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Field Guides Tour Report
Australia Part 1 2019
Oct 4, 2019 to Oct 24, 2019
Chris Benesh & Cory Gregory

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

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) – It was a very exceptional year for Emu along our tour route with many individuals seen on multiple days. This was likely due to a rather severe drought in the interior of the country. Various anecdotal accounts describe Emus being absent from some of their normal haunts farther inland. [E]
Anseranatidae (Magpie Goose)
MAGPIE GOOSE (Anseranas semipalmata) – One was hanging out at Lake Purrumbete where we have had encounters this species in the past.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
CAPE BARREN GOOSE (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) – Great looks at a family group at the Lara Lake Reserve in Victoria. [E]
FRECKLED DUCK (Stictonetta naevosa) – We saw a couple of sleeping birds in Centennial Park in Sydney, but saw this species much better at the Eynesbury Lake. This is generally the scarcest of the the waterfowl to be seen in southern Australia. [E]
BLACK SWAN (Cygnus atratus) – We saw this species in an assortment of places throughout the tour with really impressive numbers at the Western Treatment Plant. [E]
AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadornoides) – Seen at a few locations including a huge number at the Chimneys on our final day of birding.
MANED DUCK (Chenonetta jubata) – Also known at the Australian Wood Duck. [E]
AUSTRALIAN SHOVELER (Spatula rhynchotis) – One of the scarcer species; we saw close to 30 at the Western Treatment Plant.
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa)
GRAY TEAL (Anas gracilis) – A widespread species; our highest counts were at the Western Treatment Plant and in Alice Springs.

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) – Not as common as the Gray Teal this time around, but we did observe this species on several occasions. [E]
PINK-EARED DUCK (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) – There were a couple of these at Centennial Park in Sydney, and big numbers of them at the Western Treatment Plant. One of the more unusual species, with zebra duck being a suitable alternate name. [E]
HARDHEAD (Aythya australis)
BLUE-BILLED DUCK (Oxyura australis) – This species is sometimes a little bit tricky to see well but we had some nice studies at Lake Purrumbete. Related to our Ruddy Duck. [E]
MUSK DUCK (Biziura lobata) – A truly bizarre species. We enjoyed this strange species first at the Western Treatment Plant and heard them displaying at Lake Seppings. [E]
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
AUSTRALASIAN GREBE (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)
HOARY-HEADED GREBE (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) – We saw quite a few of these, but it wasn't always easy to approach them closely. We finally got good studies of them in Alice Springs. [E]
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus) – We had some good scope studies at Lake Purrumbete, but this species was absent elsewhere.
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) – Terrific views of this species at Cheyne Beach. This species is closely tied to moist, mostly coastal heathland. [E]
CRESTED PIGEON (Ocyphaps lophotes) – Despite being a common and widespread species, a close look at this one reveals just how spectacular it is.
SPINIFEX PIGEON (Geophaps plumifera) – We managed to track down one of these in Ormiston Gorge. [E]
WONGA PIGEON (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) – We could hear this species singing persistently at Royal NP but unfortunately our views were very brief. Much more easily seen on Part 2. [E]
DIAMOND DOVE (Geopelia cuneata) – We had a couple of these at Stuart's Well, south of Alice Springs. [E]
PEACEFUL DOVE (Geopelia placida) – Pretty scarce this trip with our only sighting being a single bird seen at Ormiston Gorge.
TOPKNOT PIGEON (Lopholaimus antarcticus) – We had a couple of these at Centennial Park and another three briefly at Royal NP the following day. [E]
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
CHANNEL-BILLED CUCKOO (Scythrops novaehollandiae) – One brief encounter at Centennial Park.

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) – This species is often scarce and hard to track down and that was the case once again this year. Our only sighting was west of Alice Springs. [E]
FAN-TAILED CUCKOO (Cacomantis flabelliformis) – We had a few good scope views of this species, but its distinctive voice was often part of the background soundscape.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
TAWNY FROGMOUTH (Podargus strigoides) – Thanks to local birder Steve Howard we had a pair of these at Centennial Park.
Aegothelidae (Owlet-nightjars)
AUSTRALIAN OWLET-NIGHTJAR (Aegotheles cristatus) – A mind-blowing view of this species at the tiny Nurcoung Waterhole south of Little Desert National Park.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BUFF-BANDED RAIL (Gallirallus philippensis) – One was hanging out on the grounds on our hotel in Albany!
BLACK-TAILED NATIVEHEN (Tribonyx ventralis) – A very chicken-like vibe for this dry country rail which we saw at a few sites. [E]
AUSTRALIAN CRAKE (Porzana fluminea) – With a bit of tweaking, we coaxed a pair into the open at St. Kilda. [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) – Formerly known at Purple Swamphen before this species complex was split into several species.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
PIED STILT (Himantopus leucocephalus)
BANDED STILT (Cladorhynchus leucocephalus) – We were extremely fortunate to encounter a group of this species at St. Kilda as there had not been any recent sightings from this area and it had been generally absent from many of its normal haunts. [E]
RED-NECKED AVOCET (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae) – Best seen at the Alice Springs STP were there was a large flock of nearly 50. [E]
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
PIED OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus longirostris) [E]
SOOTY OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus fuliginosus) – Seen at St. Kilda and again at Hamelin Bay. [E]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – Our only ones were seen at the Chimneys. This species is also known as Grey Plover.
BANDED LAPWING (Vanellus tricolor) – A rather scarce species in general. We had a dozen in a usual paddock near Werribee. What was more surprising was a huge flock of 55 at southwest of Mildura! [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) – Very scarce this year with our best views at the Alice Springs STP.
HOODED PLOVER (Thinornis cucullatus) – A pair of birds at Point Roadknight along the Great Ocean Road. [E]
BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL (Elseyornis melanops)
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – This and the next species were spotted hanging out on the mudflats.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris) – Scarce in southern Australia, but we did have a small group of these at The Chimneys.
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) – Impressive species with a massive bill. We saw a couple of them near St. Kilda (SA) and again in Western Australia. [E]
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons placens)
AUSTRALIAN FAIRY TERN (Sternula nereis) – This rare and local species was spotted at The Chimneys on our way back to Perth.

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) – Very common and widespread species including throughout the interior of the country.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii)
Spheniscidae (Penguins)
LITTLE PENGUIN (Eudyptula minor) – A wonderful encounter with this species at the St. Kilda pier on Port Phillip Bay (VIC).
Diomedeidae (Albatrosses)
YELLOW-NOSED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche chlororhynchos) – We spotted a few of these just offshore from Torndirrup NP and Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia. Birds here belong to the Indian Ocean subspecies carteri.
WHITE-CAPPED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche cauta) – A few of these were spotted while seawatching along the Great Ocean Road (Pt. Addis and Pt. Roadknight). Birds here likely are of the nominate subspecies.
BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS (Thalassarche melanophris) – A couple of these were seen from Pt. Addis.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER (Ardenna carneipes) – Quite a few of these during our seawatches off of Torndirrup NP.
SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER (Ardenna tenuirostris) – We observed some big concentrations of this species from the Great Ocean Road. This species made news this past year for all of the wrong reasons. A big die-off in the Arctic was followed by many more beach-wrecked birds being found in Australia and birds arriving late to their breeding colonies.
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
AUSTRALASIAN GANNET (Morus serrator) – Small numbers seen along the southern coast. Very similar in appearance to the Northern Gannet, this species is higher voiced and has entirely dark flight feathers as adults.

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.

Anhingidae (Anhingas)
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) – Huge numbers of these were present at the Outer Harbour in Adelaide. This species is restricted to the southern coast of Australia. [E]
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AUSTRALIAN PELICAN (Pelecanus conspicillatus)
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PACIFIC HERON (Ardea pacifica) – Also known as White-necked Heron, a name shared with a southern heron of the Americas.
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta)
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (PLUMED) (Ardea intermedia plumifera) – We saw a couple of legit ones at Centennial Park and briefly strung one along on the Great Ocean Road.

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) – One was seen briefly in flight at Torndirrup NP.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Three seen at the Western Treatment Plant were the only ones seen.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
AUSTRALIAN IBIS (Threskiornis molucca) – Bin Chickens is a nickname bestowed to them owing to their habit of rooting around in rubbish bins. [E]
STRAW-NECKED IBIS (Threskiornis spinicollis) [E]
ROYAL SPOONBILL (Platalea regia) – This elegant species was well represented this year with several sightings over several days. Quite fancy in the their high breeding plumage.
YELLOW-BILLED SPOONBILL (Platalea flavipes) – We saw big numbers of these at Lake Hattah. [E]
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – We saw several of these along the southern coast, belonging to the Australasian subspecies cristatus.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
BLACK-SHOULDERED KITE (Elanus axillaris) – Scattered individuals seen. This species is an endemic. [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) – We were really lucky with a stellar encounter with this scarce and attractive species. We actually saw it on three occasions, but the one along the Vasse Highway was the most memorable. [E]
LITTLE EAGLE (Hieraaetus morphnoides) – Rick spotted one east of Lake Hindmarsh that turned out to be the only one seen.
WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE (Aquila audax) – Quite a few encounters with this spectacular species, with the most memorable being those around Alice Springs.
SWAMP HARRIER (Circus approximans)
SPOTTED HARRIER (Circus assimilis) – We had a close encounter with this species at the Nurcoung Waterhole south of Little Desert NP. [E]
GRAY GOSHAWK (Accipiter novaehollandiae) – One was seen in the distance at Royal NP.
BROWN GOSHAWK (Accipiter fasciatus) – Our best looks were in the Sydney area.
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) – One seen along the Lady Carrington Drive was weird, while singles around Albany were more expected.
Strigidae (Owls)
POWERFUL OWL (Ninox strenua) – A nice encounter with a pair of birds at the Royal Botanic Garden, perhaps the most widely viewed members of this species. [E]
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
AZURE KINGFISHER (Ceyx azureus) – We observed an amazing display of excited birds at Royal NP that appeared to be a territorial spat between two pairs of birds.
LAUGHING KOOKABURRA (Dacelo novaeguineae) – Right at the top of any list of iconic Australia birds! We enjoyed seeing and hearing them on a number of occasions. [E]
RED-BACKED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius) – A poorly named species of the arid outback; we did have some good luck with it, seeing it at Simpsons Gap and again on the Santa Teresa Road. [E]
SACRED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sanctus)
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RAINBOW BEE-EATER (Merops ornatus) – This one is always a crowd-pleaser. Our first ones were seen at Ouyen. Many of them spend the winter in New Guinea and the rest in northern Australia.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AUSTRALIAN KESTREL (Falco cenchroides)
AUSTRALIAN HOBBY (Falco longipennis) – This species is generally quite scarce on our itinerary, and this year was no exception. We did have a terrific look at one bird at the Lower King Bridge near Albany. [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) – Aside from the ultra-rare Gray Falcon, this is the rarest of Australia's falcons. We had a lucky encounter with one at Four Mile Beach, Lake Hindmarsh. [E]
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – A couple seen in the Alice Springs area, including birds nesting in Simpsons Gap.
Cacatuidae (Cockatoos)
RED-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus banksii) – Cory spotted a big flock of these feeding on the ground along the Santa Teresa Road near Alice Springs. [E]
YELLOW-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus funereus) – It was a really good year for this species with several sightings in the southeast. These included a close encounter with one in Royal NP. [E]
CARNABY'S BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus latirostris) [E]
BAUDIN'S BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus baudinii) – We had better luck with this species, with sightings at Rocky Gully and again in Margaret River. Named for Nicolas Baudin, who died during an expedition to Australia and who was described by his men as "an appallingly rude and uncongenial leader." [E]
GANG-GANG COCKATOO (Callocephalon fimbriatum) – One of my favorites, with a highly distinctive creaky voice and a wonderful recurved crest. Well seen at Halls Gap. [E]
PINK COCKATOO (Lophochroa leadbeateri) – Also known as Major Mitchell's Cockatoo. We searched far and wide before we finally connected with this species on a couple of occasions around Alice Springs. [E]
GALAH (Eolophus roseicapilla) – Another iconic species, this one is not universally liked by Australians, and to be called a galah is a real insult. [E]
LONG-BILLED CORELLA (Cacatua tenuirostris) – Big flocks of these were in the Grampians and scattered flocks elsewhere in Victoria. [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) – Rocky Gully was once again the place to see this local species. With a bit of work we had some good views. [E]
LITTLE CORELLA (Cacatua sanguinea)
SULPHUR-CRESTED COCKATOO (Cacatua galerita) – One of the most iconic of Australia's birds. We got our first taste in the Sydney area where they were a common sight and sound.
COCKATIEL (Nymphicus hollandicus) – It was not a banner year for this species on our route, but we were fortunate to see a single bird along Tregenza Road near Rainbow. [E]
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
REGENT PARROT (Polytelis anthopeplus) – It was a very good year for this often scarce species, beginning with some at Lake Hindmarsh. [E]
AUSTRALIAN KING-PARROT (Alisterus scapularis) – A large and flashy species. We had several at Royal NP along the Lady Carrington Track and again near the Koala Cafe at Kennett River, where we had some CLOSE encounters. [E]
ELEGANT PARROT (Neophema elegans) – Our only ones this year were a pair of birds in the Dryandra Woodland. [E]
ROCK PARROT (Neophema petrophila) – Hamelin Bay once again proved to be the spot to see this very local species, a real treat for our final day of birding. [E]
AUSTRALIAN RINGNECK (Barnardius zonarius) – Our first Port Lincoln's were seen in Alice Springs. We saw a huge number of these in the southwest, where we saw "twenty-eights" and Port Lincoln, and intergrades between the two. [E]
AUSTRALIAN RINGNECK (MALLEE) (Barnardius zonarius barnardi) – We saw this more subtly patterned subspecies in the mallee around Wyperfeld and Hattah-Kulkyne. [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) – This is the common form of this species found in the cooler, wetter forests of the southeast. [E]
CRIMSON ROSELLA (YELLOW) (Platycercus elegans flaveolus) – This dry country variant was seen at Hattah-Kulkyne. Once upon a time considered a distinct species. [E]
EASTERN ROSELLA (Platycercus eximius) – Perhaps the most striking of the rosellas; we had some nice studies beginning with those at the Eynesbury Forest west of Melbourne. [E]
WESTERN ROSELLA (Platycercus icterotis) – The smallest of the rosellas, with distinctive yellow cheeks. We had a couple of sightings in the Albany area. [E]
GREATER BLUEBONNET (YELLOW-VENTED) (Northiella haematogaster haematogaster) – After spending some time trying to track down our first decent sighting, later sightings came more easily, with multiples in Ouyen.
RED-RUMPED PARROT (Psephotus haematonotus) [E]
MULGA PARROT (Psephotus varius) – A small specialist of the outback; we saw our only ones along the Santa Teresa Road south of Alice Springs. [E]
RED-CAPPED PARROT (Purpureicephalus spurius) – A few scattered sightings of this southwest specialty. Slightly smaller than the ringnecks and with a contrasting yellower rump, a field mark that was often the first clue to their presence. [E]
MUSK LORIKEET (Glossopsitta concinna) – A few were seen in the park near our Adelaide Hotel, smaller than the more abundant Rainbows. [E]
PURPLE-CROWNED LORIKEET (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala) – It was an exceptionally good year for this species with multiple sightings. The views of prospecting birds at Lake Hindmarsh were perhaps the best of all. [E]

Lake Tyrrell was also a good spot for Rufous Fieldwren. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

RAINBOW LORIKEET (Trichoglossus moluccanus moluccanus) – This species recently went through some taxonomic tweaking, being split into three species (Red-collared from the Top End, and Coconut from various parts of Australasia). All of those seen on part one belong to the same nominate form.
Menuridae (Lyrebirds)
SUPERB LYREBIRD (Menura novaehollandiae) – After a full morning of birding at Royal NP it was a relief to finally track down this distinctive species, one of two members of the Menuridae family. [E]
Atrichornithidae (Scrub-birds)
NOISY SCRUB-BIRD (Atrichornis clamosus) [E*]
Ptilonorhynchidae (Bowerbirds)
GREEN CATBIRD (Ailuroedus crassirostris) – Seen at Royal NP on the first full day of the tour, this species is near the southern edge of its range here. [E]
SATIN BOWERBIRD (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) – A handsome, purple-eyed species which we saw at Royal and along the Great Ocean Road at the Kafe Koala. [E]
WESTERN BOWERBIRD (Chlamydera guttata) – Nice looks at this species around Alice Springs including one tending a bower. [E]
Climacteridae (Australasian Treecreepers)
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (Cormobates leucophaea) [E]
BROWN TREECREEPER (Climacteris picumnus) [E]
RUFOUS TREECREEPER (Climacteris rufus) – Plentiful in the Dryandra Woodland. [E]
Maluridae (Fairywrens)
SOUTHERN EMUWREN (Stipiturus malachurus) – We encountered a family of three at Cheyne Beach during our time spent in the heath. [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) – One of the tougher species to track down; we eventually encountered a pair of them at Hattah-Kulkyne NP. [E]
RED-WINGED FAIRYWREN (Malurus elegans) – This was the species we recorded at Cheyne Beach, Lake Seppings, and the Rotary Park in Margaret River. It is similar to the Blue-breasted, but has a more sky blue helmet. [E]
BLUE-BREASTED FAIRYWREN (Malurus pulcherrimus) – This was the resident species of fairywren at Dryandra Woodland where we encountered a few pairs. The deep blue helmet is characteristic of this species. [E]
PURPLE-BACKED FAIRYWREN (Malurus assimilis) – A recently elevated species. We observed it at Lake Tyrrell and again at Ormiston Gorge. Formerly part of Variegated FW, this form is widespread and has a deeper (purplish-) blue nape. [E]
VARIEGATED FAIRYWREN (Malurus lamberti) – After the split, this species is now restricted to the east coast, principally east of the Great Dividing Range. It differs in having a paler, sky blue helmet. We saw it along Lady Carrington Drive in Royal NP.
SPLENDID FAIRYWREN (Malurus splendens) – This species was somewhat elusive this year, with our only sightings coming from the southwest. Fortunately for us, this nominate subspecies is the most splendid of them all! [E]
SUPERB FAIRYWREN (Malurus cyaneus) – Our first is often the best remembered. This is the species that started us out in Sydney. It was a frequent and welcome sight until we left South Australia. [E]
WHITE-WINGED FAIRYWREN (Malurus leucopterus) – McIntyre Road in Ouyen proved to be a good spot for this species. In my experience, it is the shyest of the fairywrens from Part One of the tour. [E]
Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters)
EASTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) – Colorful and spritely; we enjoyed its frenetic foraging mainly at Royal NP. [E]
WESTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus superciliosus) – Generally scarcer than the Eastern. We had furtive ones at Gleneagle and a super cooperative one at Cheyne Beach that was feeding on banksia. [E]

Near Rainbow, we encountered the only Cockatiel of the trip. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

PIED HONEYEATER (Certhionyx variegatus) – A nomadic species that shows up in odd places. We had our only encounter with a single bird in Ouyen. This is another monotypic genus. [E]
LEWIN'S HONEYEATER (Meliphaga lewinii) – The southernmost representative of a complex genus of similar looking species centered in New Guinea. [E]
WHITE-FRONTED HONEYEATER (Purnella albifrons) – Honeyeater genera have been broken up into many more in recent years. This trend has made Purnella a monotypic genus. It is also a nomad, making its appearance unpredictable. We saw a couple at Lake Hindmarsh and a couple in Ouyen. [E]
YELLOW-FACED HONEYEATER (Caligavis chrysops) [E]
YELLOW-TUFTED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus melanops) – One of my favorites, this species is generally scarce and thinly distributed. Jess's waterhole in the Wartook State Forest has proven to be a great place for it. [E]
NOISY MINER (Manorina melanocephala) [E]
YELLOW-THROATED MINER (Manorina flavigula) [E]
SPINY-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Acanthagenys rufogularis) – A large and distinctive honeyeater with a melodious song. We saw them in just about every drier habitat we visited on the tour. A monotypic genus closely related to the wattlebirds. [E]
LITTLE WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera chrysoptera) – Pretty scarce this year. We did see one at Royal NP and another at the Kafe Koala. [E]
WESTERN WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera lunulata) – This species has been tricky at times in the past, but it was plentiful during our visit to the Gleneagle Rest Area outside of Perth. [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) – A huge, aggressive species that was often seen chasing small honeyeaters. [E]
SINGING HONEYEATER (Gavicalis virescens) [E]
YELLOW-PLUMED HONEYEATER (Ptilotula ornata) – Seen in drier woods of Wyperfeld and Hattah-Kulkyne NPs, and quite common in the Dryandra Woodland. [E]
WHITE-PLUMED HONEYEATER (Ptilotula penicillata) [E]
FUSCOUS HONEYEATER (Ptilotula fusca) – A bird of drier tall eucalypt forests of eastern Australia. We saw the classic dull forms of this species at Asses Ears and Wartook State Forest. Species limits between this and Yellow-tinted are not yet firmly understood and there may be additional species involved in Queensland. [E]
GRAY HONEYEATER (Conopophila whitei) – Thanks to a tip from Mark Carter, we had great looks at a vocal bird near Alice Springs. Long considered a rare species, it is likely more a seldom seen and recognized one, being a bird of mulga in often remote locations. [E]
CRIMSON CHAT (Epthianura tricolor) – It was a good year for observing this nomadic species with numbers driven down into Victoria by extremely dry conditions further inland. [E]
ORANGE CHAT (Epthianura aurifrons) – We saw a couple of these in the distance at Lake Tyrrell, and three at the Alice Springs STP. Another nomadic species that often goes missed on the tour. [E]
WHITE-FRONTED CHAT (Epthianura albifrons) [E]
BLACK HONEYEATER (Sugomel nigrum) – Another nomad, and now monotypic. We had one show up briefly at Lake Hindmarsh. [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) – We encountered a small number of these in Royal NP at the southern end of their range. In addition to being a striking bird, they have a beautiful, lilting song.
TAWNY-CROWNED HONEYEATER (Gliciphila melanops) – A bird of heathland; we saw ours in Little Desert NP, Stirling Range NP, and Cheyne Beach. [E]
BROWN HONEYEATER (Lichmera indistincta) – Not particularly brown as it turns out, but best noted by its lack of distinctive markings and its loud song. We had a single bird in Alice Springs, and the rest were in the southwest. [E]
CRESCENT HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus) – A bird of mostly coastal heathland and woodlands; we had a single bird at Anglesea and another near the Kafe Koala. [E]
NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) – Quite a striking bird, that if not for its local abundance and aggressive nature would be a really popular species. [E]
WHITE-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris niger) – Cousin to the New Holland, this species is much less frequently encountered. We saw ours in a couple of traditional spots in Wagin and Cheyne Beach. [E]
WHITE-EARED HONEYEATER (Nesoptilotis leucotis) – This large, subtly attractive species was seen at several different sites in Victoria. [E]
GILBERT'S HONEYEATER (Melithreptus chloropsis) – This western species was until recently considered part of White-naped Honeyeater. It differs a bit in voice and plumage and is considered most closely related to Black-headed Honeyeater of Tasmania. It was common at the Gleneagle Rest Area. [E]
WHITE-NAPED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus lunatus) – All of the ones seen were in the mountains inland from the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. [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) – This species tends to be very local in drier gum forests. We had a group of three at the Wartook State Forest waterhole. [E]
STRIPED HONEYEATER (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) – A large, distinctive honeyeater with a loud voice, seen well at Hattah-Kulkyne NP. [E]
NOISY FRIARBIRD (Philemon corniculatus) – One seen during our last Rockwarbler trek at Royal NP.
Dasyornithidae (Bristlebirds)
WESTERN BRISTLEBIRD (Dasyornis longirostris) – Pretty challenging this year, but we did have one perch up for a short time. Many others were heard. [E]
RUFOUS BRISTLEBIRD (Dasyornis broadbenti) – A few sightings along the Great Ocean Road, beginning with one at our lunch spot in Anglesea. [E]
Pardalotidae (Pardalotes)
SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus punctatus) [E]
SPOTTED PARDALOTE (YELLOW-RUMPED) (Pardalotus punctatus xanthopyge) [E]
RED-BROWED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus rubricatus) – A scarce inland species; we had good views of one at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station and another at Simpsons Gap. [E]
STRIATED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus striatus) [E]
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
PILOTBIRD (Pycnoptilus floccosus) – One of the biggest surprises of the tour was scoring a pair of these at Royal NP. Local Steve Anyon-Smith was impressed, having not had them there in recent years. This species gets its name from often foraging near lyrebirds, leading early observers to believe it was guiding the lyrebirds as to where to find food. [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) – We were fortunate to track down this species after our usual spot was closed to motor traffic. This species is restricted to rocky habitats in humid New South Wales. [E]
WHITE-BROWED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis frontalis) – Widespread in the south with several distinctive subspecies evident in different parts of their range. [E]
LARGE-BILLED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis magnirostra) – We found one along the Lady Carrington Drive. [E]
SPECKLED WARBLER (Pyrrholaemus sagittatus) – This one was frustrating as it was singing early on, showing briefly and then falling completely silent. Experienced at Asses Ears Road. [E]
RUFOUS FIELDWREN (Calamanthus campestris) – We had good luck with this species this year with sightings at our usual spot near Little Desert NP, and more at Lake Tyrrell. [E]
STRIATED FIELDWREN (Calamanthus fuliginosus) – We had two showing really well at the Western Treatment Plant in near Melbourne. [E]
CHESTNUT-RUMPED HEATHWREN (Hylacola pyrrhopygia) – Another denizen of coastal heathland; we managed to coax one into view along Coalmine Road in Anglesea. [E]
SHY HEATHWREN (Hylacola cauta) – The inland replacement species for Chestnut-rumped. We saw this one nicely at Mount Arapiles. Also known as mallee heathwren. [E]
BUFF-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza reguloides) – Asses Ears Road continues to be a fairly reliable place for this species. [E]
WESTERN THORNBILL (Acanthiza inornata) – While not the most colorful species, it does have a pleasing tinkling song. Well seen at Dryandra Woodland. [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) – This species favors really stunted vegetation in heathland and saline flats. We encountered three in Little Desert NP. [E]
BROWN THORNBILL (Acanthiza pusilla) – This was the commonly encountered species near Sydney and along the Great Ocean Road. [E]
INLAND THORNBILL (Acanthiza apicalis) – This species replaces Brown in drier inland locations and in the southwest. [E]
YELLOW-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa) – An attractive, ground loving species. [E]
CHESTNUT-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza uropygialis) [E]
YELLOW THORNBILL (Acanthiza nana) – Seen on a couple of occasions in Victoria. This species is generally closely tied to Casaurina and Callitris pine woods. [E]
STRIATED THORNBILL (Acanthiza lineata) – Its high, thin calls are often the first clue to their presence. We encountered some at Royal NP (Wattle Forest) and again at Asses Ears Road. [E]
WEEBILL (Smicrornis brevirostris) – Generally regarded as Australia's smallest passerine; we encountered it in a variety of spots. [E]
BROWN GERYGONE (Gerygone mouki) – A species of the east; our only ones encountered were at Royal NP. [E]
WESTERN GERYGONE (Gerygone fusca) – This species has a wonderful song that enhances any landscape. We saw (and heard) our first ones at the Alice Springs Desert Park. Heard frequently in the southwest as well. [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) – A few seen south of Alice Springs in dry, sparsely vegetated country. [E]
BANDED WHITEFACE (Aphelocephala nigricincta) – We briefly saw four of these interspersed with one of the whiteface flocks along the Santa Teresa Road. [E]
Pomatostomidae (Pseudo-Babblers)
GRAY-CROWNED BABBLER (Pomatostomus temporalis) – A couple of these were seen at Simpsons Gap and another pair was along the Santa Teresa Road. [E]
WHITE-BROWED BABBLER (Pomatostomus superciliosus) – We encountered several of these south of Alice Springs, and also had a group at Dryandra Woodland. [E]
CHESTNUT-CROWNED BABBLER (Pomatostomus ruficeps) – We managed to track down four of these along Meridian Road west of Mildura. [E]
Cinclosomatidae (Quail-thrushes and Jewel-babblers)
CHESTNUT QUAIL-THRUSH (Cinclosoma castanotum) – This was a real highlight of our visit to Wyperfeld NP. A singing bird put on a great show! [E]
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
BLACK-FACED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina novaehollandiae) – A large and distinctive species with a characteristic shuffling of wings upon alighting.
WHITE-WINGED TRILLER (Lalage tricolor) – This attractive species was all over Victoria this year, pushed south by the severe drought. We also saw a few around Alice Springs.
Psophodidae (Whipbirds and Wedgebills)
EASTERN WHIPBIRD (Psophodes olivaceus) – Seen and heard at Royal NP. [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) – It was a good year for this distinctive species with a few good scope views. [E]
Falcunculidae (Shrike-tit)
CRESTED SHRIKE-TIT (EASTERN) (Falcunculus frontatus frontatus) – We heard this species in Royal but it got away unseen. Fortunately we reconnected with it at Angahook-Lorne State Park, above the Great Ocean Road. [E]
CRESTED SHRIKE-TIT (WESTERN) (Falcunculus frontatus leucogaster) – We encountered a pair of the white-bellied western subspecies at Dryandra Woodland. [E]
Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)
GRAY SHRIKETHRUSH (Colluricincla harmonica) – One of the most distinctive songs in the Australian soundscape though sometimes mistaken for the higher pitched voice of the Golden Whistler.
GILBERT'S WHISTLER (Pachycephala inornata) – Mount Arapiles was once again a great place to see this species, though it took a bit of searching. This large species favors mallee. [E]
GOLDEN WHISTLER (Pachycephala pectoralis) – Another loud, distinctive part of the soundscape in eastern Australia.
WESTERN WHISTLER (Pachycephala occidentalis) – The result of a recent split from Golden Whistler. This cryptic species is similar in most respects, though gray at the base of the tail is distinctive in the male, and females are generally ochre brown below. We saw and heard it at a variety of spots in the southwest. [E]
RUFOUS WHISTLER (Pachycephala rufiventris) – This species is very widespread in Australia.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
OLIVE-BACKED ORIOLE (Oriolus sagittatus) – We saw a few of these at Royal NP where they are near the southern edge of their range.

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) – We saw a few of these at Centennial Park in Sydney, at the southern edge of their range.
Artamidae (Woodswallows, Bellmagpies, and Allies)
MASKED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus personatus) – This is a nomadic species that often forms mixed flocks with White-browed. We saw it in several places this year, though it was missing from some of its usual haunts, no doubt due to drought. Most surprising was seeing a flock of these at Dryandra Woodland where they are considered very rare. [E]
WHITE-BROWED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus superciliosus) – A striking species that we saw well on a couple of occasions, but in much smaller numbers than is typical. [E]
BLACK-FACED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus cinereus) – Most common around Alice Springs, where it was one of the most likely birds seen on exposed perches. We saw more in Victoria. [E]
DUSKY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus cyanopterus) – A woodland species with a distinctive white primary shaft. [E]
LITTLE WOODSWALLOW (Artamus minor) – This species favors areas with cliffs for nesting, in this case, Simpsons Gap near Alice Springs. [E]
GRAY BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus torquatus) – Our only one this year was at Centennial Park in Sydney. [E]
PIED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus nigrogularis) – One of the best songsters in all of Australia. We got to hear some of it in Alice Springs at our hotel. We also saw them at Simpsons Gap and Glen Helen Gorge. [E]
AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE (Gymnorhina tibicen) – A distinctive and variable species that is widespread through a lot of Australia. We best got to know them during our lunch in Dryandra Woodland.
PIED CURRAWONG (Strepera graculina) – One of the distinctive sights and sounds of eastern and southern Australia. [E]

One of the two Dingos spotted at the roadkill south of Alice Springs. Photo by guide Chris Benesh.

GRAY CURRAWONG (Strepera versicolor) – The only ones seen this year were in the southwest. [E]
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
WILLIE-WAGTAIL (Rhipidura leucophrys) – One of the most iconic small birds of Australia. Much like our mockingbird, this species is fearless when dealing with larger intruders, be they bird, mammal, or reptile.
GRAY FANTAIL (Rhipidura albiscapa)
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLACK-FACED MONARCH (Monarcha melanopsis) – This species, which is restricted to the moister forests of eastern Australia, was seen at Royal NP. [E]
MAGPIE-LARK (Grallina cyanoleuca) – One of more aberrant members of the Monarch family, this loud species's call gives it its alternate name of Peewee.
LEADEN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra rubecula)
RESTLESS FLYCATCHER (Myiagra inquieta) [E*]
Corcoracidae (White-winged Chough and Apostlebird)
WHITE-WINGED CHOUGH (Corcorax melanorhamphos) – Along with the Apostlebird, this species comprise the mud-nest builders (Corcoracidae). They both share the characteristic of being cooperative breeders, with a breeding pair supported by a number of related family members. [E]
APOSTLEBIRD (Struthidea cinerea) – This raucous species came out to investigate us at Hattah-Kulkyne, as well as a lone bird showing up for our lunch at Lake Cullulleraine. [E]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TORRESIAN CROW (Corvus orru) – Larger than Little Crow, we pointed out a few of these around Alice Springs. Some of Cory's photos revealed that both species were present at the big feeding frenzy, along with the eagles and dingos.

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) – This is the smallest of the Australian Corvus, and was rather common around Alice Springs. [E]
AUSTRALIAN RAVEN (Corvus coronoides) – This was the common species around Sydney and in the southwest. [E]
LITTLE RAVEN (Corvus mellori) – This is the common species seen around the cities of Melbourne and Adelaide. [E]
FOREST RAVEN (Corvus tasmanicus) – This species is largely a Tasmanian endemic, though it is also found the the taller forests of southern Victoria and an isolated population in coastal New South Wales. [E]
Petroicidae (Australasian Robins)
JACKY-WINTER (Microeca fascinans) – This oddly named robin was seen on a couple of occasions singing its energetic song. The origins of the name have been lost to time, though there has been various speculation as to its origins.
SCARLET ROBIN (Petroica boodang) – The only ones seen were at Dryandra Woodland. [E]
ROSE ROBIN (Petroica rosea) – This species is found in cooler, moist forests with tall trees. We saw our only one at Angahook-Lorne State Park once leaving the Great Ocean Road. [E]
RED-CAPPED ROBIN (Petroica goodenovii) – Each Petroica robin is striking in its own way. This dry country species was found at Wyperfeld and Hattah-Kulkyne. [E]
HOODED ROBIN (Melanodryas cucullata) – A handsome, dry country specialty we saw on three separate occasions, beginning at Wartook State Forest on the west side of the Grampians. [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) – One of the scarcer specialties of western Australia; we were fortunate to encounter a pair of birds at Dryandra Woodland. [E]
WHITE-BREASTED ROBIN (Eopsaltria georgiana) – It was a good year for this species out west with a handful of sightings beginning with those at the Gleneagle Rest Area. [E]
SOUTHERN SCRUB-ROBIN (Drymodes brunneopygia) – A wonderful encounter with this species at the Nurcoung Waterhole, one of several interesting birds seen there. [E]
Alaudidae (Larks)
AUSTRALASIAN BUSHLARK (Mirafra javanica) – This species often seems scarce in the southern parts of Australia. It was great to see it so well at the Western Treatment Plant.
EURASIAN SKYLARK (Alauda arvensis) [I]
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
GOLDEN-HEADED CISTICOLA (Cisticola exilis) – Mostly heard and briefly seen at the Western Treatment Plant.
Acrocephalidae (Reed Warblers and Allies)
AUSTRALIAN REED WARBLER (Acrocephalus australis) – This species can often be tricky to see well, but we had terrific views of it on a few occasions.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
LITTLE GRASSBIRD (Poodytes gramineus) – Outstanding looks at this species at Lake Purrumbete. This species, along with the Songlarks, were considered part of the large genus Megalurus up until this year. It is now placed in the same genus as Spinifexbird and the Fernbirds of New Zealand.
BROWN SONGLARK (Cincloramphus cruralis) – This species is often found in grain fields. We watched several doing their parachute song flights. [E]
RUFOUS SONGLARK (Cincloramphus mathewsi) – We had some furtive ones at Wartook State Forest and a good view of one near Yaapeet. [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.

Hirundinidae (Swallows)
WELCOME SWALLOW (Hirundo neoxena)
FAIRY MARTIN (Petrochelidon ariel) [E]
TREE MARTIN (Petrochelidon nigricans)
WHITE-BACKED SWALLOW (Cheramoeca leucosterna) – Quite a good showing of this species this year, with excellent looks at six along the Stuart Highway. [E]
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
SILVEREYE (Zosterops lateralis)
Sturnidae (Starlings)
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) [I]
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) [I]
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BASSIAN THRUSH (Zoothera lunulata) [*]
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) [I]
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
MISTLETOEBIRD (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) – Quite a shocking red when seen in good light. Our first was in Ouyen.

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) – Great luck with this species at Jess's waterhole in the Wartook State Forest. [E]
RED-BROWED FIRETAIL (Neochmia temporalis) [E*]
ZEBRA FINCH (AUSTRALIAN) (Taeniopygia guttata castanotis) – Seen on each of our days around Alice Springs.
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) – What? An egg-laying mammal!? We had a couple of encounters with this spiny creature. One of three species of monotremes. [E]
KOALA (Phascolarctos cinereus) – One of the most iconic and desired mammals to see in Australia. We had several at Kennett River. [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) – Good studies through the scope at this species in Simpsons Gap. This genus is specially adapted to living among boulders. [E]
RED-NECKED WALLABY (Macropus rufogriseus) – This was an interesting find at the Zumsteins Picnic Area in the Grampians. [E]
EASTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus giganteus) – All over the place in the Grampians. [E]
WESTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus fuliginosus) – Quite common in western Australia, this is darker and more richly brown than the Eastern Gray. [E]
COMMON WALLAROO (Macropus robustus) – The inland form we saw is known as Euro. [E]
RED KANGAROO (Macropus rufus) – One of the tougher macropods to see on our tours, but we had a nice encounter with several on the road to Dead Bird Dam. [E]
SWAMP WALLABY (Wallabia bicolor) – Our best looks were in the Grampians where this species is fairly common. [E]
GRAY-HEADED FLYING-FOX (Pteropus poliocephalus) – A spectacular showing of these in Sydney at Centennial Park where there are many thousands. [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) – Some seen from the Great Ocean Road.
HUMPBACK WHALE (Megaptera novaeangliae)
RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes) – A destructive alien on this continent. [I]
DINGO (Canis familiaris dingo) – An amazing sighting of two near Alice Springs was a real treat. Sometimes considered descendent from dogs, sometimes more directly from wolves. [I]
CAPE (AUSTRALIAN) FUR SEAL (Arctocephalus pusillus) – Seen by some along the Great Ocean Road.
RED DEER (Cervus elaphus) – Seen in the Grampians where they are introduced. [I]


Australia Additions

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