Sundown NP trip report

Subject: Sundown NP trip report
From: "Mark Sanders" <>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 08:36:38 GMT
Sundown National Park
27th-28th October, 2000

Our weekend began Friday afternoon. Before our weekend began, we had to head down to Alstonville for a farewell dinner for a few work mates who are leaving shortly. The dinner was most enjoyable and started to wrap up at about 11:00pm. After saying our farewells, we headed towards Tenterfield and Sundown National Park. The plan was to go as far as we could before we got too weary to drive. We made it to Richmond Range National Park at about 1:00pm and set up camp on a side road just past the entrance.

While setting up camp, at least one, and probably more Yellow-bellied Gliders were calling very close to the track. So after the tend was successfully erected, I headed of into the night while Al slept in an attempt to find them. After about an hour of chasing the punks without a glimpse, I gave up hope and headed back to the camp for the night.

With the late night behind me, I struggled out of bed for a early morning look around. Starting at about 7:00am, in two hours I had a good list of about 30 species, but nothing unusual. By the time I arrived back at the camp, Al was up. After a well needed Breakfast, we continued our journey, off into the Sundown NP. We arrived at about lunch and meet up with Joana and Rob Morgan. Rob and I hit it off very quickly and after setting the tend up we spent most of the day looking around wood piles and rocks finding skinks and geckos. Just in the afternoon we found about 7-8 species of Reptile.

Come dusk, We headed out into adjacent private property in the search for Frogs, which was the main reason for the trip. It was not long before we had found 9 species including Barking Marsh Frog (Limnodynastes fletcheri). Most other frogs found that night are common species around Brisbane.

Early the next morning, I set of to find what birds were around, the first time I had really set out to do some serious bird watching for the weekend. I had only walked about 50m when a high pitch whistle alerted me to a fast flying small parrot - Turquoise Parrot. It quickly disappeared into the distance and showed no sign of stopping. Not long after I had found a spall group of Diamond Firetails, two Hooded Robins, a small party of three Grey-crowned Babblers and some Speckled Warblers. Unfortunately, despite several hours of looking, most trees were not flowing, so the Honeyeater count was quite low, definitely no Regent Honeyeaters.

After several hours, I decided it was time to return to the camp and on the way back had much better looks at the Turquoise Parrots and also spotted some Musk Lorikeets. At the camp a apparently lone female Red-capped Robin was calling and a Crested Shrike-tit and Little Woodswallow kept us company while eating breakfast.

Joana had also been out birding that morning, but had gone the other direction from me and missed the Turquoise Parrots. So I headed of with her and Rob and we had not preceded far before we got excellent looks at a pair feeding. We also added White-winged Triller, Little Eagle, and Sittellas to the ever growing list.

While birding, Rob and I were constantly turning up logs and fallen debris in the hunt for reptiles. This particular morning we were well rewarded with about 5 Excitable Delmas (Delma tincta) and an assortment of other small lizards including Robust Rainbow Skink (Carlia schmeltzii) and several Wood Mulch Sliders (Lerista muelleri). However, by far the best reptile for the weekend, and possibly the best animal on the trip turned up just at the end of our search. Under a small short most unlikely piece of timber we found a Border Thick-tailed Gecko (Underwoodisaurus sphyrurus). This very distinct species has a limited distribution and is listed in NSW as Vulnerable (but not in Queensland).

With still plenty of time left in the morning, Rob, Al and myself headed up the creek to the permanent waterhole. Here we added two new species of reptiles as well as White-eared Honeyeater, Azure Kingfisher, Great Cormorant and a Clamorous Reed Warbler in a most unlikely spot with very few reeds or other cover.

After a short lunch, we left the National Park, stopping at several spots to add a few more species to the list including Apostle birds and Double-barred Finches. As well as Cunninghams Skinks and a Tree Dtella.

In total we saw 108 species of Birds, 10 species of Frogs, 9 species of Mammals (mostly introduced) and at least 15 species of Reptile (still awaiting photo id of possibly two separate species of Dragon). A complete list is provided below.

N = 10

Beeping Froglet         Crinia parinsignifera
Barking Marsh Frog      Limnodynastes fletcheri
Spotted Marsh Frog      Limnodynastes tasmaniensis
Rugose Toadlet          Uperolia rugosa
Smooth Toadlet          Uperolia laevigata
Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog         Litoria fallax
Broad-palmed Rocket Frog        Litoria latopalmata
Stony-creek Frog                Litoria lesueurii
Emerald Spotted Tree Frog       Litoria peronii
Little Red Desert Tree Frog     Litoria rubella

N = 15
Tree Dtella             Gehya variegata
Bynoe's Gecko           Heteronotia binoei
Border Thick-tailed Gecko       Underwoodisaurus sphyrurus
Excitable Delma         Delma tincta
Agamidae spp.
Eastern Water Dragon    Physignathus lesueurii
Sand Monitor    Varanus gouldii
Robust Litter Skink     Carlia schmeltzii
Tussock Rainbow Skink   Carlia vivax
Striped (Robust) Skink  Ctenotus robustus
Cunninghams Skink       Egernia cunninghami
Eastern Water Skink     Eulamprus quoyii
Wood Mulch Slider       Lerista meulleri
South Eastern Morethia Skink    Morethia boulergeri
Eastern Blue-tongue     Tiliqua scincoides

N = 108

Little Pied Cormorant   Black Cormorant         Little Black Cormorant
White-faced Heron       Large Egret             Straw-necked Ibis
Yellow-billed Spoonbill Black Duck              Wood Duck
Black-shouldered Kite   Brown Goshawk           Wedge-tailed Eagle
Little Eagle            Nankeen Kestrel         Dusky Moorhen
Swamphen                Masked Lapwing          Peaceful Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove     Common Bronzewing       Crested Pigeon
Wompoo Pigeon           Galah                   Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Rainbow Lorikeet        Musk Lorikeet           King Parrot
Eastern Rosella         Crimson Rosella         Red-rumped Parrot
Turquoise Parrot        Shinning Bronze-cuckoo  Boobook Owl
Azure Kingfisher        Kookaburra              Sacred Kinfisher
Dollarbird              Pipit                   Weclome Swallow
Tree Martin             Fairy Martin            Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
Little Cuckoo-shrike    White-winged Triller    Noisy Pitta
Red-capped Robin        Hooded Robin            Eastern Yellow Robin
Jacky Winter            Crested Shriketit       Golden Whistler
Rufous Whistler         Grey Shrike-thrush      Leaden Flycatcher
Rested Flycatcher       Grey Fantail            Willie Wagtail
Grey-crowned babbler    Eastern Whipbird        Red Warbler
Superb Blue Wren        Variegated Wren         Red-backed Wren
White-browed Scrubwren  Speckled Warbler        Brown Thornbill
Buff-rumped Thornbill   Striated Thornbill      White-throated Warbler
Weebill Sittella        White-throated Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper       Spiny-checked Honeyeater   Striped Honeyeater
Noisy Friarbird         Little Friarbird        Bell Miner
Noisy Miner             Lewin's Honeyeater      Yellow-faced Honeyeater
White-eared Honeyeater  White-plumed Honeyeater White-naped Honeyeater
Eastern Spinebill       Brown Honeyeater        Scarlet Honeyeater
Mistletoebird           Spotted Pardalote       Striated Pardalote
Red-browed Finch        Diamond Firetail        Double-bar Finch
Starling                Olive-backed Oriole     White-winged Chough
Apostle bird            Magpie Lark             Grey Butcherbird
Pied Butcherbird        Magpie                  Pied Currawong
Australian Raven        Torresian Crow          Little Woodswallow
Red-winged Parrot

N = 9
Three introduced mammals, only native are listed
Northern Brown bandicoot
Red-necked Paddymelon
Yellow-bellied Glider
Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Swamp Wallaby
Red-necked Wallaby

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