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Field Guides Tour Report
Australia - Part Two 2018
Oct 23, 2018 to Nov 12, 2018
John Coons & Cory Gregory

The Superb Fairywren lives up to its name! These familiar and friendly wrens are a favorite of locals and visitors alike! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Whether it was quietly stalking pittas, spending a magical evening with boobooks and being mere inches away from Sugar Gliders, watching bustards coming in to drink, or having bowerbirds scampering about at our feet, this tour had such a wide range of highlights that it was hard to take it all in!

Our tour started in Darwin where the lush, tropical climate kept us warm as we tracked down local specialties at Fogg Dam, Manton Dam, the shorelines of Buffalo Creek and Lee Point, the Adelaide River, Knuckey's Lagoon, and many other spots. Whether it was the Beach Thick-knee standing guard, the huge Torresian Imperial-Pigeons booming overhead, the stunning Rainbow Pitta, Red-headed Myzomelas working through the mangroves, Large-tailed Nightjars circling us in the dark, or flocks of Brolgas, there was more than enough birdlife to keep us very busy indeed!

After a quick flight to Cairns, we found ourselves amongst mangrove specialties like Mangrove Robin and Torresian Kingfisher, spectacular rainforest species like Southern Cassowary and Green Catbirds, and a beautiful array of fruit-doves and honeyeaters. We ventured to Georgetown, spotting an Emu en route, where we spent a couple of days amongst the finches, waterbirds, and bustards. It was fantastic watching the show of hundreds of birds swarming to the waterholes including specialties like Plum-headed and Black-throated finches, Cockatiels, Squatter Pigeons, a myriad of honeyeaters, and even some sightings of the huge Channel-billed Cuckoo. Chambers Rainforest Lodge and the surrounding Atherton Tableland provided a contrast with its lush forests and specialties like Bower's Shrikethrush, Atherton Scrubwren, and even a show from a displaying Victoria's Riflebird that left us stunned!

Farther south in Queensland, at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, we found new species like logrunners, Satin and Regent bowerbirds, Paradise Riflebirds, and even the rare and range-restricted Albert's Lyrebird. The White-browed and Yellow-throated scrubwrens hopped around our feet, Noisy Pittas sang from the shadows, and Wonga Pigeons waddled by. Even our meals had avian highlights like the friendly Crimson Rosellas. What a magical place!

Those that continued to Tasmania added a whole new array of endemic birds, mammals, and a marked difference of scenery and climate. The brisk mornings gave way to pleasant days filled with Scrubtits, currawongs, Tasmanian Thornbills, Green Rosellas, and many others. Bruny Island was productive and we saw specialties like the rare Forty-spotted Pardalote, Black-faced Cormorant, Hooded Plover, and Swift Parrot! The mammals in Tasmania were almost as impressive with sightings of Spotted-tailed Quoll, Platypus, Common Wombat, Tasmanian Pademelon, and of course the amazing and rare Tasmanian Devil!

This trip wouldn't have been nearly as fun without a fun bunch of birders and John and I would like to thank you for making that happen! A huge thanks to Karen in Austin who took care of logistics and thanks also to our many wonderful drivers; from Anna in Darwin, to Clayton in northern Queensland, and Glen and others at O'Reilly's, it really was a fun bunch.

Until next time, John and I wish you good birding!



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

Casuariidae (Cassowaries and Emu)
SOUTHERN CASSOWARY (Casuarius casuarius) – One of the great birds of the world, this rainforest giant was seen amazingly well at the Cassowary House in Queensland during our visit. We watched as the male foraged alongside a couple of chicks before it was joined by the impressive female. This flightless species has gone through serious declines in recent years due to loss of habitat, car collisions, etc.
EMU (Dromaius novaehollandiae) – Another flightless giant, one of these was spotted as we drove west towards Georgetown! An amazing bird with an important aboriginal history, these can stand to about 6 feet tall! In fact, among all living birds, only the Ostrich stands taller.
Anseranatidae (Magpie Goose)
MAGPIE GOOSE (Anseranas semipalmata) – This strange goose, which is now in a family of its own, was abundant during our time around Darwin. They continued to be common through the Cairns and Georgetown area but we left their range once we flew south.
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
PLUMED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna eytoni) – We saw the long plumes sticking out from the flanks on this attractive duck species; sightings came from Knuckey Lagoon in the NT and again at Hasties Swamp in Queensland.
WANDERING WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arcuata) – This is another attractive whistling-duck and one that is a bit more widespread than the previous species. Like the Plumed, most of our sightings came from wet areas in the NT such as Knuckey Lagoon and Fogg Dam with a few more scattered sightings in Queensland.
FRECKLED DUCK (Stictonetta naevosa) – Generally a rare species on this itinerary, this interesting duck was spotted not once but twice! First at Hasties Swamp and then again at Cumberland Dam near Georgetown.

Of course, this rare denizen of rainforests, the Southern Cassowary, makes the highlight reel everytime. We watched as both adults and the chicks meandered through the grounds of the Cassowary House. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

BLACK SWAN (Cygnus atratus) – Mainland and Tasmania. Our only sighting from the main tour came from Innot Hot Springs but we saw them many times in Tasmania on various ponds and wetlands.
AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCK (Tadorna tadornoides) – Tasmania only. A big and beautiful duck, these were spotted on roadside ponds only a few times including near Mole Creek and Upper Castra.
RADJAH SHELDUCK (Tadorna radjah) – Our only sightings of this striking duck came from the NT: Knuckey Lagoon and a couple from the Darwin Botanic Gardens.
GREEN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus pulchellus) – This tiny species of perching duck actually nests in tree hollows. We had awesome looks at Fogg Dam, Manton Dam, Hasties Swamp, and Warruma Swamp.
MANED DUCK (Chenonetta jubata) – Mainland and Tasmania. Also known as "Australian Wood Duck", these were spotted on the fringes of wet areas and we noted how they were always on the banks, seemingly never actually in the water.
AUSTRALIAN SHOVELER (Spatula rhynchotis) – Tasmania only. One of these dabbling ducks was present on a roadside pond in the central highlands as we drove south towards Hobart.
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa) – Mainland and Tasmania. Common throughout on ponds and in wet areas.

Hardly imposing yet, the fascinating chicks of the Southern Cassowary seemed oblivious to our presence. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

GRAY TEAL (Anas gracilis) – A fairly common and plain duck species of Australia and New Zealand, these were seen nearly daily during our time in the Northern Territory and Queensland.
CHESTNUT TEAL (Anas castanea) – Tasmania only. Fairly common in wet areas once we reached Tassie. Although some of the female dabblers we saw on the mainland could have been this species, it wasn't until later in the trip that we confirmed them with several sightings of the striking drakes.
PINK-EARED DUCK (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) – Given the fairly dry conditions, good numbers of this unique duck had gathered at traditional spots like Hasties Swamp where we saw more than 200. It's been suggested that this species is the only one in the Anseriformes order known to have carotenoid pigments in its feathers (in the hard-to-see pink spot).
WHITE-EYED DUCK (Aythya australis) – Mainland and Tasmania. Also known as "Hardhead", this is the only Aythya found in Australia. We had looks from various wet areas in Queensland such as Innot Hot Springs, Warruma Swamp, and Cumberland Dam.
MUSK DUCK (Biziura lobata) – Tasmania only. A truly bizarre species, the systematics of this duck relative to others have long been shrouded in uncertainty. We were lucky to find a couple of these on various ponds as we drove towards Hobart.
Megapodiidae (Megapodes)
AUSTRALIAN BRUSHTURKEY (Alectura lathami) – A common, ubiquitous, and friendly ground-dweller during our time along the coast of Queensland.
ORANGE-FOOTED SCRUBFOWL (Megapodius reinwardt) – Another megapode, these were a common sight on each of our days in the Northern Territory. A few were around Chambers in Queensland as well although they seemed less cosmopolitan there.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)
BROWN QUAIL (Synoicus ypsilophorus) – Although widespread and probably common, it always takes a bit of luck to bump into this secretive species. We flushed a covey or two at Cumberland Dam near Georgetown but they didn't stay in view for long.

The waterholes near Georgetown play an important role as the water source for many of the local birds. We watched as hundreds of birds descended to the edge to take a drink before starting their day. Photo by participant Charley Walker.

Podicipedidae (Grebes)
AUSTRALASIAN GREBE (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) – Mainland and Tasmania. This tiny grebe was fairly common in wetlands of both the NT and Queensland. We spotted some in Tasmania as well during our time near Deloraine.
HOARY-HEADED GREBE (Poliocephalus poliocephalus) – Tasmania only. Our only sighting of this attractive grebe was from the small roadside wetland and garden near Upper Castra.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus) – More than 200 of these big grebes were seen at Lake Barrine in the Crater Lakes area of Queensland. Turns out, that was our only sighting of the trip.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
BLACK-NECKED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) – Called "jabirus" by locals, these wetland giants were seen nicely at Knuckey Lagoon. An impressive species, they're huge with a 7-8 foot wingspan!
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
AUSTRALASIAN GANNET (Morus serrator) – Tasmania only. We had a couple of brief looks as a few of these flew along the shoreline of Adventure Bay on Bruny Island.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE PIED CORMORANT (Microcarbo melanoleucos) – Mainland and Tasmania. A familiar little cormorant, these were seen in a variety of wet habitats. The black-and-white plumage along with the tiny bill made this species fairly distinct.
GREAT CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax carbo) – Mainland and Tasmania. Most of our sightings came from Tasmania where they were fairly common throughout.
LITTLE BLACK CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) – Mainland and Tasmania. Our first looks came from Knuckey Lagoon in the NT but we went on to see more at Lake Barrine and the Georgetown area.
BLACK-FACED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax fuscescens) – Tasmania only. The ferry terminal in Kettering, across from Bruny Island, hosted a few of these southern specialties.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AUSTRALASIAN DARTER (Anhinga novaehollandiae) – Fairly common in both the Northern Territory and Queensland, and often in areas with slow or still water. Note the genus, this is a relative of the Anhinga from the Americas.

The regal-looking Australian Bustard was a hit! They strutted their stuff down to the water and even down the road! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AUSTRALIAN PELICAN (Pelecanus conspicillatus) – This big, black-and-white pelican was tallied nearly every day of the main tour. Although the fact is startling, this species will sometimes eat other birds like Silver Gulls and pigeons.
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PACIFIC HERON (Ardea pacifica) – Also known as "White-necked Heron" by some sources. This medium-sized heron was uncommon but widespread and we tallied them at places like Knuckey Lagoon and Hasties Swamp.
GREAT EGRET (Ardea alba) – Fairly common in wet areas throughout the main portion of the tour.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Ardea intermedia) – We were able to study the subtle fieldmarks in direct comparison with the previous species at Knuckey Lagoon.
WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae) – Mainland and Tasmania. Although we had a few sightings on the main portion of the tour, these ended up being common in Tasmania and we saw them daily there.
LITTLE EGRET (Egretta garzetta) – Fairly uncommon on this tour, this dainty heron was seen nicely at the esplanade in Cairns.
PACIFIC REEF-HERON (Egretta sacra) – A short-legged denizen of coastal reefs and shorelines. We had awesome looks at a dark one along the Cairns esplanade.

These Australian Pelicans posed nicely for participant Jean Perata during our time along the Cairns esplanade.

PIED HERON (Egretta picata) – A small but striking heron, these were seen a few times in the Northern Territory at spots like Knuckey Lagoon and Fogg Dam.
CATTLE EGRET (Bubulcus ibis) – Mainland and Tasmania. This familiar egret was seen on a majority of our days, usually in pastures alongside cattle.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – A quiet and unobtrusive heron, these can be difficult to find sometimes as they sit motionless. We spotted these a few times including at the Rapid Creek Estuary near Darwin.
RUFOUS NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax caledonicus) – Also known as "Nankeen Night-Heron", this is another quiet heron that can be difficult to pick up on. We had stunning looks at one in the scope from the Adelaide River Bridge area.
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)
GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – This dark wetland species was fairly common in wet areas in the NT and Queensland.
AUSTRALIAN IBIS (Threskiornis molucca) – Also known as "Australian White Ibis", these were a mainstay during our time in Darwin and Cairns. In fact, we even saw them rummaging through roadside rubbish!
STRAW-NECKED IBIS (Threskiornis spinicollis) – This was another abundant ibis that we found in urban areas, roadsides, and wet pastures.
ROYAL SPOONBILL (Platalea regia) – The more common of the two Australian spoonbills, this dark-billed species was seen nicely at Knuckey Lagoon, Hasties Swamp, and a close individual along the Cairns esplanade.
YELLOW-BILLED SPOONBILL (Platalea flavipes) – Generally a rare species on this tour, one of these was found foraging in the reservoir at Cumberland Dam near Georgetown.
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (Pandion haliaetus) – Just one of these fish-eating raptors was tallied north of Cairns in Queensland.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
AUSTRALIAN KITE (Elanus axillaris) – Called "Black-shouldered Kite" by some sources, this graceful black-and-white raptor was spotted a few times in the hilly terrain of the tablelands.

This Rufous Night-Heron (sometimes referred to as Nankeen Night-Heron) sat tight when we found it near the Adelaide River early in the tour. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

PACIFIC BAZA (Aviceda subcristata) – This peculiar raptor was seen briefly at Manton Dam but only by a few lucky folks.
LITTLE EAGLE (Hieraaetus morphnoides) – We had a quick flyover at Howard Springs but it didn't stick around for long.
WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE (Aquila audax) – Mainland and Tasmania. This massive bird of prey proved to be pretty uncommon on the main portion of the tour but we made up for it in Tasmania where we saw the endemic subspecies every day.
SWAMP HARRIER (Circus approximans) – Tasmania only. We had a few floating along the roadsides on various days towards the end of our trip.
SPOTTED HARRIER (Circus assimilis) – A tough bird to nail down sometimes, this species was spotted near the racetrack in Georgetown.
GRAY GOSHAWK (Accipiter novaehollandiae) – A beautiful, pale bird of prey! We enjoyed extended views of a pair near O'Reilly's including one that soared overhead for a bit.
BROWN GOSHAWK (Accipiter fasciatus) – A high, soaring bird at Knuckey Lagoon looked to be this species.
COLLARED SPARROWHAWK (Accipiter cirrocephalus) – As is typical with accipiters, it's hard to predict where these might show up. We were lucky to have repeated sparrowhawks pop into view here and there during our time in the NT and Queensland.

We were birding along the coast in Darwin when this Brahminy Kite did an amazing fly-by, giving us all fantastic looks. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

BLACK KITE (Milvus migrans) – An abundant bird of prey during our time in Darwin, Cairns, and Georgetown. Swarms of these would float overhead in just about every habitat.
WHISTLING KITE (Haliastur sphenurus) – Although less common than the previous species, these were still tallied nearly every day. This raptor has a more rounded tip to the tail when compared to Black Kite.
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – Although tallied on just one day, we had superb looks at this drop-dead gorgeous raptor in the Darwin area. This is a mostly coastal species where they often feed by scavenging on dead fish.
WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucogaster) – Mainland and Tasmania. Don't let the name mislead you, sometimes these are found far away from the sea! For example, we had one fly by during a morning in the dry habitats near Georgetown! Later in the tour, in Tasmania, we had a regal pair perched oceanside on Bruny Island.
Otididae (Bustards)
AUSTRALIAN BUSTARD (Ardeotis australis) – What an interesting bird! The Georgetown area hosted several of these and we even saw them coming in to drink, walking down the road, and flying by.
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
WHITE-BROWED CRAKE (Amaurornis cinerea) – We caught up with this small skulker as it ran through the floating vegetation at Fogg Dam.
AUSTRALASIAN SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio melanotus melanotus) – Mainland and Tasmania. Formerly in the Purple Swamphen complex, this was split out to a full species a while back. Fairly common in freshwater wetlands and marshes.

This ghostly bird of prey circled overhead during our time at O'Reilly's. Indeed, the Gray Goshawk is one of the most striking raptors in Australia. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

DUSKY MOORHEN (Gallinula tenebrosa) – We found three of these at Innot Hot Springs on the day we drove west to Georgetown.
TASMANIAN NATIVEHEN (Tribonyx mortierii) – Tasmania only. This flightless endemic was quite common throughout our time in Tasmania. Tallied daily, these were often seen walking and galloping through pastures and nearby marsh edges.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra) – Mainland and Tasmania. Fairly common in freshwater wetlands and marshes.
Gruidae (Cranes)
SARUS CRANE (Antigone antigone) – We eventually tracked down several of these during our time on the Atherton Tableland. We also saw one at Hasties Swamp; it looked to be injured but still capable of flight.
BROLGA (Antigone rubicunda) – An impressive flock of 40 of these cranes cruised overhead during our morning at Fogg Dam, calling all the way. Later in the tour, we saw some in the Georgetown area.
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
BUSH THICK-KNEE (Burhinus grallarius) – A fantastic, big-eyed shorebird! We came face-to-face with these in Darwin where they sometimes nest in rather urban neighborhoods. We later found a family group, including some cute chicks, at the Nereda Tea plantation entrance area.
BEACH THICK-KNEE (Esacus magnirostris) – An impressive shorebird of coastal reefs. We lucked into one near Darwin where we were able to scope it and note the gargantuan bill. This is one of the largest shorebird species on the planet.

Our tour enjoyed a fun diversity of shorebirds! From the rocky reefs near Darwin to the sandy esplanade in Cairns, there were always interesting sandpipers and plovers to enjoy. This is a Black-fronted Dotterel in Cairns. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
PIED STILT (Himantopus leucocephalus) – A tall, lanky, black-and-white shorebird that we saw nicely at Knuckey Lagoon, Fogg Dam, and a number of other wetlands throughout the main portion of the tour.
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
PIED OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus longirostris) – Mainland and Tasmania. Our first look at this striking coastal species was of a flyby at the Cairns esplanade. We later saw them in Tasmania including very good looks on Bruny Island.
SOOTY OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus fuliginosus) – Tasmania only. We managed to pick one out on the beach at Adventure Bay alongside the Pied Oystercatchers and Hooded Plovers.
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER (Pluvialis squatarola) – A couple of these big plovers, sporting their non-breeding plumage, were seen in the coastal areas near Darwin.
PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva) – These wintering plovers were seen on the rocky shelf offshore of Nightcliff. We also picked out a couple on the flats in Brisbane during our brief scan between the mangroves.
BANDED LAPWING (Vanellus tricolor) – Tasmania only. What can be a tricky species to find some years, a few adults and chicks were found in a roadside field near Wilmot.
MASKED LAPWING (Vanellus miles) – Mainland and Tasmania. Abundant and very nearly tallied every day of tour (it was missed on the O'Reilly's day).
LESSER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius mongolus) – A species that breeds far to the north, these were in Australia for their non-breeding season. A few were scoped on the flats near Darwin.

Another plover that we watched at close range in Cairns was this Red-capped Plover. It was exhibiting the classic behavior of Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii) – Similar to the previous species, just a couple of these were on the rocky flats near Nightcliff during our scoping session.
RED-CAPPED PLOVER (Charadrius ruficapillus) – A dainty plover that's mostly confined to Australia, these were seen on the sandy portions of the Cairns esplanade and we ended up getting beautiful looks.
ORIENTAL PLOVER (Charadrius veredus) – A couple of these were spotted on the flats near Nightcliff but then they performed a vanishing act and went missing. Darn!
RED-KNEED DOTTEREL (Erythrogonys cinctus) – This attractive shorebird was seen at a variety of wetlands where they poked along the edges. Good spots included Knuckey Lagoon, Hasties Swamp, and Cumberland Dam.
HOODED PLOVER (Thinornis cucullatus) – Tasmania only. Another beautiful shorebird, this endangered species was spied on the sandy beaches of Adventure Bay on Bruny Island. It's thought that as few as 7000 of these are left on the planet.
BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL (Elseyornis melanops) – Beautifully patterned, these turned out to be rather common and we had great looks at the Cairns esplanade, Hasties Swamp, Cumberland Dam, and several other locations.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
COMB-CRESTED JACANA (Irediparra gallinacea) – Those toes! This large-footed aquatic forager was seen nicely at Fogg Dam and several other locations on the first half of Part II.

In fact, the shorebirding near Georgetown can be quite productive! Here John and Charley are checking out what's attending the water at Cumberland Dam. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
WHIMBREL (Numenius phaeopus) – This medium-sized curlew was seen in a variety of coastal locations where it probed for food with its down-curved bill.
FAR EASTERN CURLEW (Numenius madagascariensis) – This huge shorebird is the largest shorebird species in the world. We had repeated looks including some close ones at the Cairns esplanade.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – This, and the following species, were seen side-by-side at the Cairns esplanade where we got to study the pertinent fieldmarks. For starters, this species is a little more squat and has shorter legs.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa limosa) – If seen in flight, this godwit has a striking white rump, black tail, and white underwings. They stand a bit taller and with a straighter bill compared to the previous species. We got to study these fieldmarks along the Cairns esplanade as the tide pushed the birds in.
RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres) – Only a few of these familiar shorebirds were seen along the coast during our time in Darwin.
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris) – A common wintering shorebird that we encountered on the shorelines near Darwin and again along the Cairns esplanade.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – Only a few of these wintering shorebirds were sprinkled in with the Great Knots along the shoreline near Darwin.
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER (Calidris acuminata) – A fairly common wintering species that we saw in good numbers at Knuckey Lagoon, the Cairns esplanade, Hasties Swamp, and out in the Georgetown area.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – Only a few were sprinkled in on the tidal flats in Cairns but we got to appreciate their small size and fairly long, curved bill.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis) – The most common and expected "peep" during our time in Australia. We tallied these on about half of our days on the main portion of the tour, always on mudflats. Interestingly, we found and photographed one at the Cairns esplanade that had been previously captured by shorebird biologists. We were able to track down the code and found that it was banded in Japan a few months earlier!
SANDERLING (Calidris alba) – Scarce on tour, only a few of these pale wave-chasers were spotted at Buffalo Creek near Darwin.
TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus) – A frantic, distinctive little shorebird with a characteristic upturned-bill. We scoped these out on the flats in both Darwin and Cairns.

We were fortunate to see wonderful variety of colorful doves and pigeons. Here's a Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove photographed by guide Cory Gregory.

COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – The distinctive bobbing behavior really gave this one away! We spied these on the flats near Darwin.
GRAY-TAILED TATTLER (Tringa brevipes) – This is a medium-sized shorebird of coastal areas where they're often seen running on flats and rocky areas. We found ourselves around quite a few tattlers in Darwin and again at the Cairns esplanade.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – A close relative of the yellowlegs from the Americas, this tall and sturdy Tringa was seen a few times around Darwin including at Knuckey Lagoon.
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – A very slender and pale Tringa, these aren't as tall as greenshanks and they have a very thin, needle-like bill instead. We were able to study these at length at Cumberland Dam.
WOOD SANDPIPER (Tringa glareola) – John expertly picked one of these out of the shorebirds at Knuckey Lagoon near Darwin. These too are in the Tringa genus like our yellowlegs.
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)
AUSTRALIAN PRATINCOLE (Stiltia isabella) – We were just taking off from Cairns when a few of these were seen along the runway! Luckily, when we landed in Gove, there was another that gave us all a great show as we gawked from inside the terminal.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SILVER GULL (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) – Mainland and Tasmania. The only gull present on the main portion of the tour.
PACIFIC GULL (Larus pacificus) – Tasmania only. These dark-backed gulls have massive bills and black tails; we were able to see these fieldmarks when a couple flew over in Adventure Bay on Bruny Island.

The Pacific Emerald Dove is another rainforest species we saw point-blank at the Cassowary House in Queensland. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

KELP GULL (Larus dominicanus) – Tasmania only. A few were seen around Hobart by a some folks and then again the following day in Kettering as our ferry pulled out.
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – A couple of these tiny terns were foraging offshore at the Cairns esplanade.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – A fairly common tern that we encountered both along beaches near Darwin and then again in Cairns.
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – The largest tern species, these orange-billed behemoths were sitting amongst the gulls and shorebirds along the Cairns esplanade.
WHISKERED TERN (Chlidonias hybrida) – This was the common freshwater tern at places like Knuckey Lagoon, Fogg Dam, Warruma Swamp, and the Georgetown area. Note that these belong to the same genus as the Black Terns from the Americas.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii) – Mainland and Tasmania. A few were seen early in the tour at East Point near Darwin and then on the extension to Tasmania where they were flying around around the ferry to Bruny Island.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – Mainland and Tasmania. Common in some urban areas. [I]
WHITE-HEADED PIGEON (Columba leucomela) – A morning outing on the grounds at Chambers yielded a nice scope view of one of these rainforest pigeons. These are in the same genus as the Rock Pigeon.

Our trip began with a couple of exciting encounters with owls. In Darwin, we came face-to-face with this Rufous Owl in the Botanical Gardens. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – Mainland and Tasmania. Introduced, this dove was seen in various urban settings. [I]
BROWN CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia phasianella) – Sometimes wary and hard to see, this large and all-brown dove was seen at various times although usually not for long. Perhaps our best views came from the vehicle near O'Reilly's.
PACIFIC EMERALD DOVE (Chalcophaps longirostris) – Found often on the ground, the first one was spotted at Lee Point near Darwin but we had even better looks at Cassowary House.
COMMON BRONZEWING (Phaps chalcoptera) – A few came in to drink at a waterhole near Georgetown one evening.
BRUSH BRONZEWING (Phaps elegans) – Tasmania only. Seen by some around the Mountain Valley Lodge although they never performed for the group as a whole.
CRESTED PIGEON (Ocyphaps lophotes) – If you like your pigeons with big crests, you came to the right place! This is a fantastic Australian species and they were common in the dry country near Georgetown.
SQUATTER PIGEON (Geophaps scripta) – A number of these ground-loving pigeons were seen at waterholes near Georgetown where they usually arrived by foot!

And then there are times you just get lucky and bump into an owl where you didn't expect! I'm not sure who was more startled, this Barking Owl or us when we put a scope on it! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

WONGA PIGEON (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) – Usually a very shy and hard-to-see species, these attractive ground-dwellers came out into clearings at O'Reilly's where we all had excellent looks.
DIAMOND DOVE (Geopelia cuneata) – It was a good trip for this tiny species; they were gathering at the waterholes near Georgetown by the dozens.
PEACEFUL DOVE (Geopelia placida) – An abundant and widespread dove through the first half of Part II.
BAR-SHOULDERED DOVE (Geopelia humeralis) – This was another common and widespread dove in Darwin, Cairns, Georgetown, etc. Although in the same genus, this species is a fair bit larger than the previous two.
WOMPOO FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus magnificus) – A beautiful, rainforest species that was heard more often than seen. We had looks near Cassowary House and Chambers Rainforest Lodge.
SUPERB FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus superbus) – An uncommon fruit-dove, these were spotted only a few times at Chambers Rainforest Lodge where they were feeding high in a fruiting tree.
ROSE-CROWNED FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus regina) – A stunning dove of northern and eastern Australia, these were seen at a number of locations such as Fogg Dam, Adelaide River, Cassowary House, and Chambers Rainforest Lodge.

There are so many impressive things about the Channel-billed Cuckoo that it's hard to know where to begin! This behemoth, the largest cuckoo species in the world, did several fly-bys during our time near Georgetown. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

TORRESIAN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula spilorrhoa) – This large, black-and-white pigeon was an in-your-face presence throughout our time in Darwin and Cairns. The low and resonant song was a common and somewhat eerie sound in a variety of habitats.
TOPKNOT PIGEON (Lopholaimus antarcticus) – It was tough finding this arboreal species perched but we did have several flyovers near O'Reilly's in southern Queensland.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)
PHEASANT COUCAL (Centropus phasianinus) – Wow, what a cuckoo! This huge species was spied a few times at spots like the Darwin Botanic Gardens, Adelaide River, and near Georgetown. A heavy, ground-dwelling species, these incubate and raise their own young.
PACIFIC KOEL (AUSTRALIAN) (Eudynamys orientalis cyanocephalus) – Although the song was a fairly common sound, seeing these cuckoos was another matter. We had glimpses of a female at the Adelaide River. On more than one occasion, we even heard the song well after dark.
CHANNEL-BILLED CUCKOO (Scythrops novaehollandiae) – Wow! These are the largest cuckoos in the world and are also the largest brood parasites in the world. We had a great show at dawn near Georgetown that included several interacting with each other. A migrant species in Australia, their arrival coincides with the rainy season.
SHINING BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx lucidus) – Mainland and Tasmania. This small cuckoo was seen nicely at O'Reilly's and then heard several more times in Tasmania around the Mountain Valley Lodge.
LITTLE BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx minutillus) – We had just a handful of sightings from around Darwin and Cairns. The eyering on this species is bright red which helped differentiate it from the other bronze-cuckoos.
PALLID CUCKOO (Cacomantis pallidus) – Tasmania only. Who said grocery store parking lots weren't good for cuckoos? One of these pale birds was singing in the middle of a town!

The frogmouths are some of the best-known for their cryptic plumages and postures. Here's a Tawny Frogmouth doing its best to blend in. Photo by participant Jean Perata.

FAN-TAILED CUCKOO (Cacomantis flabelliformis) – Mainland and Tasmania. We had awesome looks at a singing bird in the dry forest near O'Reilly's and once we found the perch, it stayed there for ages, singing nonstop.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
SOOTY OWL (LESSER) (Tyto tenebricosa multipunctata) – It's always eerie hearing this rainforest owl in the dead of night but our attempt at Chambers Rainforest Lodge proved successful. One came in, calling, but it continued on before many people saw it.
Strigidae (Owls)
RUFOUS OWL (Ninox rufa) – This impressive owl was seen roosting in the Darwin Botanic Gardens on our first afternoon of the tour. More unexpected was one that we found during the day near East Point in Darwin!
BARKING OWL (Ninox connivens) – One of the highlights from our first day in Darwin was scoping one of these in the botanic gardens. We lucked into another at Manton Dam and boy, it looked rather startled!
SOUTHERN BOOBOOK (Ninox novaeseelandiae) – Mainland and Tasmania. Beautiful looks of this little owl were had at Chambers Rainforest Lodge and O'Reilly's. In Tasmania, one was seen after dark during our stay at the Mountain Valley Lodge.
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
TAWNY FROGMOUTH (Podargus strigoides) – A master of camouflage! We saw these twice and both times at nests; first in Georgetown and then again on the Luke O'Reilly farm. Of all the frogmouths in Australia, this is the most widespread.
MARBLED FROGMOUTH (PLUMED) (Podargus ocellatus plumiferus) – For a few folks that participated in a late-night hike at O'Reilly's, this rare nightbird became an instant highlight. This subspecies is extremely limited in range.
PAPUAN FROGMOUTH (Podargus papuensis) – A very large frogmouth, one of these rare birds was spotted on a nest at Centenary Lakes in Cairns.
Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Allies)
LARGE-TAILED NIGHTJAR (Caprimulgus macrurus) – We had an amazing experience as one of these rare nocturnal insect-eaters circled us at Fogg Dam predawn one morning!

Another frogmouth we encountered, the huge Papuan Frogmouth, was also trying to blend in but Scott got his keen eyes on it anyway and called it out! Photo by participant Jean Perata.

Apodidae (Swifts)
AUSTRALIAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus terraereginae) – Our best luck with these little swifts was around the Mount Hypipamee National Park in Queensland.
PACIFIC SWIFT (Apus pacificus) – There was a number streaming overhead during an afternoon in the Northern Territory but those were our only sightings of these big swifts.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
LAUGHING KOOKABURRA (Dacelo novaeguineae) – Mainland and Tasmania. A classic species of Australia, it wouldn't be a trip without them! This huge kingfisher was introduced to Tasmania where we saw them as well. [N]
BLUE-WINGED KOOKABURRA (Dacelo leachii) – We had a few scattered sightings in the Northern Territory where Laughing Kookaburras are not present.
RED-BACKED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus pyrrhopygius) – It took a little effort but we eventually tracked down a couple of these at Cumberland Dam near Georgetown.
FOREST KINGFISHER (Todiramphus macleayii) – Common during our time in the Northern Territory, this blue-backed kingfisher isn't tied to water and can be seen in a variety of dry habitats.
TORRESIAN KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sordidus) – A mangrove specialist, this large-billed kingfisher was seen nicely in Nightcliff near Darwin and then heard again near the Cairns esplanade.
SACRED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sanctus) – Not an abundant kingfisher for us on this tour, only a few sightings of this widespread species were called out.
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RAINBOW BEE-EATER (Merops ornatus) – A pugnacious, vibrant, often-common, and beautiful companion we had during the first half of our tour.

It wouldn't be a trip to Australia without enjoying the antics of this huge kingfisher, the Laughing Kookaburra. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Coraciidae (Rollers)
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – This species, which is in the roller family, was fairly common during the first half of the tour and we had sightings most days.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AUSTRALIAN KESTREL (Falco cenchroides) – Although it seemed that most of our sightings came when we were in transit, this falcon was spotted a few times in Queensland including a couple of times near Georgetown.
AUSTRALIAN HOBBY (Falco longipennis) – Rather rare on this tour for us, this falcon came into a nest on a tower but then remained hidden for most of the time. [N]
BROWN FALCON (Falco berigora) – Mainland and Tasmania. A rather odd falcon, and one that doesn't behave much like others in the family, these were spotted only a few times. Cumberland Dam yielded a couple that perched up on the chimney.
PEREGRINE FALCON (Falco peregrinus) – Mainland and Tasmania. An afternoon foray onto Luke O'Reilly's farm yielded a look at a nesting area we could see through the scope. A fluffy chick and an adult were present. [N]
Cacatuidae (Cockatoos)
RED-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus banksii) – A beautiful, large, and classic species we saw many times in both the NT and Queensland. Their slow, exaggerated flapping is quite unlike most bird species.
GLOSSY BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus lathami) – Wow, it was a real treat to see this rare bird near O'Reilly's! Our local guide picked up on the faint call of a youngster and we successfully tracked down at least three of these seldom-seen black-cockatoos. A special sighting indeed!

You know it's good if a trip sees 3+ species with "rainbow" in the name. This was one of them, the Rainbow Bee-eater. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

YELLOW-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus funereus) – Tasmania only. Although they played wary this time, a few scattered sightings set us straight. At times, they would fly over the Mountain Valley Lodge grounds but it took a bit of luck to be at the right place at the right time.
GALAH (Eolophus roseicapilla) – Mainland and Tasmania. This pink species, which is in the cockatoo family, was fairly common near Georgetown where we saw several large flocks.
LITTLE CORELLA (Cacatua sanguinea) – A group of these white cockatoos was spotted feeding on a bank near the Rapid Creek Estuary near Darwin.
SULPHUR-CRESTED COCKATOO (Cacatua galerita) – Mainland and Tasmania. Very nearly tallied every day, this widespread and common species has one of the harshest calls! We almost needed to cover our ears when they came flying by!
COCKATIEL (Nymphicus hollandicus) – A fantastic native species to Australia, these are actually in the cockatoo family! We were lucky to cross paths with a couple of flocks near Georgetown and got to enjoy them as they wheeled around and down to drink.
Psittaculidae (Old World Parrots)
AUSTRALIAN KING-PARROT (Alisterus scapularis) – I'm not sure one could get better looks at this beautiful species... mostly because they might have been perched on your head! These have become very easy-to-see at O'Reilly's in southern Queensland.
RED-WINGED PARROT (Aprosmictus erythropterus) – Often found in dry habitats, this attractive parrot was seen both near Darwin and then again around the waterholes of Georgetown.

The Galah is in the cockatoo family and we had several big flocks of these in the dry country near Georgetown. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SWIFT PARROT (Lathamus discolor) – Tasmania only. This is a critically endangered species that breeds only on Tasmania and it's been estimated that as few as 1000 breeding pairs may be left. We encountered a wonderful flock of these on Bruny Island and, although they were tricky to pick out in the treetops, we all ended up with nice looks.
GREEN ROSELLA (Platycercus caledonicus) – Tasmania only. This rosella, which is endemic to Tasmania, was seen right off the bat once we arrived and then daily throughout our visit to the island state.
CRIMSON ROSELLA (Platycercus elegans) – There was no shortage of these vibrant rosellas at O'Reilly's and we can confirm that they were as interested in our meals as we were! I walked into the gift shop to find one riding around on Sharon's head!
NORTHERN ROSELLA (Platycercus venustus) – A tricky Australian endemic that is found mostly in the Northern Territory. We lucked out and found a couple near Manton Dam, south of Darwin.
PALE-HEADED ROSELLA (Platycercus adscitus) – This was the dry-country rosella that we saw near Georgetown. They were common near the hotel and other waterholes.
DOUBLE-EYED FIG-PARROT (Cyclopsitta diophthalma) – Although common in Queensland, they were almost always seen in flight as they zoomed past. Arrrgh!
BUDGERIGAR (Melopsittacus undulatus) – Although better views were definitely desired, a pair of these squealed overhead as they zoomed by near Durham Dam in Georgetown. Most of us only saw the vapor trails.

We had several trusty sidekicks during our time at O'Reilly's and this Crimson Rosella was one of them! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

RAINBOW LORIKEET (Trichoglossus haematodus) – Widespread through much of the tour, these were usually the most common parrots around. What a beautiful species to have wheeling through cities and towns!
RAINBOW LORIKEET (RED-COLLARED) (Trichoglossus haematodus rubritorquis) – This subspecies is found only in northern Australia and we had nice looks during our time in Darwin. Once we flew to Cairns, we were out of range. Note that some authorities split this out as a distinctive species.
SCALY-BREASTED LORIKEET (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus) – It took a little sleuthing but we eventually caught up to this mostly-green lorikeet at spots like the city park in Mareeba and near Julatten.
Pittidae (Pittas)
NOISY PITTA (Pitta versicolor) – Although easy to hear, this pitta can be a right challenge to see! We had glimpses through the scope of one singing in the canopy at O'Reilly's.
RAINBOW PITTA (Pitta iris) – Although it was a warm endeavor, we tracked down a couple of singing birds in the dry forest of East Point near Darwin. Once or twice, one came in and perched point-blank before skittishly ducking back out.
Menuridae (Lyrebirds)
ALBERT'S LYREBIRD (Menura alberti) – Although technically a songbird, these behave a bit more like pheasants and, given the extremely limited range, this was one of the rarest birds of the tour. It's thought that fewer than 4000 of these are left! We were ecstatic to find one on our first afternoon at O'Reilly's which is probably the best place on the planet to look for this secretive specialty.
Ptilonorhynchidae (Bowerbirds)
SPOTTED CATBIRD (Ailuroedus maculosus) – The odd meowing sound coming from the forest at Chambers Rainforest Lodge belonged to this fascinating species. We ended up seeing quite a few just on the grounds there.
GREEN CATBIRD (Ailuroedus crassirostris) – Once we arrived at O'Reilly's in southern Queensland, we were in the range of this catbird instead. Like the previous species, these were easy to hear but tough to see.

On the Tasmania extension, we saw the endemic Green Rosella several times as well. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

TOOTH-BILLED CATBIRD (Scenopoeetes dentirostris) – Crater Lakes National Park in Queensland was great for these loud songsters and we saw one perched above his "bower" at Lake Barrine.
GOLDEN BOWERBIRD (Amblyornis newtoniana) – There was surely one of these around that bower we visited, and we even heard the bird once uphill from there, but it never came down into view. Bummer! [*]
REGENT BOWERBIRD (Sericulus chrysocephalus) – A stunning bowerbird highlighted by a deeply vivid yellow on black. O'Reilly's provided several looks at this fantastic specialty, sometimes nearly perching on people!
SATIN BOWERBIRD (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) – It was amazing having this distinctive bowerbird be fairly common on the grounds of O'Reilly's in southern Queensland! The bower of this species is usually lined with blue objects.
GREAT BOWERBIRD (Chlamydera nuchalis) – Although they aren't the most colorful of bowerbirds, they definitely are the largest! This is a fairly widespread species and we saw both the birds and their bowers several times in the Darwin area as well as Queensland.
Climacteridae (Australasian Treecreepers)
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (Cormobates leucophaea) – This treecreeper was one of two species present in the O'Reilly's area.
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (LITTLE) (Cormobates leucophaea minor) – We found one of these fairly quickly on the grounds at Chambers Rainforest Lodge. Note, this subspecies is endemic to the northern half of Queensland.
RED-BROWED TREECREEPER (Climacteris erythrops) – Found along the southeast coast of Australia, these were present only at O'Reilly's on our tour. We had a couple of brief looks along Duck Creek Road in the dry forest just downhill from the lodge.

Sometimes a hard bird to find, the Black-tailed Treecreeper performed very nicely for us near Manton Dam. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

BROWN TREECREEPER (Climacteris picumnus) – One of four treecreeper species we found on Part II, the best looks came from the dry forest near Georgetown.
BLACK-TAILED TREECREEPER (Climacteris melanurus) – We found this rare treecreeper near Manton Dam south of Darwin. This was a nice sighting of a species that we don't see every time.
Maluridae (Fairywrens)
VARIEGATED FAIRYWREN (Malurus lamberti) – The only spot for this fairywren on our tour was near O'Reilly's and we found them a couple of times along Duck Creek Road and along the path near Charlie's Waterhole.
PURPLE-BACKED FAIRYWREN (Malurus assimilis) – This newly-split species, formerly conspecific with Variegated Fairywren, popped into a bush near Durham Dam, Georgetown.
LOVELY FAIRYWREN (Malurus amabilis) – What a tricky little thing to see! John persisted and we eventually got looks at a male in the dense vegetation near Davies Creek State Forest.
SUPERB FAIRYWREN (Malurus cyaneus) – Mainland and Tasmania. Both friendly and extremely handsome, these fairywrens were welcome companions during our time at O'Reilly's and even more-so in Tasmania.
RED-BACKED FAIRYWREN (Malurus melanocephalus) – With a strong preference for grassy areas, these distinctive fairywrens were seen nicely at various spots such as Hasties Swamp, Durham Dam, Davies Creek, and near O'Reilly's.
Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters)
EASTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) – Mainland and Tasmania. This is a small and slender honeyeater has a long, curved bill. We tallied them at Lake Barrine, near O'Reilly's, and several places in Tasmania.

We had the good fortune of seeing a wide variety of fascinating mammals too! Included was this Common Wombat that was taking a stroll in Tasmania. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

YELLOW-SPOTTED HONEYEATER (Meliphaga notata) – One of the three tricky honeyeaters with the yellow spot on the head, this species was seen best near Cassowary House, Davies Creek, and Julatten.
LEWIN'S HONEYEATER (Meliphaga lewinii) – These chunky honeyeaters were a mainstay in the rainforests of Queensland.
GRACEFUL HONEYEATER (Meliphaga gracilis) – The smallest of the Meliphaga genus on this trip, this slender-billed honeyeater was heard and then seen near Cassowary House and Julatten.
YELLOW HONEYEATER (Stomiopera flava) – Pretty aptly named, this plain-yellow species was common in the dry country near Georgetown and our first one came from the hotel grounds there.
WHITE-GAPED HONEYEATER (Stomiopera unicolor) – A species of northern Australia, this honeyeater was fairly common during our time in Darwin.
YELLOW-FACED HONEYEATER (Caligavis chrysops) – After our initial sighting of this fairly-distinctive honeyeater at Hasties Swamp, we went on to see more around O'Reilly's where it was common.
BELL MINER (Manorina melanophrys) – A species found only in southeastern Australia, this distinctive-sounding miner was seen nicely along the track near Charlie's Waterhole in Lamington National Park. Although the incessant "tink" was easy to hear, it took a little while before they started coming out of the woodwork.
NOISY MINER (Manorina melanocephala) – An abundant bird in many habitats in eastern Australia, these were seen nicely at Mount Garnet and the Luke O'Reilly's farm.
YELLOW-THROATED MINER (Manorina flavigula) – A dry-country species, these were encountered only near the waterholes in Georgetown.

The honeyeaters are the most diverse group of passerines in Australia. Our tour tallied dozens of different varieties but this Yellow-throated Honeyeater was special; it's only found in Tasmania. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

BRIDLED HONEYEATER (Bolemoreus frenatus) – Only found along the coast between Cooktown and Townsville in Queensland, this species has a fairly restricted world range. We encountered it first at Hasties Swamp and then again around Mount Hypipamee National Park.
LITTLE WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera chrysoptera) – Tasmania only. Although it's not one of the Tassie endemics, this wattle-less wattlebird was seen on our final day on Bruny Island.
YELLOW WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera paradoxa) – Tasmania only. This Tasmanian endemic is the largest of the honeyeaters! We saw them daily during our time there including at the Mountain Valley Lodge.
VARIED HONEYEATER (Gavicalis versicolor) – Within Australia, this honeyeater has a coastal distribution and is only found in northern Queensland. Our best luck was along the Cairns esplanade where they were fairly common.
MANGROVE HONEYEATER (Gavicalis fasciogularis) – Very similar to the previous species but with little geographic overlap, this mangrove specialist was picked up along the coast near Brisbane.
YELLOW-TINTED HONEYEATER (Ptilotula flavescens) – This somewhat drab honeyeater, which is limited to northern Australia, came to drink from Durham Dam, Cumberland Dam, and a few other waterholes near Georgetown.
GRAY-FRONTED HONEYEATER (Ptilotula plumula) – A tough bird to find, and a subtle identification challenge, this specialty was tracked down in dry forest near Georgetown.
BROWN-BACKED HONEYEATER (Ramsayornis modestus) – We encountered this honeyeater at Yorkeys Lagoon in Queensland. That, however, remained our only sighting of the tour.
BAR-BREASTED HONEYEATER (Ramsayornis fasciatus) – Our only encounter with this north Australian honeyeater was along the road at Fogg Dam.

Of all the species we saw, perhaps the rarest of the bunch was this Forty-spotted Pardalote we encountered on Bruny Island in Tasmania. We couldn't have asked for better looks; you could even count the spots! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

RUFOUS-BANDED HONEYEATER (Conopophila albogularis) – This is another honeyeater that's restricted to northern Australia and we had good luck around Darwin at places like East Point, Rapid Creek Estuary, Manton Dam, and Fogg Dam.
RUFOUS-THROATED HONEYEATER (Conopophila rufogularis) – We didn't encounter this honeyeater until the dry country around Georgetown. The rufous throat is actually tough to see unless the bird is facing you directly.
WHITE-FRONTED CHAT (Epthianura albifrons) – Tasmania only. A pair carrying food was seen nicely during our drive across Tasmania en route to Hobart. We later glimpsed another on Bruny Island but it didn't stay in view for long.
DUSKY MYZOMELA (Myzomela obscura) – A very plain, brown honeyeater, this species was first seen at Manton Dam but then again at Cassowary House and the Curtain Fig Tree.
RED-HEADED MYZOMELA (Myzomela erythrocephala) – With a range limited to northern Australia, the only spots we encountered these were in the mangrove forests around Darwin.
SCARLET MYZOMELA (Myzomela sanguinolenta) – Another myzomela with red on it, these were seen at a few places in Queensland, most notably Hasties Swamp and the Curtain Fig Tree.
BANDED HONEYEATER (Cissomela pectoralis) – A nice pick-up, this handsome black-and-white honeyeater was found at a rest area near Georgetown.
BROWN HONEYEATER (Lichmera indistincta) – This honeyeater, although having some brown on it, probably doesn't deserve the name. Either way, these were fairly common on the first half the tour.
CRESCENT HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus) – Tasmania only. Although not endemic to the island, our only sightings came from Tasmania at spots like Mountain Valley Lodge and Cradle Mountain.
NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) – Tasmania only. An abundant honeyeater in much of southern Australia including Tasmania. This species is named after Australia's former name, New Holland.

One of the Tasmanian endemics we were after was the Scrubtit, a species that can be tricky to find sometimes. However, we ended up having outstanding looks at several including this one near the Mountain Valley Lodge. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

WHITE-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris niger) – Especially fond of large, flowering bushes, this honeyeater was picked up near Sides Road in Julatten.
YELLOW-THROATED HONEYEATER (Nesoptilotis flavicollis) – Tasmania only. This attractive endemic, with its low, rich warbling song, was seen very nicely near a roadside pond in Upper Castra and several other spots in Tasmania.
BLUE-FACED HONEYEATER (Entomyzon cyanotis) – A large and often obvious honeyeater, these were rather common in gardens through the first half of the tour.
WHITE-THROATED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus albogularis) – The Melithreptus genus of honeyeaters are fairly distinctive with the small and stocky shape, short bill, and often hooded appearance. This species, albogularis, was the most commonly seen from this genus and we tallied them on about half of our days.
WHITE-NAPED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus lunatus) – The only spot we chanced into this species was along Duck Creek Road downhill from O'Reilly's. This is a small honeyeater of southeastern Australia.
BLACK-HEADED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus affinis) – Tasmania only. A distinctive endemic of Tasmania, these were tallied on each of our days on the island state. At times, we even found them on the grounds of the Mountain Valley Lodge.
STRONG-BILLED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus validirostris) – Tasmania only. This is another Tasmanian endemic from the same genus that we encountered at various spots. Typically, though, we found them less frequently than the previous species. We saw some nicely at Cradle Mountain and at Mountain Valley Lodge.
MACLEAY'S HONEYEATER (Xanthotis macleayanus) – A large and distinctive honeyeater that's endemic to the coast Queensland, this rainforest species was rather common at Chambers Rainforest Lodge and Cassowary House.
LITTLE FRIARBIRD (Philemon citreogularis) – Fairly common during our time near Darwin, it wasn't unusual to find these even in urban settings.
HELMETED FRIARBIRD (HORNBILL) (Philemon buceroides yorki) – This subspecies of P. buceroides is found only along the coast of Queensland. We found ours near Cassowary House.

Cuckooshrikes are a way of life in much of Australia and we eventually got used to seeing them all around. But still, it was hard to look away from this sharp Black-faced Cuckooshrike near Georgetown. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

HELMETED FRIARBIRD (HELMETED) (Philemon buceroides gordoni) – These were seen at the botanic gardens in Darwin but that sighting remained our only one of the trip.
SILVER-CROWNED FRIARBIRD (Philemon argenticeps) – They sure didn't stick around long but a couple of these flew through as we were birding a roadside near Palmerston, southeast of Darwin.
NOISY FRIARBIRD (Philemon corniculatus) – This is the naked-headed friarbird that we caught up with at spots in Queensland like Mareeba, Yungaburra, etc. We actually found a nest of these along Duck Creek Road near O'Reilly's as well. [N]
Pardalotidae (Pardalotes)
SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus punctatus) – Mainland and Tasmania. What an attractive species! O'Reilly's was a good spot for these and we encountered them there a couple of times.
FORTY-SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus quadragintus) – Tasmania only. This Tasmanian endemic is one of Australia's rarest birds and Bruny Island remains one of a few spots where they're reliable. We had outstanding looks at a couple during our visit to Bruny Island when we visited the White Gum forested habitat.
RED-BROWED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus rubricatus) – We heard one of these dry-country specialists at Routh's Creek near Georgetown but it remained out of sight. [*]
STRIATED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus striatus) – Mainland and Tasmania. A few of these were spotted near Georgetown and then again at Davies Creek, but it wasn't until we were in Tasmania that they became rather common. It was there that we watched them even entering a nest hole. [N]
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
YELLOW-THROATED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis citreogularis) – These, along with the following species, were nearly crawling over our shoes at O'Reilly's!
WHITE-BROWED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis frontalis) – Although these were common at O'Reilly's in southern Queensland, our first sighting came from the Forty Mile Scrub National Park rest area.
TASMANIAN SCRUBWREN (Sericornis humilis) – Tasmania only. This Tasmanian endemic is quite similar to the previous species. We had looks at Gowrie Park, Mountain Valley Lodge, and several other forested locations. These, more often than not, tended to be a bit more shy though.

The robins on this tour were a lot of fun! This Pale-yellow Robin was a fairly common denizen of rainforest edges. Here's one hanging around at Chambers Rainforest Lodge, photographed by guide Cory Gregory.

ATHERTON SCRUBWREN (Sericornis keri) – A very range-restricted species, this scrubwren is endemic to a small area of Queensland. We found some in Mount Hypipamee National Park where we watched them foraging pretty low, lower than the following species.
LARGE-BILLED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis magnirostra) – Although a scrubwren, these like to forage at mid-height in vine tangles. We had looks at spots around Cassowary House, the Curtain Fig Tree, etc.
SCRUBTIT (Acanthornis magna) – Tasmania only. This is another Tasmanian endemic that we had great luck with. Although they can be tricky to find when you want, we had several solid encounters around the Mountain Valley Lodge.
STRIATED FIELDWREN (Calamanthus fuliginosus) – Tasmania only. For some reason, these streaky little dudes were popping up all over the place! We even had them at Mountain Valley Lodge which seemed odd.
MOUNTAIN THORNBILL (Acanthiza katherina) – We had a spot all primed and ready near Mount Hypipamee National Park for this Queensland endemic. This species is very range-restricted along the coast of Queensland.
BROWN THORNBILL (Acanthiza pusilla) – Mainland and Tasmania. We found these around O'Reilly's and then again in some of the dry habitats in Tasmania. When compared to the following species, these have a paler, whitish panel to the folded wing.
TASMANIAN THORNBILL (Acanthiza ewingii) – Tasmania only. This Tassie endemic turned out to be quite common during our time there. These have more of a rufous edging to flight feathers and they prefer wetter habitats.
YELLOW-RUMPED THORNBILL (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa) – Tasmania only. Although they're not limited to Tasmania, that's where all our sightings came from. Our first was from Trevallyn Natural Recreation Area but we later found a couple of small flocks.
STRIATED THORNBILL (Acanthiza lineata) – Our only encounter came during our full day at O'Reilly's. A small flock descended from the treetops which allowed closer views which was great for studying the subtle fieldmarks.
WEEBILL (Smicrornis brevirostris) – One of Australia's smallest birds. All of our sightings came from the dry forests around Georgetown like Routh's Creek and one of the rest areas.

Another robin, this Scarlet Robin, was a welcome splash of color along the edges of the forests in Tasmania. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

GREEN-BACKED GERYGONE (Gerygone chloronota) – A gifted songster, these tiny songbirds were fairly common in the mangrove habitats near Darwin.
FAIRY GERYGONE (Gerygone palpebrosa) – A rest area en route to Georgetown fit the bill and we had smashing looks there at several of these distinctive gerygones.
WHITE-THROATED GERYGONE (Gerygone olivacea) – The day after getting great looks at the previous species, we found this songster near Durham Dam.
LARGE-BILLED GERYGONE (Gerygone magnirostris) – A few folks got a glimpse at Howard Springs near Darwin but it didn't stick around for the entire group.
BROWN GERYGONE (Gerygone mouki) – Good looks were achieved at the Curtain Fig Tree and again at O'Reilly's.
MANGROVE GERYGONE (Gerygone levigaster) – Despite the wind, we were successful in finding this mangrove specialist along the coast near Brisbane. Still, they were rather skulky and didn't stay in view for long.
Orthonychidae (Logrunners)
AUSTRALIAN LOGRUNNER (Orthonyx temminckii) – These always take a bit of luck but folks spending time along the trails at O'Reilly's eventually had looks at this ground-dweller. This species is endemic to the east coast of Australia and there is no overlap with the following species.
CHOWCHILLA (Orthonyx spaldingii) – Although we know they were around at Chambers Rainforest Lodge and Lake Barrine, we only ever heard them calling in the distance. [*]
Psophodidae (Whipbirds and Wedgebills)
EASTERN WHIPBIRD (Psophodes olivaceus) – The song was a common sound throughout our time along the coast of Queensland. Seeing them, however, can be challenging. We eventually had stellar looks at O'Reilly's, home of "Whippy".
Machaerirhynchidae (Boatbills)
YELLOW-BREASTED BOATBILL (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer) – This attractive flycatcher came in right overhead at Chambers Rainforest Lodge, showing us exactly why it's called a "boat bill".

One of the most beautiful robins we encountered was this male Pink Robin during a lunch break in Tasmania. Incredible! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Artamidae (Woodswallows)
WHITE-BREASTED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus leucorynchus) – Common and widespread through much of the tour, especially early on in Darwin and Cairns.
BLACK-FACED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus cinereus) – We crossed paths with these in the dry country near Georgetown. Cumberland Dam had a few on our second visit there as well.
DUSKY WOODSWALLOW (Artamus cyanopterus) – Tasmania only. This is the only species of woodswallow found in Tasmania which is exactly where we saw it.
Cracticidae (Bellmagpies and Allies)
GRAY BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus torquatus) – There was a friendly pair at our lunch spot in Mount Garnet and we found another at Luke O'Reilly's farm.
SILVER-BACKED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus argenteus argenteus) – This butcherbird is endemic to northern Australia and we crossed paths with one near Palmerston southeast of Darwin.
PIED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus nigrogularis) – These were fairly common throughout our time in Queensland but they were especially obvious in the dry country near Georgetown.
BLACK BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus quoyi) – Although widespread and fairly vocal, these all-black butcherbirds can be hard to see when you want to. We came face-to-face with them at Buffalo Creek in Darwin, Cairns, Chambers, and Davies Creek.
AUSTRALIAN MAGPIE (Gymnorhina tibicen) – Mainland and Tasmania. These familiar birds were common and widespread once we flew to Cairns.
PIED CURRAWONG (Strepera graculina) – This is the species of currawong at places like O'Reilly's where they've been known to nab food off tables.
BLACK CURRAWONG (Strepera fuliginosa) – Tasmania only. There was no shortage of these Tassie endemics, especially when we'd set up for a picnic! These have black undertail coverts and white tips to the wings.

Here's a snapshot of the habitat for many of the Tasmanian endemics we encountered. Given the crisp mornings and a thin layer of fog, it was quite a scenic landscape for seeing lifers! Photo by participant Charley Walker.

GRAY CURRAWONG (CLINKING) (Strepera versicolor arguta) – Tasmania only. Although Gray Currawong is not endemic to Tasmania, this subspecies is. They're very dark there, approaching Black Currawong in color, but they have white undertail coverts and big white flashes in the wings.
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)
BLACK-FACED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina novaehollandiae) – Mainland and Tasmania. These were common in the dry country near Georgetown. The Durham Dam area provided lots of chances to enjoy this sleek species.
WHITE-BELLIED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina papuensis) – This was the most numerous cuckooshrike we saw, especially early on in the tour around Darwin.
WHITE-WINGED TRILLER (Lalage tricolor) – This neat species was seen on two of the days we were in Georgetown. Interestingly, you'll note that trillers are in the cuckooshrike family.
VARIED TRILLER (Lalage leucomela) – Fairly common, these were seen in a variety of habitats around Darwin and then again a few times around Cairns.
COMMON CICADABIRD (Edolisoma tenuirostre) – The north end of the Cairns esplanade yielded one and we got to watch as it flew in and landed high above us.
Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)
LITTLE SHRIKETHRUSH (Colluricincla megarhyncha) – This rather rufous shrikethrush was seen nicely at Cassowary House, Chambers, Hasties Swamp, and Davies Creek. They tend to be heard more than seen.
GRAY SHRIKETHRUSH (Colluricincla harmonica) – Mainland and Tasmania. Fairly common though not an obvious, in-your-face kind of species. We also saw the C. h. strigata subspecies which is endemic to Tasmania.
BOWER'S SHRIKETHRUSH (Colluricincla boweri) – A specialty that's endemic to the northeast coast of Queensland. Chambers Rainforest Lodge is an excellent spot for this and we had several sightings on the grounds there.
OLIVE WHISTLER (Pachycephala olivacea) – Tasmania only. A few folks got to see this songster on the grounds of the Mountain Valley Lodge on one of our morning walks.
GOLDEN WHISTLER (Pachycephala pectoralis) – Mainland and Tasmania. We had good looks at this attractive species at Chambers Rainforest Lodge in Queensland. We also saw the P. p. glaucura subspecies which is endemic to Tasmania.
BLACK-TAILED WHISTLER (Pachycephala melanura) – This mangrove specialist showed nicely at the Adelaide River bridge southeast of Darwin. Some still call it by the old name "Mangrove Golden Whistler".
GRAY WHISTLER (BROWN) (Pachycephala simplex simplex) – We were birding the mangroves near Darwin when one of these popped into view. This subspecies, the nominate P. s. simplex, is actually quite restricted in range and is endemic to the Northern Territory. However, the "Brown" grouping also includes P. s. brunnescens which is found farther north.
GRAY WHISTLER (GRAY-HEADED) (Pachycephala simplex peninsulae) – Within Australia, this subspecies is only found along the coast of Queensland and we found them at Chambers Rainforest Lodge a couple of times.
RUFOUS WHISTLER (Pachycephala rufiventris) – All of our sightings came from dry habitats in Queensland; twice near Georgetown and then at Davies Creek State Forest.

Here is guide John Coons pointing out some of the endemic honeyeaters along a Tasmanian roadside. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
OLIVE-BACKED ORIOLE (Oriolus sagittatus) – These were seen at the waterholes near Georgetown on several occasions.
GREEN ORIOLE (Oriolus flavocinctus) – Quite common around Darwin at places like Manton Dam, Fogg Dam, and the botanic gardens.
AUSTRALASIAN FIGBIRD (Sphecotheres vieilloti) – A widespread and common bird through much of the tour, these were tallied nearly every day.
Dicruridae (Drongos)
SPANGLED DRONGO (Dicrurus bracteatus) – A peculiar bird, and Australia's only member from the Drongo family, these all-black birds were seen on a number of days ranging from Darwin to O'Reilly's.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
NORTHERN FANTAIL (Rhipidura rufiventris) – This gray-colored fantail was seen a few times around Darwin at spots like Manton Dam, Fogg Dam, and East Point.
WILLIE-WAGTAIL (Rhipidura leucophrys) – Although our first sighting of this very widespread fantail came from Fogg Dam in the NT, it wasn't until Queensland and beyond that they became abundant for us.
RUFOUS FANTAIL (Rhipidura rufifrons) – The only location that hosted these for us was O'Reilly's where a pair was nesting down the pathway. [N]
ARAFURA FANTAIL (Rhipidura dryas) – From within Australia, most sightings of this russet-colored fantail come from the Northern Territory. We encountered it only once, at Buffalo Creek north of Darwin.
GRAY FANTAIL (Rhipidura albiscapa) – Mainland and Tasmania. We started to encounter these mostly around O'Reilly's but it wasn't until Tasmania that they became truly abundant.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
WHITE-EARED MONARCH (Carterornis leucotis) – We enjoyed getting great looks at this uncommon species downhill from O'Reilly's during our full day there.

The Apostlebird, so named because it seems to wander about in groups of 12, was a noisy companion during our time in the dry country near Georgetown. Photo by participant Jean Perata.

BLACK-FACED MONARCH (Monarcha melanopsis) – A distinctive black-and-orange monarch, these were seen at Chambers and again near O'Reilly's.
SPECTACLED MONARCH (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) – Rather limited for us on this tour, Lake Barrine hosted a couple.
PIED MONARCH (Arses kaupi) – One or two of these stayed backed in the shadows at Mount Hypipamee National Park and the Curtain Fig Tree. This species has the distinctive habit of clinging to vertical trunks and limbs.
MAGPIE-LARK (Grallina cyanoleuca) – Seen nearly every day, this was an abundant species that became very familiar to all of us.
LEADEN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra rubecula) – Seen a couple of times in Queensland where our best looks came from Duck Creek Road near O'Reilly's.
BROAD-BILLED FLYCATCHER (Myiagra ruficollis) – Seen at two different spots but on the same day; first at Fogg Dam and then again at the Adelaide River bridge area. Kudos to Charley who spotted our first one.
SATIN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra cyanoleuca) – Tasmania only. We tracked down this attractive species in a riparian area on our first full day in Tasmania. The other flycatchers in the Myiagra genus are not present in Tasmania which makes narrowing these down easy.
PAPERBARK FLYCATCHER (Myiagra nana) – A pair was seen nicely at Fogg Dam and then again at Cumberland Dam but those would remain our only ones of the trip.
SHINING FLYCATCHER (Myiagra alecto) – The only location we encountered this glossy, blue/black species was at Manton Dam in the Northern Territory.
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
TORRESIAN CROW (Corvus orru) – This was the only corvid we encountered on the entire trip (until the Tasmania extension).
FOREST RAVEN (Corvus tasmanicus) – Tasmania only. This is the only corvid present on Tasmania and we tallied them daily there.
Corcoracidae (White-winged Chough and Apostlebird)
APOSTLEBIRD (Struthidea cinerea) – What a fantastic species! This is a mud-nester; they build impressive mud nests up in trees which are sometimes easy to spot. We found these fairly common during our time near Georgetown.
Paradisaeidae (Birds-of-Paradise)
PARADISE RIFLEBIRD (Ptiloris paradiseus) – Our time at O'Reilly's was highlighted by this bird-of-paradise that we heard calling on the grounds and then down the road. We eventually caught glimpses of it probing through clumps of ferns high above us with its serious-looking, curved bill.
VICTORIA'S RIFLEBIRD (Ptiloris victoriae) – A top highlight of the trip for many folks was at Chambers when we were watching a male teed-up, giving its screeching call, and then, with our mouths open, it started to display! It swayed back and forth with its wings open, highlighting the iridescent patch on its neck. For many of us, this was something we may have seen on some documentary but to witness it in person was a special moment most of us won't forget.

Birding around the Chambers Rainforest Lodge was too much fun! Sometimes breathtaking species would come down to room porches or, like this Victoria's Riflebird, right down to eye-level in the courtyard. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Petroicidae (Australasian Robins)
LEMON-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Microeca flavigaster) – Although a flycatcher by name, this species is actually in the Australasian Robin family. We had nice, eye-level looks at a pair near the Adelaide River birding stop in the Northern Territory.
SCARLET ROBIN (Petroica boodang) – Tasmania only. What an attractive little guy! These turned out to be fairly common during our time around the Mountain Valley Lodge. The subspecies found in Tasmania, P. b. leggii, is endemic to the island state.
FLAME ROBIN (Petroica phoenicea) – Tasmania only. This is another robin that we saw only in Tasmania despite it not being endemic. A pair of these was seen a few times working the driveway of the Mountain Valley Lodge and then again in Adventure Bay on Bruny Island.
ROSE ROBIN (Petroica rosea) – This species is perhaps the most arboreal of the robins; they really do prefer foraging high up in trees. We found a young male singing at O'Reilly's just down the road a ways.
PINK ROBIN (Petroica rodinogaster) – Tasmania only. Wow, the shade of pink on the breast of this bird is a pretty rare color in birds. We saw a few of these forest-loving robins at Gowrie Park during our lunch stop.
DUSKY ROBIN (Melanodryas vittata) – Tasmania only. Although somewhat bland in coloring, this robin is endemic to Tasmania and we had nice looks a couple of times right on the grounds of our mountain lodge!
PALE-YELLOW ROBIN (Tregellasia capito) – This distinctive little species is found only on the east coast of Australia where it favors rainforests. We saw these nicely at Chambers Rainforest Lodge where they would often cling to vertical trunks and branches.
EASTERN YELLOW ROBIN (Eopsaltria australis) – This bright yellow robin was seen nicely during our time at O'Reilly's.
MANGROVE ROBIN (Eopsaltria pulverulenta) – It's not a surprise, given the name, that this is a mangrove specialist! A few of these came out of the mangroves near the Cairns esplanade to have a look at us (and us at them!).
WHITE-BROWED ROBIN (Poecilodryas superciliosa) – This is a fantastic, handsome robin that we caught up with at Davies Creek. This species is very fond of water and is usually found along waterways.
GRAY-HEADED ROBIN (Heteromyias cinereifrons) – A denizen of rainforests, this songster was heard more often than seen. Still, we had nice looks at Chambers and Mount Hypipamee.

Top prize of any bird display we witnessed goes to this stunning Victoria's Riflebird at Chambers Rainforest Lodge. The other-worldly display of this bird-of-paradise will forever be etched in my memory. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Alaudidae (Larks)
AUSTRALASIAN BUSHLARK (Mirafra javanica) – Favoring grassy areas, a couple of these were seen at Cumberland Dam near Georgetown. At one point, one lifted up into the air and floated back down, giving its flight song en route.
EURASIAN SKYLARK (Alauda arvensis) – Tasmania only. This introduced species is quite common in Tasmania and we saw/heard them at various open, grassy fields. [I]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
WELCOME SWALLOW (Hirundo neoxena) – Our most commonly-seen swallow of the trip. Sightings were nearly a daily occurrence after we flew to Cairns.
FAIRY MARTIN (Petrochelidon ariel) – Our best looks at these swallows came from Georgetown. They were nesting behind the hotel and we saw even more foraging above Cumberland Dam.
TREE MARTIN (Petrochelidon nigricans) – Tasmania only. As it so happened, all of our sightings of this pale-rumped swallow came from Tasmania where we saw them foraging overhead rivers, streams, and the Mountain Valley Lodge.
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
TAWNY GRASSBIRD (Megalurus timoriensis) – We connected with this sneaky, grass-loving bird at Fogg Dam near Darwin.
Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and Allies)
GOLDEN-HEADED CISTICOLA (Cisticola exilis) – Like the previous grassbird, this is a grass-loving species that we found at Fogg Dam. They are fine tailors; they stitch their nest together using spider webs!
Zosteropidae (White-eyes, Yuhinas, and Allies)
AUSTRALIAN YELLOW WHITE-EYE (Zosterops luteus) – Found only in tropical and subtropical mangrove forests, this specialty was seen nicely at Buffalo Creek near Darwin towards the start of our tour.
SILVER-EYE (Zosterops lateralis) – Mainland and Tasmania. A small, familiar, and common species during our time in eastern and southeastern Australia. The nominate Z. l. lateralis subspecies is endemic to Tasmania and we saw them there daily as well.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
BASSIAN THRUSH (Zoothera lunulata) – Sometimes a real skulker, one of these chunky, shadow-loving thrushes hopped into view nicely along a trail at O'Reilly's.

Whether or not you think this male Metallic Starling looks a bit demonic, it's clear that it's impressive either way! Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

RUSSET-TAILED THRUSH (Zoothera heinei) – Very similar to the previous species! Thanks to some intel from the local guides, we were able to watch as an adult came in and fed youngsters at a nest near O'Reilly's! [N]
EURASIAN BLACKBIRD (Turdus merula) – Tasmania only. This thrush was introduced to southeastern Australia in the 1850s and has flourished there. We saw them daily during our time in Tasmania. [I]
Sturnidae (Starlings)
METALLIC STARLING (Aplonis metallica) – This red-eyed, glossy species is a native and migratory species to the coast of Queensland. We saw a whole tree full of nests and their defenders near Cairns!
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – Tasmania only. This introduced species has really taken hold in Tasmania where we saw them daily. [I]
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – This "Cane Toad of the sky", as it's been called, is an invasive species that poses serious problems to the native birds in Australia. We saw them commonly along the coast of Queensland. [I]
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
MISTLETOEBIRD (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) – Fairly common throughout the tour. This is an attractive species with an interesting relationship to mistletoe; everything about this bird is for maximizing the spread of mistletoe! It has a digestive track that fast-tracks the fruit (to reduce the chances of the seeds becoming unviable) and the bird even perches parallel to the branch to defecate, thus increasing the chance that the fruit sticks and takes hold.
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – A couple of these were spotted around Cairns.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AUSTRALASIAN PIPIT (AUSTRALIAN) (Anthus novaeseelandiae australis) – Mainland and Tasmania. We had nice looks at this open-country species below O'Reilly's and a few times in Tasmania. This subspecies is limited to Australia whereas some others are found in New Zealand.
Fringillidae (Finches, Euphonias, and Allies)
EUROPEAN GREENFINCH (Chloris chloris) – Tasmania only. This introduced finch species was seen briefly near the Upper Castra pond and garden. [I]
EUROPEAN GOLDFINCH (Carduelis carduelis) – Tasmania only. Next in the long line of introduced European species, this finch was commonplace throughout the island state. [I]

The widespread Mistletoebird was encountered several times and the male is truly quite exquisite. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – Mainland and Tasmania. Common in urban areas. [I]
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
BEAUTIFUL FIRETAIL (Stagonopleura bella) – Tasmania only. What a cool experience! We got to watch as this tricky-to-find and fascinating species picked long blades of grass and then flew down the river with them, all part of its display!
RED-BROWED FIRETAIL (Neochmia temporalis) – An attractive firetail that we saw several times at Chambers, Davies Creek, and O'Reilly's. Some sources call it "Red-browed Finch".
CRIMSON FINCH (Neochmia phaeton) – A couple of groups of this sharply-dressed finch were spotted at Fogg Dam and Manton Dam in the Northern Territory. This species seems to always travel in flocks.
PLUM-HEADED FINCH (Neochmia modesta) – A very rare sighting on this tour, a few of these were seen briefly at first light as they came down to drink at Cumberland Dam. Unfortunately, the flock moved off rather quickly and efforts to relocate were in vain.
ZEBRA FINCH (Taeniopygia guttata) – Although not the most numerous finch, several groups of these were seen coming to drink at Cumberland and Durham dam. A few were found behind our Georgetown hotel as well.
DOUBLE-BARRED FINCH (Taeniopygia bichenovii) – Perhaps the most numerous finch we encountered, these black-and-white characters were always quite the lookers! We first saw a few near Darwin and then a whole lot more in Georgetown at various water sources.
MASKED FINCH (Poephila personata) – A tough-to-find finch sometimes, a couple of these were scoped in a treetop at Cumberland Dam before they skittered away.
LONG-TAILED FINCH (Poephila acuticauda) – This beautiful and distinctive finch was eventually found at Lee Point near Darwin. What's more, they were building nests! [N]
BLACK-THROATED FINCH (Poephila cincta) – It took a bit of effort but this attractive finch was eventually found at a water source behind our hotel in Georgetown! The following morning, we saw a few more at Cumberland Dam.

With a name like "firetail", you know it's got to be good! One of these species we encountered was the sharply-dressed Red-browed Firetail. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

SCALY-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura punctulata) – This introduced species, formerly known as Nutmeg Mannikin, was seen a few times along the Cairns esplanade. [I]
CHESTNUT-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura castaneothorax) – An attractive (and native!) bird in Australia, this grass-loving species was seen in a large flock at Lee Point near Darwin.

SHORT-BEAKED ECHIDNA (Tachyglossus aculeatus) – Tasmania only. This egg-laying mammal is surely one of the most bizarre mammals on the planet! Lucky for us, we had great looks at a couple of these spike-laden critters along various roadsides in Tasmania.
PLATYPUS (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) – Mainland and Tasmania. Thanks to Clayton's secret spot, we had outstanding looks at this bizarre creature. In 1799, scientists that examined a platypus specimen judged it to be fake; they thought it was a combination of animals sewn together. Yes, they really are that strange! These don't hunt using smell or eyesight... instead they use electrolocation which allows them to feed in murky waters.
SPOTTED-TAILED QUOLL (Dasyurus maculatus) – Tasmania only. This carnivorous marsupial was not only seen at Mountain Valley Lodge, it gave quite a show as it loped through the grounds rather oblivious of us!
TASMANIAN DEVIL (Sarcophilus harrisii) – Tasmania only. This iconic and legendary carnivorous marsupial has gone through serious declines in recent years and it's now very rare. The Mountain Valley Lodge is one of a few places one can hope to see wild devils and we did just that, under the shroud of darkness when they came to the grounds to eat.
LONG-NOSED BANDICOOT (Peramelas nasuta) – This marsupial was spotted several times after dark at Chambers Rainforest Lodge.
COMMON WOMBAT (Vombatus ursinus) – Tasmania only. These chunky marsupials were seen near Cradle Mountain. A very solid-looking critter, adults can weigh up to 90 lbs! An adaptation for digging around so much, their pouch faces the other direction so not to fill with dirt.
COMMON BRUSHTAIL POSSUM (Trichosurus vulpecula) – Tasmania only. A few of these came in to the grounds of the Mountain Valley Lodge after dark to feed on scraps.
SHORT-EARED POSSUM (Trichosurus caninus) – A possum we spotted at O'Reilly's after dark was probably this species.
SUGAR GLIDER (Petaurus breviceps) – A wonderful example of convergent evolution, these behave much like flying squirrels although they are not closely related. These marsupials were seen after dark at Chambers Rainforest Lodge.
STRIPED POSSUM (Dactylopsila trivirgata) – This fascinating marsupial came down to eye-level after dark at Chambers Rainforest Lodge. Despite that location being a reliable place to see these, this is a very poorly understood animal.
MUSKY RAT-KANGAROO (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) – A few of these scurried about at Chambers Rainforest Lodge after dark.

One of the most bizarre creatures on the planet, the Platypus, was seen very well by our group a number of times. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

TASMANIAN PADEMELON (Thylogale billardierii) – Tasmania only. This endemic pademelon, and the only in Tasmania, was fairly common at the Mountain Valley Lodge, especially as dusk set in.
RED-NECKED PADEMELON (Thylogale thetis) – This macropod was fairly common on the grounds at O'Reilly's, especially late in the evening or early in the morning when they would be seen in clearings.
RED-LEGGED PADEMELON (Thylogale stigmatica) – These were the first pademelons we saw on Part II; they were wary but present at Chambers Rainforest Lodge after dark.
LUMHOLTZ'S TREE KANGAROO (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) – Thanks to intel from Clayton, and his sharp spotting, we tracked down some of these rare and threatened arboreal marsupials. These are endemic to the Atherton Tableland region of Queensland.
AGILE WALLABY (Macropus agilis) – Fairly common in clearings near Darwin and again at some spots in Queensland. These were the first macropods we saw on Part II.
RED-NECKED WALLABY (Macropus rufogriseus) – Mainland and Tasmania. This species, sometimes known as Bennett's Wallaby, was seen first near O'Reilly's but then again several times in Tasmania where they're also native.
WHIPTAIL WALLABY (Macropus parryi) – The hillsides below O'Reilly's eventually yielded lots of good looks at this macropod which some sources still call "Pretty-faced Wallaby".
EASTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus giganteus) – This is the most commonly-encountered kangaroo in the eastern half of Australia (although the Red Kangaroo is better known). We had glimpses here and there at stops en route to Georgetown and back.
COMMON WALLAROO (Macropus robustus) – This medium-sized macropod was seen once in the dry forests near Georgetown. Sometimes called a "Euro", that name more often refers to the brownish subspecies M. r. erubescens.
RED KANGAROO (Macropus rufus) – We were successful in seeing this classic species at Cumberland Dam near Georgetown! This is the largest of the kangaroos and the largest terrestrial mammal native to Australia.
BLACK FLYING-FOX (Pteropus alecto) – These large bats, one of the largest in the world, were seen in northern Australia at spots around Darwin. At Fogg Dam before dawn broke, these streamed high overhead, a rather eerie sight.
SPECTACLED FLYING-FOX (Pteropus conspicillatus) – This is the common species of flying-fox present around Cairns and a tree near the esplanade was hosting a noisy collection of roosting individuals.

For being so beautifully colored and marked, it's a wonder we walked by just mere inches from this fascinating lizard. This is a Boyd's Forest Dragon at Lake Barrine in Queensland. Photo by guide Cory Gregory.

OLD WORLD RABBIT (Oryctolagus cuniculus) – Tasmania only. Also known as "European Rabbit", this introduced species has had devastating impacts but there are no natural predators to keep the numbers in check. [I]
CAPE (AUSTRALIAN) FUR SEAL (Arctocephalus pusillus) – Tasmania only. We spotted a fur seal distantly from the ferry which was probably this species. However, the very similar New Zealand Fur Seal is also a possibility and may not be safely separated.
FALLOW DEER (Dama dama) – Tasmania only. Native to Europe, these were introduced to Australia. [I]
DESERT TREE FROG (Litoria rubella) – This frog, also known as Little Red Tree Frog, was spotted by a few folks near Georgetown.
YELLOW-FACED TURTLE (Emydura tanybaraga) – Seen by a few in the Darwin area.
CANE TOAD (Rhinella marina) – The world's largest toad, these were introduced to Australia. [I]
BOYD'S FOREST DRAGON (Lophosaurus boydii) – What a beautiful lizard, these are endemic to Queensland where they inhabit rainforests and other wet habitats. We found several near Lake Barrine and Mount Hypipamee National Park.
EASTERN BEARDED DRAGON (Pogona barbata) – One of these was sunning itself on a rock at Luke O'Reilly's farm.
SOUTHERN ANGLE-HEADED DRAGON (Lophosaurus spinipes) – Although not quite as brightly-marked as the Boyd's, one of these attractive lizards was found at O'Reilly's.
NORTHERN WATER DRAGON (Lophognathus temporalis) – The impressive black-and-white lizard in the stream bed near Georgetown looks to be this species, also known as Striped Dragon.
YELLOW-BLOTCHED FOREST-SKINK (Eulamprus tigrinus) – Also known as "Tiger Skink", one of these was seen at the Curtain Fig Tree in Queensland.
LACE MONITOR (Varanus varius) – A member of the monitor lizard family, these huge reptiles, also known as "goannas", feed mostly on carrion, small mammals, birds, and birds' eggs. We saw one from the van one day in Queensland. An interesting twist to the plot was when a kookaburra swooped in, either assessing it as prey or swooping on it as a defensive move.


Totals for the tour: 359 bird taxa and 26 mammal taxa