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Field Guides Tour Report
Oct 15, 2013 to Nov 4, 2013
John Coons

Many of Australia's colorful fairywrens gave us great views, but none was better than the Superb Fairywren we saw so well first at O'Reilly's Guesthouse and then daily in Tasmania. (Photo by participant Jan Shaw)

We had a great three weeks of birding in Australia and ran the gamut from quite hot in Darwin to cold and raw temperatures on our last day in Tasmania. Birding and mammaling was wonderful, and we saw so many of the iconic Australian creatures that most of us have been aware of for much of our lives. Calling kookaburras, bounding kangaroos, a strutting Cassowary, and paddling platypus were highlights that we will all remember.

Overall there were lots of memorable sightings that included all those Pink-eared Ducks feeding in the ponds; huge Black-necked Storks near Darwin; a Pacific Baza perched just over the road; several Australian Bustards coming to drink at the ponds; the Hooded Plover on the beach in Tasmania; great views of all those shorebirds at Cairns (including two close Broad-billed Sandpipers); the colorful Spinifex Pigeon standing on a boulder; a more colorful Wompoo Fruit-Dove in the rainforest; the Rufous Owl sitting quietly in a mango tree with thousands of Spectacled Flying-Foxes nearby; the fabulous Australian Owlet-Nightjar perched in the light; a calling Marbled Frogmouth with wings spread; those Glossy Black-Cockatoos sailing down the valley and landing in the close trees; a tree full of calling Cockatiels; scope views of a singing Rainbow Pitta near Darwin; all those colorful fairy-wrens; over forty species of a wide diversity of honeyeaters; those Forty-spotted Pardalotes in Bruny Island; watching the Australian Logrunner flipping leaves with its side-kicks; both Paradise and Victoria's riflebirds; a stunning Rose Robin at O'Reilly's followed by a male Pink Robin in Tasmania; and all those finches including a beautiful Beautiful Firetail at our lodge in Tasmania. And that's among many, many others.

There are a few bird sightings that require special mention and those include the fabulous views of the Budgerigars circling the waterhole in large numbers at Georgetown. This is a nomadic species that I have not seen there in many years and never in those numbers. Also, that incredible Southern Cassowary walking out of the forest and on to the road right next to us on the Atherton Tableland. And the surprising Albert's Lyrebird right next to the trail at O'Reilly's that was digging in the leaf litter, finding food and feeding it to its nearly one-year-old chick. And all those wonderful bowerbirds and their bowers. The Tooth-billed Catbird had its stage on the forest floor as it sang above it, the Golden Bowerbird mystically appeared in the forest near its double maypole bower, the Satin Bowerbird displays at O'Reilly's were decorated with bright blue objects, the Great Bowerbird had its white shells and shiny pieces of glass and metal to attract a female, and the stunning Regent Bowerbirds were flaunting their good looks at O'Reilly's.

It was those bizarre mammals that were so great to see as well. We saw twelve species of kangaroos, ranging from the quite large Red Kangaroos near Georgetown to the tiny Musky Rat-Kangaroo on the Tableland. Seeing the Platypus so well in the small stream the morning after getting okay views in the river was a thrill. Both the Sugar Glider and Striped Possum were willing photo subjects at Chamber's and all those flying foxes near Darwin and in Cairns were interesting. On Tasmania we were treated to several encounters with Short-beaked Echidnas, a couple of cuddly looking wombats, and the legendary Tasmania Devils as they devoured chunks of meat.

Australia is such a wonderful country to travel in, and wildlife is seemingly right outside everywhere you go. We met a lot of interesting folks and it was great to have Jun birding with us in the Cairns area. I hope to see all of you again one of these days for another dose of exciting birds.


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

Casuariidae (Cassowaries)
SOUTHERN CASSOWARY (Casuarius casuarius) – What a surprise to see this great creature walk out of the forest right in front of us at the Crater. It walked about for a several minutes before retiring to the forest once again. Yip! Yip! Yip!
Dromaiidae (Emu)
EMU (Dromaius novaehollandiae) – A bittersweet sighting of one watching over another that had recently been hit by a vehicle along the highway in the Outback.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
MAGPIE GOOSE (Anseranas semipalmata) – We saw thousands of these in a few places.
PLUMED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna eytoni)
WANDERING WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arcuata)
BLACK SWAN (Cygnus atratus)
AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadornoides)

This was a tremendous year for Budgerigars in the Georgetown area. These well-known birds are a nomadic species in the dry country of Australia, and it is a treat to see them in their native environs. (Photo by participant Paul Davies)

RADJAH SHELDUCK (Tadorna radjah)
GREEN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus pulchellus)
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus) – There were about 6-8 of these at Cumberland Dam. This is a species that has declined in numbers in its former range.
MANED DUCK (Chenonetta jubata)
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – A few were on a creek on Bruny Island in Tasmania.
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa)
GRAY TEAL (Anas gracilis)
CHESTNUT TEAL (Anas castanea) – A few of these handsome ducks were seen in Tasmania.
PINK-EARED DUCK (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) – Good numbers of these strange ducks were at Georgetown and on the Tableland.
WHITE-EYED DUCK (Aythya australis)
Megapodiidae (Megapodes)
ORANGE-FOOTED SCRUBFOWL (Megapodius reinwardt) – This megapod was quite commonly seen in the parks around Darwin and again near Cairns.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
AUSTRALASIAN GREBE (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) – These were quite common on many of the water holes of the north.
HOARY-HEADED GREBE (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) – Our only ones were at a couple of ponds in northern Tasmania.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus) – There were at least 200 individuals on Lake Barrine, the most I have ever seen there.
Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)
WHITE-CAPPED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche cauta) – We saw a few of these at a good distance off the coast of Bruny Island in Tasmania.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER (Puffinus tenuirostris) – This was almost surely the shearwater we were seeing in large numbers at a great distance from the coast of Bruny Island.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
BLACK-NECKED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) – We saw a handful of these huge birds in the areas around Darwin.
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
BROWN BOOBY (Sula leucogaster)
AUSTRALASIAN GANNET (Morus serrator) – We saw several of these soaring above and diving into the water at Bruny Island in Tasmania.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE BLACK CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo)
BLACK-FACED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscescens) – Great close views of about five individuals at the ferry landing in Tasmania.
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)
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba)
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia)
WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae)

Throughout most of Australia great birding can be found right along the roadside. (Photo by participant Jan Shaw)

LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)
PACIFIC REEF-HERON (Egretta sacra) – Just about all of the ones we saw were the dark morph form.
PIED HERON (Egretta picata)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Lots of these were seen throughout the tour.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata)
RUFOUS NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax caledonicus) – Great close views of a few individuals on the Esplanade in Cairns. One bird was perched on a nest.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus)
AUSTRALIAN IBIS (Threskiornis moluccus)
STRAW-NECKED IBIS (Threskiornis spinicollis)
ROYAL SPOONBILL (Platalea regia)
YELLOW-BILLED SPOONBILL (Platalea flavipes) – We had good views of this uncommon species on the north end of the Atherton Tableland.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
AUSTRALIAN KITE (Elanus axillaris)
PACIFIC BAZA (Aviceda subcristata) – Nice scope views of this unusual raptor on our return to Brisbane after leaving O'Reilly's.
WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE (Aquila audax) – We ended up seeing several of these large raptors.
SWAMP HARRIER (Circus approximans)
BROWN GOSHAWK (Accipiter fasciatus)
COLLARED SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter cirrocephalus)
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans)
WHISTLING KITE (Haliastur sphenurus)
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus)
WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
Otididae (Bustards)
AUSTRALIAN BUSTARD (Ardeotis australis) – Nice looks at this magnificent bird in the Georgetown area where we saw a few of them flying over in the early morning.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RED-NECKED CRAKE (Rallina tricolor) – Several got on one of the two individuals that were skulking through the vegetation below the veranda at Cassowary House.
BUFF-BANDED RAIL (Gallirallus philippensis) – There was one that ran off the road on our way to O'Reilly's.
WHITE-BROWED CRAKE (Porzana cinerea) – It took some looking but we had good views of a couple of these at Fogg Dam.
PURPLE SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio)
DUSKY MOORHEN (Gallinula tenebrosa)
TASMANIAN NATIVE-HEN (Tribonyx mortierii) – These entertaining birds were quite common in some places in Tasmania.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra)
Gruidae (Cranes)
SARUS CRANE (Grus antigone) – This species outnumbered the following by a good number on the Atherton Tableland.
BROLGA (Grus rubicunda) – A few were seen at Fogg Dam near Darwin before we had some closer views on the Atherton Tableland.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
BUSH THICK-KNEE (Burhinus grallarius) – One of our first birds in the Darwin area, we saw about nine individuals along the roadside near Buffalo Creek.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BANDED LAPWING (Vanellus tricolor) – We found a few of these handsome birds on Tasmania.

We saw Masked Lapwings nearly every day of the trip. This one seems to have found us quite interesting as well! (Photo by participant Jan Shaw)

MASKED LAPWING (Vanellus miles)
RED-KNEED DOTTEREL (Erythrogonys cinctus)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – One was on the tidal flats at Cairns where it is not a common sight.
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus) – These were numerous at Cairns where a handful still had nice reddish markings on their breasts.
GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii)
ORIENTAL PLOVER (Charadrius veredus) – We found a few of these uncommon shorebirds when we hit the tide right in Darwin.
HOODED PLOVER (Thinornis cucullatus) – Great looks at a single bird on the beach on Bruny Island. This is a great looking shorebird.
BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL (Elseyornis melanops) – I think this is one of the prettiest of the shorebirds.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
PIED OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus longirostris) – Both this and the next species were seen in fair numbers in Tasmania.
SOOTY OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus fuliginosus)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
PIED STILT (Himantopus leucocephalus)
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
COMB-CRESTED JACANA (Irediparra gallinacea) – We saw several on the freshwater ponds around Darwin and again in the Cairns and Georgetown areas.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus) – Another great and distinctive shorebird we saw these at Darwin and Cairns.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)
GRAY-TAILED TATTLER (Tringa brevipes)
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus)
FAR EASTERN CURLEW (Numenius madagascariensis) – A fair number of these large shorebirds were seen both in the Darwin and Cairns areas.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa) – We had a nice comparison between the two godwits on the Cairns Esplanade.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris)
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – There were two individuals with a lot of Great Knots on the Cairns Esplanade. These are regular but still rare birds here.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis)
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER (Calidris acuminata)
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)
BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER (Limicola falcinellus) – Two of these quite uncommon shorebirds were seen along the foreshore at Cairns.
LATHAM'S SNIPE (Gallinago hardwickii) – We saw a couple of these at Hasties Swamp on the Tableland.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
AUSTRALIAN PRATINCOLE (Stiltia isabella) – Surprisingly, the only ones we saw were a group of seven near the airstrip during our layover in Gove.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SILVER GULL (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)
PACIFIC GULL (Larus pacificus) – This gull really has a honking big bill. We saw a handful in Tasmania. Jan's photo made it seem like a puffin!
KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus)
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons)
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)
WHITE-WINGED TERN (Chlidonias leucopterus) – Chris spotted one in the Darwin harbor flying about over the shallow water.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida)
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
WHITE-HEADED PIGEON (Columba leucomela) – We had good views of one perched on a power pole at O'Reilly's.
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) [I]
BROWN CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia phasianella) – These were seen on several days but were most easily seen at Chamber's Lodge.
EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps indica)
COMMON BRONZEWING (Phaps chalcoptera) – A couple of birds came to drink at Flatcreek Dam near Georgetown.
BRUSH BRONZEWING (Phaps elegans) – I don't think we ever laid eyes on one except for a couple that flew past our bus in northern Tasmania.
CRESTED PIGEON (Ocyphaps lophotes)
SPINIFEX PIGEON (Geophaps plumifera) – Great views of this unusual pigeon. Chris spotted it where we had just been when he went back to photograph the Great Bowerbird bower.

This Squatter Pigeon, a dry-country specialist, was one of many we saw coming to drink at water holes in the Queensland Outback. (Photo by participant Paul Davies)

SQUATTER PIGEON (Geophaps scripta) – A dry country specialist, we ended up seeing several in the Georgetown area.
WONGA PIGEON (Leucosarcia melanoleuca)
DIAMOND DOVE (Geopelia cuneata) – There were a fair number of these around Georgetown this year.
PEACEFUL DOVE (Geopelia placida)
BAR-SHOULDERED DOVE (Geopelia humeralis)
WOMPOO FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus magnificus) – We enjoyed a few good views of this colorful rainforest pigeon.
SUPERB FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus superbus) – We had a great scope view of one along Black Mountain Road.
ROSE-CROWNED FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus regina) – Also, seen quite well near Fogg Dam.
TORRESIAN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula spilorrhoa) – Very common around Darwin we also saw a handful in the Cairns area.
TOPKNOT PIGEON (Lopholaimus antarcticus) – There were a fair number about on our second morning at O'Reilly's.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
BRUSH CUCKOO (Cacomantis variolosus)
FAN-TAILED CUCKOO (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
SHINING BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx lucidus)
LITTLE BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx minutillus russatus) – The form we saw at Emerald Falls is the "Gould's" Bronze-Cuckoo and is often split by some taxonomists.
AUSTRALIAN KOEL (Eudynamys cyanocephalus) [*]
CHANNEL-BILLED CUCKOO (Scythrops novaehollandiae) – This very strange cuckoo gave us some close views in the Georgetown area.
PHEASANT COUCAL (Centropus phasianinus) – We finally found one at Daisy Hill on our last day on the mainland.
Strigidae (Owls)
RUFOUS OWL (Ninox rufa) – We spotted a single bird perched in a large mango tree right in Cairns.
BARKING OWL (Ninox connivens) – Nice views of one on a day roost near the Botanic Gardens in Darwin.
SOUTHERN BOOBOOK (Ninox novaeseelandiae) – Great views of one right overhead at Chamber's after we had just about given up.
Aegothelidae (Owlet-Nightjars)
AUSTRALIAN OWLET-NIGHTJAR (Aegotheles cristatus) – One of the trip highlights was finally getting a great view of this odd bird in the light well below the lodge at O'Reilly's.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
TAWNY FROGMOUTH (Podargus strigoides) – A very unusual bird, we saw two nests at the caravan park at Georgetown.
MARBLED FROGMOUTH (PLUMED) (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus) – We enjoyed wonderful views in the light of this very local and uncommon species near O'Reilly's Guesthouse.
PAPUAN FROGMOUTH (Podargus papuensis) – Great looks of one on a day roost north of Cairns.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LARGE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus macrurus) – After quite a bit of walking down the road we got nice looks at one in the seasonally flooded forest near Darwin.
Apodidae (Swifts)
AUSTRALIAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus terraereginae)
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
LAUGHING KOOKABURRA (Dacelo novaeguineae) – One of the iconic sounds of the Australian bush.
BLUE-WINGED KOOKABURRA (Dacelo leachii) – These were quite common around Darwin.
FOREST KINGFISHER (Todiramphus macleayii)
RED-BACKED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius) – Nice looks at this subtly marked species while we were near Georgetown.
COLLARED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus chloris) – We saw about three of these mangrove specialties in the Darwin area.
SACRED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sanctus)
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RAINBOW BEE-EATER (Merops ornatus)
Coraciidae (Rollers)
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AUSTRALIAN KESTREL (Falco cenchroides) – Paul spotted one on our drive to Georgetown. Not an uncommon species, these get hard to find when they are nesting.
AUSTRALIAN HOBBY (Falco longipennis)
BROWN FALCON (Falco berigora)
Cacatuidae (Cockatoos)
RED-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus banksii) – We saw several loose flocks in the north.
GLOSSY BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus lathami) – We had a wonderful experience with watching 20+ individuals come flying down the valley and circle in to the nearby trees in the late-afternoon. This is quite an uncommonly seen species.
YELLOW-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus funereus) – Great looks at a small group near our lodge in Tasmania. We had seen a couple of distantly flying birds before we got a close view.
GALAH (Eolophus roseicapilla) – We ended up seeing these just about every day of the trip.
LONG-BILLED CORELLA (Cacatua tenuirostris) – We saw three birds among some other parrots feeding on the ground in Kingston, Tasmania.
LITTLE CORELLA (Cacatua sanguinea)
COCKATIEL (Nymphicus hollandicus) – This was a huge year for these nomadic birds near Georgetown. We saw them on a few occasions including a flock of 150+ individuals at Cumberland Dam, the most I have ever seen in one group.
Psittacidae (Parrots)
RAINBOW LORIKEET (Trichoglossus haematodus)
RAINBOW LORIKEET (RED-COLLARED) (Trichoglossus haematodus rubritorquis) – This is the subspecies that was common around Darwin.
SCALY-BREASTED LORIKEET (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus)
VARIED LORIKEET (Psitteuteles versicolor) – After having a few small flocks zip overhead in the Darwin area, it was a surprise to have a group of eleven fly in to a tree just over our heads while we were at one of the dams at Georgetown. This is a quite uncommon species here.

The colorful Rainbow Bee-eater was a common sighting for us through the northern parts of Queensland and the Northern Territories. (Photo by participant Paul Davies)

MUSK LORIKEET (Glossopsitta concinna) – We heard but never saw these in the trees in the suburb near Brisbane. [*]
DOUBLE-EYED FIG-PARROT (Cyclopsitta diophthalma) – Good views of this tiny parrot.
GREEN ROSELLA (Platycercus caledonicus) – This Tasmanian endemic was seen each of our full days on the island.
CRIMSON ROSELLA (Platycercus elegans)
NORTHERN ROSELLA (Platycercus venustus) – Good views of one near Darwin River Dam during our first morning. This is always a tough one.
PALE-HEADED ROSELLA (Platycercus adscitus)
BLUE-WINGED PARROT (Neophema chrysostoma) – We had some good looks near Cradle Mountain in Tasmania then another on Bruny Island. This is usually a tough one to see well.
SWIFT PARROT (Lathamus discolor) – We ended up with great looks at several individuals in the trees around our pit stop on Bruny Island.
BUDGERIGAR (Melopsittacus undulatus) – One of the trip highlights was seeing so many of these nomadic birds in and around Georgetown. On our final morning we saw a flock of at least 2000 birds wheeling around the water, breaking into smaller groups, then rejoining into one large mass again. This well-known species is so great to see in its natural habitat.
AUSTRALIAN KING-PARROT (Alisterus scapularis) – Many seen well.
RED-WINGED PARROT (Aprosmictus erythropterus)
Pittidae (Pittas)
NOISY PITTA (Pitta versicolor) – Always a tough one to get a good view of, a few folks saw it hopping about near the ground along Black Mountain Road. A couple of close calling birds at O'Reilly's wouldn't cooperate.
RAINBOW PITTA (Pitta iris) – We watched this colorful species for several minutes as it sang from a perch in the forest near Darwin.
Menuridae (Lyrebirds)
ALBERT'S LYREBIRD (Menura alberti) – After quietly walking the loop trail at O'Reilly's looking for it we found a large female with a one year old chick right near the lodge. A most unusual passerine, species it does not always perform like it did.
Ptilonorhynchidae (Bowerbirds)
SPOTTED CATBIRD (Ailuroedus melanotis) – A few of these were around at Chambers then there was at least one at the fruit feeder at Cassowary House.
GREEN CATBIRD (Ailuroedus crassirostris)
TOOTH-BILLED CATBIRD (Scenopoeetes dentirostris) – We had great looks at this bowerbird just above his bower at Lake Barrine.
GOLDEN BOWERBIRD (Amblyornis newtoniana) – We had wonderful looks at a male bird near its bower on the Atherton Tableland.
REGENT BOWERBIRD (Sericulus chrysocephalus) – One of the more stunning birds we saw during our trip.
SATIN BOWERBIRD (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)
GREAT BOWERBIRD (Chlamydera nuchalis) – Good views of a few along with their bowers that were decorated with shiny objects and white shells and bones.
Climacteridae (Australasian Treecreepers)
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (Cormobates leucophaea)
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (LITTLE) (Cormobates leucophaea minor) [*]
RED-BROWED TREECREEPER (Climacteris erythrops) – This uncommon treecreeper showed well for us on our second try in the eucalypt forest near O'Reilly's.
BROWN TREECREEPER (Climacteris picumnus) – We saw a few of these at Georgetown where this is a quite dark subspecies.
Maluridae (Fairywrens)
LOVELY FAIRYWREN (Malurus amabilis) – Often a quite tough one to see well, we had nice looks at a male and his harem along Black Mountain Road.
SUPERB FAIRYWREN (Malurus cyaneus) – Our first ones were at O'Reilly's then we saw them on a daily basis in Tasmania.
RED-BACKED FAIRYWREN (Malurus melanocephalus) – A very sharply marked species we had good views near Georgetown and near O'Reilly's.
Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters)
EASTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris)
GRACEFUL HONEYEATER (Meliphaga gracilis)
YELLOW-SPOTTED HONEYEATER (Meliphaga notata) – A couple of them were visiting the feeders at Cassowary House.
LEWIN'S HONEYEATER (Meliphaga lewinii)
BRIDLED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus frenatus) – Good views of a couple of birds on the Atherton Tableland where this species is essentially endemic.
YELLOW-FACED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus chrysops)
VARIED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus versicolor) – These were noisy and conspicuous on the Esplanade at Cairns.
MANGROVE HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus fasciogularis) – It took some looking but we ended up with great views in the mangroves (where else?) near Brisbane.
YELLOW HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus flavus)
WHITE-GAPED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus unicolor) – This is a rather common bird and forest voice in the Top End.
YELLOW-THROATED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus flavicollis) – Good views of a handsome individual at our first birding stop in Tasmania.
YELLOW-TINTED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus flavescens) – These were fairly common in the trees near the waterholes at Georgetown.
GRAY-FRONTED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus plumulus) – A very local bird in the Georgetown area, we had to hunt but finally found two pairs.
BELL MINER (Manorina melanophrys) – We saw a few at the lek near O'Reilly's where a bigger number were "pinging" away.
NOISY MINER (Manorina melanocephala)
YELLOW-THROATED MINER (Manorina flavigula)
LITTLE WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera chrysoptera) – Our only ones were at the ferry landing in Tasmania.
YELLOW WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera paradoxa) – We saw several of this Tasmanian endemic but they were not dripping out of the trees.
BROWN-BACKED HONEYEATER (Ramsayornis modestus)
BAR-BREASTED HONEYEATER (Ramsayornis fasciatus) – A somewhat irruptive species, we had good views on our first morning in the Darwin area.
RUFOUS-BANDED HONEYEATER (Conopophila albogularis)

The legendary Tasmanian Devil offered good views to all (albeit late for some). This wonderful marsupial is becoming extremely difficult to see in the field due to a devastating facial disease. (Photo by participant Jan Shaw)

RUFOUS-THROATED HONEYEATER (Conopophila rufogularis) – This is a fairly common bird around Georgetown.
WHITE-FRONTED CHAT (Epthianura albifrons) – One of the humorous moments of the trip. We were looking for this bird in the central highlands of Tasmania when our driver, Barry, looked in the scope and said there was a baby bird with the Banded Lapwing we had just seen. Peggy took a look and found it to be a male White-fronted Chat.
DUSKY MYZOMELA (Myzomela obscura)
RED-HEADED MYZOMELA (Myzomela erythrocephala) – We had good views of this mangrove specialist in the Darwin area.
SCARLET MYZOMELA (Myzomela sanguinolenta) – This was a big year for these birds on the Atherton Tableland and around O'Reilly's.
BROWN HONEYEATER (Lichmera indistincta)
CRESCENT HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus) – Good views of this species near the pond in northern Tasmania.
NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)
WHITE-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris niger) – This species is more common in western Australia but we had good views of two birds near Herberton.
WHITE-NAPED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus lunatus)
BLACK-HEADED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus affinis) – This Tasmanian endemic showed well on our first morning there.
WHITE-THROATED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus albogularis)
STRONG-BILLED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus validirostris) – Another Tasmanian endemic, we saw a pair feeding young at a nest near the town of Mole Creek.
BLUE-FACED HONEYEATER (Entomyzon cyanotis) – A very colorful species, it hardly seems like a honeyeater. We saw several in the trees near our lunch spot at Mt. Garnet.
LITTLE FRIARBIRD (Philemon citreogularis)
HELMETED FRIARBIRD (HORNBILL) (Philemon buceroides yorki)
HELMETED FRIARBIRD (HELMETED) (Philemon buceroides gordoni)
SILVER-CROWNED FRIARBIRD (Philemon argenticeps) – We had a nice look at one bird near Darwin where this is the least common of the three friarbirds that occur there.
NOISY FRIARBIRD (Philemon corniculatus)
MACLEAY'S HONEYEATER (Xanthotis macleayanus) – Another unusual honeyeater, these made frequent trips to the feeders at Cassowary House.
Pardalotidae (Pardalotes)
SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus punctatus)
FORTY-SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus quadragintus) – Usually one of the more difficult Tasmanian endemics to find, we ended up seeing about five or six individuals on Bruny Island.
RED-BROWED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus rubricatus) – It took some looking but we ended up with a good view of one near Georgetown.
STRIATED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus striatus)
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
FERNWREN (Oreoscopus gutturalis) – Great looks at a singing bird on the Atherton Tableland. It sat still for a couple of minutes while it sang away.
YELLOW-THROATED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis citreogularis) – These were rather tame along the trails at O'Reilly's.
WHITE-BROWED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis frontalis)
TASMANIAN SCRUBWREN (Sericornis humilis)
ATHERTON SCRUBWREN (Sericornis keri) – Nice looks at this local Tableland specialty.
LARGE-BILLED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis magnirostra)
SCRUBTIT (Acanthornis magna) – Usually one of the more difficult Tasmanian endemics to locate, we ended up seeing about four individuals in the northern part of the island.
STRIATED FIELDWREN (Calamanthus fuliginosus) – Great views of singing birds on a gorgeous day near Cradle Mountain.
BUFF-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza reguloides)
MOUNTAIN THORNBILL (Acanthiza katherina) – We found a close and cooperative individual at a high point of the Tableland.
BROWN THORNBILL (Acanthiza pusilla)
TASMANIAN THORNBILL (Acanthiza ewingii) – These were fairly common but it took a good view to separate them from the Brown Thornbills.
YELLOW-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)
YELLOW THORNBILL (Acanthiza nana) – Good views of a couple of birds at the small pond below O'Reilly's.
STRIATED THORNBILL (Acanthiza lineata)
WEEBILL (Smicrornis brevirostris) – With its great name, it is a must see bird which we connected with in the Georgetown area.
GREEN-BACKED GERYGONE (Gerygone chloronota)
FAIRY GERYGONE (Gerygone palpebrosa) – Great views in the Forty Mile Scrub National Park.
LARGE-BILLED GERYGONE (Gerygone magnirostris)
BROWN GERYGONE (Gerygone mouki)
MANGROVE GERYGONE (Gerygone levigaster) – We saw a rather close pair in the mangroves near Brisbane.
Pomatostomidae (Pseudo-Babblers)
GRAY-CROWNED BABBLER (Pomatostomus temporalis)
Orthonychidae (Logrunners)
AUSTRALIAN LOGRUNNER (Orthonyx temminckii) – A great family of birds, we saw a few pairs at O'Reilly's which were feeding in the leaf litter using their distinctive technique of kicking leaves out to the side.
CHOWCHILLA (Orthonyx spaldingii) – Always a difficult bird to see well, we had a pair rather close to us in the dense vegetation but only a few folks got a look at them.
Psophodidae (Whipbirds and Wedgebills)
EASTERN WHIPBIRD (Psophodes olivaceus) – After hearing a few on the Tablelands we had great looks at a few at O'Reilly's including Glen's friend, Mr. Whippy.
Machaerirhynchidae (Boatbills)
YELLOW-BREASTED BOATBILL (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer) – A very sharply marked and colorful little flycatcher we saw them a few places before we all caught up with it.
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
DUSKY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus cyanopterus) – We saw one at Gowrie Park in Tasmania.
Cracticidae (Bellmagpies and Allies)
GRAY BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus torquatus)
PIED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus nigrogularis)
BLACK BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus quoyi) – Surprisingly, we saw a few of these including one at a nest in the mangroves near Darwin.
AUSTRALASIAN MAGPIE (Gymnorhina tibicen)
PIED CURRAWONG (Strepera graculina)
BLACK CURRAWONG (Strepera fuliginosa) – Our first good look at this Tasmanian endemic was one that approached the picnic tables at Cradle Mountain.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
BARRED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina lineata)
BLACK-FACED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina novaehollandiae)
WHITE-WINGED TRILLER (Lalage tricolor) – These were especially conspicuous this year in a few locations.
VARIED TRILLER (Lalage leucomela)
COMMON CICADABIRD (Edolisoma tenuirostre)
Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)
RUFOUS SHRIKE-THRUSH (Colluricincla megarhyncha)
GRAY SHRIKE-THRUSH (Colluricincla harmonica) – These were quite common in Tasmania.
BOWER'S SHRIKE-THRUSH (Colluricincla boweri) – Great looks at this Tableland endemic at Chamber's Lodge.
OLIVE WHISTLER (Pachycephala olivacea) – There were a couple of birds we saw and heard singing away in northern Tasmania.
GOLDEN WHISTLER (Pachycephala pectoralis) – These got more common the further south we went.
BLACK-TAILED WHISTLER (Pachycephala melanura robusta) – Also known as Mangrove Golden Whistler we had great looks in the trees along the Adelaide River.
GRAY WHISTLER (GRAY) (Pachycephala simplex simplex) – This is the form we saw in the Top End and is often referred to as the Brown Whistler.
GRAY WHISTLER (GRAY-HEADED) (Pachycephala simplex peninsulae) – This is the form we saw in eastern Queensland.
RUFOUS WHISTLER (Pachycephala rufiventris)
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
OLIVE-BACKED ORIOLE (Oriolus sagittatus)
GREEN ORIOLE (Oriolus flavocinctus) – This was a common voice of the taller wet-tropical forests.
AUSTRALASIAN FIGBIRD (Sphecotheres vieilloti) – We saw both the colorful birds of the Top End and the duller, greener forms of southern Queensland.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
SPANGLED DRONGO (Dicrurus bracteatus)
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
NORTHERN FANTAIL (Rhipidura rufiventris)
WILLIE-WAGTAIL (Rhipidura leucophrys)
MANGROVE FANTAIL (Rhipidura phasiana) – This one got away before we could get on it.
GRAY FANTAIL (Rhipidura albiscapa)
RUFOUS FANTAIL (Rhipidura rufifrons)
ARAFURA FANTAIL (Rhipidura dryas) – We had pretty fair views of this mangrove specialist along the Adelaide River.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-FACED MONARCH (Monarcha melanopsis)
SPECTACLED MONARCH (Symposiachrus trivirgatus)
PIED MONARCH (Arses kaupi) – We had great looks at this black and white bird near the Curtain Fig Tree.
MAGPIE-LARK (Grallina cyanoleuca)
LEADEN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra rubecula)
BROAD-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Myiagra ruficollis) – Subtly different from female Leaden Flycatcher, we saw a few in the melaleuca forests of the Top End.
RESTLESS FLYCATCHER (Myiagra inquieta)
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TORRESIAN CROW (Corvus orru)
FOREST RAVEN (Corvus tasmanicus) – These were common in Tasmania.
Corcoracidae (White-winged Chough and Apostlebird)
APOSTLEBIRD (Struthidea cinerea) – We saw these daily in the drier country on the way to Georgetown.
Paradisaeidae (Birds-of-paradise)
PARADISE RIFLEBIRD (Ptiloris paradiseus) – We saw a few female or young male plumaged individuals near O'Reilly's and had one adult male fly over us a couple of times.
VICTORIA'S RIFLEBIRD (Ptiloris victoriae) – We saw this bird-of-paradise well at Chamber's.
Petroicidae (Australasian Robins)
LEMON-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Microeca flavigaster) – We saw a few including one on a nest north of Mareeba where the bird was much larger than the nest. This is supposedly the smallest nest of any bird in Australia.
SCARLET ROBIN (Petroica boodang) – We saw a few of these in Tasmania.
FLAME ROBIN (Petroica phoenicea) – Great close views of a male were had at our lodge in northern Tasmania.
ROSE ROBIN (Petroica rosea) – Betsy spotted a brilliant male along the roadside near O'Reilly's.
PINK ROBIN (Petroica rodinogaster) – A real stunner, we saw a couple of males in northern Tasmania.
DUSKY ROBIN (Melanodryas vittata) – Good views of another Tasmanian endemic.
PALE-YELLOW ROBIN (Tregellasia capito)
EASTERN YELLOW ROBIN (Eopsaltria australis)
MANGROVE ROBIN (Eopsaltria pulverulenta) – It was a real surprise to see this bird right in the open near the mangroves in Cairns.
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN (Poecilodryas superciliosa) – A very local bird in this part of Queensland, we had a good view of a singing individual.
GRAY-HEADED ROBIN (Heteromyias cinereifrons)
Alaudidae (Larks)
SKY LARK (Alauda arvensis) [I]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
WELCOME SWALLOW (Hirundo neoxena)
FAIRY MARTIN (Petrochelidon ariel)
TREE MARTIN (Petrochelidon nigricans)
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
TAWNY GRASSBIRD (Megalurus timoriensis)
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
Zosteropidae (Yuhinas, White-eyes, and Allies)
AUSTRALIAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops luteus) – We saw a few of these in the mangroves near Darwin.
SILVER-EYE (Zosterops lateralis)
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) [I]
Sturnidae (Starlings)
METALLIC STARLING (Aplonis metallica) – Our best views were at the large condo-like colony in a spreading tree in Cairns.
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) [I]
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
MISTLETOEBIRD (Dicaeum hirundinaceum)
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis)
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AUSTRALASIAN PIPIT (AUSTRALIAN) (Anthus novaeseelandiae australis)
Fringillidae (Siskins, Crossbills, 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)
BEAUTIFUL FIRETAIL (Stagonopleura bella) – There was one around our wilderness lodge in northern Tasmania and we saw another on Bruny Island. One is always fortunate to see this quite uncommon species.
RED-BROWED FIRETAIL (Neochmia temporalis)
CRIMSON FINCH (Neochmia phaeton)
ZEBRA FINCH (Taeniopygia guttata) – These always sound like you are in a pet shop, but it is wonderful to see these tiny birds in their native habitat.
DOUBLE-BARRED FINCH (Taeniopygia bichenovii)
MASKED FINCH (Poephila personata) – Two made a brief appearance at one of the waterholes near Georgetown.
BLACK-THROATED FINCH (Poephila cincta) – Numbers of these seem to have dropped in recent years, but we saw a few at Georgetown.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura castaneothorax)

SHORT-BEAKED ECHIDNA (Tachyglossus aculeatus) – We saw a surprising number of these on Tasmania. This is the "other"egg-laying mammal. Another very bizarre creature.
PLATYPUS (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) – We saw two of these on our late-afternoon outing on the Tableland then had a great view of one in a quite shallow stream at the Crater. We also had nice looks at one in Tasmania. One of the strangest mammals in the world, it is a treat to see it well.
EASTERN QUOLL (Dasyurus viverrinus) – Jan, and perhaps someone else, had a visit from this uncommonly seen species when it came to her porch at the Mountain Valley Lodge.
TASMANIAN DEVIL (Sarcophilus harrisii) – We all had great looks at this very unusual mammal at our lodge in Tasmania. We watched them crunching and devouring pieces of meat. This is a mammal that is rarely seen in the field these days as the population has plummeted due to the facial tumor disease.
LONG-NOSED BANDICOOT (Peramelas nasuta) – One was seen around the feeders at Chamber's each evening.
COMMON WOMBAT (Vombatus ursinus) – We spotted a couple of these cuddly creatures along the road near Cradle Mountain in Tasmania.
SHORT-EARED POSSUM (Trichosurus caninus) – Formerly known as Mountain Brushtail Possum we saw on at the feeder at O'Reilly's one evening.
SUGAR GLIDER (Petaurus breviceps) – Great close views at this cute little marsupial as it licked honey from a tree at Chambers.
STRIPED POSSUM (Dactylopsila trivirgata) – This great looking possum made a couple of appearances at the honey feeders at Chamber's Lodge. It is quite uncommonly seen in the wild.
MUSKY RAT-KANGAROO (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) – The smallest of the kangaroos, we saw a couple of them at Cassowary House.
TASMANIAN PADEMELON (Thylogale billardierii) – Quite common around our lodge in northern Tasmania.
RED-NECKED PADEMELON (Thylogale thetis) – This was the species that was around the grounds at O'Reilly's.
RED-LEGGED PADEMELON (Thylogale stigmatica)
LUMHOLTZ'S TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) – Another Wow! It was so great to see this uncommonly seen and unusual species at the Curtain Fig Tree. We arrived and were tipped off by our friends with the Sunbird group that there was one climbing up a large tree. I have Australian friends who have never seen this mammal.
AGILE WALLABY (Macropus agilis)
RED-NECKED WALLABY (Macropus rufogriseus) – We saw a few along the roads below O'Reilly's.
WHIPTAIL WALLABY (Macropus parryi) – After not seeing any on our way up to O'Reilly's we saw about ten of them on our way down the mountain. This is also known as Pretty-faced Wallaby.
EASTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus giganteus) – We saw several at the golf course near Mareeba.
COMMON WALLAROO (Macropus robustus)
ANTILOPINE WALLAROO (Macropus antilopinus)
RED KANGAROO (Macropus rufus) – There were a few of these very large kangaroos in the Georgetown area.
BLACK FLYING-FOX (Pteropus alecto) – These put on a good show in the Top End.
SPECTACLED FLYING-FOX (Pteropus conspicillatus) – Thousands of these were in the trees near the city center of Cairns. You certainly would not want to park under these trees.
OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus) [I]
EUROPEAN BROWN HARE (Lepus europaeus) [I]
DINGO (Canis familiaris dingo) – We saw one very thirsty looking individual come to drink at the dam near Georgetown.
FALLOW DEER (Dama dama) – We saw several of these in Tasmania where there is a feral population. [I]


Totals for the tour: 356 bird taxa and 27 mammal taxa