Birding on Tasmania January 2009 - long

To: <>
Subject: Birding on Tasmania January 2009 - long
From: "David Kowalick" <>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 22:14:19 +1030
Below is a report of what turned out to be a pleasant and fruitful few days
birding in and around Hobart last week. 

Birding on Tasmania January 2009

                                        By David Kowalick

With only a few days on Tasmania on a non-birding jaunt I was required to
weave birding in and around other concerns. Fortunately however Tassie's 12
endemics and the other rare on the mainland birds are fairly easy to come by
in the near environs of Hobart. Thanks to everyone who provided details of
their experiences to Tassie. Your information was very helpful. 

Jan 12
Only managed a couple of late-in-the-day hours (you have to love daylight
saving) at the famous Peter Murrell Reserve. I took the little track down
behind the Vodafone building and was immediately rewarded with good views of
the Forty-spotted Pardalote along with Spotted Pardalotes and Striated
Pardalotes. The call of the 40 Spot is very unlike the other birds. Also
common at this site were Green Rosella, Yellow Wattlebird, Black-headed and
Yellow-throated Honeyeater and a family of Tasmanian Native Hen. Forrest
Raven and around 30 other species made the short dash worth while.

Jan 13
Next day saw us head out to the tall forests of the Huon Valley and the
Air-walk west of Geeveston. Not great on the birding front but a magnificent
site well worth a look. There were plenty of Strong-billed Honeyeater here
however and they were easy to watch from the elevated vantage point of the
Air-walk. Watching them pull off large pieces of bark with their bill made
it all the more obvious why they were thus named. 

In the afternoon we headed for the Ferry at Kettering for the crossing over
to Bruny Island. Black-faced Cormorant and Kelp Gull at the terminal were
there to greet us. Once on the Island we headed north to our accommodation
at Dennes Point. Again an after dinner road side walk proved to be very
fruitful. There is a good stand of Manna Gum a couple of kilometers back up
the main Road and it was with very little difficulty that Forty-spotted
Pardalote, Dusky Robin, Swift Parrot and other woodland birds were seen.

Jan 14 
After quitting our accommodation we headed down to the south end of Bruny
Island which has twice the rainfall of the north and is subsequently covered
in dense forest. On the way through Brush Bronzewings were sighted on the
road side. We headed up Mount Mangana and hiked up the walking trial to the
peak. Sadly the fog descended on us and the view was obscured. Nevertheless
good sightings of the Tasmanian Scrubwren was compensation enough. A large
Tiger Snake was also seen on the trail. Crescent Honeyeater, Eastern
Spinebill, and Bassian Thrush rounded the list off. We headed down the
mountain toward Adventure Bay before turning right at the Captain Cook Creek
toward the Mavista Picnic area and Nature Walk. This short walk proved to be
the most productive and one of the most beautiful places we visited. Within
just a few hundred metres Pink Robin (at the nest), Scrubtit, Tasmanian
Thornbill and Olive Whistler all gave clear and sustained views. The Olive
Whistler in particular was seen only a few metres from the forest floor.
Perhaps the howling gale that was thrashing the treetops drove it down from
the canopy. In any case a welcome addition. Scarlet Robin, Bassian Thrush,
Crescent Honeyeater and Eastern Spinebill were also seen here. Back to
Hobart and another hurried visit to Peter Murrell Reserve for all the same
species as before with the addition of Swift Parrot.

Jan 15
Next day we decided on a change of scenery and headed for the Mount Field
National Park. After the obligatory walk to Russell Falls we headed up the
mountain to the alpine lake area where we were accosted by Black Currawong
which was the last of the endemics. The alpine country is truly remarkable
and makes for a very different vista to the lowland forests. Also present in
the high contry were Green Rosella, Yellow-throated Honeyeater, Eastern
Spinbill, Crescent Honeyeater and Tasmanian Thornbill. I was ever hopeful of
a Striated Fieldwren but no cigar. Back to Hobart and a quick dash up Mount
Wellington were more Black Currawong were sighted.

Jan 16
Headed home and apart from Cape Barren Geese on the roadside and Musk
Lorikeet in the trees at the airport noting to report. 

The immediate environment of Hobart has all twelve of the endemic species
plus most of the other hard-to-find mainland birds. The Ground Parrot being
the exception. Tasmania really is a pleasant and picturesque venue for
birder and non-birder alike. 


1.      Hoary-headed Grebe
2.      Australian Pelican
3.      Black Faced Cormorant
4.      Great Cormorant
5.      White-faced Heron
6.      Chestnut teal
7.      Pacific Black Duck
8.      Mallard
9.      Australian Wood Duck
10.     Black Swan
11.     Brown Goshawk
12.     Swamp Harrier - The Harriers seemed to be fairly common and were
sometimes seen over grasslands well away from water.
13.     Brown Falcon
14.     Tasmanian Native-hen  Fairly common in forests and wet lands all
around the South East of Tasmania. Peter Murrell Reserve at the dam is a
reliable venue. 
15.     Pied Oystercatcher
16.     Masked Lapwing - never seen so many of them as here
17.     Kelp Gull - Common in the bays and inlets around east cost and Bruny
18.     Pacific Gull 
19.     Silver Gull
20.     Crested Tern
21.     Common Bronzewing 
22.     Brush Bronzewing 
23.     Rock Dove
24.     Spotted Turtle Dove
25.     Sulphur-crested Cockatoo 
26.     Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo 
27.     Musk Lorikeet 
28.     Swift Parrot - Often heard but seldom seen. Flowering gums are the
place to look for them. 
29.     Green Rosella - Fairly common and seen in most venues.
30.     Fan-tailed Cuckoo.
31.     Laughing Kookaburra
32.     Welcome Swallow
33.     Tree Martin
34.     Superb Fairywren
35.     Spotted Pardalote
36.     Striated Pardalote
37.     Forty-spotted Pardalote - Peter Murrell Reserve is almost a dead
cert. Bruny Isalnd however is also a stronghold especially in the north 
38.     Yellow-throated Honeyeater - Commonly observed in woodland and
alpine regions
39.     Strong-billed Honeyeater - Woodland and forest, often high in the
40.     Black-headed Honeyeater  - Common in all woodland venues
41.     New Holland Honeyeater
42.     Crescent Honeyeater 
43.     Eastern Spinebill 
44.     Noisy Miner
45.     Little Wattlebird
46.     Yellow Wattlebird  - Common in all lowland woodlands
47.     Tasmanian Scrubwren  - In forest under story or dense scrubs
48.     Scrubtit - Fairly common in closed forest. Usually found them after
waiting quietly in likely location.
49.      Tasmanian Thornbill - hard to pick from the Brown but eventually
the overall gist and longer vent feathers helped to discriminate between the
50.     Brown Thornbill - More often in open woodland
51.     Yellow-rumped Thornbill 
52.     Dusky Robin - Usually in woodlands, especially around dead wood
53.     Scarlet Robin 
54.     Pink Robin 
55.     Olive Whistler - Often heard, seldom seen.
56.     Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
57.     Dusky Wood-swallow 
58.     Skylark
59.     Grey Fantail
60.     Grey Butherbird
61.     Australian Magpie
62.     Black Currawong - In summer is apparently more like to be seen at
higher altitudes.
63.     Forest Raven 
64.     House Sparrow
65.     Greenfinch
66.     Goldfinch
67.     Silvereye
68.     Bassian Thrush 
69.     Blackbird 
70.     Eurasian Starling


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, 
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Birding on Tasmania January 2009 - long, David Kowalick <=

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