Trip Report FNQ (Iron Range) and NSW

To: ? birding-aus <>
Subject: Trip Report FNQ (Iron Range) and NSW
From: Peter Ewin <>
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2012 14:56:08 +1100
I have finally got around to writing up a trip report for my trip to Iron Range 
and various parts of NSW and Qld (a long family holiday) from late last year. 
In the end I recorded 345 species (274 in Qld and 131 at Iron Range). The trip 
report is very long (40 pages) and I have it in Word and PDF if anyone is 
interested. I have copied the 'Introduction' page below to give an indication 
of the information contained. I also have a spreadsheet that includes the daily 
lists (in order) for the entire trip as a separate document.
There were a number of people that helped with this trip and there were a few I 
said that I would catch up with that I didn't - thanks and apologies to all of 
Let me know if you would like a copy.

In November and December of 2011, I
embarked on a major trip through parts of NSW and Queensland. The main goal of
the trip was a week of banding at Iron Range National Park (NP) on Cape York
but to do this I had to get the family to Sydney so they could stay with my
in-laws. Given the proximity to Christmas, following the two weeks in
Queensland I then proceeded to travel up the north coast of NSW to spend a week
at my parent’s place near Murwillumbah, stopping at a few spots along the way
to break up the trip. We then travelled to Brisbane where I visited my sister
for a few days before making the long drive back to Mildura over three days
(travel was generally slow as we left home with a three month old who needed
regular feed stops).

This was my fourth
trip to Iron Range (1994, 1999 and 2002) and I travelled most of the far north
Queensland (FNQ) leg with John Rawsthorne and Stuart Rae (both who had also
been to Iron Range once before) and my father, John. We had just over two weeks
starting from Cairns and although I had a few target subspecies that I had
missed on previous trips, the main goal was to try and get as many new species
as possible for my father as he hadn’t travelled much in this part of the
world. My secondary goal was to try and get to 400 species for my annual list,
which I had only achieved on three occasions in the past twenty years (two of
these being on previous Cape York trips). The second leg of the trip was more
of a family holiday, including early Christmas celebrations, but I did manage
to get some bird-watching and my parent’s place does have a lot of species
within walking distance. In the end I recorded 345 species, with 72 new species
for Dad (one of which would have been new for me), four new subspecies and an
annual total of 433 (second only to 2002 with 464).

As usual, the
first part of this report will show the daily itinerary of the trip and the
second part each species with various details on where they were observed. The
itinerary will include where we travelled, any places of interest on the way,
any species of interest for the day and a series of numbers representing the
number of species for the day/the number of new species for the day/the
cumulative total for the trip/and the cumulative total of new species for the
year (starting at 260). The species section will have the common name and
scientific name of the species (I use a hybrid taxonomy list from Christidis
& Boles and Schodde & Mason) and specific notes on where we first found
the species (and for interesting species/sightings other details) and a string
of numbers indicating the first day seen/the number of days seen/the trip
number (and for the relevant species the trip number for the FNQ leg)/and
finally the number for my annual list (again only relevant if above 260). I
have split the species accounts into two paragraphs with details for FNQ (in 
red) and the rest (NSW) so if readers are
specifically interested in one or other parts they can filter the relevant 
At the end will be a number of species that others saw that I did not track
down with information on their location.

Finally, I
have to thank a few people for their input to the trip. Thanks to John, Stuart
and Dad for making the Cape York leg of the trip. To Jon Coleman, who organised
the permits to allow banding at Iron Range and for making the few of us that
camped feel welcome and to Mark Clayton who said it would be his last trip and
had serious vehicle problems so has vowed to return. To Sue Shephard for her
time at ‘Artemis’ and Del Richards and Chook Crawford for a great day up Mt.
Lewis. To everyone from Birding-Aus who provided information particularly on
Cooktown (Martin Cachard, Kath Shurcliff, Frank Pierce) and a desperate attempt
to fill some holes around Brisbane (Steve Murray, Peter Boyd, Tom Tarrant and
others) – I also used the archives extensively plus notes collated before and 
my previous trip in 2002. And finally my wife Cate and family for allowing me
to make the trip up north and allowing me the odd moment to escape at other
times – travelling with three kids under five can be interesting but we made it
without too much yelling.


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