rosellas and King Parrots coming to feed from seed sprinkled on our hands and on our hats, while the Regent Bowerbirds seemed to prefer raisins.
After the must-do photos we headed down to the Booyong walk, past the huge tree of that name, seeing several new bird species. A canopy walkway with a bit of bounce was an excellent way to get in amongst the treetops. It was sunny and the birds were more active as we got back to the lodge and we birded around the car park and campsite seeing a well-decorated Satin Bowerbirds bower (some blue flowers, but mainly blue plastic!) and getting good views of Topknot Pigeon. Around the campsite Red-necked Pademelons grazed, seemingly oblivious to the putting up of tents and tea brewing that was going on all around them. We saw a well-grown Joey pop back into its mother pouch and poke its head out.
At supper Mountain Brush-tailed Possums visited the feeders by the dining room. Afterwards a few of us went out spotlighting hearing Southern Boobok and Australian Owlet-nightjar and getting wonderful views of the southern night sky.
O'REILLYS - LAMINGTON NP Misty start, showers later
A misty and cool start for our six am pre-breakfast walk, with the dawn coming noticeably earlier here than at Cairns. We saw a Bassian Thrush by the road and a female Paradise Riflebird carrying nest material. On our return King-Parrots and Rosellas hopefully landed on our heads before the crowds arrived with the food.
Heavy rain after breakfast prompted us to bring the bus round to take us to the start of the Python Rock Track but it cleared suddenly and some decided to walk. As Jamie dozed on a bench by the lodge front door he heard a thud on the window above and felt feathers on his face. It was a Rufous Fantail clinging to his sweatshirt in a dazed fashion. It flew off and landed on one of the porch lights to recover. Who says our leaders can't find birds while half-asleep with their eyes closed?
We headed down to the Python Rock Track, an impressive patch of rain forest with plenty of dead timber and strangler figs. Here we had views of Logrunner and Russet-tailed Thrush. We waited in a certain spot along the track and watched spellbound as an Albert's Lyrebird appeared: it was a female walking along the branches and heading up to its nest site high in a fern on the side of a tree. After a short visit to the nest it launched itself into the air and paraglided successfully down to the forest floor. Some of us stayed for a second performance before heading to a lookout for superb views. Back along the trail two Noisy Pittas were calling. Suddenly one was on the track giving wonderful views amongst the buttressed roots of the trees. Finally we saw a Regent Bowerbirds rather understated bower.
The afternoon was cloudy and drizzly at O'Reilly's, so we tried to escape it by heading to a lower elevation down the slippery Duck Creek Road. Suddenly the rain forest gave way to a dry area. We admired the view from another lookout and then walked the trail down to a dry creek getting good views of Spotted Pardalote and Red-browed Treecreeper. On the way back we all got out for Richard to gun the bus dramatically up the slippery part of the trail and we regained the road to a burst of applause.
A misty damp evening saw us out after dinner with spotlights again gaining views of the very local Marbled Frogmouth and hearing Owlet-nightjars again.
O'REILLY'S - GUYRA Rain clearing, clear and cold evening
It was a damp cold start with spots of rain and thick mist: not conducive to birding but we tried the Botanical Garden area and Canopy Walk, hearing a male Alberts Lyrebird and glimpsing a Paradise Riflebird.
We left at eight thirty in driving rain and were soon winding back down through the rain forest into the dry eucalyptus zone. Here we had superb views of the Pretty-faced Wallaby, and a Red-necked Wallaby ran across the road.
Down past Canungra at a place with the splendid name of Wonglepong, Keith spotted a Black-necked Stork on a tree, an unexpected and superb sight as it flew off. At the same time a mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos bounced across a field on the other side of the road.
We had shopping break in Beaudesert before driving on and stopping at Cunningham's Gap, getting views of Bell Miners giving their Asdic-like calls continuously by the roadside. By now it was sunny and pleasant.
We had lunch at Dalveen with a whole bunch of new birds around the picnic site including a dramatic flypast by a Peregrine. By now we were in the classic New South Wales sheep country of dry eucalyptus forest, pasture and rolling hills. We stopped in the afternoon, all seeing Wedge-tailed Eagle for the first time.
We then climbed into the high country of New England towards Guyra. The sun was setting producing superb colours in the landscape, including the distinctive Australian blue haze caused reputedly by the aromatic and highly volatile oils emitted by the forest trees. We had glimpses of several Common Walleroos as we headed south, arriving in Guyra at six twenty as it was getting dark, getting views of the Southern Cross low on the horizon. We dined at the local bowling club who looked after us very well, with the added advantage of giving Richard a chance of a go at the 'pokies'.
GUYRA - OAKHAMPTON Sunny, clear and calm
There was actually a ground frost first thing after a clear night, and we headed to the edge of town to the excellently named Mother of Ducks Lagoon. It lived up to its name, and was teeming with birds: we saw thirty species in just the first few minutes. These included two species of spoonbill, two ibises, White-necked Heron and Black Swan as well as several Whiskered Terns amongst a host of other waterfowl.
A Little Eagle came in low and was promptly mobbed by at least five species allowing superb views. Then we headed to Uralla where we filled up with fuel and chocky bars and had our first views of Superb Fairy-wren.
Through the town we headed out to Dangar's Lagoon for another feast of waterfowl. We added Hoary-headed Grebe and Marsh Sandpiper here as well as Red-kneed Dotterel. As we were coming out of the hide Stuart pointed out two raptors; we could see that they were falcons as they approached, and very dark ones at that: it was a pair of Black Falcons, a scarce and elusive Australian raptor.
We stopped in Uralla again at the 'drive-thru bottle shop' for essential supplies. Here Richard, much to our astonishment, actually handed out two of the oft-promised Mars bars: one was for the Black Falcons and the other for Keiths stork yesterday. We dined in the park at Urella where Red Wattlebirds joined us, and then headed on to Manilla along a cross-country dirt road.
Some white parrots in a field were not the expected Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, but Little Corellas, an inland species that moves nearer the coast in dry conditions. We were to see at least one hundred along this road.
A stop in the dry eucalypt forest gave us Dusky Woodswallow and our first Jacky Winter with a later stop adding Pallid Cuckoo. A remarkable feature of the roadside was the number of small blue butterflies that we were to see absolutely everywhere in this area. Further on we had good views of the local Speckled Warbler. Still further along the road a group of tiny birds on a roadside fence had us stopping. It was a group of forty Zebra Finches, another dry county species well out of its usual range. In the late afternoon we arrived at Oakhampton Homestead, a beautiful house surrounded by flame trees with Spiny-faced Honeyeaters flitting around the bottlebrush tree. We were welcomed by Belinda and John, the fifth generation owners of the farm, where we were entertained sumptuously in the evening.
OAKHAMPTON ESTATE Sunny, warm and calm
It was sunny and clear, and after a gorgeous breakfast we headed off on the Oakhampton Estate to a small pool amongst dry eucalypt forest Here we added White-plumed Honeyeater and a superb Baillon's Crake creeping along the waters edge. A Diamond Firetail showed well in the scopes.
Along the road to Borah Creek we stopped at a place called Tarpolly for an amazingly rapid succession of new birds, including a wonderful pair of Crested Shrike-tits which earned gasps of admiration from the group. Here we also saw a huge Lace Monitor lizard climbing a tree, a wonderful creature at least four feet long.
Then it was down to Borah Creek Reserve, one of Richards favourite places. We were greeted by flocks of White-winged Choughs, and it wasnt long before we had wonderful views of the local Turquoise Parrot. We had been joined today by Russ and Jenny Watts who used to farm nearby and who still come back bringing birding groups. Russ developed the idea of bird routes in this area, an idea which has been developed in many parts of Australia now. His tales of farming in the old days proved fascinating. We had lunch here, seeing Black-chinned Honeyeaters amongst others before driving back through Barraba for another ice cream stop.
We continued out along the Fossickers Way and although we didnt see much 'fossicking' (gold-panning to us Poms) going on here we passed the old gold mine at Woodsreef where Russ found us some of the old serpentine rock. By a ford we saw Hooded Robin but along at the Mugga Ironbark trees we didnt see the hoped-for Regent Honeyeaters which had proved elusive this year.
We returned to Oakhampton in late afternoon sunshine getting good views of a Swamp Wallaby and also our only view of Red Fox of the trip. After another superb dinner we walked out from the farmhouse. The Magellanic Clouds were glowing in the southern sky and the stars were breathtaking as we walked up behind the farm. Glenn shone the lights around the trees and soon found a Tawny Frogmouth peering round at us from a low branch, a fitting end to a superb day in northern New South Wales.
OAKHAMPTON - WARRUMBUNGLES Sunny, warm, calm
We bade our farewells to John and Belinda, Russ and Jenny and set off across the rolling open country of Manilla Shire, rather reminiscent of the plains of Extremadura, Central Spain. We stopped beyond Gunnedah after a good look at all the roadside eucalypts. A walk back along the road took us to a very watchable Koala in a low branch. Surprisingly it was actually awake and started climbing the tree and leaping from branch to branch as we watched: a memorable encounter.
We continued on to Coonabarabran for shopping before continuing to the thick forests and rocky pinnacles of the Warrumbungles. As we entered the park we saw increasingly spectacular swathes of Paterson's Curse, a Purple Viper's Bugloss introduced from Europe. The drought had combined with overgrazing by Kangaroos to produce a huge flush of this purple flower in the open meadows and glades.
We kept our eyes peeled for Emus: a Mars bar would be awarded to the first to see one, so we peered through the trees intently. The bus turned a sharp corner and there was one, right in the road in front of us Mars bars all round? Not yet. Before lunch we walked across a stream in the woods and a pair of Eastern Grey Kangaroos came out of the scrub in front of us, the male intent on courtship, the female more interested in having a drink.
We had lunch accompanied by Noisy Miners and then went for a walk in the hot sunshine seeing Common Bronzewing pigeons and a succession of honeyeaters in mistletoe including a Striped Honeyeater at a nest. Nearby we walked up a track finally seeing the hoped for Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters.
COONABARABRAN - PILLIGA STATE FOREST Sunny, hot
It was hot and sunny even at seven thirty as we drove to Pilliga State Forest. First we went through Baradine, a typical small outback town somewhat in decline, and we stopped just past it for views of Eastern Ringneck Parrot. Down a side road we had views of Bluebonnet Parrots, one eventually perching nicely in view showing its startling scarlet belly. Further along a Sand Goanna Lizard ran across the road. We headed up dirt roads to a farm, and a stop for Little Ravens produced good views of a Koala in full sunshine.
Further on Glenn found the hoped-for Spotted Bowerbird and its much-decorated bower and 'garden'. The latter included a tasteful arrangement of red plastic, tinfoil and glass - it was almost disappointing not to see any garden gnomes like the ones back at the motel.
Back to the Pilliga Forest where we saw another Koala asleep high in a eucalypt. After lunch we stopped along a dry forest track to look at flocks of hundreds of Woodswallows. These were to be a notable feature of the day swarming high above the trees and even landing in small groups on the ground. White-browed seemed to outnumber Masked Woodswallows by about ten to one. A water hole attracted Yellow-faced Honeyeaters, but the salt caves picnic area was pretty quiet as was the rest of the forest in the hot afternoon. However, later on, birds started to become more active and we saw Speckled Warblers and added Varied Sittella and White-browed Babbler to the list. We had a short stop on the way back to admire the hippo-shaped hill at the edge of the Warrumbungles.
COONABARABRAN - WOLLONGONG Sunny inland - severe thunderstorms on coast
It was to be a long drive today down to Wollongong. We started through sunny green pastureland with scattered patches of woodland all swathed in the purple of Patterson's Curse.
Towards the Blue Mountains at Lithgow the clouds were gathering and a flock of over hundred Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos flew over: an impressive sight. We headed up into the Blue Mountains for lunch and soon noticed an amazing buzzing noise: not the vehicle protesting at the climb but a mass hatch of cicadas. At the lunch stop we saw their discarded cases on the trees and found a few impressive live ones. There was thunder in the air as we set off after lunch but it held off as we stopped for a view of the mountains at Sublime Point.
It was as we reached the coastal plain that the heavens opened in an intense tropical-type thunderstorm with almost continuous lightning and torrential rain which made it hard to see the road, so much so that Roz had to stop by the side to let it pass over. Almost as quickly it stopped and we continued round the edge of the town to Wollongong. The storm was strong enough to make the TV news that night, with structural damage done by gusts of wind and hailstones in some places. After a rather prolonged supper the electrical storms were still flashing out to sea making an impressive sight.
WOLLONGONG PELAGIC Thundery showers, Wind S to Force 4/5
We were already adding new species on our walk down to the harbour to the pelagic: Red-Whiskered Bulbul singing outside the hotel and a Sooty Oystercatcher on the shore. The all- important weather was looking good as we went on board the Sandra K, a converted trawler, with several other seabird aficionados from both Australia and the USA. There was a light southerly wind and sunshine but clouds were gathering to the south and the morning was likely to give us the best weather. We were soon out in shearwater territory with Wedge-tailed Shearwater the commonest behind the boat and the odd Short-tailed, Flesh-footed and Fluttering Shearwaters.
Soon the first Albatross, a Campbell Island Black-browed, came into the 'chum', followed by Yellow-nosed and then a magnificent Wandering Albatross. The seabird research group decided to try and catch and ring this bird, which they did very efficiently. The ringer's mobile went off in mid process sorry Im a bit tied up at the moment, Ive got a Wandering Albatross on my lap, he said not an excuse you hear every day. Measurements showed that it was a Gibson's Albatross, a possible new species split. The final albatross species was the White-capped form of Shy Albatross.
We stopped about two hours from shore and let the chum do its work. Soon the seabirds were coming extraordinarily close and we were getting at least four species of albatross together with shearwaters, Great-winged, Providence and Cape Petrels, Pomarine and Arctic Skuas and White-chinned and Black Petrels all in the throng. Some cod liver oil was thrown overboard and a few storm-petrels soon came in, with both White-faced and Wilson's Storm Petrels although it wasnt the best day for these.
Onto a new spot over the thousand fathom mark and we picked up some Common Dolphins alongside for a while. New seabirds just kept coming here: Sooty Shearwater, Brown Skua and others. By this time the clouds were getting bigger and as we set off back to the shore the sea was getting up a bit. It was hard to stand up, and impossible to move round the boat without having two firm handholds - in fact the trip gave a whole new meaning to the term pommy-bashing.
One of the researchers lost his hat among the seabirds and jokingly suggested we go back for it and to which our amazement the skipper did and picked it up from amongst the approximate three-metre swell. We had wonderful views of Bottle-nosed Dolphins riding the bow wave and doing some leaps. It seemed a long journey back with the sea getting rougher but the researchers caught and ringed some shearwaters on the way, and right near the shore we went through huge rafts of Fluttering Shearwaters. It was a tiring trip but with incomparable views of the albatrosses and other seabirds.
Perhaps the oddest birds of the trip were a family of Willie Wagtails in a nest just outside the cabin - they travelled out to the continental shelf with us, cheeping piteously, and ten hours later were fed by the parents who were waiting on the quay!
We retrieved our bags from the hotel and headed down to Kiama and a nice Thai meal. Afterwards some went out spotlighting from the bus near Richard's house up in the hills nearby. A stop on the track up gave us views of Greater Gliders high in a tree, and further along, a Wombat ambling across a field. Just a few yards further, another Wombat was on the trackside, and we drove slowly alongside, getting wonderful views of this powerfully-built digging marsupial. Finally distant views of Sugar Glider looking down from a tree above Richard's house completed a memorable day.
BARREN GROUNDS - JAMBEROO Sunny, clear and cool
A day on Richard's local stomping ground, first to the Barren Grounds reserve where he used to be warden. Right by the warden's house we found our first speciality - Pilotbird - giving good views in the garden.
Out on the reserve itself we admired the heathland flora, with heather-like shrubs, proteaceous plants and grass-trees all in flower, and walked past an impressive flock of at least 50 Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos. We only managed to hear Eastern Bristlebird, but gained fleeting but close views of Emu-wren.
We headed on to the Jamberoo lookout - with a better view than the more famous Blue Mountain beauty spots - and then drove through very English-looking countryside, with May blossom and dandelions completing the illusion. Richard told us that they filmed 'Babe' - the one about the piglet, and supposedly set in Devon - here.
Lunch at Fitzroy Falls gave us more good views, but without any hoped-for Superb Lyrebirds. However we did catch up with a female later in the day at Minnamurra Forest, where we also had excellent views of Rose Robin.
In the evening we headed out to a local winery for a slap-up final dinner, where presents were given to the leaders - including a tasteful clockwork cycling duck for Roz who had done all that hard driving.
KIAMA - SYDNEY Rain early, clearing. Cool
First stop this morning was Bomaderry Creek, where we had wonderful views of Rock Warbler, as well as a whole pot of honeyeaters, including lovely Scarlet Honeyeater, in a bottlebrush tree.
The early drizzle had by now turned into heavy rain, so we abandoned the idea of a barbecue breakfast and headed for - Macdonalds! Much fortified, we drove up the coast to Killalea Lagoon, where we had much better views of Musk Duck, and taught Glenn to pronounce it in a north-of-Watford accent.
Our final birding stop was at Windang, near Wollongong, where the landlubbers had done so well a couple of days before. Again, there were masses of waders including Red Knot as well as our first Chestnut Teal.
But these weren't the final birds of the trip - as we were travelling up the motorway above Wollongong, a white bird glided alongside the vehicle - it was a white-morph Grey Goshawk, looking almost like a Gyrfalcon - a superb finale to the trip!
My thanks go to Glenn, for his wonderful leadership and birding skills, to Roz, for her dedicated hard work in providing those lovely lunches and all that driving - sometimes in very tough conditions! - and to Richard for organising the trip, and, oh yes, the Mars Bars (eventually!). Thanks to all of them and to you, the group, for your good company and good cheer on a most memorable trip.
Dorchester, November 2003
Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius A female seen in deep forest at Cassowary House on 16th
Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae A total for four seen on 23rd in fields near Warrumbungles
Australasian Grebe Tachybaptus novaehollandiae Noted widely in wetlands throughout
Hoary-headed Grebe Poliocephalus poliocephalus Four at Dangars lagoon on 21st
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus c200 at Lake Barrine on 13th were an exceptional gathering
Wandering (Gibson's) Albatross Diomedea exulans Probably more than 10 seen from the pelagic. One caught and ringed on board
Black-browed Albatross Diomedea melanophris At least two imms. of the nominate race identified
Black-browed (Campbell) Albatross Diomedea melanophris The commonest Black-browed type seen on the pelagic with probably more than 30 seen
Shy (White-capped) Albatross Diomedea cauta 15 seen on the pelagic
Yellow-nosed (Indian) Albatross Diomedea chlororhynchos Around 10 seen from the pelagic
PETRELS & SHEARWATERS Procellariidae
Southern (Antarctic) Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus c4 seen from the pelagic
Hall's (Northern) Giant Petrel Macronectes halli 2 seen from the pelagic
Cape (Pintado) Petrel Daption capense c4 seen from the pelagic
Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera 50 + seen from the pelagic
Providence Petrel Pterodroma solandri 50 + seen from the pelagic
White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctinalis One identified from the pelagic
Black Petrel Procellaria parkinsoni c4 seen from the pelagic
Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes 50 + seen from the pelagic
Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus Hundreds, if not thousands seen from the pelagic the commonest seabird ??
Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus c3 seen from the pelagic
Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris 20 + seen from the pelagic
Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia Rafts of several hundred seen from the pelagic
Hutton's Shearwater Puffinus huttoni A few identified from the pelagic, mostly further out to sea than Fluttering Shearwater
Wilson's Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus Three seen from the pelagic
White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina Two seen from the pelagic
BOOBIES & GANNETS Sulidae
Australasian Gannet Morus serrator c5 seen from the pelagic
Brown Booby Sula leucogaster c50 seen at Michaelmas Cay
Australian Darter Anhinga novaehollandiae A few seen widely in wetlands south to northern NSW
Little Black Cormorant (Shag) Phalacrocorax sulcirostris Seen widely on wetlands throughout
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Only seen close to the sea around Wollongong/Killalea Lagoon
Pied Cormorant (Shag) Phalacrocorax varius Singles at Wollongong and Windang
Little Pied Cormorant (Shag) Phalacrocorax melanoleucos Seen widely on wetlands throughout
Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus Seen widely both on freshwater and the sea throughout the trip
Great Frigatebird Fregata minor One female flew high over Michaelmas Cay
HERONS & BITTERNS Ardeidae
White-necked Heron Ardea pacifica A few noted widely in NSW
Great-billed Heron Ardea sumatrana A probable seen distantly in mangroves from the Michaelmas Cay boat
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis Widespread on farmland, but not seen in northern NSW
Great White Egret Egretta alba Noted widely around Cairns
Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia Noted on three dates around Cairns
White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae Noted in both wet and dry habitats throughout
Little Egret Egretta garzetta Mostly noted in Queensland (four dates), with one also near Kiama
Eastern Reef Egret (Heron) Egretta sacra Two on Cairns Esplanade, 12th; One Michaelmas Cay, 17th
Striated Heron Butorides striatus One on the Daintree River trip
Nankeen (Rufous) Night-Heron Nycticorax caledonicus One on the Daintree River trip
Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus One seen from the road at Wonglepong, (had to get that name in somewhere!) near Canungra, Queensland, 20th
IBISES & SPOONBILLS Threskiornithidae
Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca Noted widely on most days
Straw-necked Ibis Threskiornis spinicollis Noted widely on most days, with flocks of over 100 deeding in dry fields, northern NSW
Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus Singles at Lake Tinaroo (13th), Lake Mitchell (14th) and Lagoon (21st)
Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia Up to 10 day on 4 days at Cairns, northern NSW and Kiama/Wollongong
Yellow-billed Spoonbill Platalea flavipes Two on Lake Mitchell. Noted on 4 days on various wetlands in northern NSW
MAGPIE GOOSE Anseranatidae
Magpie Goose Anseranas semipalmata Noted mostly in Queensland, with hundreds seen on 14th in the Atherton Tablelands. A flock of 20 reported at Oakhampton would be the first record for that area
Plumed Whistling-duck Dendrocygna eytoni A flock of c 20 at Yorkeys Knob, near Cairns on 16th
Black Swan Cygnus atratus Noted on 6 dates seemingly more widespread in NSW, but c 100 at Lake Mitchell on 14th
Musk Duck Biziura lobata One distantly at Mother of Ducks Lagoon, 21st. c5 at Killalea on 28th
Radjah (White-headed) Shelduck Tadorna radjah Four elusive birds at Cairns Sewage Farm on 13th, with three much easier to see at Lake Tinaroo on the same day
Green Pygmy-goose Nettapus pulchellus c100 at Lake Mitchell (on 14th), with c10 at Yorkeys Knob (16th)
Cotton Pygmy-goose Nettapus coromandelianus c10 Lake Tinaroo (13th) a pair at Yorkeys Knob (16th)
Australian Wood Duck Chenonetta jubata Noted widely on 10 dates seemingly more widespread in NSW
Grey Teal Anas gracilis Noted widely on 7 dates on Lake Mitchell (14th)
Chestnut Teal Anas castanea A few noted at Windang (26th & 28th)
Pacific Black (Grey) Duck Anas superciliosus Probably the most numerous duck seen, noted on 11 dates
Australasian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis A few seen on Dangar's Lagoon (21st)
Pink-eared Duck Malacorhynchus membranaceus This superb duck noted at Lake Tinaroo, where c 50 were present on 13th; with a single at Dangar's Lagoon (21st)
Hardhead Aythya australis Noted widely on seven dates
Osprey Pandion haliaetus Noted four dates around Cairns
Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata Five seen by the second Daintree River group
Australian Black-shouldered Kite Elanus axillaris Noted widely in farmland on eight dates
Black Kite Milvus migrans Noted on five dates in Queensland with at least 50 seen on 14th
Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus Noted mostly in Queensland on 5 dates, with a single at Oakhampton on 22nd
Brahminy Kite Haliastur indus One or two on three dates around Cairns
White-bellied Sea-Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster Singles noted in both Queensland and NSW on 5 dates
Swamp (Australasian) Harrier Circus approximans Two at Mother of Ducks Lagoon (21st). Single at Barren Grounds (27th)
Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus One at Atherton, 14th. One Oakhampton, 22nd. One en route in NSW, 25th
Variable (Grey) Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae One at Python Rock, Lamington NP, (19th). A superb white morph seen from the motorway above Wollongong on 28th
Australian Collared Sparrowhawk Accipiter cirrhocephalus One Yungaburra, 14th. One at Borah Creek, 22nd
Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax Two at OReillys, 19th. Most numerous in northern NSW, with up to 5 recorded on 5 dates
Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides Noted on 4 dates in northern NSW, max 6 on 21st
Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroides One in the Atherton Tablelands, 14th. Most numerous in northern NSW, where noted on 5 dates
Brown Falcon Falco berigora Noted 4 dates in northern NSW, max 2 on 23rd
Black Falcon Falco subniger A pair over Dangar's Lagoon on 21st were a superb find
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus One at picnic site, Dalveen on 20th. One at Mother of Ducks Lagoon, 21st.
Orange-footed Scrubfowl Megapodius reinwardt Seen each day around Cairns & Tablelands
Australian Brush-turkey Alectura lathami Seen each day in Queensland (seemingly everywhere except Michelmas Cay!)
Sarus Crane Grus antigone Flocks of 50 + in the Atherton Tablelands farmland
Brolga Grus rubicunda A few with Sarus Cranes at Yungaburra on 14th
RAILS & COOTS Rallidae
Buff-banded Rail Gallirallus philippensis Noted three days in the Atherton Tablelands, with excellent views on the lawns at Kingfisher Park
Baillon's Crake Porzana pusilla One by a small pool at Oakhampton on 22nd was an exciting find, and gave excellent views
Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa Noted widely in wetlands on 7 dates
Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio Noted widely in and around wetlands on 8 dates
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra Noted widely on lakes and pools on 8 dates hundreds on Lake Mitchell on 14th
Australian Bustard Ardeotis australis Five seen at Mary Farms on 15th. The amazing view of one right beside the bus was one of the trip highlights
Comb-crested Jacana Irediparra gallinacea Noted on three dates in both Queensland and NSW. Max c 20 on Lake Mitchell, 14th
(Australian) Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris Up to two seen on Cairns Esplanade
Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus A few on the Wollongong shores on 26th
AVOCETS AND STILTS Recurvirostridae
Black-winged (Pied) Stilt Himantopus himantopus Noted on wetlands in both Queensland and NSW on 5 dates, with hundreds on Lake Mitchell, 14th
Red-necked Avocet Recurvirostra novaehollandiae One at Dangar's Lagoon asleep and distant it may have been, but a good find none the less
Bush Stone-Curlew Burhinus grallarius Noted three dates in and around Cairns. Max c 10 at Centenary Lakes on 12th
COURSERS AND PRATINCOLES Glareolidae
Australian Pratincole Stiltia isabella c10 at Lake Mitchell on 14th
Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles The most ubiquitous wader noted daily
Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva Three on Cairns Esplanade, 12th
Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus Noted 6 dates both Queensland and NSW. Max C 20 Cairns Esplanade on 13th
Greater Sand Plover Charadrius leschenaulti One on Cairns Esplanade, 12th. One on coast N. of Cairns, 16th
Black-fronted Dotterel Elseyornis melanops Noted at Cairns sewage farm, Lake Mitchell and at Mother of Ducks Lagoon on 21st
Red-kneed Dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus Seen at Mother of Ducks Lagoon, 21st
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa One on Cairns Esplanade, 12th
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica Noted Cairns area on 3 dates and Windang on 28th, where a max of 70 + noted
Little Curlew Numenius minutus Four at Lake Mitchell on 14th were an excellent find
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus Noted 4 dates Cairns area. Max on 12th
Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascarensis Noted on Cairns Esplanade 12th (MAX 5) and 13th
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis Three at Dangar's Lagoon on 21st
Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia Up to 4 noted on 5 dates in and around Cairns
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos One at Yorkeys Knob, 16th
Grey-tailed (Siberian) Tattler Heteroscelus brevipes Noted on two dates in Cairns area, max 10 and 13th on Cairns Esplanade
Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus Up to 2 seen Cairns Esplanade, with one at Machan's Beach on 16th
(Ruddy) Turnstone Arenaria interpres Six on Michaelmas Cay
Latham's Snipe Gallinago hardwickii At least 10 seen on 21st at Mother of Ducks Lagoon. Also seen around Wollongong
Red Knot Calidris canutus c15 at Windang on 28th
Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris Up to 20 seen Cairns Esplanade, with a few at Windang on 28th
Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis Hundreds on Cairns Esplanade, and similar nos. at Windang
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata c50 seen Cairns Esplanade and Lake Mitchell, with hundreds on Mother of Ducks Lagoon
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea Four on Cairns Esplanade, 12th
Brown (Subantarctic) Skua Catharacta lonnbergi Two from the pelagic
Pomarine Skua (Jaeger) Stercorarius pomarinus c5 from the pelagic
Arctic Skua (Jaeger) Stercorarius parasiticus At least one from the pelagic
Kelp (Dominican) Gull Larus dominicanus Several from the pelagic and around Wollongong, 26th
Silver (Red-billed) Gull Larus novaehollandiae Noted both Queensland and NSW on the coast
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus c 30 on Mother of Ducks Lagoon, 21st
Gull-billed Tern Geochelidon nilotica Up to 10 noted on 4 dates around Cairns, with one at Dangar's Lagoon, 21st
Caspian Tern Hydroprogne caspia Up to 10 noted on 5 dates around Cairns and the tablelands, with a few at Windang. 28th
Crested (Swift) Tern Sterna bergii Noted in Queensland mainly on the coast (but one seen inland over the rainforest!) on 3 dates and many from the pelagic on 26th, and at Windang on 28th
Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis Noted at Michaelmans Cay
Common Tern Sterna hirundo Two from the pelagic
Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii Two at Michaelmas Cay
White-fronted Tern Sterna striata c10 from the pelagic
Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana c20 at Michaelmas Cay
Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus c10 at Michaelmas Cay
Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata Hundreds at Michaelmas Cay
Little Tern Sterna albifrons One on Cairns Esplanade, 12th; six Michaelmas Cay; one Windang 28th
Brown (Common) Noddy Anous stolidus The commonest tern at Michaelmas Cay
PIGEONS & DOVES Columbidae
Rock Dove (Feral Pigeon) Columba livia Noted in towns on 9 dates
White-headed Pigeon Columba leucomela Two at Mount Lewis, 15th
Spotted Turtle Dove Streptopelia chinensis Noted 4 dates around Cairns, and Kiama
Brown Cuckoo-Dove Macropygia amboinensis Noted 4 dates in Queensland
Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica Up to five at Kingfisher Park on 18th. Also seen at Cassowary House, on 17th
Common Bronzewing Phaps chalcoptera Up to 4 noted 3 dates in northern NSW
Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps (Geophaps) lophotes Noted 6 dates in NSW
Squatter Pigeon Geophaps scripta One in dry country at Mount Carbine on 15th was a taste of the true outback
Peaceful Dove Geopelia placida Noted 9 dates in both Queensland and NSW
Bar-shouldered Dove Geopelia humeralis Noted 4 dates in Queensland
Wonga Pigeon Leucosarcia melanoleuca Noted at Lamington NP
Wompoo Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus magnificus Noted 5 dates in Queensland with max 8 at Chambers Lodge on 13th
Superb Fruit-Dove Ptilinopus superbus Heard on 3 dates in the Tablelands, with one seen at Cassowary House
Pied Imperial-Pigeon Ducula bicolor Noted on the coast at Cairns on 4 dates
Topknot Pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus Noted 8 dates both Queensland and NSW, with the best views at Lamington NP
Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus Common in Queensland, less so in NSW. Noted on 11 dates
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus Seen on 3 dates in the Atherton Tablelands and at Dalveen picnic site, NSW
Musk Lorikeet Glossopsitta concinna Noted 4 dates in northern NSW, but elusive
Little Lorikeet Glossopsitta pusilla c10 at Borah Creek and Oakhampton, 22nd
Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo Calyptorhynchus funereus Two near Canungra, Queensland, 20th. Over 100 flying over Lithgow on 25th, with best views of c80 at Barren Grounds on 27th
Red-tailed Black-cockatooCalyptorhynchus banksii Superb views of a roost of up to 3,000 at Walkamin on 14th
Galah Eolophus roseicapillus Common from Brisbane southwards
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita Friends of the SCC will be delighted to know that we saw it on 12 dates, max 70 + in the Tablelands on 14th
Little Corella Cacatua sanguinea Flocks of this dry-country species driven by drought into coastal NSW, seen on 21st and 22nd with c100 seen on 21st
Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus Up to 10 seen on 3 dates in northern NSW
Double-eyed Fig-Parrot Opopsitta diophthalma Superb views of a pair at Centenary Lakes on 12th, and noted on 4 dates around Cairns
Australian King-Parrot Alisterus scapularis Noted in each area, 5 dates in total, with best views perching on us at OReillys
Red-winged Parrot Aprosmictus erythropterus Most in the Tablelands, with max 15 at Mount Molloy, but also seen in NSW. Noted on 5 dates
Eastern (Mallee) Ringneck Barnardius barnardi One on 24th in Pilliga State Forest
Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans Seen in all areas on 10 dates. Best views of birds perched all over us at OReillys
Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius Noted 5 dates in northern NSW
Pale-headed Rosella Platycercus adscitus One or two noted 3 dates in the Tablelands, with one at Dalveen picnic site
Red-rumped Parrot Psephotus haematonotus Noted on 5 dates in northern NSW
Bluebonnet Northiella haematogaster c20 on 24th in Pilliga Scrub a good number for this inland species
Turquoise Parrot Neophema pulchella This subcoastal woodland speciality noted on 22nd and 23rd in northern NSW, max 8 on 22nd
OLD WORLD CUCKOOS Cuculidae
Pallid Cuckoo Cuculus pallidus Singles seen on two dates in northern NSW
Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus Heard in the Tablelands on 14th
Fan-tailed Cuckoo Cacomantis flabelliformis Noted on 5 dates in all areas, with best views of several birds at Barren Grounds on 27th
Horsefield's Bronze-Cuckoo Chalcites basalis Heard in the Tablelands and northern NSW
Shining (Bronze-)Cuckoo Chalcites lucidus Noted on two dates near Kiama, with one seen at Bomaderry Creek on 28th
Gould's Bronze-Cuckoo Chalcites russatus Two glimpsed and heard on Daintree River
Common Koel Eudynamys scolopacea Noted 5 dates, both Queensland and NSW
Channel-billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae One at Mareeba (14th), two showing well over the Daintree River (14th), one at Oakhampton (22nd)
Pheasant Coucal Centropus phasianinus Excellent views at Mt Molloy (14th) followed by records on the Daintree River and Lamington NP
Common Barn-Owl Tyto alba Heard at Kingfisher Park, 16th
TYPICAL OWLS Strigidae
Southern Boobook Ninox boobook Heard at OReillys, and at Jamberoo while spotlighting
Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides One in the spotlight at Oakhampton, 22nd
Papuan Frogmouth Podargus papuensis One on nest on Daintree River
Marbled Frogmouth Podargus ocellatus Remarkable calls heard at Lamington NP during a spotlighting walk, with one seen briefly but well in the light
Australian Owlet-nightjar Aegotheles cristatus Heard at OReillys
White-rumped Swiftlet Aerodramus spodiopygius Noted 4 dates in Cairns and Tablelands
Little Kingfisher Alcedo pusilla One on the first Daintree River trip
Azure Kingfisher Alcedo azureus Two on the first Daintree River trip
HALCYONS & KOOKABURRAS Dacelonidae
Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae Noted widely on 13 dates
Blue-winged Kookaburra Dacelo leachii Noted on three dates in the Tablelands
Forest Kingfisher Todiramphus macleayii Noted on five dates around Cairns and the Tablelands
Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus Noted on the coast at Cairns, in dry forest in Lamington NP and more widely in NSW
Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus Noted on 6 dates in both Queensland and NSW, max 10 at Centenary Lakes, Cairns on 12th
Dollarbird Eurystomas orientalis Noted on 8 dates from 14th both Queensland and NSW, max 10 at Oakhampton on 21st
Noisy Pitta Pitta versicolor One giving superb views on Python Rock Trail at Lamington N P with several heard calling there
(Eurasian) Sky Lark Alauda arvensis Two at Mother of Ducks Lagoon, Guyra on 21st
Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena By far the commonest hirundine. Noted widely on 13 dates
Tree Martin Hirundo nigricans Noted on three dates in northern NSW. Perhaps the best views at Borah Creek on 22nd
Fairy Martin Hirundo ariel Noted on 6 dates in both Queensland and northern NSW often associated with bridges over water
WAGTAILS & PIPITS Motacillidae
Australasian Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae Noted sparsely in open country in the Tablelands, northern NSW and near Kiama
Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina novaehollandiae Noted widely on 10 dates more frequently seen in NSW
Barred Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina lineata Four at Chambers Lodge near Yungaburra (13th), with one at Mount Lewis on 15th
White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike Coracina papuensis Up to three/day noted on four dates around Cairns and the Tablelands
Cicadabird Coracina tenuirostris Noted on five dates in Queensland and NSW, with two seen at Daintree (16th) and four at Woodsreef (22nd)
White-winged Triller Lalage sueurii Three at Lake Mitchell (14th) were followed by a good series of records in northern NSW at least 10 were noted
Varied Triller Lalage leucomela Singles on three dates around the Tablelands
Red-whiskered Bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus Seen in Wollongong and Kiama
Russet-tailed Thrush Zoothera heinei Several seen in Lamington NP
Bassian Thrush Zoothera lunulata Two records. One in the early morning at OReillys was followed by one well seen at Barren Grounds on 27th
(Common) Blackbird Turdus merula Noted on three dates in towns in NSW
Logrunner Orthonyx temminckii Seen on several occasions at Lamington NP
Chowchilla Orthonyx spaldingii Four seen on Mount Lewis, 15th
Eastern Whipbird Psophodes olivaceus Noted widely on 7 dates, with the best views at Lamington NP. The highly distinctive song was a constant accompaniment on forest walks
Grey-crowned Babbler Pomatostomus temporalis Two at Mount Molloy Golf Course, 14th; noted at the Warrumbungles and Pilliga State Forest
White-browed Babbler Pomatostomus superciliosus Two in Pilliga State Forest on 24th
CISTICOLAS & ALLIES Cisticolidae
Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis One at Lake Tinaroo (13th); two near Brisbane (18th); one well seen at Dangar's Lagoon (21st); one at Killalea Lagoon (28th)
OLD WORLD WARBLERS Sylviidae
Tawny Grassbird Megalurus timoriensis One at Yungaburra, 14th
Little Grassbird Megalurus gramineus Heard at Dangar's Lagoon (21st); seen by non-pelagic groups near Wollongong on 26th
Rufous Songlark Cinclorhamphus mathewsi Relatively numerous in the dry woodland at Oakhampton, with c20 noted on 22nd
Brown Songlark Cinclorhamphus cruralis Noted at Mother of Ducks Lagoon (21st) and Oakhampton (23rd)
Clamorous (Aust.) Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus Noted on three dates at various NSW wetlands. Max 5 at Mother of Ducks Lagoon, 21st
AUSTRALASIAN WRENS Maluridae
Red-backed Fairy-wren Malurus melanocephalus Seen at Yungaburra and on Duck Creek Road, Lamington NP
Superb Fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus Noted on 5 dates from Brisbane southwards. Males often gave excellent views
Variegated Fairy-wren Malurus lamberti A family party at Duck Creek Road Lamington NP and a single in the Warrumbungles gave brief views, but a superb male Budderoo Plateau on 28th showed well
Lovely Fairy-wren Malurus amabilis A pair showed well at Daintree on 16th
Southern Emu-wren Stipiturus malacharus All-too-brief views of this speciality at Barren Grounds, 27th
THORNBILLS & FLYEATERS Acanthizidae
Eastern Bristlebird Dasyornis brachypterus Only heard at Barren Grounds
Pilotbird Pycnoptilus floccosus Showed very well at Barren Grounds, with two birds seen
Rockwarbler Origma solitaria At least five birds showing very well in the rain on 28th at Bomaderry Creek
Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis One seen in deep forest at Mount Lewis (l5th) with several heard there and at Longlands Gap
Yellow-throated Scrubwren Sericornis citreogularis Noted in the Atherton Tablelands and Lamington NP with excellent views in the trails there
White-browed Scrubwren Sericornis frontalis Noted widely on 7 dates from Brisbane southwards
Large-billed Scrubwren Sericornis magnirostris Noted on 5 dates in the Queensland forests
Speckled Warbler Chthonicola sagittatus Seen on three dates in northern NSW
Buff-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza reguloides c6 near Manilla on 21st
Mountain Thornbill Acanthiza katherina At least four at Longlands Gap on 14th
Brown Thornbill Acanthiza pusilla Numerous in forests from Brisbane southwards. Noted on 5 dates.
Yellow-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza chrysorrhoa Noted on five dates in northern NSW, where common in the drier open country
Yellow Thornbill Acanthiza nana Noted in Uralla on 21st and in Pilliga State Forest on 24th, when c5 seen
Striated Thornbill Acanthiza lineata Several seen at Duck Creek Road Lamington NP on 19th, with most in Kiama/Wollongong area on 27th and 28th
Weebill Smicornis brevirostris Four near Woodsreef on 23rd; also noted Pilliga on 24th
Fairy Gerygone Gerygone palpebrosa Two at Kingfisher Park (15th); two at Daintree (l6th)
White-throated Gerygone Gerygone olivacea More often heard than seen, south to Coonabarabran
Large-billed Gerygone Gerygone magnirostris Noted on 2 dates around Cairns and Daintree, with max 10 + at Centenary Lakes on 12th. Hanging nests seen in the mangroves
Brown Gerygone Gerygone mouki Noted widely in both Queensland and NSW on 5 dates
Superb Lyrebird Menura novaehollandiae A female at Minnamurra on 27th
Albert's Lyrebird Menura alberti A female visiting the nest in Lamington NP gave superb views one of the trip highlights
MONARCH FLYCATCHERS Monarchidae
Black-faced Monarch Monarcha melanopsis Noted at Lake Tinaroo, Mount Lewis, Lamington NP and heard at Barren Grounds on 27th
Spectacled Monarch Monarcha trivirgatus Noted on four dates in the Atherton Tablelands and Lamington NP
Pied Monarch Monarcha kaupi Two near the Curtain Fig, 13th
Leaden Flycatcher Myiagra rubecula Noted on four dates both Queensland and northern NSW
Satin Flycatcher Myiagra cyanoleuca One on the second Daintree River trip, 16th
Shining Flycatcher Myiagra alecto c10 seen on the Daintree River trip
Restless Flycatcher Myiagra inquieta Three at Tarpolly near Borah Creek on 22nd
Yellow-breasted Boatbill Machaerirhynchus flaviventer One near Chambers Lodge, Yungaburra, 14th
Magpie-Lark Grallina cyanoleuca Widespread and common noted daily
Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys Very widespread noted on 14 dates including on the Pelagic! a nest with young had been built on the boat, with the parents waiting for us on the quay when we got back
Northern Fantail Rhipidura rufiventris One at Mount Carbine on 15th
(Grey) Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa Noted widely on 9 dates
Rufous Fantail Rhipidura rufifrons Noted widely on 7 dates. Best views at OReillys where one perched briefly on Jamies sweatshirt while he was dozing!
AUSTRALASIAN ROBINS Petroicidae
Jacky Winter Microeca fascinans Seen widely on 4 dates in northern NSW
Lemon-bellied Flycatcher Microeca flavigaster A pair with young on a tiny nest at Mount Molloy, 15th
Rose Robin Petroica rosea Seen briefly, but heard widely at Lamington NP, with best views at Minnamurra reserve on 27th
Hooded Robin Petroica cucullata 4 near Woodsreef, 22nd
Pale-yellow Robin Tregallasia capito Seen well on three dates in the Atherton Tablelands and Lamington NP
Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis Noted widely in all forest areas on 8 dates
Mangrove Robin Peneoenanthe pulverentula Three seen at dusk on 17th in Cairns
White-browed Robin Poecilodryas superciliosa Three in Big Mitchell Creek, 14th
Grey-headed (Ashy) Robin Heteromyias albispecularis Seen well in the Atherton Tablelands rainforests on 3 dates
Crested Shrike-tit Falculnculus frontatus Two at Tarpolly near Borah Creek, 22nd
Grey Whistler Pachycephala simplex One at Kingfisher Park, 15th
Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis Noted in Atherton Tablelands, Lamington NP and near Jamberoo
Rufous Whistler Pachycephala rufiventris Noted at Yungaburra and near Jamberoo, with most in the dry forests of northern NSW
Little Shrike-thrush Colluricincla megarhyncha Noted in Atherton Tablelands on 3 dates
Bower's Shrike-thrush Colluricincla boweri Noted in Atherton Tablelands on 3 dates
Grey Shrike-thrush Colluricincla harmonica Noted 7 dates from Brisbane southwards
Varied Sittella Daphoenositta chrysoptera Three in Pilliga State Forest, 24th
AUSTRALIAN CREEPERS Climacteridae
Red-browed Treecreeper Climacteris erythrops One Duck Creek Road, Lamington NP, 19th
Brown Treecreeper Climacteris picumnus c10 at Borah Creek and area, 22nd
White-throated Treecreeper Cormobates leucophaea Noted widely on 9 dates
FLOWERPECKERS + PARDALOTES Dicaeidae
Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum Noted 5 dates south to northern NSW. Best views in Cairns on 12th and 13th
Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus punctatus Several on Duck Creek Road, Lamington NP, on 19th, then not seen until 28th, where several were at Bomaderry Creek
Striated Pardalote Pardalotus substriatus Noted 5 dates in NSW
Yellow-bellied (Olive-backed) Sunbird Nectarinia jugularis Noted 3 dates in Cairns area, max 10 on 12th in Centenary Lakes. One actually perched on the bus wing-mirror, Mount Molloy on 15th
Silvereye Zosterops lateralis Noted widely on 7 dates
Brown Honeyeater Lichmera indistincta Noted 8 dates south to northern NSW
Dusky Honeyeater Myzomela obscura Noted 4 dates in and around Cairns
Scarlet Honeyeater Myzomela sanguinolenta Two near Yungaburra on 13th, then wonderful views of 3 at Bomaderry Creek on 28th
Banded Honeyeater Certhionyx pectoralis A near-miss. Heard only at Mount Carbine on 15th
Graceful Honeyeater Meliphaga gracilis Seen at Kingfisher Park and Cassowary House
Yellow-spotted Honeyeater Meliphaga notata Seen at Kingfisher Park and Cassowary House
Lewin's Honeyeater Meliphaga lewinii The most widespread of the last three confusion species, noted on 8 dates in all areas
Yellow Honeyeater Lichenostomus flavus Two at Centenary Lakes, Cairns, 12th
Varied Honeyeater Lichenostomus versicolor Noted on three dates, all on Cairns Esplanade
Yellow-faced Honeyeater Lichenostomus chrysops Noted 6 dates both Queensland and northern NSW
Fuscous Honeyeater Lichenostomus fuscus Another near-miss: heard at Borah Creek and near Woodsreef, 23rd
White-plumed Honeyeater Lichenostomus penicillatus One of the commonest honeyeaters in the dry eucalyptus of northern NSW noted 4 dates
White-eared Honeyeater Lichenostomus leucotis Seen on two occasions northern NSW. At Manilla on 21st and Pilliga State Forest on 24th
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops Four in the Warrrumbungles on 23rd; at least five at Bomaderry Creek, 28th
Bridled Honeyeater Lichenostomus frenatus Two at Chambers Lodge, Yungaburra, 13th
Macleay's Honeyeater Xanthotis macleayana Noted three dates in the Atherton Tablelands, with best views on the feeders at Kingfisher Park and Cassowary House
Brown-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus brevirostris Noted three dates in dry eucalyptus forest, northern NSW
White-naped Honeyeater Melithreptus lunatus Four at Duck Creek Road, Lamington NP on 19th; two near Woodsreef, 23d
White-throated Honeyeater Melithreptus albogularis Noted two dates in the Atherton Tablelands
Black-chinned Honeyeater Melithreptus gularis Four at Borah Creek, 22nd
Blue-faced Honeyeater Entomyzon cyanotis Noted on 7 dates widely south to Coonabarabran
Little Friarbird Philemon citreogularis Noted in Atherton Tablelands and northern NSW
Helmeted Friarbird Philemon buceroides Noted 4 dates north Queensland
Noisy Friarbird Philemon corniculatus Widespread noted 10 dates in Atherton Tablelands, Lamington NP
New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiae Noted daily in southern NSW, but never numerous
White-cheeked Honeyeater Phylidonyris nigra c6 near Glenns house in Atherton, 14th
Brown-backed Honeyeater Ramsayornis modestus Noted on 3 dates in Cairns and the Tablelands
Striped Honeyeater Plectorhyncha lanceolata Two at Warrumbungles visiting a hanging nest in mistletoe on 23rd
Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris Noted on 7 dates in all areas
Bell Miner Manorina melanophrys Many seen at Cunningham's Gap, 20th.
Noisy Miner Manorina melanocephala Noted 7 dates in Lamington NP and northern NSW
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater Acanthagenys rufogularis Common in inland northern NSW noted on 4 dates
Little Wattlebird Anthochaera lunulata Seen 3 dates in southern NSW best views at Killalea Lagoon
Red Wattlebird Anthochaera paradoxa Noted 6 dates throughout NSW
Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus Noted daily around Cairns and the Tablelands
White-winged Chough Corcorax melanoramphus c10 at Borah Creek, 22nd a few in Pilliga State Forest on 24th
Apostlebird Struthidea cinerea Seen at Mount Carbine on 15th and daily in northern NSW
White-breasted Woodswallow Artamus leucorhynchus Noted daily south to Brisbane
Masked Woodswallow Artamus personatus Over 100 in Pilliga State Forest with the White-browed flocks on 24th
White-browed Woodswallow Artamus superciliosus Noted three dates in northern NSW; hundreds in Pilliga State Forest on 24th
Dusky Woodswallow Artamus cyanopterus Up to 5 noted on three dates in northern NSW
Grey Butcherbird Cracticus torquatus Noted near Brisbane on 18th, and at Borah Creek on 22nd
Pied Butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis Noted on 14th near Yungaburra, and four dates in northern NSW
Black Butcherbird Cracticus quoyi Noted in Cairns on 12th and Daintree on 16th
Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen Widespread in farmland; more frequent in NSW
Pied Currawong Strepera graculina Noted 11 dates in all areas
Green Catbird Ailuroedus crassirostris Singles on both dates in Lamington NP
Spotted Catbird Ailuroedus melanotis Noted three dates in Atherton Tablelands, max 4 at Chambers Lodge
Tooth-billed Bowerbird Scenopoeetes dentirostris At least 10 noted around Chambers Lodge on 13th
Golden Bowerbird Prionodura newtoniana One by its bower, Longlands Gap 0n 14th
Regent Bowerbird Sericulus chrysocephalus The logo-bird of OReillys did not disappoint, with dozens coming to feed - and preferring raisins!
Satin Bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus violaceus Noted 6 dates in all areas, with several blue- decorated bowers seen
Spotted Bowerbird Chlamydera maculata One in Pilliga State Forest, 24th
Great Bowerbird Chlamydera nuchalis Seen 14th and 15th at Mount Molloy, where a well-decorated bower seen
BIRDS OF PARADISE Paradisaeidae
Paradise Riflebird Ptilornis paradiseus Seen briefly on two days in Lamington NP
Victoria's Riflebird Ptilornis victoriae Noted three dates in Atherton Tablelands. More than 12 on 13th around Yungaburra, with best views, including a displaying male, at Chambers Lodge
JAYS & CROWS Corvidae
Torresian Crow Corvus orru Noted 8 dates south to northern NSW
Australian Raven Corvus coronoides Noted 6 dates in NSW
Little Raven Corvus mellori Two near Dangar's Lagoon, 21st. Flock in Pilliga Scrub, 24th
Olive-backed Oriole Oriolus sagittatus Noted 6 dates in Queensland and northern NSW
Yellow Oriole Oriolus flavocinctus Seen in Cairns and Daintree. Max c10 at Centenary Lakes, 12th
(Green) Figbird Sphecotheres viridis Very common in Queensland, especially Cairns area. Not seen in NSW
Metallic Starling Aplonis metallica Flocks noted 4 dates in Cairns and Atherton Tablelands
Common (European) Starling Sturnus vulgaris Seen daily in NSW
Common/Indian Myna Acridotheries tristis Seen 12 dates in towns and villages throughout the trip
(European) Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis Seen at Mother of Ducks Lagoon, 21st, and around Kiama
WAXBILLS AND ALLIES Estrildidae
Diamond Firetail Stagonopleura guttata Noted on 21st and 22nd around Oakhampton
Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis Noted 6 dates in all area. Max 30 + on the feeders
Zebra Finch Taeniopygia guttata Several records of this irruptive inland species; c40 near Manilla on 21st with further records at Oakhampton and Pilliga State Forest
Double-barred Finch Taeniopygia bichenovii Seen at Lake Mitchell, Mount Molloy, and on two dates around Oakhampton
Nutmeg (Scaly-breasted) Mannikin Lonchura punctulata Noted two dates in Cairns
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin Lonchura castaneothorax Noted two dates around Cairns max 3 at Cairns sewage farm
House Sparrow Passer domesticus Noted 10 dates in towns and villages throughout the trip
MONOTREMES - Spiny Anteaters Monotremata - Tachyglossidae
Short-nosed Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus One seen by the landlubbers at Bass Point, 26th
MONOTREMES - Platypus Monotremata - Ornithorhynchidae
Platypus Ornithorhynchus anatinus Superb views outside Yungaburra two individuals seen
MARSUPIALS - Bandicoots Marsupiala - Perameliae
Northern Brown Bandicoot Isoodon macrourus Singles at Kingfisher Park and OReillys
MARSUPIALS - Ringtail Possums Marsupiala - Petauridae
Common Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus peregrinus One at OReillys
Mountain Brushtail Possum Trichosurus caninus Several coming to the dining room feeders in the evenings, O'Reilly's
Greater Glider Petauroides volans Two seen near Richards house, Jamberoo
Sugar Glider Petaurus brevipes Seen at Richards house, Jamberoo
MARSUPIALS - Kangaroos Marsupiala - Macropodidae
Musky Rat-kangaroo Hypsiprymnodon moschatus Excellent views below the veranda at Cassowary House
Red-legged Pademelon Thylogale stigmatica Two at Chambers Lodge, Yungaburra, 13th. Three near Kingfisher Park, 16th
Red-necked Pademelon Thylogale thetis Abundant at OReillys
Swamp Wallaby Wallabia bicolor Singles at Wood's Reef, 22nd, Pilliga on 24th and Jamberoo on 27th
Agile (River) Wallaby Macropus agilis Singles at Yungaburra, Mount Lewis and near Kingfisher Park
Red-necked Wallaby Macropus rufogriseus Seen Lamington NP and Canungra
Whip-tailed (Pretty-faced) Wallaby Macropus parryi Two seen on the way down from Lamington NP
Common Wallaroo Macropus robustus 10+ seen near Guyra, 20th, also at Oakhampton
Eastern Grey Kangaroo Macropus giganteus 40 + at Mareeba Golf Course, 14th. Commoner in NSW seen daily in the north, with many in Warrumbungles
MARSUPIALS - Koala Marsupiala - Phascolarctidae
Koala Phascolarctos cinereus Single at Gunnedah on 23rd and two in Pilliga Scrub, 24th.
MARSUPIALS - Wombats Marsupiala - Vombatidae
Common Wombat Vombatus ursinus Two near Richards house one seen superbly in the spotlight close to the bus
BATS - Fruit Bats Chiroptera - Pteropodidae
Spectacled Flying Fox Pteropus conspicillatus Seen every evening at Cairns, with hundreds on the Daintree River trip
Little Red Flying Fox Pteropus scapulatus Corpses seen caught on barbed wire fences, Mary Farms, 15th
CARNIVORES - Dogs Carnivora - Canidae
Red Fox Vulpes vulpes One in northern NSW, at Peppertrees on 22nd
CETACEANS - Marine Dolphins Cetacea - Delphinidae
Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis Wonderful views on the pelagic trip
Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus Wonderful views on the pelagic trip
LAGOMORPHS - Rabbits & Hares Lagomorpha - Leporidae
Brown Hare Lepus europaeus One near Manilla, 22nd
European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus Noted three dates in Northern NSW
Estuarine Crocodile Crocodylus porosus Seen well from both Daintree River trips
Boyd's Forest Dragon Hypsilurus boydii Noted at Lake Eacham, 13th
Eastern Bearded Dragon Pogona barbata Seen three dates around Oakhampton
Lace Monitor Varanus varius Aus. 2nd largest lizard seen climbing a tree at 'Tarpolly' , 22nd
Sand Goanna In Pilliga State Forest, 24th
Major Skink Egernia frerei Seen at both Kingfisher Park and O'Reilly's
Eastern Blue-tongued Lizard Tiliqua scincoides At Oakhampton, and in the Blue Mountains
House Gecko (Dubious Ditella) Gehyra dubia At Kingfisher Park
Common Tree Snake Dendrelaphis punctulatus Near Yungaburra on 14th.
Cane Toad Bufo marinus One at Mareeba, 14th
Green Tree Frog Litoria caerulea At the motel, Yungaburra
Lesueur's Frog Litoris lesueuri One near Kingfisher Park, 15th
Cairns Birdwing Ornithoptera priamus Australia's largest butterfly; seen at Daintree
Ulysses Butterfly Papilio ulysses Seen in Cairns, 12th
Common Eggfly Hypolimnas bolina Seen in Cairns and the Tablelands
Common Australian Crow Euploea core Seen in Cairns and the Tablelands
White Nymph Mynes geoffroyi Seen in the Tablelands
Big Greasy Butterfly Cressida cressida Seen in the Tablelands
Union Jack Delias mysis Seen in the Tablelands
Monarch (Wanderer) Danaus plexippus Seen on two dates in northern NSW
Lesser Wanderer Danaus chrysippus Seen at Oakhampton
Crimson speckled moth Utethesia pulchella This worldwide species seen at Lake Mitchell and in northern NSW
© The Travelling Naturalist 2003