Easter birding, Bowra, Cunumulla,SW Qld

To: "'Dam Lamb'" <>, "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: Easter birding, Bowra, Cunumulla,SW Qld
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2006 18:05:30 +1100
Hi Russ

Great trip report. I love to visit Bowra again.


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Dam Lamb
Sent: Monday, 24 April 2006 12:16 PM
To: birding-aus
Subject: Easter birding, Bowra, Cunumulla,SW Qld

Along with 40+ other enthusiastic birders, we attended the Birds Qld
Easter Campout at Bowra near Cunumulla, the new icon of SW Qld
birdwatching run by Ian & Julie McLaren.Although a long trip for
coast-based folk, it proved highly succesfull birding, both for those
new to the area (one participant racked-up 22 new birds in 5 days) and
for older hands.The weather even provided some excitment with over an
inch of rain falling on the Thurs morning, just before the arrival of
most people who then had heaps of fun traversing the 6km of mud road to
the homestead/camping area.That night produced a thunderstorm with
spectacular skies, wind and rain which had more than a few campers
anxiously watching the small lagoon creep slowly towards them. We wern't
able to drive the next day and the "dry creek" marked on Ian's
aptly-named mud map had clearly had a change of identity.

 The lagoon proved a boon for the photographers and video buffs with a
Spotted Crake showing itself effortlessly each day, along with
Black-fronted and Red-kneed Dotterel,White-faced Heron,White-breasted
and White-browed Woodswallow. Around the campground were heaps of
Red-capped Robin, Chestnut-crowned Babbler, Southern Whiteface,
Variegated Fairy-wren (in eclipse), some Hooded Robin ,White-plumed
Honeyeater and Red-winged Parrot. The lagoon area also produced two of
the specials, with a Grey Falcon sighted overhead on the Thurs. and a
couple of pairs of Bourke's Parrots doing a fly-through.Black-eared
Cuckoo was also seen, and a pair of Hoary-headed Grebe patrolled the
artesian dam, with Grey Teal further up the channel.A flock of 40+
Little Crow put on a display in a thermal, calling their monotonous

Most parts of Bowra were covered over the 5 days , with Ian ensuring we
ended-up at the right spots.Hall's Babblers were found in a few
locations, providing a tick for most.Chestnut-breasted Quail-Thrush were
seen on the stoney ridges, one group seeing 9 in all, 5 in one
party.Despite extensive searching every day, Redthroat (a female) was
seen only once by a couple of folk.Juvenile Orange Chat were found, then
later a fully coloured male.Crimson Chats were easily seen, one flock of
around 50.A pair of Brolga patrolled the newly-wet creek, but there we
few ducks or waterbirds to be found.Ten raptors were seen, including
Grey, Brown,and Black Falcons, Square-tailed Kite, Brown Goshawk and of
course Wedgie.A few lucky folk picked-up Banded Lapwing, most saw Major
Mitchell's, Ringneck,Blue Bonnet ,Mulga, but Budgies eluded all but a
few.No kingfishers were seen, plenty of Brown Treecreeper, and when you
got the right habitat,White-browed Treecreepers came relatively easily.
Thornbills  provided the usual challenge, plenty of Chestnut-runped, and
plenty of earnest discussion about the presence, or otherwise,of
Slaty-backed .The conclusion was that they were present, along with
Yellow, Yellow-rumped and Buff-rumped.

Ten Honeyeaters  were seen, incl Grey-headed and Striped.Try as we did,
we couldn't manage the Babbler quartet, with White-browed eluding us,
despite Ian's assurances.
All-up, the group managed 110+ species for the campout.A straw poll at
the final bird-call had Hall's Babbler and Chestnut-breasted
Quail-thrush tied for "bird of the campout", with Bourke's Parrot a
close third (Grey Falcon just didn't make it, too common out here). I
managed a total of 86,but got my solitary target species, Bourke's
Parrot, which I had missed on two previous trips out this way, and had
also missed in the Centre last year.We had seven fly-by at eye-level,
perch in a cypress for 10 mins only 20m away, and then fly-off.
 The campout was compently and calmly lead by Graham Palmer with much
attention to detail and individual need, and Ian and Julie are wonderful
hosts.Get out there if you can.

Russ Lamb, Maleny, SEQ

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