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Field Guides Tour Report
Australia - Part One 2014
Oct 2, 2014 to Oct 23, 2014
Chris Benesh

The scenic Sugarloaf Rock overlook (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

Part One of the 2014 Australia tour was a whirlwind of excitement spanning much of the southern tier of Australia. We explored many of the varied and temperate landscapes found there and experienced a nice cross-section of down under weather. Some of the weather was wild enough to make national news headlines but, fortunately for us, it seldom hampered our birding.

Highlights were many, including the cooperative flock of Freckled Ducks seen in Melbourne, the crazy display of the Musk Duck, the elegant dance-like display of Great Crested Grebe, the Great-winged Petrel wheeling around in the high winds in Albany, nice encounters with rare Square-tailed and Black-breasted kites, a lake full of Banded Stilts, beautiful Hooded Plovers, an Australian Owlet-Nightjar peering out of its roost hole, the cackle of Kookaburra, flashy Rainbow Bee-eaters, each of the black-cockatoos that were magic in their own way, the Gang-gangs and Major Mitchell's, all of those other wonderful and diverse parrots, the colorful fairywrens, a huge assortment of honeyeaters, the distinctive sound of Eastern Whipbird, the lovely song of the Pied Butcherbird, colorful robins, and a couple of gorgeous firetails. On top of that, some great mammals and herps rounded out the experience.

I want to thank our drivers, especially Dianne and Alan, who took such good care of us (not to mention Alan's barbie skills). And thanks to all of you for making the tour a pleasure to lead.


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Dromaiidae (Emu)

We encountered a nice flock of rare Freckled Ducks near Melbourne. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

EMU (Dromaius novaehollandiae) – Our first were those at Wilsons Prom. [E]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
CAPE BARREN GOOSE (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) – Great looks at several family groups in Phillip Island. [E]
FRECKLED DUCK (Stictonetta naevosa) – Often one of the toughest birds to find, we had a sizeable flock at Mill Parks Lakes. [E]
BLACK SWAN (Cygnus atratus) [E]
AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadornoides)
MANED DUCK (Chenonetta jubata) – Locally known as Australian Wood Ducks. [E]
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa)
GRAY TEAL (Anas gracilis)
CHESTNUT TEAL (Anas castanea) [E]
PINK-EARED DUCK (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) – One of the more bizarre ducks out there, there were lots of zebra sided ducks at the Western Treatment Plant. [E]
WHITE-EYED DUCK (Aythya australis)
BLUE-BILLED DUCK (Oxyura australis) [E]
MUSK DUCK (Biziura lobata) – Quite a bizarre looking creature, we even saw some displaying on a lake in Albany. [E]
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

Great Crested Grebes display at Lake Wendouree. (Video by guide Chris Benesh)
STUBBLE QUAIL (Coturnix pectoralis) [E*]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
AUSTRALASIAN GREBE (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
HOARY-HEADED GREBE (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) [E]
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus) – Amazing looks at some displaying birds at Lake Wendouree.
Spheniscidae (Penguins)
LITTLE PENGUIN (Eudyptula minor)
Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)
YELLOW-NOSED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche chlororhynchos)
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
GREAT-WINGED PETREL (Pterodroma macroptera) – Good looks at one wheeling around in high winds in Albany.
FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER (Puffinus carneipes)
SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER (Puffinus tenuirostris)
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)

A Great-winged Petrel near Albany (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE BLACK CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo)
PIED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax varius)
BLACK-FACED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscescens) [E]
LITTLE PIED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos)
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AUSTRALASIAN DARTER (Anhinga novaehollandiae)
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AUSTRALIAN PELICAN (Pelecanus conspicillatus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PACIFIC HERON (Ardea pacifica) – Also known as White-necked Heron.
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta)
WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae)
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)
RUFOUS NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax caledonicus)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

The Powerful Owl family seen near Sydney (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)
AUSTRALIAN IBIS (Threskiornis moluccus) [E]
STRAW-NECKED IBIS (Threskiornis spinicollis) [E]
ROYAL SPOONBILL (Platalea regia)
YELLOW-BILLED SPOONBILL (Platalea flavipes) [E]
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (AUSTRALASIAN) (Pandion haliaetus cristatus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
AUSTRALIAN KITE (Elanus axillaris) [E]
SQUARE-TAILED KITE (Lophoictinia isura) – Great looks at a pair of these on our way to Margaret River in Western Australia. One of the rarer Australian raptors. [E]
BLACK-BREASTED KITE (Hamirostra melanosternon) – Another scarce raptor along our tour route, we had a great flyover of one west of Alice Springs. [E]
LITTLE EAGLE (Hieraaetus morphnoides)
SWAMP HARRIER (Circus approximans)
BROWN GOSHAWK (Accipiter fasciatus)
COLLARED SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter cirrocephalus)
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans)

We had a close encounter with this Black-breasted Kite (Buzzard) near Alice Springs. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

WHISTLING KITE (Haliastur sphenurus)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BAILLON'S CRAKE (Porzana pusilla) – A couple of quick looks at one scrambling around in reeds at the Western Treatment Plant.
AUSTRALIAN CRAKE (Porzana fluminea) [E*]
PURPLE SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio)
DUSKY MOORHEN (Gallinula tenebrosa)
BLACK-TAILED NATIVE-HEN (Tribonyx ventralis) [E]
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra)
Gruidae (Cranes)
BROLGA (Grus rubicunda) – Great views of a pair at the Western Treatment Plant.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
BUSH THICK-KNEE (Burhinus grallarius) [*]
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
PIED STILT (Himantopus leucocephalus)
BANDED STILT (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus) – Good views at St. Kilda and the spectacle of hundreds at Lake Natimuk. [E]
RED-NECKED AVOCET (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae) [E]
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
PIED OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus longirostris) [E]

A strutting Black-tailed Native-hen (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

SOOTY OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus fuliginosus) [E]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
BANDED LAPWING (Vanellus tricolor) – Good scope views of this scarce species at the Western Treatment Plant. [E]
MASKED LAPWING (Vanellus miles)
RED-CAPPED PLOVER (Charadrius ruficapillus) [E]
RED-KNEED DOTTEREL (Erythrogonys cinctus)
HOODED PLOVER (Thinornis cucullatus) – A beautiful pair on Phillip Island. [E]
BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL (Elseyornis melanops)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis)
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus)
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER (Calidris acuminata)
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis)

One of the finest cockatoos out there, the Gang-gang (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

LATHAM'S SNIPE (Gallinago hardwickii)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SILVER GULL (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)
PACIFIC GULL (Larus pacificus) [E]
FAIRY TERN (Sternula nereis) – Several seen at the Western Treatment Plant.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida)
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) [I]
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) [I]
COMMON BRONZEWING (Phaps chalcoptera) [E]
BRUSH BRONZEWING (Phaps elegans) – Our best views were at Cheyne Beach. [E]
CRESTED PIGEON (Ocyphaps lophotes)
WONGA PIGEON (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) [E*]
DIAMOND DOVE (Geopelia cuneata) [E]
PEACEFUL DOVE (Geopelia placida)
TOPKNOT PIGEON (Lopholaimus antarcticus) – Huge numbers of these in Royal National Park. [E]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
PALLID CUCKOO (Cacomantis pallidus) – An amazing encounter with this species near Asses Ears Road in the Grampians. [E]

A male Gilbert's Whistler showing off its orange throat. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

FAN-TAILED CUCKOO (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
HORSFIELD'S BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx basalis) [E]
SHINING BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx lucidus)
PHEASANT COUCAL (Centropus phasianinus) – Mostly heard but glimpsed along the Mt. Bass trail at Royal NP.
Strigidae (Owls)
POWERFUL OWL (Ninox strenua) – After striking out at the Royal Botanic Garden, we lucked out with a family group at Lane Cove NP. [E]
Aegothelidae (Owlet-Nightjars)
AUSTRALIAN OWLET-NIGHTJAR (Aegotheles cristatus) – We had great views of one peering out from its roost hole in Royal NP despite the weather.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
TAWNY FROGMOUTH (Podargus strigoides) – Thanks to Graeme for showing us the pair at Little Desert Lodge. Another was hunting at night in Dryandra Woodland.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
AZURE KINGFISHER (Ceyx azureus) – A lovely individual along the Hacking River in Royal NP.
LAUGHING KOOKABURRA (Dacelo novaeguineae) [E]
RED-BACKED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius) – After a lot of looking we finally connected with this desert species. [E]

A secretive Striated Grasswren (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

SACRED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sanctus)
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RAINBOW BEE-EATER (Merops ornatus) – Just stunning!
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AUSTRALIAN KESTREL (Falco cenchroides)
AUSTRALIAN HOBBY (Falco longipennis) – Good numbers of these around Alice Springs this year. [E]
BROWN FALCON (Falco berigora)
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
Cacatuidae (Cockatoos)
RED-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus banksii) – The last new bird of the trip, we enjoyed some time with a flock in birds right in the Perth area. [E]
YELLOW-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus funereus) – Good flyovers and great looks at a couple of perched birds in the Grampians. [E]
CARNABY'S BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) – Memorable and comical views of this species in the Dryandra Woodland. Named after Keith Carnaby, an entomologist who specialized in jewel beetles. [E]
BAUDIN'S BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus baudinii) – We eventually tracked down a good sized flock of this right in Margaret River. This rare bird is named for Nicolas Baudin, who commanded a French scientific expedition to Australia but who died before his return to France. Described as "appallingly rude and uncongenial." [E]

Splendid Fairywren is a splash of color. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

GANG-GANG COCKATOO (Callocephalon fimbriatum) – It was a good year for this species with good views right in Hall's Gap. [E]
PINK COCKATOO (Lophochroa leadbeateri) – Also known as Major Mitchell, we had a close encounter with this species at Hattah-Kulkyne NP. Named for Sir Thomas Mitchell, a Scottish soldier who explored interior Australia. [E]
GALAH (Eolophus roseicapilla) [E]
LONG-BILLED CORELLA (Cacatua tenuirostris) [E]
WESTERN CORELLA (Cacatua pastinator) [E]
LITTLE CORELLA (Cacatua sanguinea)
COCKATIEL (Nymphicus hollandicus) – Not a big year for them, but we did encounter a small flock right in Alice Springs on our way to the airport. [E]
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
REGENT PARROT (Polytelis anthopeplus) – Some great looks at this fast flying species, including some nesting birds at Hattah-Kulkyne. [E]
AUSTRALIAN KING-PARROT (Alisterus scapularis) [E]
BOURKE'S PARROT (Neophema bourkii) – We had about fifteen coming to the waterhole at Kunoth Bore. [E]
ELEGANT PARROT (Neophema elegans) [E]

Rock Parrots were one of the last new finds of the trip. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

ROCK PARROT (Neophema petrophila) – We lucked into six of these fine parrots at Hamelin Bay where they are occasional visitors. [E]
PORT LINCOLN PARROT (Barnardius zonarius) [E]
MALLEE RINGNECK (Barnardius barnardi) [E]
CRIMSON ROSELLA (CRIMSON) (Platycercus elegans elegans) – This is the common variety is moister coastal areas. [E]
CRIMSON ROSELLA (YELLOW) (Platycercus elegans flaveolus) – This is the dry interior form we saw at Hattah-Kulkyne. [E]
CRIMSON ROSELLA (ADELAIDE) (Platycercus elegans adelaidae) – This is an intermediate form that we saw near our hotel in Adelaide. [E]
EASTERN ROSELLA (Platycercus eximius) [E]
WESTERN ROSELLA (Platycercus icterotis) – The smallest of the rosellas. [E]
BLUEBONNET (Northiella haematogaster) – Well seen on the drive north to Wyperfeld. [E]
RED-RUMPED PARROT (Psephotus haematonotus) [E]
MULGA PARROT (Psephotus varius) – Some great looks near Kunoth Bore. [E]
RED-CAPPED PARROT (Purpureicephalus spurius) – Yet another stunning parrot, well seen near Albany. [E]
BUDGERIGAR (Melopsittacus undulatus) – Some good views of these near Simpsons Gap. [E]
MUSK LORIKEET (Glossopsitta concinna) – Buzzing around in the park near our hotel in Adelaide. [E]

The striking Crested Shrike-tit (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

PURPLE-CROWNED LORIKEET (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala) [E]
RAINBOW LORIKEET (Trichoglossus haematodus)
Menuridae (Lyrebirds)
SUPERB LYREBIRD (Menura novaehollandiae) – We lucked into one as it was crossing the road in front of us at Royal NP. [E]
Atrichornithidae (Scrub-birds)
NOISY SCRUB-BIRD (Atrichornis clamosus) [E*]
Ptilonorhynchidae (Bowerbirds)
SATIN BOWERBIRD (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) [E]
WESTERN BOWERBIRD (Chlamydera guttata) – What a truly fabulous performance at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden. [E]
Climacteridae (Australasian Treecreepers)
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (Cormobates leucophaea) [E]
WHITE-BROWED TREECREEPER (Climacteris affinis) – A detour on our way to Adelaide provided great views of a pair of these, quite possibly a first for this tour.
BROWN TREECREEPER (Climacteris picumnus) [E]
RUFOUS TREECREEPER (Climacteris rufus) [E]
Maluridae (Fairywrens)

A pair of White-browed Treecreepers were a first for this trip. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

STRIATED GRASSWREN (Amytornis striatus) – We lucked into this species at Hattah-Kulkyne. [E]
SOUTHERN EMUWREN (Stipiturus malachurus) – Beautiful views of the birds at Hamelin Bay. Others seen more fleetingly. [E]
RED-WINGED FAIRYWREN (Malurus elegans) [E]
BLUE-BREASTED FAIRYWREN (Malurus pulcherrimus) – Dryandra is the place for this beaut! [E]
VARIEGATED FAIRYWREN (Malurus lamberti) [E]
SPLENDID FAIRYWREN (Malurus splendens) – I think everyone would agree that this one is truly splendid. [E]
SUPERB FAIRYWREN (Malurus cyaneus) [E]
WHITE-WINGED FAIRYWREN (Malurus leucopterus) – It took quite a bit of searching but eventually the shy male appeared and put on quite a show for us. [E]
Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters)
EASTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) [E]
WESTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus superciliosus) [E]
LEWIN'S HONEYEATER (Meliphaga lewinii) [E]
YELLOW-FACED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus chrysops) [E]
SINGING HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus virescens) [E]

This Western Bristlebird was a standout at Cheyne Beach. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

WHITE-EARED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus leucotis) [E]
PURPLE-GAPED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus cratitius) – This often elusive bird actually showed pretty well for us in the malleefowl sanctuary. [E]
GRAY-HEADED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus keartlandi) [E]
FUSCOUS HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus fuscus) [E]
YELLOW-PLUMED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus ornatus) [E]
WHITE-PLUMED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus penicillatus) [E]
NOISY MINER (Manorina melanocephala) [E]
YELLOW-THROATED MINER (Manorina flavigula) [E]
SPINY-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Acanthagenys rufogularis) [E]
RED WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera carunculata) [E]
LITTLE WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera chrysoptera) [E]
WESTERN WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera lunulata) [E]
CRIMSON CHAT (Epthianura tricolor) – A female seen as we were driving west from Alice Springs. [E]
WHITE-FRONTED CHAT (Epthianura albifrons) [E]
TAWNY-CROWNED HONEYEATER (Gliciphila melanops) [E]

A pair of Western Bowerbirds display at the bower. (Video by guide Chris Benesh)
BROWN HONEYEATER (Lichmera indistincta) [E]
CRESCENT HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus) [E]
NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) [E]
WHITE-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris niger) [E]
WHITE-NAPED HONEYEATER (EASTERN) (Melithreptus lunatus lunatus)
WHITE-NAPED HONEYEATER (WESTERN) (Melithreptus lunatus chloropsis) – The Australian's have split out the WA birds as a separate species, though the two are currently lumped by Clements.
BLACK-CHINNED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus gularis) – Great views of a singing bird near Asses Ears road in the Grampians. [E]
BROWN-HEADED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus brevirostris) [E]
NOISY FRIARBIRD (Philemon corniculatus)
STRIPED HONEYEATER (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) – Fine looks at this species at Hattah-Kulkyne. [E]
Dasyornithidae (Bristlebirds)

The iconic Koala (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

WESTERN BRISTLEBIRD (Dasyornis longirostris) – Once the weather improved a bit, we were able to track down this elusive species at Cheyne Beach. [E]
Pardalotidae (Pardalotes)
SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus punctatus) [E]
SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus punctatus xanthopyge) [E]
RED-BROWED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus rubricatus) [E]
STRIATED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus striatus) [E]
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
ROCKWARBLER (Origma solitaria) – Good looks at this New South Wales endemic at Royal NP. [E]
YELLOW-THROATED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis citreogularis) [E]
WHITE-BROWED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis frontalis) [E]
RUFOUS FIELDWREN (Calamanthus campestris) – Nice views of this beautiful songster at Little Desert. [E]
STRIATED FIELDWREN (Calamanthus fuliginosus) – Good views of a singing bird at Wilsons Prom. [E]
SHY HEATHWREN (Hylacola cauta) – Amazingly good looks at this species near the Little Desert Lodge. [E]
BUFF-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza reguloides) [E]

Our first macropod was this Swamp Wallaby on Phillip Island. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

WESTERN THORNBILL (Acanthiza inornata) [E]
SLENDER-BILLED THORNBILL (Acanthiza iredalei) – After a lot of searching, we located one at Little Desert. [E]
BROWN THORNBILL (Acanthiza pusilla) [E]
INLAND THORNBILL (Acanthiza apicalis) [E]
YELLOW-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa) [E]
CHESTNUT-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza uropygialis) [E]
YELLOW THORNBILL (Acanthiza nana) [E]
STRIATED THORNBILL (Acanthiza lineata) [E]
WEEBILL (Smicrornis brevirostris) [E]
BROWN GERYGONE (Gerygone mouki) [E]
WESTERN GERYGONE (Gerygone fusca) [E]
SOUTHERN WHITEFACE (Aphelocephala leucopsis) [E]
Pomatostomidae (Pseudo-Babblers)
GRAY-CROWNED BABBLER (Pomatostomus temporalis) [E]
WHITE-BROWED BABBLER (Pomatostomus superciliosus) [E]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BABBLER (Pomatostomus ruficeps) [E]
Psophodidae (Whipbirds and Wedgebills)
EASTERN WHIPBIRD (Psophodes olivaceus) [E]

A dingo spots us near Alice Springs. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

WESTERN WHIPBIRD (Psophodes nigrogularis) [E]
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
MASKED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus personatus) [E]
WHITE-BROWED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus superciliosus) [E]
BLACK-FACED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus cinereus) [E]
DUSKY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus cyanopterus) [E]
LITTLE WOODSWALLOW (Artamus minor) [E]
Cracticidae (Bellmagpies and Allies)
GRAY BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus torquatus) [E]
PIED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus nigrogularis) – Perhaps the most wonderful singer in Australia, we were serenaded at our Alice Springs hotel. [E]
AUSTRALASIAN MAGPIE (Gymnorhina tibicen)
PIED CURRAWONG (Strepera graculina) [E]
GRAY CURRAWONG (Strepera versicolor) [E]
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
BLACK-FACED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina novaehollandiae)
WHITE-WINGED TRILLER (Lalage tricolor)
Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)

A Gould's Goanna spies us from inside a rotten log. (Photo by guide Chris Benesh)

CRESTED SHRIKE-TIT (EASTERN) (Falcunculus frontatus frontatus) – What an amazing bird well seen at the Little Desert Lodge and again in Royal NP. [E]
CRESTED SHRIKE-TIT (WESTERN) (Falcunculus frontatus leucogaster) – The white bellied birds in WA are sometimes considered a separate species from eastern birds. Well seen at Dryandra. [E]
GRAY SHRIKE-THRUSH (Colluricincla harmonica)
OLIVE WHISTLER (Pachycephala olivacea) [E]
GILBERT'S WHISTLER (Pachycephala inornata) – Fantastic looks at a singing male at Mt. Arapiles and another heard at Little Desert Lodge. [E]
GOLDEN WHISTLER (Pachycephala pectoralis)
RUFOUS WHISTLER (Pachycephala rufiventris)
Oreoicidae (Australo-Papuan Bellbirds)
CRESTED BELLBIRD (Oreoica gutturalis) [*]
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
OLIVE-BACKED ORIOLE (Oriolus sagittatus)
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
WILLIE-WAGTAIL (Rhipidura leucophrys) – This bird is loaded with personality.
GRAY FANTAIL (Rhipidura albiscapa)
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-FACED MONARCH (Monarcha melanopsis) [E]
MAGPIE-LARK (Grallina cyanoleuca)
LEADEN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra rubecula) [*]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TORRESIAN CROW (Corvus orru) – This was the common corvid in the outback away from Alice Springs.
LITTLE CROW (Corvus bennetti) – A number of these were in the town of Alice Springs and the nearby sewage treatment plant. [E]
AUSTRALIAN RAVEN (Corvus coronoides) [E]
LITTLE RAVEN (Corvus mellori) [E]
FOREST RAVEN (Corvus tasmanicus) [E]
Corcoracidae (White-winged Chough and Apostlebird)
WHITE-WINGED CHOUGH (Corcorax melanorhamphos) [E]
APOSTLEBIRD (Struthidea cinerea) [E]
Petroicidae (Australasian Robins)
JACKY-WINTER (Microeca fascinans)
SCARLET ROBIN (Petroica boodang) – We finally caught up with this species in the Dryandra Woodland. [E]
RED-CAPPED ROBIN (Petroica goodenovii) [E]
ROSE ROBIN (Petroica rosea) – Our driver Alan spotted this handsome species for us. [E]
HOODED ROBIN (Melanodryas cucullata) [E]
EASTERN YELLOW ROBIN (Eopsaltria australis) [E]
WESTERN YELLOW ROBIN (Eopsaltria griseogularis) – Good views of this scarce species in the Dryandra Woodland. [E]
WHITE-BREASTED ROBIN (Eopsaltria georgiana) [E]
SOUTHERN SCRUB-ROBIN (Drymodes brunneopygia) – After failing in Little Desert, we had great looks at one at Wyperfeld. [E]
Alaudidae (Larks)
SKY LARK (Alauda arvensis) [I]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
WELCOME SWALLOW (Hirundo neoxena)
FAIRY MARTIN (Petrochelidon ariel) [E]
TREE MARTIN (Petrochelidon nigricans)
WHITE-BACKED SWALLOW (Cheramoeca leucosterna) – A couple at Hattah-Kulkyne and another at Glen Helen. Always a treat to see this scarce desert bird. [E]
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
AUSTRALIAN REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus australis)
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
LITTLE GRASSBIRD (Megalurus gramineus)
BROWN SONGLARK (Megalurus cruralis) [E]
RUFOUS SONGLARK (Megalurus mathewsi) [E]
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
SILVER-EYE (Zosterops lateralis)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
OLIVE-TAILED THRUSH (Zoothera lunulata) – Seen at Royal NP. Better known as Bassian Thrush.
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) [I]
Sturnidae (Starlings)
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) [I]
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
MISTLETOEBIRD (Dicaeum hirundinaceum)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AUSTRALASIAN PIPIT (AUSTRALIAN) (Anthus novaeseelandiae australis)
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
EUROPEAN GREENFINCH (Chloris chloris) [I]
EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis) [I]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
RED-EARED FIRETAIL (Stagonopleura oculata) – We lucked into a beautiful bird nest building at Lake Seppings. [E]
DIAMOND FIRETAIL (Stagonopleura guttata) – A gorgeous bird feeding in some grass at Mt. Arapiles. [E]
RED-BROWED FIRETAIL (Neochmia temporalis) [E]
ZEBRA FINCH (Taeniopygia guttata)

SHORT-BEAKED ECHIDNA (Tachyglossus aculeatus) – Dianne spotted this distinctive mammal for us at Dryandra. [E]
KOALA (Phascolarctos cinereus) – Our Adelaide tip paid off and we were rewarded with great looks at this iconic Australian mammal. [E]
COMMON BRUSHTAIL POSSUM (Trichosurus vulpecula) [E]
BLACK-FOOTED ROCK-WALLABY (Petrogale lateralis) [E]
EASTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus giganteus) [E]
WESTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus fuliginosus) [E]
RED KANGAROO (Macropus rufus) [E]
SWAMP WALLABY (Wallabia bicolor) [E]
OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus) [I]
CAPE HARE (Lepus capensis) [I]
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncatus)
HUMPBACK WHALE (Megaptera novaeangliae)
RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes) [I]
DINGO (Canis familiaris dingo) – Great encounter with a pair of these at the sewage ponds in Alice Springs where they were making some feeble efforts to catch waterbirds. [I]
HOG DEER (Axis porcinus) – These were the tiny deer at Wilsons Prom.
SUNDA SAMBAR (Cervus timorensis) – These were the deer seen at Royal. Also known as Rusa.
RED DEER (Cervus elaphus) – These are the deer in the Grampians. [I]


Other terrestrial vertebrates:

Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa) - quite a few of these seen in the interior, a rough and tumble skink.

Sand/Gould's Goanna (Varanus gouldii) - Graeme spotted one ducking into a log and tore into the log to reveal this guy and a shingleback.

Mallee Military Dragon (Ctenophorus fordi) - a few of these small lizards scurrying around the spinifex/mallee woodland at Hattah-Kulkyne.

Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) - a couple of these well seen in the interior.

Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii) - a couple of nice studies of this big lizard along the Hacking River in Royal NP.

Macquarie Turtle (Emydura macquarii) - seen sunning itself on a log at Royal NP.

Totals for the tour: 289 bird taxa and 17 mammal taxa