Sth Q'ld/nth NSW trip report.

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Sth Q'ld/nth NSW trip report.
From: "Birding Services Brisbane" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Feb 2003 13:09:25 +1000

Birdwatching trip from 17th to 25th January 2003.  189 species seen in 7 days travelling from Brisbane south-west to Goondiwindi, then south to Warialda in NSW then Bingara.  Across to the coast at Coff's Harbour then back up the coast to Brisbane.

(Separate list available for total species seen and days on which they were seen.)


After picking up our Japanese guest at Brisbane airport we left on our tour.  First stop was College's Crossing on the Brisbane River west of Brisbane but there were many people and only the usual waterfowl (no Cotton Pygmy-Geese).  Then on south-west to Kalbar Cemetery where the usual Zebra Finches and Yellow-rumped Thornbills were present.  Main Range NP picnic area was fairly crowded any very warm but the usual Bell Miners were there in big numbers, Pied Currawongs, Satin Bowerbirds as well as a Pacific Baza.  We then followed country roads to Clifton seeing quite a few Red-rumped Parrots and great views of a Spotted  Harrier sitting on a fence less than 10 metres from us.  As we neared Allora there were had large storms building and we headed for our overnight stop at "Cromer" B&B at Warwick.  Musk Lorikeets and White-throated Gerygones were along the Condamine River. 

A pre-breakfast walk and saw a good selection of birds including Little Corellas, Galahs, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Eastern Rosella, Red-rumped Parrot, King Parrot,  and Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets.  We also saw Weebill and Sacred Kingfishers plus Dollar Birds.  After breakfast we headed west and our first stop was Durikai State Forest.  Many birds here with highlights being Common Bronzewing, Turquoise Parrot, White-browed Babblers, Diamond Finches and Hooded Robin.  Many were drinking and bathing in a roadside puddle from overnight rain.  Then further west to Coolmunda Dam where very low water level still gave us some good birds in very hot conditions.  After lunch at a local roadhouse then drove further west through Inglewood seeing Apostlebirds as we went.  A stop at some roadside water gave us good views of Black-tailed Native-hen, Pink-eared Ducks, Plumed Whistling-Ducks and White-necked Herons.  We then drove on to Goondiwindi and the Gunsynd Motor Inn.  During a late afternoon walk at the Native Botanical Gardens, we saw Double-barred Finches and a White-winged Triller.

Our pre-breakfast walk along the banks of the McIntyre River gave us good views of Nankeen Night Herons, Azure Kingfisher and a Channel-billed Cuckoo and Mistletoebird.  We then headed south into NSW and just after Boggabilla saw our first White-winged Choughs of the trip.  Also great views of some soaring Wedge-tailed Eagles followed by White-browed Woodswallows.  Brown Songlarks also around here.  Lunch stop at Warialda then a bit west and south when we finally saw Emus!! Great views of two by the road.  Then on to Bingara after a stop at the Horton River where we parked under the bridge and we saw two wren species, Black-fronted Dotterel and heaps of Fairy Martin and nests.  The motel garden at Bingara had its own King Parrots and Double-barred Finches.  Also saw a solitary Blackbird in the main street.  Drove down along the rapidly flowing Gwydir River (water being released from Copeton Dam) late afternoon after a heavy shower of rain and saw egrets and parrots.

Usual early morning walk as produced good views of Red-winged Parrot and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater.  After breakfast we headed east along the Gwydir River and looked at a couple of Barraba's bird routes as we headed towards Copeton Dam.  We had good views of a flock of White-browed and Masked Woodswallows feeding on nectar and a perched pair of Wedgies across a paddock.  Through Inverell and Tingha and then across to the New England Highway.  Saw a few Collared Sparrowhawks as well as a Brown Goshawk soaring.  Found Little Llangothlin Lagoon after a bit of searching and there were many birds here including heaps of Black Swans.  Also saw Blue-billed Duck, three Grebe species, Aust. Shovellers and Whiskered Terns.  Then on to Armidale before heading east to Dorrigo in stormy rain and then heavy mist.  Eventually got to Wilkie's Wilderness near Lowanna and were shown to the guesthouse by the owners.  To Coramba hotel for dinner and we saw a Superb Lyrebird along the road - great!!  On the way home at night we saw Tawny Frogmouth, Koala, Bandicoot and Pademelon.

The pre-breakfast walk produced a good variety of rainforest birds including, Wonga  and Top Knot Pigeons, Eastern Yellow Robin, Rufous Fantails and Black-faced Monarch.  Rain showers today and after breakfast we drove to the coast at Coff's Harbour and then to Sawtell where we had a good variety of birds including Regent Bowerbird, Little Shrike-thrush, Pied Oystercatcher and Wedge-tailed Shearwater.  We enjoyed watching Little and Long-billed Corellas playing with banksia cones on the foreshore.  Saw another 2 Lyrebirds by the road today. 

Usual pre-breakfast walk where we saw Green Catbird, Red-browed Finches and Yellow-throated Scrub-Wren.  After breakfast we headed for Glenreagh.  We had close views of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos.  Through Grafton and north to the Clarence then across to the coast at Woody Head.  From here we drove for about 20 km north along the beach in Bundjalung NP.  Saw quite a few Pied Oystercatchers and Crested Terns.  Left the beach at Black Rock where we saw a large Sand Goanna.  Much of the coastal heathland had been burnt in this area.  Drove through the NP and saw Pheasant Coucal and a few honeyeaters.  After lunch at Ballina we looked at some wetlands at East  Ballina where we saw Latham's Snipe, Lesser Sand Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, and Eastern Curlew.  Lennox Head had Caspian Tern, Gull-billed Tern and Little Tern before we headed through crowded Byron Bay and on north.  At Wooyung Rd we saw our first Black-shouldered Kites of the trip.  Overnight at Murwillambah.

Not much to report pre-breakfast and after leaving Murwillambah, we drove across to the coast along Clothier's Creek Road to Cudgen and Kingscliffe.  Had good views of an immature White-bellied Sea-Eagle.  Saw Sooty Oystercatchers, Whimbrils and Striated Herons.  We then visited Coombabah Environmental Park after bypassing the Gold Coast.  Not many birds as it was quite hot.  On towards Brisbane and our final stop was Minnippi Parklands where were saw quite a few Latham's Snipe, Comb-crested Jacana and Chestnut Teal.  Back to Sonnenburgs Birdwatchers B&B for the night and the trip over.


Roy Sonnenburg

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