Just back from a 3 weeks tour to Tassie. As previously, it doesn't seem
a good use of your or my time to reiterate what's been reported here
previously, or what is readily available elsewhere (especially of course
Thomas & Thomas' "Complete Guide to Finding Birds of Australia"). See
also Geg Anderson and Steve Clark's b-a reports on Peter Murrell Reserve
south of Hobart - thank you both! So, just a few notes - in random
order! - that may be of help.
1. Forest Glen Tea Gardens (just south of Spreyton, south of Devonport).
WHen we were there (3 March), Max's wife (I'm sorry, I don't recall her
name or their surname) was very ill in hospital and likely to be so for
some time. As a result there are no teas now, but Max is happy to
receive birdos. The Swift Parrots are still there, along with several
endemics. Ring him on 6427 2156.
2. The cabins at Bowen Park Holiday Village (Risdon Cove, HObart) have
Long-nosed Potoroos living apparently under them!! My flabber was
gasted... Also some good birds in the trees at the back of the park,
including Olive Whistler (presumably dispersing?).
3. Excellent mud-flats just south of Low Head at the mouth of the Tamar.
4. Enough's been said about Bruny Island (and all with excellent
cause!). Another good 40-Spot site though. Off the ferry, take the first
road north after leaving the ferry - it's about 7k, and goes to Barnes
Bay. Almost as soon as you reach the bay, there's an informal picnic
area on the left, with picnic table. Park here, and walk 100m to the
first bend, where the road crosses a gully; the Pardalote was plentiful
here, and is pretty sedentary.
5. Tamar Island Wetlands Centre. This is a Parks Service project, just
opened in November 2000, and is excellent! The info centre is probably
the most striking hide I've seen, with huge windows looking out onto the
wetlands. There are extensive boardwalks and other hides (though the
configuration of the viewing slots needs work!). Head up the west TAmar
from Launceston; the centre is by the highway about 3k south of Legana,
marked with a modest brown sign. NOte that it doesn't open until 0900
6. THe National Park Golf Course (by Mt Field NP), for mammals. It's now
closed as a golf course, so the 'greens' are not as attractive as they
were, but it's still good for Barred Bandicoots and there are Platypus
in the creek. Glen and Dianne (phone 6288 1383) did an excellent barbie
for us. Give them a call to negotiate access.
7. Arthur River cruises (MV George Robinson) are good, though no useful
bird info to be gleaned. Spot-tailed Quolls come to scrounge lunch
scraps though, which alone is worth the price of the ticket!!
8. Not specifically birdy either, but Binalong Bay Character Cottages
(on the Bay of Fires), have the most fantastic views of any
accommodation we've ever used! Phone Marion on 6376 8262. [I'd be
grateful if you told them - and anyone else I've recommended here - of
our recommendation if you call them.]
Some other miscellaneous points.
*Two cabin parks I would NOT recommend incidentally are Treasure Island
in Launceston and Bicheno Cosy Cabins.
*Try to avoid Fern Tree (Mt Wellington) on Sunday morning! It is
populated by aggressively territorial joggers!
*Probably just one of those statistical oddities, but we found the
'common' Strong-billed HE to be very elusive indeed. In fact it took us
17 days, and more significantly, over 100 other spp, including all the
other endemics several times over, before we located it!
*A piece of cringe-making info peddled by one of the Gordon River
cruises (and passed on by another traveller). THere are few birds in the
SW rainforests because they are Jurassic forests, so birds can't live
*The amount of forest being cleared for Blue Gum plantations is very
Hope this is of some use.
Ian Fraser, Canberra
Environment Tours; Vertego Environmental Writing Consultancy
GPO Box 3268, Canberra, ACT 2601
ph: 02 6249 1560 fax: 02 6247 3227
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