FIELD GUIDES BIRDING TOURS: Australia - Part Two 2017
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Field Guides Tour Report
Australia - Part Two 2017
Oct 27, 2017 to Nov 11, 2017
John Coons & Tom Johnson


We enjoyed a nice group of foraging Blue-faced Honeyeaters while watching Eastern Gray Kangaroos in Queensland. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

This grand tour of the Top End, Queensland, and Tasmania was a fun adventure full of some of Australia's most iconic bird species. While I'm sure that nobody will EVER forget the experience we had with Southern Cassowary, it was also fun to get acquainted with Australia's honeyeaters, amazing parrot diversity, shorebirds, and much more.

We began with a few days around Darwin in the Top End of Australia's Northern Territory. Here we focused on northern specialties and found excellent birds like Oriental Plover, Yellow-rumped Munia mixed in with a flock of Chestnut-breasted Munias, migrating Pacific Swifts, Black-tailed Whistler, Arafura Fantail, Black-tailed Treecreeper, and much more. A Freckled Duck at Knuckeys Lagoon was a real surprise - lovely to see Australia's rarest waterfowl in such an unexpected spot.

Moving eastward to Cairns, we made a loop through northern Queensland, first focusing on the Atherton Tableland and its many specialties. Here we absorbed local birds like Atherton Scrubwren, Bower's Shrikethrush, and Victoria's Riflebird, but also marveled at the area's mammal diversity. The iconic Platypus and a shockingly close encounter with Lumholtz's Tree-Kangaroo headlined this category.

West of the Tableland, we sampled the heat of Outback Queensland in the area of Georgetown, finding Emus, Cockatiels, Budgerigars, Squatter Pigeons, Australian Bustards, and a nice assortment of waterfowl and waders (including 3 more Freckled Ducks).

The pinnacle of our time in Queensland was surely our morning with the Southern Cassowaries at Cassowary House. First, a massive female appeared out of nowhere and fed below the veranda, and later, the local male ("Father") appeared with three chicks. These imposing and completely outrageous birds calmly fed and walked within a few meters of us as we watched in amazement (check out the video lower in this trip list).

Farther south in Queensland, we roomed for several nights at the elegant O'Reilly's Guesthouse in Lamington National Park and found Australian Logrunners, Regent and Satin bowerbirds, Wonga Pigeons, and much more. Some folks even saw the localized Albert's Lyrebird walking through the understory!

The finale of the tour was an extension to Tasmania, where we were first based out of Mountain Valley Lodge. The majority of the island's endemic birds can be found on the lodge grounds, and we also were fortunate to see the rare and declining Tasmanian Devil, Spotted-tailed Quoll, and more Platypus here - it's truly a wildlife-watcher's dream. Time on Tasmania wrapped up with us seeing all of the island's endemic species including the small but spunky Forty-spotted Pardalote on Bruny Island. Our eye-level views of Swift Parrots at Kelcey Tier were also mighty fine!

John and I enjoyed your companionship and travel enthusiasm on this excellent trip, and we hope to see you out in the field again soon.

Thanks to all!

Tom


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


BIRDS
Casuariidae (Cassowaries and Emu)
SOUTHERN CASSOWARY (Casuarius casuarius) – Wow - a stunning bird to start off this trip list. We were treated to FIVE individuals during an unforgettable morning at the famous Cassowary House in Queensland. First, an adult female came in and fed below the veranda. Later, "Father", the adult male who has been living in these forests for 30+ years, brought 3 striped chicks in to feed, and they hung out at close proximity for a good long while. It sure was impressive to see these legendary birds (with their formidable reputations) at such close range.
EMU (Dromaius novaehollandiae) – A flock of 7 of these massive, iconic birds strolled past as we watched near Cumberland Dam, west of Georgetown.
Anseranatidae (Magpie Goose)
MAGPIE GOOSE (Anseranas semipalmata) – These bizarre and striking waterfowl were everywhere in the Top End, with plenty more in northern Queensland.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
WANDERING WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arcuata) – Common at wetlands in the Top End and Queensland.
CAPE BARREN GOOSE (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) – Tasmania. Several family groups of this rare species wandered around pastureland west of Launceston.
FRECKLED DUCK (Stictonetta naevosa) – One was a very rare sighting at Knuckeys Lagoon in the Top End. Three more were icing on the cake at Cumberland Dam in Outback Queensland. We felt very lucky to see this rarest of Australian waterfowl.

This Southern Cassowary walked past us after eating its fill below the veranda at Cassowary House in northern Queensland. Video by guide Tom Johnson.
BLACK SWAN (Cygnus atratus) – Our first were near Cairns, in Queensland. We saw far more later, in Tasmania.
AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadornoides) – Tasmania. We saw these attractive ducks on several occasions in ponds and lakes in Tasmania.
RADJAH SHELDUCK (Tadorna radjah) – Common in the Top End, with several more on ponds in Cairns.
GREEN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus pulchellus) – Common at westlands in the Top End, with more sightings in Queensland.
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus) – A pair swam among more common waterfowl in the pond near Innot Hot Springs during our drive from the Atherton Tableland to Georgetown. Excellent!
MANED DUCK (Chenonetta jubata) – Hey mate, what's a "Maned Duck"? Though we use Clements taxonomy for our records here at Field Guides, this bird is widely known as the "Wood Duck" in Australia. We saw ours at scattered locations in Queensland and in Tasmania.
MALLARD (Anas platyrhynchos) – We found introduced birds living on ponds and lakes in Tasmania. [I]
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa) – This widespread Australian duck was a regular sight throughout our travels.
GRAY TEAL (Anas gracilis) – Frequent sightings on the Atherton Tableland and at dams in Outback Queensland.
CHESTNUT TEAL (Anas castanea) – Tasmania. Our only sightings of this lovely duck were on a few small lakes in Tasmania.
PINK-EARED DUCK (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) – This fantastic, shoveler-like duck - with a comical pattern of a mask and racing stripes - was a big hit in wetlands in Queensland.
WHITE-EYED DUCK (Aythya australis) – Also called the "Hardhead." Sighted regularly on lakes and ponds in Queensland.
MUSK DUCK (Biziura lobata) – Tasmania. Excellent views of a pair on a pond west of Launceston, with the male's throat flap on full display.


We found Maned Ducks in both Australia and Tasmania. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Megapodiidae (Megapodes)
AUSTRALIAN BRUSHTURKEY (Alectura lathami) – Common and often rather tame in various forest preserves in Queensland.
ORANGE-FOOTED SCRUBFOWL (Megapodius reinwardt) – Plenty of tame birds around Darwin in the Top End, with more in the Atherton Tableland.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
BROWN QUAIL (Synoicus ypsilophorus) – A few folks were lucky to find these skulkers near the Latara Motel in Georgetown and again near Cumberland Dam.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
AUSTRALASIAN GREBE (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) – Regular on wetlands in the Top End and Queensland.
HOARY-HEADED GREBE (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) – Tasmania. Great views of these grebes with their silver-streaked heads/ necks.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus) – Ours were in Queensland. Lots of these elegant and lanky waterbirds were floating in a raft at Lake Barrine. More were at Warruma Swamp.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
BLACK-NECKED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) – We saw this massive bird, the Australian "Jabiru," at a few wetland sites in the Top End, inland from Darwin.
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
AUSTRALASIAN GANNET (Morus serrator) – Tasmania. Distant birds flying offshore from Bruny Island.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE PIED CORMORANT (Microcarbo melanoleucos) – Common and widespread.
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – Seen on freshwater rivers in Queensland, and again widely in Tasmania.
LITTLE BLACK CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) – At scattered sites in the Top End and Queensland, though less common than Little Pied.


Macleay's Honeyeater was common on the grounds Chambers Wildlife Lodge. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

BLACK-FACED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscescens) – Tasmania. Several seen during the Bruny Island ferry crossings, especially around Kettering Harbor.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AUSTRALASIAN DARTER (Anhinga novaehollandiae) – Sighted regularly around the Top End and Queensland, with several occupying stick nests at Yorkeys Knob.
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AUSTRALIAN PELICAN (Pelecanus conspicillatus) – Widespread in the Top End and Queensland.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PACIFIC HERON (Ardea pacifica) – These slim, attractive herons were seen at Fogg Dam in the Top End and again in Queensland.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Widespread in the Top End and Queensland.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia) – Plenty in the Top End and Queensland.
WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae) – Several sightings in Queensland and again in Tasmania.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Only a few - on the flats along the Cairns Esplanade.
PACIFIC REEF-HERON (Egretta sacra) – These oddly short-legged herons were seen stalking the rock ledges of the coast near Darwin in the Top End.
PIED HERON (Egretta picata) – Common and widespread - frequently seen in flocks.


Bush Thick-knees stood at the edges of yards, parks, and golf courses in the Top End and Queensland. They are daintier than the larger Beach Thick-knees that we found in a few coastal spots. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Common and widespread.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – Seen only on one day in the Top End.
RUFOUS NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax caledonicus) – Seen at Fogg Dam and again at dams in Outback Queensland.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – A familiar sight in wetlands in the Top End and Queensland.
AUSTRALIAN IBIS (Threskiornis moluccus) – Very common in the Top End and Queensland.
STRAW-NECKED IBIS (Threskiornis spinicollis) – Also common in the Top End and Queensland.
ROYAL SPOONBILL (Platalea regia) – These beautiful wading birds graced wetlands in the Top End and Queensland.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Seen only in the Cairns area.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
AUSTRALIAN KITE (Elanus axillaris) – Seen during our drive from O'Reilly's down to Brisbane.
WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE (Aquila audax) – A bird feeding on a road-killed wallaby gave us a close view near the town of Mount Surprise in Outback Queensland. We saw a few more around Queensland and again in Tasmania.


Channel-billed Cuckoos were migrating through Outback Queensland, and we had several chances to enjoy the remarkable shape of these massive birds as they swept past us. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

SWAMP HARRIER (Circus approximans) – We saw these each day during our stay in Tasmania.
SPOTTED HARRIER (Circus assimilis) – Two of these beautiful marsh hawks coursed over the pastures and marshes of the Atherton Tableland.
GRAY GOSHAWK (Accipiter novaehollandiae) – One made a quick flyover at the Curtain Fig Tree.
BROWN GOSHAWK (Accipiter fasciatus) – This medium-large accipiter made several flyby appearances in widely scattered locations. We saw one perch between Georgetown and Cumberland Dam.
COLLARED SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter cirrocephalus) – One circled overhead at the Darwin Botanical Gardens.
BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – Very common and widespread, especially in the Top End.
WHISTLING KITE (Haliastur sphenurus) – Fairly common in the Top End and Queensland.
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – A few sightings in the Top End and Queensland, including a nest near the coast south of Cairns.
WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucogaster) – These massive raptors impressed us at Fogg Dam in the NT, Lake Barrine, Georgetown, and again in Tasmania.
Otididae (Bustards)
AUSTRALIAN BUSTARD (Ardeotis australis) – Our visits to Outback waterholes at Cumberland Dam and Durham Dam yielded nice views of these huge, bizarre birds - surprise, they are fairly graceful on the wing!


We found the Tasmanian Native Hen to be quite common in open habitats during the Tasmania extension. Photo by participant Linda Rudolph.

Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
BUFF-BANDED RAIL (Gallirallus philippensis) – A few sightings of this attractive rail on the Atherton Tableland.
LEWIN'S RAIL (Lewinia pectoralis) – One was heard calling from a roadside wet spot in Lamington NP. [*]
WHITE-BROWED CRAKE (Amaurornis cinerea) – A few of these small, secretive rails were walking around on emergent vegetation at Fogg Dam in the Top End.
CHESTNUT RAIL (Eulabeornis castaneoventris) – This large rail showed well on the mudflats at the edge of mangrove forest at Buffalo Creek near Darwin.
AUSTRALASIAN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio melanotus melanotus) – Fairly common, especially in Queensland.
DUSKY MOORHEN (Gallinula tenebrosa) – Seen at several wetland locations in Queensland.
TASMANIAN NATIVE-HEN (Tribonyx mortierii) – Tasmania. Common and conspicuous in many open habitats.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) – Fairly common in wetlands and lakes of Queensland and Tasmania.
Gruidae (Cranes)
SARUS CRANE (Antigone antigone) – We scoped a few of these red-headed cranes at Bromfield Crater on the Atherton Tableland.
BROLGA (Antigone rubicunda) – Fairly common with sightings in the Top End and also in the agricultural fields of the Atherton Tableland - we saw far more of these than Sarus Crane this year.


We had a great view of this Fan-tailed Cuckoo at Lamington National Park. Photo by participant Randy Siebert.

Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
BUSH THICK-KNEE (Burhinus grallarius) – A pair with a chick was hanging out in the shade along the driveway of the Darwin airport; we saw another pair with a chick at Centenary Lakes in Cairns.
BEACH THICK-KNEE (Esacus magnirostris) – One at the mouth of Buffalo Creek near Darwin was a relatively quick sighting. The pair that we saw up-close along the Cairns Esplanade was far more satisfying. These huge shorebirds are really impressive to see in life.
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
PIED STILT (Himantopus leucocephalus) – Several sightings of this elegant shorebird in the Top End and Queensland.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
PIED OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus longirostris) – This striking oystercatcher posed at great distance near Darwin and then at much closer range on Tasmania at the end of our trip.
SOOTY OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus fuliginosus) – Tasmania. Seen at Adventure Bay, fairly close to Pied Oystercatcher.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – Our only sighting was at the Cairns Esplanade.
PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva) – Common along the coast of the Top End.
MASKED LAPWING (Vanellus miles) – Common and widespread. Seen most days.
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus) – Seen in comparison to the next species both in the Top End and at the Cairns Esplanade.
GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii) – Large-billed and large-headed, these stout plovers presided over the beach at Darwin and in Cairns.


The Beach Thick-knee is quite a substantial shorebird! We got good looks at a pair on the Cairns Esplanade. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

RED-CAPPED PLOVER (Charadrius ruficapillus) – Two at Lee Point and two more at Cairns Esplanade.
ORIENTAL PLOVER (Charadrius veredus) – One of these scarce plovers was in an overgrown field near Knuckeys Lagoon in the Top End. An excellent find!
RED-KNEED DOTTEREL (Erythrogonys cinctus) – Four were at the edge of Durham Dam in the company of Black-fronted Dotterels.
HOODED PLOVER (Thinornis cucullatus) – Tasmania. We saw a few of these rare and attractive shorebirds on the pristine beaches of Bruny Island near Adventure Bay. This species is the Australian equivalent of Piping Plover in America, both in its habits and its conservation status along coastal beaches.
BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL (Elseyornis melanops) – These strange little plovers were seen on several occasions in Queensland, where we had up to 20 at Durham Dam.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
COMB-CRESTED JACANA (Irediparra gallinacea) – Fairly common in the Top End and at wetland sites in Queensland.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
LITTLE CURLEW (Numenius minutus) – Distant flocks passed over regularly during our morning at Fogg Dam in the Top End. Later, we scoped another at a sod farm near Cairns, where the species is rare.
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – White-rumped Asian birds were found on the rocky shores of the Top End and again on the Cairns Esplanade.
FAR EASTERN CURLEW (Numenius madagascariensis) – These impressive shorebirds loomed over the flats and hunted crabs on mudflats at Darwin and again in Cairns.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa) – These stout godwits with white underwings were at Buffalo Creek near Darwin, Durham Dam and the Cairns Esplanade.


These Freckled Ducks are rare, and we were lucky to see them at multiple sites in the North. These birds were at Cumberland Dam in Outback Queensland. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – We enjoyed seeing dozens of these champion migrants on the flats in Darwin and Cairns.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Scattered sightings along the coast near Darwin.
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris) – A common wintering shorebird, especially at Buffalo Creek and the Cairns Esplanade.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – A dozen were mixed in with their larger Great Knot cousins along the Cairns Esplanade.
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER (Calidris acuminata) – We had close views of a dozen at Durham Dam (in the company of a Pectoral Sandpiper) and then about 40 more at a distance on the flats in Cairns.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – Ten were mixed with other shorebirds on the Cairns Esplanade.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis) – This is the default peep that we saw in Darwin and Queensland. All in gray winter plumage.
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Five were at Lee Point near Darwin.
PECTORAL SANDPIPER (Calidris melanotos) – One was hanging around with a flock of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers at Durham Dam near Georgetown. This species does breed in small numbers in northeast Asia, but it is a scarce/ rare wintering bird in Australia.
TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus) – This weird little sandpiper was seen several times bobbing its body along the edge of the water near Darwin and along the flats of the Cairns Esplanade.


We traveled to the northern shore of Tasmania to find a small group of Swift Parrots. Guide Tom Johnson got this image of one bathing in a small pool.

COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – This Spotted Sandpiper look-alike was common in the Top End.
GRAY-TAILED TATTLER (Tringa brevipes) – Plenty on coastal flats near Darwin, with fewer seen at the Cairns Esplanade.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – Singles were seen at widely spaced locations through the northern part of our route. This is the Asian counterpart of Greater Yellowlegs in the Americas.
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – Three of these slim, elegant Tringa were wading around the margins of Durham Dam.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
AUSTRALIAN PRATINCOLE (Stiltia isabella) – We enjoyed a field full of these beautiful and elegant shorebirds near the Adelaide River in the Top End.
ORIENTAL PRATINCOLE (Glareola maldivarum) – We scoped a staked-out vagrant on a sod farm near Cairns. This species occurs sporadically in huge numbers in NW Australia, but we don't regularly see it on this tour route. A real treat!
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SILVER GULL (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) – This is the common mid-sized gull of coastal areas throughout our tour.
PACIFIC GULL (Larus pacificus) – Tasmania. A pair was hanging out on the beach with the Hooded Plovers near Adventure Bay on Bruny Island.
KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus) – Tasmania. Common, especially at Hobart and on Bruny Island.
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – Seen along the coast near Darwin and again in Cairns.


This Laughing Kookaburra posed nicely with a large beetle that it had captured. Photo by participant Randy Siebert.

GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica)
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – Common in freshwater wetlands, with especially nice views at Fogg Dam in the Top End.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii) – Fairly common along the shore of the Top End.
LESSER CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bengalensis) – Seen in direct comparison with Great Crested Terns near Darwin.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – In larger towns and cities. [I]
WHITE-HEADED PIGEON (Columba leucomela) – Wonderful views of this large pigeon at O'Reilly's.
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – A few of these introduced doves were perched on wires in Cairns. [I]
BROWN CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia phasianella) – Common, especially in the forests of the Atherton Tableland.
PACIFIC EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps longirostris) – Good views near Darwin and again at Cassowary House in Queensland.
COMMON BRONZEWING (Phaps chalcoptera) – A few walked out on a dirt track adjacent to Flat Rock Station near Georgetown.
BRUSH BRONZEWING (Phaps elegans) – A few flybys in Tasmania.
CRESTED PIGEON (Ocyphaps lophotes) – Common, especially in Outback Queensland.
SQUATTER PIGEON (Geophaps scripta) – Great views of a flock that walked out to the edge of the water amongst the cattle at Durham Dam. More were with the Mareeba Rock Wallabies at Granite Gorge.
WONGA PIGEON (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) – We scoped one of these high-contrast pigeons near the lodge at O'Reilly's.
DIAMOND DOVE (Geopelia cuneata) – Several of these small doves were drinking at a small water hole near Cumberland Dam in Outback Queensland.
PEACEFUL DOVE (Geopelia placida) – Common in the north.
BAR-SHOULDERED DOVE (Geopelia humeralis) – Plenty were in the north, especially around Darwin.
WOMPOO FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus magnificus) – Good scope views on Black Mountain Road just outside of Cassowary House.
SUPERB FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus superbus) – Wow! We were very lucky to find the pair building a nest just above eye level along the road in to The Crater on the Atherton Tableland. This is one of the most strikingly patterned birds in Australia, and we had some lovely views of it.
ROSE-CROWNED FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus regina) – We scoped a few of these beautiful canopy-dwellers in the forest at Fogg Dam.
TORRESIAN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula spilorrhoa) – Common in the Top End and in the Cairns area.
TOPKNOT PIGEON (Lopholaimus antarcticus) – Several sightings around Cassowary House and again at Lamington NP.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
PHEASANT COUCAL (Centropus phasianinus) – Wow - excellent views of several of these large cuckoos along the road in the greater Darwin area.
PACIFIC KOEL (AUSTRALIAN) (Eudynamys orientalis cyanocephalus) – We scoped these beautiful cuckoos at Howard Springs in the Top End and had another fly past us at Cumberland Dam in Queensland.


Guide Tom Johnson snapped this photo of a Mistletoebird that we saw chasing a Black-faced Woodswallow. Although the Woodswallow probably didn't enjoy the occasion, it's always interesting to see interspecies interactions like this!

CHANNEL-BILLED CUCKOO (Scythrops novaehollandiae) – These massive cuckoos flew past us several times during our morning watches near Georgetown.
HORSFIELD'S BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx basalis) – The most memorable sighting were the two birds that responded to whistling at Cumberland Dam in Queensland.
SHINING BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx lucidus) – Many singing individuals, especially in Queensland and Tasmania.
LITTLE BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx minutillus) – Especially good views came at Buffalo Creek in the Top End.
PALLID CUCKOO (Cacomantis pallidus) – We scoped one that was perched out in the open on a utility wire at a farm on the Atherton Tableland.
FAN-TAILED CUCKOO (Cacomantis flabelliformis) – Excellent, close views at the site with the calling Lewin's Rail in Lamington NP.
BRUSH CUCKOO (Cacomantis variolosus) – A few sightings, including on the edge of an agricultural field in the fog near Fogg Dam and later near Manton Dam and in Queensland.
ORIENTAL CUCKOO (Cuculus optatus) – One of these large, falcon-like cuckoos was a flyover surprise in the early morning at Fogg Dam.
Strigidae (Owls)
RUFOUS OWL (Ninox rufa) – The pair that we found at Darwin Botanical Gardens was day-roosting in a fairly visible spot. One had been munching on a flying-fox snack earlier in the day.
BARKING OWL (Ninox connivens) – A pair showed off nicely for us in the afternoon at the Darwin Botanical Gardens.
SOUTHERN BOOBOOK (Ninox novaeseelandiae) – A day-roosting bird was a great surprise in the canopy of Lamington NP below O'Reilly's.


We found a pair of Pacific Gulls on Bruny Island in Tasmania on the extension. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Podargidae (Frogmouths)
TAWNY FROGMOUTH (Podargus strigoides) – Several folks teamed up to find a bird on a nest near our Darwin hotel before the tour - we came back and had a great view with the whole group.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LARGE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus macrurus) – Very nice views in the pre-dawn light at Fogg Dam.
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-THROATED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus caudacutus) – A few of these big swifts shot over as we were driving through the Atherton Tableland.
AUSTRALIAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus terraereginae) – Repeated good views, especially along the Cairns Esplanade.
PACIFIC SWIFT (Apus pacificus) – A few flocks of these migrants, formerly called "Fork-tailed Swift," appeared overhead in Darwin and again on the Atherton Tableland, where the foraged at close range overhead. Spectacular!
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
AZURE KINGFISHER (Ceyx azureus) – A few nice sightings of this dimunitive kingfisher at Fogg Dam and Buffalo Creek.
LAUGHING KOOKABURRA (Dacelo novaeguineae) – We found plenty of these iconic birds in Queensland, as well as in Tasmania where they're introduced.
BLUE-WINGED KOOKABURRA (Dacelo leachii) – These loud, impressive kingfishers were around Darwin and also in Outback Queensland.
RED-BACKED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius) – Repeated good views near Cumberland Dam in Outback Queensland.
FOREST KINGFISHER (Todiramphus macleayii) – Repeated quality sightings in the Top End and in Queensland.
TORRESIAN KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sordidus) – Heard frequently chanting from mangroves at Darwin and Cairns, but we only had a few brief sightings of challenging individuals.
SACRED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sanctus) – One was near Darwin, and then we found a few more around Outback Queensland.
BUFF-BREASTED PARADISE-KINGFISHER (Tanysiptera sylvia) – Yowza! A calling bird showed very nicely in the northern Atherton Tableland.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RAINBOW BEE-EATER (Merops ornatus) – Fairly common in the Top End and Outback Queensland.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – These large, conspicuous beauties perched up for us several times in the Top End and on the Atherton Tableland.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AUSTRALIAN KESTREL (Falco cenchroides) – A few posed well on the Atherton Tableland.
AUSTRALIAN HOBBY (Falco longipennis) – This mid-sized, buffy falcon made several appearances for us in Outback Queensland.
BROWN FALCON (Falco berigora) – Repeated excellent views of birds in flight. One circled over in Outback Queensland with a large lizard (dragon) in its talons.


The gorgeous Superb Fruit-Dove certainly lives up to its name! We spent some lovely time with a pair as they worked on their nest on the Atherton Tableland. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Cacatuidae (Cockatoos)
RED-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus banksii) – Fairly common around Darwin this year, with a nice flock eating seeds off the ground at a busy intersection there.
YELLOW-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus funereus) – A few were foraging in casuarina trees in Lamington NP; we saw them again in Tasmania as flyovers.
GALAH (Eolophus roseicapilla) – Several raucous flocks loped by in Outback Queensland.
LONG-BILLED CORELLA (Cacatua tenuirostris) – The one that we saw well just south of Hobart was likely an introduced/ escaped bird.
LITTLE CORELLA (Cacatua sanguinea) – Good views on several occasions, including some feral birds in a park south of Hobart in Tasmania.
SULPHUR-CRESTED COCKATOO (Cacatua galerita) – These loud, large cockatoos were a frequent sight during our travels.
COCKATIEL (Nymphicus hollandicus) – Several flocks zoomed over during our time in Outback Queensland, though they never perched up for us.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
AUSTRALIAN KING-PARROT (Alisterus scapularis) – Memorable experiences, especially when they perched on our heads at O'Reilly's!
RED-WINGED PARROT (Aprosmictus erythropterus) – Several beautifully sunlit birds at Durham Dam near Georgetown.
BLUE-WINGED PARROT (Neophema chrysostoma) – Tasmania. A pair of these small parrots put in a quick appearance near our Forty-spotted Pardalotes on Bruny Island.


This Yellow-rumped Munia was seen in the midst of a flock of Chestnut-breasted Munias outside of Darwin. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

SWIFT PARROT (Lathamus discolor) – Tasmania. Due to a reported lack of this rare species on Bruny Island, we made a detour to the northern shore of Tasmania and found these delightful (and declining) birds bathing in a secluded forest pool.
GREEN ROSELLA (Platycercus caledonicus) – Tasmania. Repeated good views of this island endemic.
CRIMSON ROSELLA (Platycercus elegans) – Sometimes they were too close - perched on us! These lovely rosellas became very familiar at O'Reilly's.
PALE-HEADED ROSELLA (Platycercus adscitus) – A small group put in a nice appearance perched over our bus outside the Latara Motel in Georgetown.
DOUBLE-EYED FIG-PARROT (Cyclopsitta diophthalma) – A pair was prospecting for nest cavities along Black Mountain Road near Cassowary House.
BUDGERIGAR (Melopsittacus undulatus) – A few small groups flew over during our morning vigil at Durham Dam near Georgetown.
RAINBOW LORIKEET (Trichoglossus haematodus)
RAINBOW LORIKEET (RED-COLLARED) (Trichoglossus haematodus rubritorquis)
SCALY-BREASTED LORIKEET (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus) – Several were mixed in with Rainbow Lorikeets in roost trees along the Cairns Esplanade.
Pittidae (Pittas)
NOISY PITTA (Pitta versicolor) – Heard only this year, but not for a lack of trying! [*]
RAINBOW PITTA (Pitta iris) – The singing bird at Fogg Dam put on a pretty good show - that blue patch is really something else!
Menuridae (Lyrebirds)
ALBERT'S LYREBIRD (Menura alberti) – A few in the group managed to glimpse this secretive and iconic bird during our morning walk at O'Reilly's.


Guide Tom Johnson demonstrates his laser-pointer technique, assisted by a Crimson Rosella. Photo by participant Randy Siebert.

Ptilonorhynchidae (Bowerbirds)
SPOTTED CATBIRD (Ailuroedus maculosus) – One was attending a nest below the veranda at Cassowary House, and we saw more at Chambers Wildlife Lodge.
GREEN CATBIRD (Ailuroedus crassirostris) – A common voice from the forest in Lamington NP, but it took a while before we got a nice view of one.
TOOTH-BILLED CATBIRD (Scenopoeetes dentirostris) – The "Stage Maker" performed admirably, singing his loud song from above a stage on the forest floor of perfectly arranged pale green leaves.
GOLDEN BOWERBIRD (Amblyornis newtoniana) – An immature male showed up near a double-maypole bower in the general vicinity of The Crater, but we didn't get to meet an adult male this year.
REGENT BOWERBIRD (Sericulus chrysocephalus) – Wow - the black and orange males at O'Reilly's were just simply marvelous.
SATIN BOWERBIRD (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) – Some patient watching allowed us to get to know one of the males as he spruced up his bower with the finest blue bottle caps and drinking straws on the grounds of O'Reilly's.
GREAT BOWERBIRD (Chlamydera nuchalis) – Repeated, excellent views, including of birds adding material to their large avenue bowers near Georgetown.
Climacteridae (Australasian Treecreepers)
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (Cormobates leucophaea) – We found this handsome treecreeper at Chambers Wildlife Lodge and again near Lake Barrine.
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (LITTLE) (Cormobates leucophaea minor) – This subspecies showed up in Lamington National Park below O'Reilly's.
BROWN TREECREEPER (Climacteris picumnus) – A pair was fairly responsive adjacent to Flat Creek Station near Georgetown.
BLACK-TAILED TREECREEPER (Climacteris melanurus) – Several showed off for us in the trees near Manton Dam in the Top End. This was a nice addition to our itinerary this year.
Maluridae (Fairywrens)
VARIEGATED FAIRYWREN (Malurus lamberti) – A few bubbled their calls and songs from the undergrowth of the open forest below O'Reilly's in Lamington NP.
LOVELY FAIRYWREN (Malurus amabilis) – After a long search, we finally found a pair of these furtive fairywrens along Davies Creek in Queensland.
SUPERB FAIRYWREN (Malurus cyaneus) – Quite common in southern Queensland and ubiquitous in Tasmania.
RED-BACKED FAIRYWREN (Malurus melanocephalus) – Fairly common in the Top End and in the dry forests of Queensland, where they kept popping up in front of us as we were searching for Lovely Fairywrens.
Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters)
EASTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) – A lovely honeyeater that we saw several times on the Atherton Tableland.
YELLOW-SPOTTED HONEYEATER (Meliphaga notata) – Several sightings between Julatten and Cassowary House in Queensland.
LEWIN'S HONEYEATER (Meliphaga lewinii) – One of the standard olive honeyeaters with a yellow face spot, but this is the one with the HUGE voice that we heard frequently in the forests of Queensland.


The charming Willy Wagtail was a common sight for us in northern Queensland. Participant Linda Rudolph got this lovely portrait of one that came quite close.

GRACEFUL HONEYEATER (Meliphaga gracilis) – We found this small, slim olive-colored honeyeater at a caravan park in the northern part of the Atherton Tableland.
YELLOW HONEYEATER (Stomiopera flava) – Most of ours were in Outback Queensland.
WHITE-GAPED HONEYEATER (Stomiopera unicolor) – Fairly common at several sites in the Top End including Buffalo Creek and Manton Dam.
YELLOW-FACED HONEYEATER (Caligavis chrysops) – Repeated nice views in the Atherton Tableland area and again farther south at Lamington NP.
BELL MINER (Manorina melanophrys) – The members of a noisy colony were busy mining lerp along a side track at Lamington NP. These strange honeyeaters manage to exclude other honeyeaters and small birds from their colony areas.
NOISY MINER (Manorina melanocephala) – Only a few sightings - at Warruma Swamp near Mount Garnet and again in the Brisbane area.
YELLOW-THROATED MINER (Manorina flavigula) – Only one sighting, along the side of Catalina Road near Palmerston, NT.
BRIDLED HONEYEATER (Bolemoreus frenatus) – A few were foraging along the road into The Crater on the Atherton Tableland.
LITTLE WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera chrysoptera) – Tasmania. Several were hanging around our hotel in Launceston, Tasmania.
YELLOW WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera paradoxa) – Tasmania. This large honeyeater was fairly conspicuous in several eucalypt woodlands in northern Tasmania.

The Australian Logrunner is a fascinating forest dweller that we caught up with at O'Reilly's. Participant Randy Siebert took this video of one that shows the interesting side-kicking foraging technique that these birds employ.
VARIED HONEYEATER (Gavicalis versicolor) – A few close birds were along the Cairns Esplanade.
MANGROVE HONEYEATER (Gavicalis fasciogularis) – A targeted stop turned up a nice sighting in mangroves near Brisbane.
YELLOW-TINTED HONEYEATER (Ptilotula flavescens) – About five were at Cumberland Dam in Queensland.
BROWN-BACKED HONEYEATER (Ramsayornis modestus) – These understated honeyeaters were first seen at Yorkeys Knob, but we later found them nesting in a park near a Brahminy Kite nest south of Cairns.
RUFOUS-BANDED HONEYEATER (Conopophila albogularis) – Common in the coastal Top End, especially around the edges of mangroves.
RUFOUS-THROATED HONEYEATER (Conopophila rufogularis) – Very common at Cumberland and Durham dams in Outback Queensland.
DUSKY MYZOMELA (Myzomela obscura) – Just a few scattered sightings in the Top End and again near Julatten.
RED-HEADED MYZOMELA (Myzomela erythrocephala) – Excellent views in mangroves near Darwin.
SCARLET MYZOMELA (Myzomela sanguinolenta) – Sightings scattered across the woodlands of Queensland.
BANDED HONEYEATER (Cissomela pectoralis) – This striking honeyeater was a great find in the dry woodlands in Outback Queensland.
BROWN HONEYEATER (Lichmera indistincta) – A common and poorly named species that we saw widely in the Top End and Queensland. More like "Olive Honeyeater"!
CRESCENT HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus) – Tasmania. After we tore ourselves away from the wombats, we managed to see this species at the Cradle Mountain Lodge.
NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) – Tasmania. Quite common there, especially on Bruny Island.
WHITE-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris niger) – We found a few birds in a mobbing flock near the Highlander Restaurant in Queensland.
YELLOW-THROATED HONEYEATER (Nesoptilotis flavicollis) – Tasmania. Good views at the park with Swift Parrots in Northern Tasmania.
BLUE-FACED HONEYEATER (Entomyzon cyanotis) – These large, garrulous honeyeaters were conspicuous in the Top End and northern Queensland. A memorable sighting was of the birds feeding in colorful flowers at the edge of the Mareeba Golf Course.
WHITE-THROATED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus albogularis) – We found this tidy honeyeater a few times in the Top End and later on the Atherton Tableland.


Lewin's Honeyeater provided many of the background sounds of the forests of Queensland. Photo by participant Linda Rudolph.

WHITE-NAPED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus lunatus) – These small honeyeaters showed up for us a few times in Queensland, most notably at the sports fields near the Wondecla Roadhouse.
BLACK-HEADED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus affinis) – Tasmania. Great views of this distinctive honeyeater at Mountain Valley Lodge and other woodland locations.
STRONG-BILLED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus validirostris) – Great views at Mountain Valley Lodge and the Kelcey Tier Nature Reserve.
MACLEAY'S HONEYEATER (Xanthotis macleayanus) – A frequent sight in the gardens of Chambers Wildlife Lodge.
STRIPED HONEYEATER (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) – We found this large and striking honeyeater well at the Sandy Camp Road wetlands
LITTLE FRIARBIRD (Philemon citreogularis) – Seen frequently around Darwin in the Top End.
HELMETED FRIARBIRD (HORNBILL) (Philemon buceroides yorki) – We found this subspecies of Helmeted Friarbird around Cairns.
HELMETED FRIARBIRD (HELMETED) (Philemon buceroides gordoni) – This was the form of this large and striking honeyeater that we found around Darwin.
NOISY FRIARBIRD (Philemon corniculatus) – One was attending a woven cup nest near the Wondecla Roadhouse; others were scattered elsewhere the woodlands of northern Queensland.
Pardalotidae (Pardalotes)
SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus punctatus) – Our first was near Charlie's Pond at Lamington NP, and later saw another very well below eye level on Bruny Island in Tasmania.
FORTY-SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus quadragintus) – Tasmania. Several birds showed admirably in gum trees on Bruny Island, the stronghold for this rare and declining species.
RED-BROWED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus rubricatus) – A concerted search eventually turned up one of these gems near Georgetown. While we could hear it calling, it was extremely difficult to spot at first.
STRIATED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus striatus) – Widespread in the Top End and Tasmania, with several nesting birds seen investigating holes in the ground in Tasmania.


Among the many nesting birds at Mountain Valley Lodge in Tasmania, we spotted this cracking Pink Robin. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
YELLOW-THROATED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis citreogularis) – Common in the forest understory at Lamington NP.
WHITE-BROWED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis frontalis) – Most of ours were along the forest edge at O'Reilly's.
TASMANIAN SCRUBWREN (Sericornis humilis) – Tasmania. Though it took a few tries, we eventually saw this bird very well in the lush forest understory along the entrance road at Mountain Valley Lodge.
ATHERTON SCRUBWREN (Sericornis keri) – Good views near the ground in the vicinity of The Crater on the Atherton Tableland.
LARGE-BILLED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis magnirostra) – Seen several times in the forests of the Atherton Tableland, including near Cassowary House and Curtain Fig Tree.
SCRUBTIT (Acanthornis magna) – Tasmania. One bird near Mountain Valley Lodge was extremely responsive - this can be a really difficult bird to see well, so we were very pleased with our views.
STRIATED FIELDWREN (Calamanthus fuliginosus) – Tasmania. Good views of responsive, singing birds in the dead timber outside Cradle Mountain NP.
BUFF-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza reguloides) – During a road-work stoppage, we hopped out of the bus and poked down a side track to find these distinctive thornbills. We didn't even have to traverse any rough bumps to see these Buff-rumps (this time)!
MOUNTAIN THORNBILL (Acanthiza katherina) – John worked his magic with this one on the Atherton Tableland - great views at eye-level.
BROWN THORNBILL (Acanthiza pusilla) – Seen several times in Queensland and again in Tasmania where we compared it with the very similar Tasmanian Thornbill.
TASMANIAN THORNBILL (Acanthiza ewingii) – Great views of the color of the wing panel that helps to distinguish this species from the similar Brown Thornbill.


One of the pair of Barking Owls that we saw so well at the Darwin Botanical Gardens. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

YELLOW-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa) – Tasmania. We saw these thornbills hopping around on the ground, typical for the species.
STRIATED THORNBILL (Acanthiza lineata) – A few of these tiny frost-faced birds put in an appearance for us at O'Reilly's near Moran Falls.
WEEBILL (Smicrornis brevirostris) – Fairly common in the Georgetown area.
GREEN-BACKED GERYGONE (Gerygone chloronota) – Several bounced around in the forest edge at Buffalo Creek near Darwin.
FAIRY GERYGONE (Gerygone palpebrosa) – A stop in the Forty Mile Scrub en route to Georgetown was fruitful for this species, even during an unexpected rainstorm.
WHITE-THROATED GERYGONE (Gerygone olivacea) – A few sang and then showed up at close range at the edge of Durham Dam near Georgetown.
LARGE-BILLED GERYGONE (Gerygone magnirostris) – A few were attending their hanging nests in the Top End during our visit there.
BROWN GERYGONE (Gerygone mouki) – A common sight and sound of Queensland's forests.
MANGROVE GERYGONE (Gerygone levigaster) – Two birds were at the mangrove site near Brisbane where we also found Mangrove Honeyeater.
Pomatostomidae (Pseudo-Babblers)
GRAY-CROWNED BABBLER (Pomatostomus temporalis) – An inquisitive family party showed up near Darwin.
Orthonychidae (Logrunners)
AUSTRALIAN LOGRUNNER (Orthonyx temminckii) – Awesome views of these side-kickers on the forest floor at O'Reilly's.
CHOWCHILLA (Orthonyx spaldingii) – We eventually coaxed one of these strange birds across the trail near Lake Barrine on the Atherton Tableland.

Participant Randy Siebert got this interesting video of two Eastern Whipbirds, an adult that is feeding a begging youngster.
Psophodidae (Whipbirds and Wedgebills)
EASTERN WHIPBIRD (Psophodes olivaceus) – Common on the Atherton Tableland and O'Reilly's, where they are conspicuous and rather friendly.
Machaerirhynchidae (Boatbills)
YELLOW-BREASTED BOATBILL (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer) – One of these excellent little songbirds perched over us at close range in northern Queensland, showing off its wide, flat bill with the strange little hook in the middle - check out the photo elsewhere in this triplist.
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
WHITE-BREASTED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus leucorynchus) – A fairly common woodswallow of towns and open country in the Top End and Queensland.
BLACK-FACED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus cinereus) – We saw these in dry, open woodlands in Outback Queensland.
DUSKY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus cyanopterus) – Tasmania. A few folks caught a brief view of this woodswallow in flight near Deloraine.
Cracticidae (Bellmagpies and Allies)
GRAY BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus torquatus) – Our best view was of the habituated birds at Luke's Farm near O'Reilly's. "Here, Butch Butch Butch!"
SILVER-BACKED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus argenteus argenteus) – Excellent views right after our lunch picnic at Howard Springs.
PIED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus nigrogularis) – Just a few sightings of this lovely and fearsome bird - Palmerston in the Top End and again at Sandy Camp Road wetlands near Brisbane.
BLACK BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus quoyi) – A few showed up briefly in the mangroves near Darwin, and then we saw more at Centenary Park in Cairns.
AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE (Gymnorhina tibicen) – Common and widespread.
PIED CURRAWONG (Strepera graculina) – This incredible songster was fairly conspicuous in Queensland, especially around O'Reilly's.
BLACK CURRAWONG (Strepera fuliginosa) – Tasmania. This large, loud island endemic was a regular visitor to the grounds of Mountain Valley Lodge.
GRAY CURRAWONG (CLINKING) (Strepera versicolor arguta) – Tasmania. One was at the Trevallyn Rec Area just outside of Launceston.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
BLACK-FACED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina novaehollandiae) – Especially common in Outback Queensland.
WHITE-BELLIED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina papuensis) – Most common in the Top End, though we did find one building a nest in Queensland at the site where we were swarmed by Pacific Swifts on the edge of the Atherton Tableland.


Participant Linda Rudolph took this nice photo of one of the approachable Squatter Pigeons we saw at Granite Gorge in Queensland.

WHITE-WINGED TRILLER (Lalage tricolor) – Seen commonly in Outback Queensland.
VARIED TRILLER (Lalage leucomela) – Only a few - our best views were along the coastline just outside of Darwin.
COMMON CICADABIRD (Edolisoma tenuirostre) – After only hearing this canopy-dweller, we finally connected with a responsive male at Big Mitchell Creek in Queensland.
Neosittidae (Sittellas)
VARIED SITTELLA (Daphoenositta chrysoptera) – Two of these strange nuthatch-imitators joined a mixed flock along the Duck Creek Road below O'Reilly's.
Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)
LITTLE SHRIKETHRUSH (Colluricincla megarhyncha) – Repeated intimate sightings of these curious birds in the rainforest of the Atherton Tableland.
GRAY SHRIKETHRUSH (Colluricincla harmonica) – The loud and enchanting song was a near-constant backdrop for our birding in Queensland and Tasmania, and we saw the bird several times as well.
BOWER'S SHRIKETHRUSH (Colluricincla boweri) – This local species was around the grounds of Chambers on the Atherton Tableland.
OLIVE WHISTLER (Pachycephala olivacea) – Tasmania. Close views of nesting birds on the grounds of Mountain Valley Lodge.
GOLDEN WHISTLER (Pachycephala pectoralis) – Common and widespread in Queensland and Tasmania.
BLACK-TAILED WHISTLER (Pachycephala melanura) – Also called Mangrove Golden Whistler - we found this one in the river edge at the Adelaide River in the Top End.
GRAY WHISTLER (GRAY) (Pachycephala simplex simplex) – At Fogg Dam on our first full day in the Top End.
GRAY WHISTLER (GRAY-HEADED) (Pachycephala simplex peninsulae) – One was seen on the grounds of Chambers Wildlife Lodge on the Atherton Tableland.
RUFOUS WHISTLER (Pachycephala rufiventris) – A few sightings of singing birds in the Top End and Queensland.


We had a great look at some Red-tailed Black Cockatoos feeding on the ground in Darwin. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
OLIVE-BACKED ORIOLE (Oriolus sagittatus) – Repeated sightings in the Top End and northern Queensland.
GREEN ORIOLE (Oriolus flavocinctus) – Frequent sightings in the Top End.
AUSTRALASIAN FIGBIRD (Sphecotheres vieilloti) – Very common in the Top End and in the Cairns area, and we saw an active nest at Fogg Dam.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
SPANGLED DRONGO (Dicrurus bracteatus) – Scattered sightings of these odd black birds in the Top End and Queensland. We saw an active stick nest with a bird sitting on it near the Rufous Owls in the Darwin Botanical Garden.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
NORTHERN FANTAIL (Rhipidura rufiventris) – Common near the edge of water at several of our birding stops in the Top End.
WILLIE-WAGTAIL (Rhipidura leucophrys) – A familiar and friendly fixture during our time in northern Queensland. We even had to make sure we didn't step on one as it fed around us at the Cairns Esplanade.
RUFOUS FANTAIL (Rhipidura rufifrons) – Our best looks came around O'Reilly's.
ARAFURA FANTAIL (Rhipidura dryas) – One was with the Black-tailed Whistler along the edge of the Adelaide River in the Top End.
GRAY FANTAIL (Rhipidura albiscapa) – A few in Queensland, and then tons in Tasmania - this little bird with its amazing song is a very common breeder there.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
WHITE-EARED MONARCH (Carterornis leucotis) – We heard this Monarch from the canopy of the forest adjacent to Lake Barrine, but it wasn't overly responsive. [*]
BLACK-FACED MONARCH (Monarcha melanopsis) – A nice look on the edge of Luke's Farm near O'Reilly's.
SPECTACLED MONARCH (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) – Common in the forests of the Atherton Tableland.


Pacific Swifts were migrating through during our visits to Darwin, and the Atherton Tablelands. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

MAGPIE-LARK (Grallina cyanoleuca) – Everywhere in the Top End and Queensland! We saw the familiar "Mud Lark" virtually every day.
LEADEN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra rubecula) – Several sightings, including building a nest, between the Top End and northern Queensland.
BROAD-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Myiagra ruficollis) – A nice encounter on Day 2 in the Top End.
SATIN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra cyanoleuca) – Tasmania. Eventually, we had very nice views of a responsive bird on the grounds of Mountain Valley Lodge.
PAPERBARK FLYCATCHER (Myiagra nana) – At Fogg Dam near Darwin, and again near Georgetown.
SHINING FLYCATCHER (Myiagra alecto) – Several encountered in the Top End near Darwin - the best views were in the mangroves at Buffalo Creek.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TORRESIAN CROW (Corvus orru) – Seen almost daily during our time in the north, both in the Top End and in Queensland.
FOREST RAVEN (Corvus tasmanicus) – This is the widespread black corvid of Tasmania.
Corcoracidae (White-winged Chough and Apostlebird)
APOSTLEBIRD (Struthidea cinerea) – These strange, garrulous birds were rather chummy in Outback Queensland. A gang was busy building a mud nest in the front garden of our hotel in Georgetown.
Paradisaeidae (Birds-of-Paradise)
PARADISE RIFLEBIRD (Ptiloris paradiseus) – After hearing several around Lamington National Park, we finally tracked down a displaying male on a side track below O'Reilly's.
VICTORIA'S RIFLEBIRD (Ptiloris victoriae) – Though we did see a couple of brilliant black and iridescent adult males, the best displays we saw came from an immature male on top of a vertical snag above Chambers Wildlife Lodge on the Atherton Tableland.
Petroicidae (Australasian Robins)
LEMON-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Microeca flavigaster) – A few nice sightings of this woodland robin around Darwin.
SCARLET ROBIN (Petroica boodang) – This beautiful songbird kicked off a nice robin quartet (Scarlet, Flame, Dusky, Pink) on the grounds of the Mountain Valley Lodge.
FLAME ROBIN (Petroica phoenicea) – Tasmania. Spendid views of this striking robin on the grounds of Mountain Valley Lodge and again on Bruny Island.
ROSE ROBIN (Petroica rosea) – A male put in a few memorable appearances for us at O'Reilly's.
PINK ROBIN (Petroica rodinogaster) – Tasmania. Excellent views of this stunner both at Mountain Valley Lodge and in the woods at Gowrie Park.
DUSKY ROBIN (Melanodryas vittata) – Tasmania. This island specialty was seen nicely on the grounds of Mountain Valley Lodge.
PALE-YELLOW ROBIN (Tregellasia capito) – Our best view of this tiny songbird was along Black Mountain Road near Cassowary House. This was the buff-lored subspecies "nana."
EASTERN YELLOW ROBIN (Eopsaltria australis) – A common and surprisingly tame fixture around the grounds of O'Reilly's.


The Yellow-breasted Boatbill is a songbird with a most interesting bill! This photo by guide Tom Johnson shows the wide, flat shape, and the hook on the end of the bill.

MANGROVE ROBIN (Eopsaltria pulverulenta) – One sang back and popped out briefly in the mangroves bounding the Cairns Esplanade.
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN (Poecilodryas superciliosa) – These scarce and local robins put on a brilliant show along Davies Creek in northern Queensland.
GRAY-HEADED ROBIN (Heteromyias cinereifrons) – Seen regularly on the Atherton Tableland, including building a nest near The Crater.
Alaudidae (Larks)
AUSTRALASIAN BUSHLARK (Mirafra javanica) – One showed fairly well in the scope in the same field as our Oriental Plover near Darwin.
EURASIAN SKYLARK (Alauda arvensis) – Tasmania. A few sang in flight over pastureland as we craned our necks skyward.
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
WELCOME SWALLOW (Hirundo neoxena) – Common and widespread.
FAIRY MARTIN (Petrochelidon ariel) – Fairly common in Queensland.
TREE MARTIN (Petrochelidon nigricans) – Common in Tasmania.
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
AUSTRALIAN REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus australis) – We had a decent view of one of these stocky skulkers in a marshy edge at Innot Hot Springs.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
TAWNY GRASSBIRD (Megalurus timoriensis) – We heard one on the Atherton Tableland, but didn't have a clean view of it. [*]
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
GOLDEN-HEADED CISTICOLA (Cisticola exilis) – A few vocalized and showed briefly in shrubby fields in the Top End and Queensland.
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
AUSTRALIAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops luteus) – Common around the edges of mangroves during our coastal stops near Darwin in the Top End.
SILVER-EYE (Zosterops lateralis) – These noisy (remember the siskin-like calls?) flocking birds were a frequent sight in Queensland and again in Tasmania.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
RUSSET-TAILED THRUSH (Zoothera heinei) – One posed along the forest boardwalk at O'Reilly's, allowing us to study it critically to separate it from the very similar Bassian Thrush.
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) – Tasmania. Common, especially around towns/ cities. [I]
Sturnidae (Starlings)
METALLIC STARLING (Aplonis metallica) – Colonies of these fascinating, gorgeous starlings were dotted along the Queensland coast near Cairns.
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Tasmania. A common sight on the island. [I]
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – These introduced birds were fairly widespread in disturbed habitats in Queensland. [I]


The noisy Black Currawong is endemic to Tasmania, where we saw them at Mountain Valley Lodge. Photo by guide Tom Johnson.

Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
MISTLETOEBIRD (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) – Common in the north, especially in Queensland. We got to see one of these aggressive birds chase a woodswallow out of a patch of mistletoe near Cumberland Dam, west of Georgetown.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – A few were in the trees around the pond at Yorkeys Knob near Cairns; more were in the hotel garden in Cairns, too.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AUSTRALASIAN PIPIT (AUSTRALIAN) (Anthus novaeseelandiae australis) – A few were on the Atherton Tableland, though we had closer sightings later in Tasmania.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
EUROPEAN GREENFINCH (Chloris chloris) – Tasmania. One brief sighting. [I]
EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis) – Tasmania. Common and widespread on the island. [I]
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Fairly common in towns and cities. [I]
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
BEAUTIFUL FIRETAIL (Stagonopleura bella) – Tasmania. We were very fortunate to see the amusing grass-carrying courtship display of this lovely little finch at the same site as the Forty-spotted Pardalotes on Bruny Island.
RED-BROWED FIRETAIL (Neochmia temporalis) – These attractive finches were easily observed both in northern Queensland and again around Lamington NP.
CRIMSON FINCH (Neochmia phaeton) – Good views in small flocks around the Top End.
ZEBRA FINCH (Taeniopygia guttata) – Repeated sightings around Cumberland and Durham Dams in Outback Queensland.


Participant Linda Rudolph got this nice portrait of a Crimson Rosella.

DOUBLE-BARRED FINCH (Taeniopygia bichenovii) – Fairly common in the Top End and in northern Queensland.
LONG-TAILED FINCH (Poephila acuticauda) – About ten were with munias at Lee Point near Darwin.
BLACK-THROATED FINCH (Poephila cincta) – Five of these desert wanderers perched up in a tree briefly at Cumberland Dam in Outback Queensland.
SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – A few were along the edge of the parkland at the Cairns Esplanade.
YELLOW-RUMPED MUNIA (Lonchura flaviprymna) – One of these handsome, pale-headed munias was an excellent sighting in a flock of Chestnut-breasted Munias on the outskirts of Darwin.
CHESTNUT-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura castaneothorax) – Several large flocks between Darwin and the Atherton Tableland.

MAMMALS
SHORT-BEAKED ECHIDNA (Tachyglossus aculeatus) – Tasmania. A few of these spiny wonders were along the sides of the roads in Tasmania.
PLATYPUS (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) – Great views on the Atherton Tableland, including one animal that fed on the surface for an extended period of time. We saw at least two more at the Mountain Valley Lodge in Tasmania.
SPOTTED-TAILED QUOLL (Dasyurus maculatus) – One of these striking marsupials bounded around the yard at Mountain Valley Lodge like an energetic cat.
TASMANIAN DEVIL (Sarcophilus harrisii) – Tasmania. We watched these amazing scavengers in action in the night at Mountain Valley Lodge. Fantastic creatures!

A visit to Australia just wouldn't be complete without views of iconic mammals like the Platypus. We watched this one for quite a while as it fed on the surface of a tranquil stream on the Atherton Tableland. Video by participant Randy Siebert.
LONG-NOSED BANDICOOT (Peramelas nasuta) – One dug around in the ground near the honey lights at Chambers Wildlife Lodge and showed off its huge nose.
COMMON WOMBAT (Vombatus ursinus) – Excellent views near the Cradle Mountain Lodge.
COMMON BRUSHTAIL POSSUM (Trichosurus vulpecula) – Several sightings around the grounds of the Mountain Valley Lodge at night.
COPPERY BRUSHTAIL POSSUM (Trichosurus johnstonii) – One on the Atherton Tableland.
SUGAR GLIDER (Petaurus breviceps) – These beautiful possums were licking honey from the well-lit trees at Chambers Wildlife Lodge.
GREEN RINGTAIL POSSUM (Pseudochirops archeri) – One was a furry, olive-colored basketball day-roosting along the road to the Crater on the Atherton Tableland.
MUSKY RAT-KANGAROO (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) – Our first was along the trail at Lake Barrine; another was below the porch at Cassowary House.
TASMANIAN PADEMELON (Thylogale billardierii) – Common in Tasmania.
RED-NECKED PADEMELON (Thylogale thetis) – Regular sightings on the grounds of O'Reilly's in Lamington NP.
RED-LEGGED PADEMELON (Thylogale stigmatica) – Regular sightings on the grounds of Chambers Wildlife Lodge and elsewhere on the Atherton Tableland.
MAREEBA ROCK-WALLABY (Petrogale mareeba) – The approachable animals gave us up-close views at Granite Gorge near Cairns.
LUMHOLTZ'S TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) – The animal that came lumbering down a tree next to us at the Curtain Fig Tree on the Atherton Tableland was a most excellent surprise.
AGILE WALLABY (Macropus agilis) – Quite common in the northern reaches of our tour, especially around East Point in Darwin.

This Lumholtz's Tree-Kangaroo was an excellent surprise as we walked near the Curtain Fig Tree in Queensland. Participant Randy Siebert captured the moment with a great video of this peculiar beast.
RED-NECKED WALLABY (Macropus rufogriseus) – A few were spotted along the road on the drive up to O'Reilly's in Lamington NP.
WHIPTAIL WALLABY (Macropus parryi) – These lovely wallabies were along the side of the road in Lamington NP below O'Reilly's.
EASTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus giganteus) – Plenty of these huge 'roos were lounging around the Mareeba Golf Course.
BLACK FLYING-FOX (Pteropus alecto) – We saw dozens of these huge bats flying in to roost at Fogg Dam like so many flying monkeys.
OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus) – A few were seen here and there. [I]
SOUTHERN FUR SEAL SP. (Arctocephalus sp.) – Tasmania. A few were seen briefly near the fish pens as we left Bruny Island on the ferry.
FALLOW DEER (Dama dama) – Tasmania. A herd of 50+ animals was along the road as we drove across the middle of Tasmania.


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS


Totals for the tour: 359 bird taxa and 24 mammal taxa