Top End Trip

To: Lindsay Hansch <>
Subject: Top End Trip
From: John Brannan <>
Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2008 17:45:57 +1000
I second Linday's recommendation of Bowra Station. I spent a couple of nights there on a recent trip up to Queensland and found it an amazing place for birding. Lots of lifers for me, as it was my first birding trip to Queensland, the Brolgas being the most memorable.

Talking to the wife of the owner (who will make you a delicious dinner if you request it in advance) she mentioned that they're looking to sell the place, but are having trouble finding a buyer who's willing to keep the place going as a birding spot. So you might want to head up there sooner rather than later. I recommend the cottage they have there (sleeps up to 6), though the shearer's quarters looked nice too. They also seemed happy to host campervan types.

John Brannan

Lindsay Hansch wrote:

Rhonda and I have just returned home form our winter “escape”.  We had planned to depart on 3 April and head to the south-west (WA).  But, late in planning we decided to buy a new caravan – you probably guessed it, delivery dates kept slipping and we finally departed on 13 May.  Our first stop was the Barossa Valley where it rained on us for five days with strong westerly winds and more forecast.  So we made a decision to abandon WA and headed north, doing Cober Pey, Uluru, Allice, Mataranka, Katherine, Litchfield, Darwin, Kakadu, then back to Tennant Creek and east to Mt Isa.  From there we followed the Matilda Highway through, Longreach, Blackall, Cunnamulla, Bourke and home (13,000km in all).


Birding was good but we missed a lot, being inadequately prepared for a Top End/western Queensland trip.  Nevertheless we recorded 241 species including 65 lifers.  Best birds were the Banded Fruit-dove, White-lined Honeyeater, Red Goshawk, Hooded Parrot (female only and in the streets of Pine Creek), Carpentarian Grasswren, Bourke’s Parrot, Hall’s Babbler and Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush.  We searched for and missed the Flock Bronzewing, White-throated Grasswren, Gouldian Finch, Chestnut-quilled Rockpigeon, Grey Falcon and Kalkadoon Grasswren.


For anyone heading to the area some gems for birding were Mataranka, Fogg Dam near Darwin (great waterbirds) and Cunnamulla.  At the latter we stayed at a property just out of town called Bowra Station for four days during which we recorded 97 species including six lifers (including Bourkes Parrot and Hall’s Babbler).  Bowra is also a good location for the Grey Falcon (even though we failed to find it).


Lindsay Hansch

36 Challinor Cres., Florey, Canberra ACT 2615, Australia
Ph.: (+612) 6258 6038	Fax: (+612) 6258 6238
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