RFI Eastern Deserts/Eungella

To: "'Tim Jones'" <>
Subject: RFI Eastern Deserts/Eungella
From: "Bob Cook" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2008 18:09:10 +1100

I have to agree with the previous comment - you are looking at extremely
long distances and/or slow roads on most days and will have virtually no
time for birding, even if you still had the energy.

I would strongly suggest either adding 4 or 5 days to your timing or leave
out MT Isa / Lawn Hill for another trip.  You will then enjoy the trip
rather than being totally frustrated and exhausted at the end.

Bob Cook
Axedale  VIC.

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Tim Jones
Sent: Sunday, 9 March 2008 4:32 PM
To: Rita & Ian; birding aus
Subject: RFI Eastern Deserts/Eungella

Hi Ian,

Thanks for the reply. As per the original email it would be for a 7-9 day
period in the second half of April. Actual, exact route will be totally
designed around where my targets birds are likely to be, and that depends on
the info I get! However, it's beginning to look something like this:

Day 1 - travel across from Sydney
Night 1 - Mildura or somewhere around there.
Day 2 - Gluepot and environs.
Night 2 - Burra or Peterborough area
Day 3 - up to Lyndhurst area
Night 3 - Lyndhurst or Leigh Creek
Day 4 - Birdsville track
Night 4 - Birdsville
Day 5 - head to Mount Isa
Nights 5 and 6 - Mount Isa
Days 6 and 7 - Mount Isa and Lawn Hill birding
Night 7 - maybe Boulia or Bedouri
Night 8 - possibly Bowra Station/Eulo

Actually, having thought a bit more about the costs and awkwardness of
travelling by plane and transferring stuff to hire vehicles etc., I am now
considering driving it from Sydney. I own a Toyota Prado (with a double tank
which costs me $250 to fill up, so I don't think I'll have any trouble with
range) and so it seems I could go via the mallee and SA and north from
there, which could give me the chance to at least try to pick up some of the
specialities en route, such as Black-eared Miner, Scarlet-chested Parrot,
Western Whipbird, Chestnut-breasted Whiteface, Thick-billed Grasswren etc..

Maybe this will stretch it to 8 to 10 days, but I would miss out Eungella
and come back SE-wards to Sydney.

Yes, precautions, precautions, precautions. I would definitely invest in a
sat phone and a second spare wheel and not rely on a mobile. Maybe I should
advertise for someone to come with me... but is it so bad to go solo if I
stay with main routes (i.e. I wouldn't go off road as such)?

Any further thoughts appreciated.

Best rgds


> From: > To: > Subject: Re:
[Birding-Aus] Eastern Deserts/Eungella> Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2008 10:01:11
+1000> > Tim> It sounds like a great trip you are planning with plenty of
exciting country > and birding, however I'm a little unsure of where you are
intending to > actually go, to help you here is some advice/suggestions.
Apologies in > advance if it is a case of teaching you how to suck eggs!> An
issue is solo travelling in remote locations; never a good idea in case > of
breakdowns or ill-health. Need to keep in mind the mobile phone coverage >
is very patchy - for example I've just driven back from Townsville to >
Yungaburra where I live via Greenvale, The Lynd, 40 Mile Scrub and Mt Garnet
> and there was no coverage most of the way. And this was with a new 3 G >
phone using Telstra. (The coastal route was flooded). I work with NRW and >
we have a regular call in process when we go remote so maybe you could >
organise such a thing with a known route? You also need ot know how to use >
a sat phone (as do I!0 and that the pin number is turned off. This is to >
ensure that incase you are unconscious your helpers can use the phone.>
Second thing is to double check the distances with regard to time it takes >
to travel anywhere - and also the range of your vehicle as there are large >
gaps between fuel stops.> That is a great range of birds on your wish list;
with the Purlpe crowned > fairy wren very easy around Lawn Hill and Gregory
River. Spinifexbird > around MT Isa (but I've tried twice and missed both
times!) Bob Forsyth > lives at Mt Isa and is in the phone book. He can give
you loal advice > however at the moment is heavily involved in local
history. There is a > fellow called Phil Venables who is curently at Mt Isa
and a vg birdo. Bob > would have his contact details. Phil will be able to
help with the Carp and > Kalkadoon Grasswren. I saw the KW around 10 years
ago on road from > Cloncurry to Duchess. So very old info there but
according to Phil and Bob > when I met with them last November the KG is
apparently easy to pick up > (which normally means I miss out!)! Adn Phil
has good sites for the Carp > Grasswren.> > Things like Halls Babblers -
around Winton south to Opalton. Maybe better > to go camping in places like
Bladensburg NP? Just south of Winton. Or stay > at Winton and travel down.
Straited Grassrens are apparently easy to pick > up around Larks Quarry NP.>
> I've seen Spotted Bowerbirds one before - when we had to stay in Clermont
> for two nights due to vehicular failure! They were in the local park.> >
I'm going on a trip for 4 nights with some friends from the tablelands to >
the Winton area in May, banking on the assumption that with the good rains >
there will be a population explosion and we'll be tripping up over Rufous >
crowned Emu wrens, Redthroats and Spinifexbirds. I can dream.> I'd be
interested to hear of any response you get, as we are going to > similiar
country. Sounds like a great trip and you should see some great > birds.> >

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