A month Down Under

Subject: A month Down Under
From: "Simon Plat" <>
Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2001 11:24:26
Hi All,

just back from a great (birding) holiday Down Under, visiting Darwin, Cairns and Sydney. I like to thank everybody who helped during preparation and during the trip esspecially the guys from Kingfisher Lodge, Cassowary House and Red Mill House, Chris Dahlberg, Steve Anyon Smith and a couple of Nomen Nescio birdwatcher that I met during the trip esspecially on Cairns Esplanade.

I managed to see just over 300 species with about 150 in Darwin (6 days), 220 in Cairns (15 days) and 115 in Sydney (5 days). I'm kind off proud to say that I found most of it on my own except in Sydney where it was just the other way around. I'll try to make and publish a trip report asap, here are some highlights of the trip:

Darwin (1 - 6 oct):

Things started good with the only Australian Hobby of the trip just in Darwin. Howard Springs showed me over 8! sightings of the great Rainbow Pitta's, at least of 5 different birds. The only Red-backed Kingfisher sat on a wire a few km before Fogg Dam. Fogg dam was teeming with birds. Great views (and photo's) of White-browed Crake and a large flock of Little Curlews and Aus Pratincoles. In Kakadu a Black-tailed Treecreeper and two Partrige Pigeons showed well near the visitors centre. The only 'specialist' that I could find at Nourlangie was a Chestnut-quilled Rock-pigeon (why do they open this area only from 8:00 o'clock in the morning?). At the Edith Falls camping a (breeding?) Tawny Frogmouth just at the entrance didn't bother the huge amount of swimmers. I was very happy (and lucky) with a small group of Hooded Parrots flying over the road to Edith Falls when we left the place after searching in vain for hours near the camping and river (no Gouldians). Maybe even more lucky (actually quite relative) when I got back in Darwin on the 6th. I was to sick to go birding at East Point and we went for a sleep in the park at the Esplanade. Couldn't hold myself from looking over the tidal area every once in a while and there was a Beach Stone Curlew, being harrased by a Brahminy Kite.

Cairns (7 - 21 oct)

Just after arrival in Cairns on the 7th I had the best time at the Esplanade with an Asian Dowitcher and a Broad-billed Sandpiper among a huge amount of waders (all rare vagrants here back in the Netherlands). Couldn't find the Dowitcher back the same afternoon on or subsequent visits, but the Broad-bill was still there that afternoon. Only the latter half of a Red-necked Crake showed on the swamp boardwalk near the Botanical Gardens but that's not a problem when a visit to Kingfisher logde is ahead. Great views of a juf Lesser Sooty Owl (and a lot of other night stuff) during a night excursion at the Kingfisher Lodge. Quite lucky with good views of a Fernwren (a foregner only realises that after getting back home) and some other wet tropis endemics at Mt Lewis (Dutch weather up there). Lake Mitchell held one of te best surprises of the holiday (oct 11th). After searching in vain in Africa and Asia I found a Painted Snipe just there where is it not that common on the shore of the left lake (when entering). I would have identified it as a male but after the commotion on this newsgroup about the one down south I don't vouch for that anymore. Kind of peculiar that it was fairly active during the heat of the day. The breeding Papuan Frogmouth on Chris' trip in Daintree was just great. Also had good fews of a Gould's Bronze Cuckoo in the Red Mill Garden and a Amathystine Phyton up in a tree. The beautifull Little Kingfisher was present in the pond in the Red Mill Garden and we saw two on Chris' trip. A sighting of two Pied Oystercatchers at Newell Beach near Mossman (no Manta Rays) migth be worth mentioning. Mt Hypipamee (the Crater) held a handfull of the endemics that I hadn't seen on Mt Lewis, including a displaying Riflebird. A Russet-tailed Thrush besides the road was the only mentionalbe at Tully Gorge NP. After 8 hours waiting at Cassowary House (not always that lucky) the Cassowaries arrived just a quarter of an hour before we were to depart. Unfortunately only with one young in stead of the three the day before. A visit to the Crocodile farm resulted in a Latham's Snipe and some White-browed Crakes. To end the Cairns Chapter, great views (and photo's) of two Double-eyed Fig Parrots eating in a low tree and (finaly) some stunning Lovely Fairy Wrens at Mt Whitfield back in Cairns.

In Sydney I had great help of the extremely sharp and dedicated Steve Anyon Smith, who helped me find Lirebirds, both Rock Warbler and Pilotbird and a beautyfull Crested Shrike Tit, all in Royal and Heathcote NP. Other Highlights of the Sydney area: Brush Bronzewing, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Musk Duck, Wonga Pigeon (lots of), Southern Emu Wren (heaps), Chestnut-rumped Heatwren etc.


Simon Plat
0031 (0)512 538568
0031 (0)6 53736951


Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • A month Down Under, Simon Plat <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU