outback N SA - S Qld brief report

To: "" <>
Subject: outback N SA - S Qld brief report
From: Peter Waanders <>
Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2013 22:10:16 +1030
Hi all,
Just over a week ago I finished a 12-day trip through outback areas of
northern SA and southern Qld. Conditions were very dry, especially in Qld,
where the level of overgrazing was pretty shocking in some areas (eg around
Birdsville), especially compared with similar areas just south of the state
border in SA, where there was still plenty of vegetation (albeit dry)
present. Different states, different approaches to "land management" it
Bird activity was still good though although some key species have
(temporarily?) disappeared. For example, Chestnut-breasted Whiteface at Mt
Lyndhurst station (access allowed on foot under the SA Pastoral Act) has
not been seen for over 9 months now. Numbers of Thick-billed Grasswrens
there, and in surrounding areas, have crashed so low as to become almost
The good news is that Short-tailed Grasswren numbers in the Flinders Ranges
are on a slow rise again after almost completely disappearing, a wet spring
there has no doubt helped, while we also found almost all other key bird
species. Highlights of our recent trip included:
Port Augusta area: One Black Falcon S of Pt Wakefield on the way up there
and 2 Western Grasswrens near Whyalla. Crimson Chats, Black Honeyeaters  &
Chirruping Wedgebills at the Arid Lands Botanical Gardens. (Pied HE's were
present there a few weeks earlier).
Flinders Ranges - Short-tailed Grasswrens, Grey-fronted Honeyeaters, Aus
Pratincoles, Orange & Crimson Chats. Earlier in November we found an
Oriental Plover on the Leigh Creek coalmine retention dam.
Strzelecki track - 2 Letter-winged Kites (down from a max of 9), 4 Cinnamon
Quail-thrush, only 1 flock of Budgies, several Rufous Fieldwrens, 4-6
Eyrean Grasswrens (in 45C!), 1 Gibberbird, Orange & Crimson Chats, 3 Inland
Dotterels. A fortnight earlier, also 6 Banded Whitefaces.
Birdsville track - 2 Grey Falcons, 1500+ Flock Bronzewings, 1 Eyrean
Grasswren, 2 Grey Grasswrens, 6 Yellow Chats, 1 Red-browed Pardalote, 3
Brolgas - a station owner we spoke with said that renegades had shot 2
Brolgas a few weeks earlier! :-(
Quilpie - 70 Plum-headed Finches & 1 Red-browed Finch, 1 Dollarbird
Bowra Station (in very good condition after recent rain) - numerous
sightings of Hall's Babbler, Spotted Bowerbird, 1 Chestnut-breasted
Quail-thrush, 1 Black-breasted Buzzard, 1 Black-eared Cuckoo, White-browed
Treecreepers, plenty of Little Woodswallows, 1 Spotted Nightjar on nest
Tibooburra area (hit hard by drought & feral goats) - 1 Australian Bustard,
4 Grey Grasswrens, 30 Freckled Duck
Gluepot - Major Mitchell's Cockatoos, Red-lored Whistler, Black-eared
Miner, Striated Grasswren.
I have just finished uploading a photo album of this trip and preceding
trips to the same area this spring, see here:

Enjoy & have a great Christmas, everyone!



Peter Waanders

Southern Birding Services

PO Box 2008, Berri SA 5343  Australia

Phone: 1800-BIRDING (free from landlines within Australia)

mob.: +61 (0)409 763172

sat.: +61 (0)424 212889



Birding Store:


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