Dear Birding Australia,
I'm not sure if my first query to Birding-Aus went through. Here goes.
I have 2 weeks for my 1st trip to your marvellous land. I arrive 27th July, and
bird until 9th August. I will have a hire car from Brisbane Airport. I'll bird
my way north to Cairns, then fly down to Brisbane to catch my flight home on
I have not really planned on engaging any guides, although perhaps on an
impromptu basis I might do so here or there.
>From perusal of Morcombe's and Simpson-and-Day's field guides, I reckon there
>are upwards of 400 species to be found along this route; about 80 percent of
>them would be lifers for me. Thus, I want to cover as many different habitat
>types as possible. It's been suggested that I might find as many as 250
Kind suggestions from Hugh Dingle and Dr. Graham Etherington have helped me set
up the skeleton of a plan.
Now to sharpen up the details, here are some questions I'd love someone to
1. Should I just race over to Lamington NP as soon as leaving the airport at
Brisbane? Or, would it be wise to do a bit of shorebirding (wader-watching?)
along the seacoast near Brisbane first? Or mightn't I just find good
shorebirding on my drive northwards afterwards?
2. O'Reilly's gets many recommendations, but seem rather expensive. I see the
Binna Burra offes some quasi-camping arrangements, safari tents and such, at
much lower cost. Would I miss many birds by staying there, rather than at
O'Reilly's, which sounds more like a birding paradise? Might there be some
other fine but inexpensive birding accomodation around Lamington NP? I don't
normally stay in expensive places, since it's just a place to collapse after
nightfall and depart from before dawn.
3. I rarely stray from birding while on such trips. I skipped the ruins of Troy
to seek the Sombre Tit! I ignored the Valley of the Kings to look at Cisticolas
along the Nile! I birded the gardens of Versailles while my wife looked at the
hall of mirrors! Even so, it does seem silly to ignore the Great Barrier Reef
while I am in Cairns. Would one see many seabirds on a snorkeling trip out
there? I'd especially like to see some boobies (other than Brown), as well as
noddies and Sooty Tern and so forth. Would such a trip be a good "bang for the
birder's buck," along with of course nice fish-watching?
4. How monstrously hard is it to find and view owls, owlet-nightjars, and
nightjars this time of year? I especially want to see some of the Tyto
species--not including the Barn Owls that nest in my barn here at home!
Thanks very much for your kind interest in my humble questions. If you ever
have questions about how to find Sooty Grouse, Black Turnstone, or Hammond's
Flycatcher in "WA" (Washington, not Western Australia), let me know!
Near Lyman, Washington (Skagit County), USA
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