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This evocative photo of an Australian Owlet-Nightjar was taken at a waterhole in Victoria and was one of the many highlights of the tour. This species is seldom seen outside of a roost hole during daylight. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
Few places on Earth can match the magic and mystique of Australia, the island continent. Home to hundreds of endemic bird species and varied habitats, Australia has much to offer the intrepid birder. The 2019 Australia Tour Part One provides an introduction to many of the more temperate regions. This year we were treated to some decent weather, often cool, but with very little rain. The was no doubt indicative of what was to become an extremely bad fire season later into the Austral summer.
We started things off in Sydney with a morning meet up and visit to a couple of Sydney’s more famous parks. At Centennial Park we met up with Steve Howard, a local patch expert that showed us quite a few highlights for that area, including some nesting Tawny Frogmouths and a variety of waterbirds. After lunch we headed over to the Sydney Botanic Garden and took in a view of the harbor area and enjoyed a pair of Powerful Owls on the grounds. The following morning we hit the famous Royal National Park, where park expert Steve Anyon-Smith guided us around to some of the best areas of the park, including a productive morning along the Lady Carrington Drive. Highlights that day included Superb Lyrebird, Rockwarbler, and Pilotbird! There was also a decent raptor variety evident.
The following day it was off to Melbourne where we met our driver Alan who took good care of us over the week as we toured through Victoria and South Australia. We started off with a visit to the Western Treatment Plant, the largest in the world, which hosted a variety of waterbirds. Then it was back to St. Kilda Harbor to witness the evening activity of the Little Penguins that nest in there. The following morning we set off for the Great Ocean Road, stopping to see some Cape Barren Geese before hitting the coast. The coast was really productive with a nice sea watch, as well as some tough heathland species including Rufous Bristlebird and Chestnut-rumped Heathwren. We also enjoyed a pair of Hooded Plovers at the coast. After a night in Apollo Bay, we headed to Kennett River to see some Koalas and have breakfast surrounded by birds. Then it was time to head inland to Lake Purrumbete, where we had some great waterbirds as well as Australian Reed-Warbler and Little Grassbird. Then we headed off to Halls Gap in the Grampians for the night. The following morning we tracked down some Gang-gang Cockatoos before heading off to Asses Ears Road and Wartook State Forest where Victoria birder Jess Bettess showed us one of her favorite waterholes. After lunch in Horsham, we headed over to Mt. Arapiles where we had a great Gilbert’s Whistler and Shy Heathwren. We made one last stop in Little Desert National Park to see Rufous Fieldwren and Slender-billed Thornbill before spending the night in Nhill. The following morning we headed over to Lake Hindmarsh which was great for Regent Parrot and Purple-crowned Lorikeet. We saw a Black Falcon there, and some Bluebonnets and a Cockatiel on our way to Wyperfeld National Park. There the highlight was Chestnut Quail-thrush. We headed over to Lake Tyrrell where there were Crimson and Orange chats, and more great Rufous Fieldwrens. Then it was on to Ouyen. The next morning was a visit to Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. Cold winds kept the action down. After a good deal of searching, we managed to track down a pair of Mallee Emuwrens. In the afternoon we headed to Ouyen and birded along the McIntyre Road where we had a handsome pair of White-winged Fairywrens and several Greater Bluebonnets. The following morning we spent a bit more time at Hattah-Kulkyne before heading to Mildura and the productive Meridian Road Swamp which hosted some Chestnut-crowned Babblers and a huge flock of Banded Lapwings. After a lunch and birding at Lake Cullulleraine we headed on to Adelaide. Our final day of birding around Adelaide included a visit to the Outer Harbour which hosted thousands of Black-faced Cormorants, and the community of St. Kilda that hosted a nice mix of waterbirds and Australian Crake. The next morning we said goodbye to Alan and caught our flight to Alice Springs.
Drought was evident around Alice Springs and some of the birding there seemed somewhat subdued. But we hit the Olive Pink Botanic Garden and watched a Western Bowerbird tending its bower. Later at the Telegraph Station, we had good views of a Red-browed Pardalote and some Euros. The following morning we headed off to Dead Bird Dam south of town, spotting some Red Kangaroos along the way. There were some highlights there including some Pink Cockatoos (!) and a major feeding group that included Dingos and Wedge-tailed Eagles! We visited the Alice Springs Sewage Ponds with Mark Carter later that afternoon. There was a nice mix of shorebirds, waterfowl, and a few more Orange Chats. The next morning we set out to see Gray Honeyeater and then headed over to Simpsons Gap where we had more Pink Cockatoos among the highlights. Heading further westward, we visited Ellery Creek, and Ormiston Gorge where we managed to find a Spinifex Pigeon, despite an overall lack of activity. We also viewed the Fink River at Glen Helen Gorge before heading back to town. The following morning, we spent a few productive hours birding the Santa Teresa Road south of town before catching our flight to Perth where we met Dianne.
After arriving in Perth, we headed out on the Albany Highway to the Gleneagle Rest Area where we had several western specialties, including Western Wattlebird, Western Spinebill, and our first White-breasted Robins. Then it was on to Narrogin for the night. The next morning we spent at the wonderful Dryandra Woodland, host to many wonderful species, including Blue-breasted Fairywrens, Western Yellow Robin, etc. Then it was on to Wagin to see our first White-cheeked Honeyeaters and then on to Albany via the Stirling Ranges. The next morning was off to Cheyne Beach. It was a challenging one there, with flies being unusually annoying, eventually driving us away from some of our targets. Despite that, there were a few highlights there including Southern Emuwren and Brush Bronzewing. We headed to the Lower King Bridge where there was a great perched Australian Hobby and some good parrots. Then we did some seawatching at Torndirrup National Park (seeing lots of Flesh-footed Shearwater and Yellow-nosed Albatross). The next morning we visited Lake Seppings and reviewed some waterfowl, and then headed on to Rocky Gully for Western Corella. Then we traveled through some of the tallest forests of karri trees to Cape Leeuwin (where the Southern and Indian oceans meet). Then it was on to Margaret River. The following morning we hit Hamelin Bay again and scored Rock Parrots. Then we headed over to Gnarumbup for breakfast, made a short visit to Rotary Park in Margaret River, before heading north to the Chimneys (Mandurah), where we had some Fairy Terns and lots of shorebirds! Then it was on to Perth where we said goodbye to Dianne and had our final dinner and farewells!
Thanks to all of you for making the Australia tour such a big success! Cory and I had a terrific time sharing in the country with you and hope you all had a real taste of the wonders down under. I wish you all the very best in birding and future adventures! — Chris
KEYS FOR THIS LIST
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
Seawatching along the Great Ocean Road at Point Addis.
Casuariidae (Cassowaries and Emu)
EMU (Dromaius novaehollandiae) [E]
Anseranatidae (Magpie Goose)
MAGPIE GOOSE (Anseranas semipalmata)
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
CAPE BARREN GOOSE (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) [E]
FRECKLED DUCK (Stictonetta naevosa) [E]
BLACK SWAN (Cygnus atratus) [E]
AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadornoides)
MANED DUCK (Chenonetta jubata) [E]
AUSTRALIAN SHOVELER (Spatula rhynchotis)
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa)
GRAY TEAL (Anas gracilis)
At the Sydney Botanic Garden we had a close encounter with a pair of Powerful Owls, Australia's largest owl. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
CHESTNUT TEAL (Anas castanea) [E]
PINK-EARED DUCK (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) [E]
HARDHEAD (Aythya australis)
BLUE-BILLED DUCK (Oxyura australis) [E]
MUSK DUCK (Biziura lobata) [E]
AUSTRALASIAN GREBE (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
HOARY-HEADED GREBE (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) [E]
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus)
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) [I]
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) [I]
During our exploration of Centennial Park we spent some time enjoying the massive roost of Gray-headed Flying-foxes. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
LAUGHING DOVE (Streptopelia senegalensis) [I]
COMMON BRONZEWING (Phaps chalcoptera) [E]
BRUSH BRONZEWING (Phaps elegans) [E]
CRESTED PIGEON (Ocyphaps lophotes)
SPINIFEX PIGEON (Geophaps plumifera) [E]
WONGA PIGEON (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) [E]
DIAMOND DOVE (Geopelia cuneata) [E]
PEACEFUL DOVE (Geopelia placida)
TOPKNOT PIGEON (Lopholaimus antarcticus) [E]
CHANNEL-BILLED CUCKOO (Scythrops novaehollandiae)
One of Australia's most widespread and adaptive species is the Galah. It was at home in nearly all of the habitats we visited. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.
HORSFIELD'S BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx basalis) [E]
SHINING BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx lucidus)
PALLID CUCKOO (Cacomantis pallidus) [E]
FAN-TAILED CUCKOO (Cacomantis flabelliformis)
TAWNY FROGMOUTH (Podargus strigoides)
AUSTRALIAN OWLET-NIGHTJAR (Aegotheles cristatus)
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BUFF-BANDED RAIL (Gallirallus philippensis)
BLACK-TAILED NATIVEHEN (Tribonyx ventralis) [E]
AUSTRALIAN CRAKE (Porzana fluminea) [E]
DUSKY MOORHEN (Gallinula tenebrosa)
Probably our most wanted bird at Royal National Park in Sydney was the Superb Lyrebird, one of two members of the endemic family Menuridae. It took us a while before we laid eyes on one. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra)
AUSTRALASIAN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio melanotus)
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
PIED STILT (Himantopus leucocephalus)
BANDED STILT (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus) [E]
RED-NECKED AVOCET (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae) [E]
PIED OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus longirostris) [E]
SOOTY OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus fuliginosus) [E]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola)
BANDED LAPWING (Vanellus tricolor) [E]
MASKED LAPWING (Vanellus miles)
Perhaps the biggest surprise of our day birding Royal National Park was our encounter with a pair of Pilotbirds. News of our sighting excited even the local birding community. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
RED-CAPPED PLOVER (Charadrius ruficapillus) [E]
RED-KNEED DOTTEREL (Erythrogonys cinctus)
HOODED PLOVER (Thinornis cucullatus) [E]
BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL (Elseyornis melanops)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica)
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa)
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris)
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER (Calidris acuminata)
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea)
Another nice sighting at Royal was this Variegated Fairywren, which, after the split of Purple-backed, is now restricted in range to eastern Australia. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis)
SANDERLING (Calidris alba)
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos)
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia)
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis)
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola)
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SILVER GULL (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)
PACIFIC GULL (Larus pacificus) [E]
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons placens)
AUSTRALIAN FAIRY TERN (Sternula nereis)
Once we arrived in Victoria, we encountered a new set of birds, including this Cape Barren Goose, a monotypic genus endemic to southeastern Australia. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia)
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida)
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii)
LITTLE PENGUIN (Eudyptula minor)
YELLOW-NOSED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche chlororhynchos)
WHITE-CAPPED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche cauta)
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche melanophris)
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER (Ardenna carneipes)
SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER (Ardenna tenuirostris)
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
AUSTRALASIAN GANNET (Morus serrator)
We made a visit to the massive Western Treatment Plant where we encountered this Black-shouldered Kite. The taxonomy of this group and the nomenclature has caused a lot of confusion. Basically there are four species of Elanus kite, two of which occur in Australia. Letter-winged is distinctly patterned. The other three are quite similar, but differ in structure. The New World has White-tailed; the Old World has Black-winged; and Australia has Black-shouldered. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
AUSTRALASIAN DARTER (Anhinga novaehollandiae)
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE PIED CORMORANT (Microcarbo melanoleucos)
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo)
LITTLE BLACK CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)
PIED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax varius)
BLACK-FACED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscescens) [E]
AUSTRALIAN PELICAN (Pelecanus conspicillatus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PACIFIC HERON (Ardea pacifica)
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta)
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (PLUMED) (Ardea intermedia plumifera)
One of the Little Penguins that we enjoyed at St. Kilda Harbour near Melbourne. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae)
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta)
PACIFIC REEF-HERON (Egretta sacra)
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis)
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
AUSTRALIAN IBIS (Threskiornis molucca) [E]
STRAW-NECKED IBIS (Threskiornis spinicollis) [E]
ROYAL SPOONBILL (Platalea regia)
YELLOW-BILLED SPOONBILL (Platalea flavipes) [E]
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus)
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus axillaris) [E]
It is tough to pick the singularly most iconic bird of Australia, but the Laughing Kookaburra would certainly be on the short list. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
SQUARE-TAILED KITE (Lophoictinia isura) [E]
LITTLE EAGLE (Hieraaetus morphnoides)
WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE (Aquila audax)
SWAMP HARRIER (Circus approximans)
SPOTTED HARRIER (Circus assimilis) [E]
GRAY GOSHAWK (Accipiter novaehollandiae)
BROWN GOSHAWK (Accipiter fasciatus)
COLLARED SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter cirrocephalus)
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans)
WHISTLING KITE (Haliastur sphenurus)
One of the highlights of our time along the Great Ocean Road was observing a pair of Hooded Plovers there. One of Australia's rarest shorebirds, this beach nesting species suffers from disturbance in the same way as Snowies and Pipings do in North America. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucogaster)
POWERFUL OWL (Ninox strenua) [E]
AZURE KINGFISHER (Ceyx azureus)
LAUGHING KOOKABURRA (Dacelo novaeguineae) [E]
RED-BACKED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius) [E]
SACRED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sanctus)
RAINBOW BEE-EATER (Merops ornatus)
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AUSTRALIAN KESTREL (Falco cenchroides)
AUSTRALIAN HOBBY (Falco longipennis) [E]
BROWN FALCON (Falco berigora)
Of the several species of rosella in Australia, my favorite is the colorful Eastern Rosella, well captured here by participant Becky Hansen.
BLACK FALCON (Falco subniger) [E]
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus)
RED-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus banksii) [E]
YELLOW-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus funereus) [E]
CARNABY'S BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) [E]
BAUDIN'S BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus baudinii) [E]
GANG-GANG COCKATOO (Callocephalon fimbriatum) [E]
PINK COCKATOO (Lophochroa leadbeateri) [E]
GALAH (Eolophus roseicapilla) [E]
LONG-BILLED CORELLA (Cacatua tenuirostris) [E]
During our visit to Lake Hindmarsh we had this lucky encounter with a flyby Black Falcon, one of the rarer species of raptor in Australia. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
WESTERN CORELLA (Cacatua pastinator) [E]
LITTLE CORELLA (Cacatua sanguinea)
SULPHUR-CRESTED COCKATOO (Cacatua galerita)
COCKATIEL (Nymphicus hollandicus) [E]
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
REGENT PARROT (Polytelis anthopeplus) [E]
AUSTRALIAN KING-PARROT (Alisterus scapularis) [E]
ELEGANT PARROT (Neophema elegans) [E]
ROCK PARROT (Neophema petrophila) [E]
AUSTRALIAN RINGNECK (Barnardius zonarius) [E]
AUSTRALIAN RINGNECK (MALLEE) (Barnardius zonarius barnardi) [E]
It was a good year for Crimson Chats in the south with many driven out of the center of the country by drought. This one was at Lake Tyrrell. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
CRIMSON ROSELLA (CRIMSON) (Platycercus elegans elegans) [E]
CRIMSON ROSELLA (YELLOW) (Platycercus elegans flaveolus) [E]
EASTERN ROSELLA (Platycercus eximius) [E]
WESTERN ROSELLA (Platycercus icterotis) [E]
GREATER BLUEBONNET (YELLOW-VENTED) (Northiella haematogaster haematogaster)
RED-RUMPED PARROT (Psephotus haematonotus) [E]
MULGA PARROT (Psephotus varius) [E]
RED-CAPPED PARROT (Purpureicephalus spurius) [E]
MUSK LORIKEET (Glossopsitta concinna) [E]
PURPLE-CROWNED LORIKEET (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala) [E]
Lake Tyrrell was also a good spot for Rufous Fieldwren. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
RAINBOW LORIKEET (Trichoglossus moluccanus moluccanus)
SUPERB LYREBIRD (Menura novaehollandiae) [E]
NOISY SCRUB-BIRD (Atrichornis clamosus) [E*]
GREEN CATBIRD (Ailuroedus crassirostris) [E]
SATIN BOWERBIRD (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) [E]
WESTERN BOWERBIRD (Chlamydera guttata) [E]
Climacteridae (Australasian Treecreepers)
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (Cormobates leucophaea) [E]
BROWN TREECREEPER (Climacteris picumnus) [E]
RUFOUS TREECREEPER (Climacteris rufus) [E]
SOUTHERN EMUWREN (Stipiturus malachurus) [E]
Another highlight of Lake Hindmarsh were several Purple-crowned Lorikeets that were prospecting for nests there. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
MALLEE EMUWREN (Stipiturus mallee) [E]
RED-WINGED FAIRYWREN (Malurus elegans) [E]
BLUE-BREASTED FAIRYWREN (Malurus pulcherrimus) [E]
PURPLE-BACKED FAIRYWREN (Malurus assimilis) [E]
VARIEGATED FAIRYWREN (Malurus lamberti)
SPLENDID FAIRYWREN (Malurus splendens) [E]
SUPERB FAIRYWREN (Malurus cyaneus) [E]
WHITE-WINGED FAIRYWREN (Malurus leucopterus) [E]
EASTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) [E]
WESTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus superciliosus) [E]
Near Rainbow, we encountered the only Cockatiel of the trip. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
PIED HONEYEATER (Certhionyx variegatus) [E]
LEWIN'S HONEYEATER (Meliphaga lewinii) [E]
WHITE-FRONTED HONEYEATER (Purnella albifrons) [E]
YELLOW-FACED HONEYEATER (Caligavis chrysops) [E]
YELLOW-TUFTED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus melanops) [E]
NOISY MINER (Manorina melanocephala) [E]
YELLOW-THROATED MINER (Manorina flavigula) [E]
SPINY-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Acanthagenys rufogularis) [E]
LITTLE WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera chrysoptera) [E]
WESTERN WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera lunulata) [E]
Australia has many distinctive honeyeaters, and the Spiny-cheeked is certainly a striking species. Its melodious song is part of many soundscapes in the Australian interior. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
RED WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera carunculata) [E]
SINGING HONEYEATER (Gavicalis virescens) [E]
YELLOW-PLUMED HONEYEATER (Ptilotula ornata) [E]
WHITE-PLUMED HONEYEATER (Ptilotula penicillata) [E]
FUSCOUS HONEYEATER (Ptilotula fusca) [E]
GRAY HONEYEATER (Conopophila whitei) [E]
CRIMSON CHAT (Epthianura tricolor) [E]
ORANGE CHAT (Epthianura aurifrons) [E]
WHITE-FRONTED CHAT (Epthianura albifrons) [E]
BLACK HONEYEATER (Sugomel nigrum) [E]
Certainly the highlight of our visit to Wyperfeld National Park was this handsome Chestnut Quail-thrush! Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
SCARLET MYZOMELA (Myzomela sanguinolenta)
TAWNY-CROWNED HONEYEATER (Gliciphila melanops) [E]
BROWN HONEYEATER (Lichmera indistincta) [E]
CRESCENT HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus) [E]
NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) [E]
WHITE-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris niger) [E]
WHITE-EARED HONEYEATER (Nesoptilotis leucotis) [E]
GILBERT'S HONEYEATER (Melithreptus chloropsis) [E]
WHITE-NAPED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus lunatus) [E]
BROWN-HEADED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus brevirostris) [E]
At Hattah-Kulkyne National Park we were ultimately able to track down a pair of elusive Mallee Emuwrens, birds that are seemingly able to instantly disappear into their spinifex habitat. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
BLACK-CHINNED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus gularis) [E]
STRIPED HONEYEATER (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) [E]
NOISY FRIARBIRD (Philemon corniculatus)
WESTERN BRISTLEBIRD (Dasyornis longirostris) [E]
RUFOUS BRISTLEBIRD (Dasyornis broadbenti) [E]
SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus punctatus) [E]
SPOTTED PARDALOTE (YELLOW-RUMPED) (Pardalotus punctatus xanthopyge) [E]
RED-BROWED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus rubricatus) [E]
STRIATED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus striatus) [E]
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
PILOTBIRD (Pycnoptilus floccosus) [E]
After working so hard to see this species around Victoria, seeing this amazing Major Mitchell near Alice Springs was a delight! Photo by participant Becky Hansen.
ROCKWARBLER (Origma solitaria) [E]
WHITE-BROWED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis frontalis) [E]
LARGE-BILLED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis magnirostra) [E]
SPECKLED WARBLER (Pyrrholaemus sagittatus) [E]
RUFOUS FIELDWREN (Calamanthus campestris) [E]
STRIATED FIELDWREN (Calamanthus fuliginosus) [E]
CHESTNUT-RUMPED HEATHWREN (Hylacola pyrrhopygia) [E]
SHY HEATHWREN (Hylacola cauta) [E]
BUFF-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza reguloides) [E]
WESTERN THORNBILL (Acanthiza inornata) [E]
Things were generally quiet at Ormiston Gorge, but there was still at least one Spinifex Pigeon hanging around in the campground. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
SLENDER-BILLED THORNBILL (Acanthiza iredalei) [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]
Once we arrived in Alice Springs we took a bit of time to enjoy this Western Bowerbird tending to its bower. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.
SOUTHERN WHITEFACE (Aphelocephala leucopsis) [E]
BANDED WHITEFACE (Aphelocephala nigricincta) [E]
GRAY-CROWNED BABBLER (Pomatostomus temporalis) [E]
WHITE-BROWED BABBLER (Pomatostomus superciliosus) [E]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BABBLER (Pomatostomus ruficeps) [E]
Cinclosomatidae (Quail-thrushes and Jewel-babblers)
CHESTNUT QUAIL-THRUSH (Cinclosoma castanotum) [E]
BLACK-FACED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina novaehollandiae)
WHITE-WINGED TRILLER (Lalage tricolor)
Psophodidae (Whipbirds and Wedgebills)
EASTERN WHIPBIRD (Psophodes olivaceus) [E]
WESTERN WHIPBIRD (Psophodes nigrogularis) [E*]
South of Alice Springs we came upon a roadkill that was being attended by crows, dingos, and a few Wedge-tailed Eagles. This flight photo show shows the wedge shaped tail to good effect. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
CHIMING WEDGEBILL (Psophodes occidentalis) [E*]
Oreoicidae (Australo-Papuan Bellbirds)
CRESTED BELLBIRD (Oreoica gutturalis) [E]
CRESTED SHRIKE-TIT (EASTERN) (Falcunculus frontatus frontatus) [E]
CRESTED SHRIKE-TIT (WESTERN) (Falcunculus frontatus leucogaster) [E]
Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)
GRAY SHRIKETHRUSH (Colluricincla harmonica)
GILBERT'S WHISTLER (Pachycephala inornata) [E]
GOLDEN WHISTLER (Pachycephala pectoralis)
WESTERN WHISTLER (Pachycephala occidentalis) [E]
RUFOUS WHISTLER (Pachycephala rufiventris)
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
OLIVE-BACKED ORIOLE (Oriolus sagittatus)
While not much to look at, the Gray Honeyeater is a highly sought after species in the arid mulga country of the Australian interior. We had great looks at this species near Alice Springs. Photo by participant Carla Bregman.
AUSTRALASIAN FIGBIRD (Sphecotheres vieilloti)
Artamidae (Woodswallows, Bellmagpies, and Allies)
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]
GRAY BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus torquatus) [E]
PIED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus nigrogularis) [E]
AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE (Gymnorhina tibicen)
PIED CURRAWONG (Strepera graculina) [E]
One of the two Dingos spotted at the roadkill south of Alice Springs. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
GRAY CURRAWONG (Strepera versicolor) [E]
WILLIE-WAGTAIL (Rhipidura leucophrys)
GRAY FANTAIL (Rhipidura albiscapa)
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-FACED MONARCH (Monarcha melanopsis) [E]
MAGPIE-LARK (Grallina cyanoleuca)
LEADEN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra rubecula)
RESTLESS FLYCATCHER (Myiagra inquieta) [E*]
Corcoracidae (White-winged Chough and Apostlebird)
WHITE-WINGED CHOUGH (Corcorax melanorhamphos) [E]
APOSTLEBIRD (Struthidea cinerea) [E]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TORRESIAN CROW (Corvus orru)
The rocky boulder-strewn slopes of Simpsons Gap were home to a colony of Black-footed Rock Wallabies, macropods adapted to life on the rocks. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
LITTLE CROW (Corvus bennetti) [E]
AUSTRALIAN RAVEN (Corvus coronoides) [E]
LITTLE RAVEN (Corvus mellori) [E]
FOREST RAVEN (Corvus tasmanicus) [E]
Petroicidae (Australasian Robins)
JACKY-WINTER (Microeca fascinans)
SCARLET ROBIN (Petroica boodang) [E]
ROSE ROBIN (Petroica rosea) [E]
RED-CAPPED ROBIN (Petroica goodenovii) [E]
HOODED ROBIN (Melanodryas cucullata) [E]
EASTERN YELLOW ROBIN (Eopsaltria australis) [E]
While we were at Ormiston Gorge someone spotted a goanna crawling on the side of a building. Turns out that it was a young Black-headed Monitor. Photo by participant Becky Hansen.
WESTERN YELLOW ROBIN (Eopsaltria griseogularis) [E]
WHITE-BREASTED ROBIN (Eopsaltria georgiana) [E]
SOUTHERN SCRUB-ROBIN (Drymodes brunneopygia) [E]
AUSTRALASIAN BUSHLARK (Mirafra javanica)
EURASIAN SKYLARK (Alauda arvensis) [I]
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
GOLDEN-HEADED CISTICOLA (Cisticola exilis)
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
AUSTRALIAN REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus australis)
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
LITTLE GRASSBIRD (Poodytes gramineus)
BROWN SONGLARK (Cincloramphus cruralis) [E]
RUFOUS SONGLARK (Cincloramphus mathewsi) [E]
One of the less commonly encountered raptors in Australia is the Square-tailed Kite. It is a forest dwelling species that hunts by flying around in the canopy of the forest. We had a couple of sightings, including this bird that put on a great show for us! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
WELCOME SWALLOW (Hirundo neoxena)
FAIRY MARTIN (Petrochelidon ariel) [E]
TREE MARTIN (Petrochelidon nigricans)
WHITE-BACKED SWALLOW (Cheramoeca leucosterna) [E]
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
SILVEREYE (Zosterops lateralis)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) [I]
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BASSIAN THRUSH (Zoothera lunulata) [*]
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) [I]
MISTLETOEBIRD (Dicaeum hirundinaceum)
It took us a while but we finally did come across some Splendid Fairywrens at Cheyne Beach. This one showed off its splendor to full effect. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
RED-EARED FIRETAIL (Stagonopleura oculata) [E*]
DIAMOND FIRETAIL (Stagonopleura guttata) [E]
RED-BROWED FIRETAIL (Neochmia temporalis) [E*]
ZEBRA FINCH (AUSTRALIAN) (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis)
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) [I]
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]
SHORT-BEAKED ECHIDNA (Tachyglossus aculeatus) [E]
KOALA (Phascolarctos cinereus) [E]
While at Cheyne Beach we had a nice study of a Western Spinebill feeding on the nector of a scarlet banksia. Photo by participant Carla Bregman.
COMMON BRUSHTAIL POSSUM (Trichosurus vulpecula) [E]
BLACK-FOOTED ROCK-WALLABY (Petrogale lateralis) [E]
RED-NECKED WALLABY (Macropus rufogriseus) [E]
EASTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus giganteus) [E]
WESTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus fuliginosus) [E]
COMMON WALLAROO (Macropus robustus) [E]
RED KANGAROO (Macropus rufus) [E]
SWAMP WALLABY (Wallabia bicolor) [E]
GRAY-HEADED FLYING-FOX (Pteropus poliocephalus) [E]
OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus) [I]
One of the last, great birds of Part One was the flock of Rock Parrots we enjoyed at their favorite Hamelin Bay dining spot. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.
BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN (Tursiops truncatus)
HUMPBACK WHALE (Megaptera novaeangliae)
RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes) [I]
DINGO (Canis familiaris dingo) [I]
CAPE (AUSTRALIAN) FUR SEAL (Arctocephalus pusillus)
RED DEER (Cervus elaphus) [I]
Macquarie Turtle (Emydura macquarii) - seen at Centennial Park and Royal NP.
Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) - seen at Royal NP.
Carpet Python (Morelia spilota ssp. imbricata) - seen in the heath at Cheyne Beach.
Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii) - seen at Royal NP.
Mallee Dragon (Ctenophorus fordi) - seen at Hattah-Kulkyne NP.
Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa) - seen in the mallee country.
Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) - seen in the outback.
Dwarf Bearded Dragon (Pogona minor) - seen at Dryandra Woodland.
Black-headed Monitor (Varanus tristis) - seen at Ormiston Gorge.
Bull Skink (Liopholis multiscutata) - Thick, tailless skink at Cheyne Beach.
Buchanan's Snake-eyed Skink (Cryptoblepharus buchananii) - seen in Dryandra Woodland.
Motorbike Frog (Ranoidea moorei)
Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog (Litoria fallax) - seen at Royal NP.
Totals for the tour: 308 bird taxa and 18 mammal taxa