trip report - Dorrigo/Iluka/Port Macquarie

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Subject: trip report - Dorrigo/Iluka/Port Macquarie
From: "chris chafer" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 06:40:53 +1000
Trip Report – Dorrigo / Iluka / Port Macquarie rainforests

>From 3 – 8 April 2004, I led a group of Sydney birdo’s to the rainforests of
Dorrigo, Iluka and Port Macquarie (NSW). The first day was basically driving
from Sydney to Dorrigo with brief stops at Newcastle Botanic Gardens, Kew
and Urunga. Birds recorded along the way were mostly common species, the
highlights being Musk Lorikeet and Large-billed Scrubwren at Kew and Darter
at Nambucca Heads. We arrived at Dorrigo National Park at 5pm and spent 40
minutes of excellent viewing from the skywalk. Birds included Satin and
Regent Bowerbird, White-headed Pigeon and Forest Raven.

Next morning we birded through tall lush rainforest along the eastern part
of the Wonga track in Dorrigo NP adding Rose Robin, Brush Turkey,
Russet-tailed Thrush – perched and singing only 5 m away, Green Catbird,
Paradise Riflebird, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Crested Shrike-tit, Logrunner
(heard only) and stunning views of a Wompoo Fruit-dove through a scope.
Lunch was in the Never Never picnic ground with a brief walk to the giant
Blackbutts along the Rosewood track. It rained and there were few birds. We
returned to the skywalk, stopping along the way along to check out a small
pocket of rainforest gaining crippling views of Paradise Riflebird, Golden
Whistler and Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Torresian Crow and Bar-shouldered Dove.

Day three saw us on the road again; first stop was the Norman Jolly walk in
Nymboi-Binderay NP to view the 600 year-old majestic Tallowwood. Here we had
close views Pale-yellow Robin, Golden Whistler more Green Catbirds and
Superb Lyrebird. Lunch was at the small village of Nymboida, with some
excellent woodland. Here we added Little Bronze-cuckoo, Blue-faced
Honeyeater, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Double-barred Finch, Rufous Whistler,
Australian King-Parrot and White-throated Gerygone. After lunch we found
Bell Miner at Coutts Creek State Forest; a hundred Plumed Whistling-duck on
a farm dam south of Grafton and Intermediate Egret on a road-side pond near
Macleay. We arrived at Iluka (on the northern entrance to Clarence River) at
4pm, and as the tide was out we walked along the mangrove-covered shoreline
towards the old Ferry wharf in Bundgalung NP. Here we added Mangrove
Gerygone, Azure and Sacred Kingfisher, Peaceful Dove, Little Cuckoo-shrike
(dark form), Mistletoebird, Bhraminy Kite, Osprey, a White-bellied Sea-Eagle
with a Whimbrel in its talons,  Brown honeyeater, Pacific Golden Plover,
Rainbow Bee-eater, Striated Heron, Grey-tailed Tattler and White-breasted

Day four began with a walk around Iluka harbour, adding Sooty and Pied
Oystercatchers, Little Lorikeet, Tree Martin, Leaden Flycatcher and Spangled
Drongo. We then walked through Iluka’s famous littoral rainforest to Iluka
Bluff adding Varied Triller, Spectacled Monarch, Little Shrike-thrush, Sooty
Oystercatcher and Ruddy Turnstone. Although it rained for most of the
afternoon, we birded from the bus on Goodwood Is., adding Striped
Honeyeater, Olive-backed Oriole, Figbird, Shinning Bronze-cuckoo, Pheasant
Coucal, Eastern Curlew and Common Greenshank. We also went to Shark Bay,
where a quick walk to the reef produced Lesser and Double-banded Plover and
Common Tern.

Day five began with an early walk through the littoral rainforest, this time
adding Regent Bowerbird, Rufous Fantail and the often elusive White-eared
Monarch. After breakfast we were on the road, stopping at Station Creek in
Yurigir NP to add Little Friarbird, White-throated and Scarlet Honeyeater,
Brown Goshawk, Black-faced Monarch, Singing Bushlark and a flock of Topknot
Pigeons travelling south. Lunch was on the foreshore at Urunga with its 600m
board walk across the estuary. Here we added White-cheeked Honeyeater,
another Striated Heron, Bar-tailed Godwit and Common, Little and Gull-billed
Tern. We arrived at dusk in Port Macquarie.

Day six dawned bright and sunny, and the rainforest-lined creek beside our
motel produced astonishing close views of 5 Barred Cuckoo-shrike and just
for comparison Little and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike were in the same tree. A
quick sea-watch at Lighthouse Beach produced Pomarine Jaeger and
Wedge-tailed Shearwater. Next stop was the littoral rainforest of Sea Acres
Nature Reserve, which echoed with the flute-like calls of Barred
Cuckoo-shrike. We also added Spectacled Monarch, Crested Shrike-tit and
Figbird, before all too soon it was time to head back to Sydney. A great six
days, even if it was interrupted by rain periods and we ended up with 160

Species recorded: Australian Brush-turkey, Plumed Whistling-Duck, Black
Swan, Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Chestnut Teal, Wedge-tailed
Shearwater, Australasian Gannet, Darter, Little Pied Cormorant, Pied
Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Australian Pelican,
White-faced Heron, Little Egret, White-necked Heron, Great Egret,
Intermediate Egret, Cattle Egret, Striated Heron, Australian White Ibis,
Straw-necked Ibis, Osprey, Black-shouldered Kite, Whistling Kite, Brahminy
Kite, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Brown Goshawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Nankeen
Kestrel, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel,
Eastern Curlew, Common Greenshank, Grey-tailed Tattler, Ruddy Turnstone,
Red-necked Stint, Pied Oystercatcher, Sooty Oystercatcher, Pacific Golden
Plover, Double-banded Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Masked Lapwing, Pomarine
Jaeger, Silver Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Crested Tern, Common Tern, Little
Tern, Rock Dove, White-headed Pigeon, Spotted Turtle-Dove, Brown
Cuckoo-Dove, Crested Pigeon, Peaceful Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove, Wonga
Pigeon, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Topknot Pigeon, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo,
Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet,
Musk Lorikeet, Little Lorikeet, Australian King-Parrot, Crimson Rosella,
Eastern Rosella, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo, Shining
Bronze-Cuckoo, Little Bronze-Cuckoo, Pheasant Coucal, Azure Kingfisher,
Laughing Kookaburra, Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eater, Superb Lyrebird,
White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Variegated Fairy-wren,
Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Yellow-throated Scrubwren,
White-browed Scrubwren, Large-billed Scrubwren, Brown Gerygone, Mangrove
Gerygone, White-throated Gerygone, Brown Thornbill, Yellow-rumped Thornbill,
Yellow Thornbill, Striated Thornbill, Red Wattlebird, Little Wattlebird,
Striped Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Little Friarbird, Blue-faced
Honeyeater, Bell Miner, Noisy Miner, Lewin's Honeyeater, Yellow-faced
Honeyeater, White-throated Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, White-cheeked
Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Scarlet Honeyeater, Pale-yellow Robin,
Eastern Yellow Robin, Logrunner, Eastern Whipbird, Crested Shrike-tit,
Golden Whistler, Rufous Whistler, Little Shrike-thrush, Grey Shrike-thrush,
Black-faced Monarch, Spectacled Monarch, White-eared Monarch, Leaden
Flycatcher, Magpie-lark, Rufous Fantail, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail,
Spangled Drongo, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Barred Cuckoo-shrike,
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Varied Triller, Olive-backed Oriole, Figbird  ,
White-breasted Woodswallow, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied
Currawong, Pied Butcherbird, Paradise Riflebird, Australian Raven, Forest
Raven, Torresian Crow, Green Catbird, Regent Bowerbird, Satin Bowerbird,
Singing Bushlark, House Sparrow, Double-barred Finch, Red-browed Finch,
Mistletoebird, Welcome Swallow, Tree Martin, Clamorous Reed-Warbler,
Silvereye, Russet-tailed Thrush, Common Starling, Common Myna.

Chris Chafer

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