Tried to send as one document but must be too large. Species List will follow
Trip Report Mildura – SE Queensland Sept/Oct 2008
Spent just under three weeks driving to and from north east NSW/south east
Queensland from Mildura. The main reason for the trip was my sister’s wedding
in Brisbane and a chance for our children to spend some quality time with their
grand parents. I also dedicated a few days to travelling with my father looking
for a few species that he had yet to see. As many people say, wasn’t really a
birding trip, but did get to see a few species (I was happy with over 225) –
though also drove a lot of kilometres (thankfully the two kids – both under 3
travelled really well).
Listed are some highlights with the full list at the bottom (abbreviations for
locations in the main text) – names and order follow Christidis & Boles (2008).
At the end are a few other species that were either not fully feral (at
Samsonvale cemetery) or confirmed ID.
17th of September – Mildura to Forbes
6 Regent Parrots about 8km east of Euston on Sturt Highway
Painted Honeyeater heard in Boree about 20km east of Wyalong on Newell Highway
18th of September – Forbes to Armidale
Gum Swamp (GS) had the usual assortment of ducks (including one Blue-billed
Duck) and some of the spring migrants had returned.
Lunch at Garrawilla NP (GNP) (east of Coonabarabran) revealed nothing
spectacular (though there are currently only 3 species listed on the Atlas of
The resident Indian Mynas were seen in Mullaley (also on the return trip)
19th September – Armidale to Crystal Creek (near Murwillumbah)
Lunch at Jabiru-Geenebeeinghi Wetlands (JG) revealed the usual north coast
wetland species with 2 well-hidden Magpie Goose being the best birds present
Crystal Creek (CC) (19th September – 1st October)
Stayed various days over this period at my parent’s place at Crystal Creek.
Nothing exciting though Plumed Whistling-ducks were feeding in there back yard
(the first time I have seen them there but they have been there on and off for
a couple of years), A White-bellied Sea-eagle getting mobbed by Drongos and
Figbirds along the creek was pretty exciting and picked up the usual 9 species
of pigeons in the backyard (Brown Cuckoo-Dove, White-headed Pigeon, Peaceful
Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove, Crested Pigeon, Wonga Pigeon, Spotted Turtle-dove,
Topknot Pigeon, Emerald Dove)
21st September – Tweed Valley
First stop the Fig tree walk at Mebbin NP (MNP). The usual rainforest species
(Logrunner, Pale Yellow Robin, Spectacled and Black-faced Monarch, Rufous
Fantail) present, with nice views also of a Male Regent Bowerbird and a female
Paradise Riflebird carrying nesting material.
Cram’s Farm, Clarrie Hall Dam (CF) had the usual waterbirds including more
Comb-crested Jacana and Latham’s Snipe than I have ever seen there, plus the
only Brush Cuckoo for the trip.
A quick stop at the carpark of Mt Warning NP (MW) added Wompoo Fruit-dove to
the trip list.
23rd to 25th September – trip to SEQ with Dad to add species to his list
(species marked with # were seen on this trip).
Drove first to Rainbow Beach where we stayed over night and visited Inskip
Point (IP) twice. Mangrove Honeyeater on the 23rd was Dad’s first new species,
while Black-breasted Button-quail and somewhat surprisingly White-eared Monarch
were seen the following morning. Despite the large numbers of people (Qld
school holidays) birds were in good numbers here.
Drove to Cooloola Way in the evening of the 23rd to try for Grass Owl with no
luck, though I did hear Ground Parrots (and Dad got silhouetted views in
flight). The wind was quite strong here and there were very few birds
generally. A quick stop at Bymien Picnic Area failed to find Sooty Owl (or any
The next day travelled our way to Samsonvale stopping at Maroochy Wetlands at
Bri Bri (BB) where we added Mangrove Gerygone and Collared Kingfisher to the
trip. Lunch was had at Caloundra but the wind was very strong and the terns and
waders were well away from binocular range.
Met up with Tom Tarrant at Samsonvale Cemetery where Dad added Tawny Grassbird,
and we unsuccessfully looked for Little Bronze-cuckoo (though the Horsfield’s
Bronze-cuckoo heard here was one of only two for the whole trip). Along with
Roy Sonnenburg and his paying client (Barbara?) we tried a few other spots
around Samsonvale/Dayboro (SV) adding (at that stage) Emerald Dove and Azure
Kingfisher to the trip list.
Spent that evening in Kilcoy, hoping to find Corcoran’s Lane near Lake Wivenhoe
to look for Red-backed Button-quail. Unfortunately the SatNav technology let us
down (I will have to take mine next time) so we missed the turnoff – oh well
one to try again in the future (this was the one new species I was hoping to
Stopped briefly at College’s Crossing looking (with no luck) for Cotton
Pygmy-goose. However we soon had this species at Greenwood Lake, Forestdale
(GL) which was surprisingly quiet though I did get one of both Musk Lorikeet
and Pacific Baza here which were the only ones sighted for the whole trip.
Then stopped at Eagleby Wetlands (EW) where we obtained much better views of
Tawny Grassbird and the only Wandering Whistling-ducks for the trip.
Last stop on this trip was on the foreshore at Terranora (TH), where despite
the wind we saw a good number of birds, though Striated Heron was the only new
one for the trip.
A pair of Ospreys are easily seen on a nesting pole on the eastern side of the
Banora Point Bridge.
Had another brief visit to Mebbin NP looking for Sooty owl which we got on the
entrance track. At the first site tried heard and spotlighted a Yellow-bellied
Glider not long after dusk. The only other night birds heard were an Australian
Owlet-nightjar and one Southern Boobook.
1st October – Crystal Creek to Woolgoolga
Stopped at both Chikiba Lake and Flat Rock (FR) near Ballina yielded the usual
bevy of wader’s (though the people watching the dolphin rescue at nearby
Prospect Lake was enough for us to keep going).
Another Osprey nest at the Richmond River bridge had a single bird present. We
then spent a couple of quiet days at Woolgoolga Lakeside Caravan Park (W) where
the highlight was our son’s interest in the nearby Grey-headed Flying-fox camp.
3rd October – Woolgoolga to Coonabarabran
Stopped briefly at Ebor Falls (EF) where I added Forest Raven, Varied Sittella
and Eastern Spinebill before continuing on to Coonabarabran (best bird a pair
of White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes in the Caravan Park, though a Lorikeet flew
over but was not identified – probably Little).
4th October – Coonabarabran to Hay
Plumed Whistling-ducks were present at a dam just on the outskirts of
Tomingley, Grey-crowned Babblers were seen east of Marsden and a brief stop at
Gap Dam SF (GD)(west of Rankins Springs) added a few species including Speckled
Warbler, White-browed Babbler and Jacky Winter.
5th October Hay to Mildura
Nothing special with Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo and White-winged Triller added
near “Sunnyside” homestead and Tree Martin the last new species recorded for
the trip at Euston.
Overall, a good trip and if any one would like more details on anything let me
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