Trip Report - Bowra (and Grey Falcon)

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Trip Report - Bowra (and Grey Falcon)
From: Nick Leseberg <>
Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2011 08:17:36 +0000
Hi All,

I have just returned from five days spent on a trip from Brisbane out to Bowra. 
Had a fantastic time with plenty of good birds, and although not in the same 
numbers they were this time last year, there was still plenty around. 
Highlights were Grey Falcon, Grey-headed Honeyeater and most of the usual birds 
Bowra is known for.

After leaving on Wednesday afternoon we spent the night at Bendidee NP, about 
270km west of Brisbane, where the highlight was several vocal Australian 
Owlet-Nightjars, followed by a good selection of inland birds the following 
morning. Nothing too surprising, but just a birdy place with things coming 
alive as the weather warms up.

Moving on to Bowra, we arrived late in the afternoon and spent the last hours 
of light watching the waterhole near the accommodation area. Again nothing too 
surprising, although we were unfortunate to miss a pair of Australian Painted 
Snipe which had been seen there the day before.

Our primary target was Grey Falcon which had been seen regularly over the 
previous few days, along the road into the property, in the southern part of 
the reserve, and also in the western paddock, so the first morning saw us 
birding the southern part of the station. Painted Honeyeater and Plum-headed 
Finch were our best birds, with the honeyeater posing for a few photos. 
Continuing around the southern part of the property to Gumholes produced a 
small party of Bourke's Parrots, and the list of usuals kept building, with 
Chestnut-crowned Babblers, Australian Ringneck, Mulga Parrot and Splendid 
Fairywren. Things were heating up fairly quickly, and by 11:00am it was a bit 
hot for birding so we pressed back to camp, getting White-browed Treecreepers 
on the way. For the afternoon we headed out to the western paddock, and near 
the dam on the far side of the circuit were surprised to find Grey-headed 
Honeyeaters in reasonable numbers, plus a couple of White-fronted Honeyeaters. 
The r
 eturn trip after dark produced a couple of Spotted Nightjars.

We spent the second morning concentrating on the entrance road for the falcons. 
It seemed fairly quiet, with Red-backed Kingfisher and Pink Cockatoo the 
highlights, with Glossy Ibis and Australian Pratincole seen in the fields 
alongside the sealed section of road back to Cunnamulla. We had nearly given 
up, until back on the entrance road to Bowra a Brown Falcon passed overhead. It 
was soon joined by two more falcons, this time Grey Falcons! We watched the 
pair as they soared overhead for a few minutes, disappeared, then returned for 
another minute before we watched them disappear for a final time, never to be 
seen again. We birded the road again in the afternoon without seeing the 
falcons, but were very happy with our returns for the day!

Sunday morning started with Black-eared Cuckoo near the tip, followed by 
Chestnut-breasted Quail-Thrush, Black-breasted Buzzard and White-browed 
Treecreeper near the Stony Ridge, before we moved up onto the tablelands 
searching for Hall's Babblers. We didn't see or hear any, and they were the 
only bird we 'missed' for the trip. Out in the western paddock we found a 
Crimson Chat, but not much else of interest. We spent the late afternoon out in 
the western paddock again, where we didn't add any new birds, but enjoyed the 
magnificent sunset.

Our final morning was spent looking for Painted Honeyeater again, this time 
without success. We did get another small party of Bourke's Parrots which 
momentarily posed for photos, and a Ground Cuckoo-Shrike as we left the 
property, before we had to get on our way back home to Brisbane. 

During the trip we did a fair bit of reptile searching as well, with Marbled 
Velvet Gecko, Tessellated Gecko, Bynoe's Gecko and Central Netted Dragons the 
highlights, with plenty of Central/Eastern Bearded Dragons and Shinglebacks to 
be seen also. Surprisingly we saw only one snake, a rather large Mulga Snake on 
the sealed section of road returning to Cunnamulla. Mammal-wiseThere were 
plenty of Red Kangaroos on the property as well as quite a few Eastern Greys 
and Wallaroos. Frogs were in full song around the waterholes with the usual 
species present - Litoria peroni, latopalmata and caerulea, Limnodynastes 
fletcheri and tasmaniensis and Crinia deserticola.

In all it was a successful trip, with Grey Falcon the clear highlight. 
As mentioned we missed Hall's Babbler, but we really didn't spend much 
time in suitable habitat searching for it, so that was not surprising. 
Certainly other people saw it while we were there.

If anyone wants any more info, please let me know.

Regards and good birding!

Nick Leseberg
Tropical Birding 

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