birding-aus RFI eastern Australia next year

Subject: birding-aus RFI eastern Australia next year
From: "Denis Lepage" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 11:36:40 SAST-2
Hi all,

I am starting the exciting process of planning my bird trip to
Australia around June next year and I wouldn't mind some help since
this will be a first time for me. I plan to attend an Ornithological 
conference in Brisbane in late June and shall travel for about a 
month, probably before the conference. I shall limit my itinerary to 
the east coast (largely Queensland) and I hope to fly to Darwin and 
spend some time there to.

First things first. What books to buy? I have seen the newest Pizzey
and Knight guide and I am quite impressed by its' quality, so that
should not be a problem. Some people have also recommended 
the Slater's, largely because of its smaller size. Frankly, I do 
not like the plates in Simpson & Day, although I heard many good 
birders use it. So, what's your preference? I might get both P&K and 

Can you comment on good bird finding guides and song recordings. I 
have heard good things about Thomas and Thomas (1996) bird finding 
guide. Is it complete enough? good? What about Wieneke's "Where to 
Find Birds in North-East Queensland"? Is it bringing anything to the 
Thomas & Thomas's one for that region? Is it covering Cape York 
region? Is there any other good local guides covering the eastern 
coast or Darwin?

I must say I am quite fond of tropical birds, so I suppose going to
the north-east and Darwin is an absolute must. I am however open to
alternative suggestions, especially if they can boost up my bird
list, of course. Several people have already reccommended 
Lamington NP, near Brisbane, and I admit that it looks exciting. What 
about New South Wales?  Is it worth spending much time in NSW at that 
time of year compared to the Queensland? 

A pelagic trip out of either Sydney or Wollongong in the middle of 
winter sounds terribly appealing I must say. Any of them better? What 
about the one from Southport?

By the way, we plan on camping at least part of the time, although 
we may not carry very serious camping gear, other than a tent a good 
sleeping bag.

So any general suggestions about regions to visit, or specific sites
not to miss are welcome. What about short local guided birding tours?

Finally, there is a possibility that we fly to Canada afterwards, 
with the interesting option of stopping over somewhere for a few days 
on some tropical island in the pacific. Where would you suggest? I 
suppose Hawaii is the most convenient in term of flight connections. 
What about birding with such a limited time? What are the other 
stress-free-and-fair-birding options?  Fiji?

Please reply to me directly:  as I do not
currently subscribe to Bird-Aus (but I will soon). I have however
browsed the archives, which is a gold mine of information...

Thanks in advance for any help you can give
Denis Lepage
Denis Lepage <>
Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
Rondebosch 7701 South Africa            
Phone : +27-21-650-3300  Cell: +27-83-361-6929 Fax:+27-21-650 3295 &
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