Trip Report: King Island 9 - 13 Sept 2014

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Trip Report: King Island 9 - 13 Sept 2014
From: Iian Denham via Birding-Aus <>
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2014 16:28:23 -0700
Trip Report: King Island 9 - 13 Sept 2014
Mark Buckby, Iian Denham, Christine Shelley, Dave Torr [Organiser]

Aim was to see all the King Island endemic subspecies, a few of the introduced 
species and hopefully the Morepork. There have been very few trip reports about 
King Island and not much on eBird, so we relied largely on the recent 
Clarke/Dolby book.

We flew to King Island from Melbourne on Regional Express Airlines [Rex], 
Stayed at Bass Cabins - Currie, and hired a Toyota Hi-Lux from King Island Car 
Rentals. Rex provides basic facilities for the short duration of the flight. 
The cabins also were basic but clean, comfortable and adequate for a self 
catering stay. The Hi-Lux was up to the task for the conditions of King Island. 
We ate at the Golf Club and Parers Hotel, and had many cups of coffee (and 
scones/jam/cream) at the Harbour Road Cafe

We criss crossed the island over three days and two half days and made the most 
of the daylight hours. Days 2 and 3 were quite windy, and there were 
intermittent showers each day, but none long enough to restrict birding 

Introduced species.
Driving from the airport to the main principal town of Currie [8km] we notched 
up the largest ferals; Indian Peafowl, Wild Turkey, and Common Pheasant. 
Numerous flocks of European Goldfinch were seen throughout the island, as were 
Common Starling. House Sparrows abounded at Currie and Grassy. A small flock of 
European Greenfinch was located at Yellow Rock Beach. California Quail were 
found at 2 sites along Tin Mine Road. This is a long road and the first 
sighting was aided by chatting to a passing local.

The first afternoon was spent in the south west of the island where we found 
our first Dusky Robin [kingi]. We went on to find them quite numerous over most 
of the island.  While passing 40 degrees south latitude on the west coast we 
saw our only Little-black Cormorant. Great Cormorant were at many sites in low 

We hoped a visit to the cliffs at Seal Rocks would provide views of pelagic 
birds, due to the strong westerly blowing, but all we got was a solitary Shy 
Albatross. Small numbers of 'Shys' were encountered at most points where we had 
ocean views. No other pelagic birds were encountered.

We located Colliers Swamp where we ticked New Holland Honeyeater [caudatus], 
Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Brush Bronzewing and Yellow Wattlebird [kingi] (Both 
Wattlebird and New Holland were common throughout the island). Our principal 
target here was Scrubtit [greeniana] which eluded us, and continued to do so 
for the whole trip. 

Day 2 was spent in the north. The Nooks Swamp area was extensively burned some 
years ago and we did not get many birds in this area. Strong winds may have 
also had a bearing on that. Yellow Rock Beach and estuary provided a pair of 
Hooded Dotterel and the aforementioned European Greenfinch. The dense 
undergrowth along Tin Mine Road provided good cover for Olive Whistler, Bassian 
Thrush and Grey Shrikethrush. A pair of Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo gave us a 
flyover, and would be the only cockatoos of the trip. At Currie we visited the 
harbour area to add Black-faced Cormorant and Sooty Oystercatcher. The Currie 
sewerage works have been transformed into a wetland area, where several Little 
Grassbird were heard calling. This site should become more productive in years 
to come.

On Day 3 we returned to Colliers Swamp and added Crescent Honeyeater. Of the 
small birds Superb Fairy-wren [elizabethae], Tasmanian Thornbill [magnirostris] 
and occasional Tasmanian Scrubwren [humilis] were all located, but no Scrubtit. 
In the afternoon we drove up to Pegarah State Forest via Grassy Harbour Little 
Penguin colony. At Pegarah we added Green Rosella [brownii]. This area is is in 
serious need of maintenance with many trees down over the road and drivers 
making alternative tracks to pass. Last stop for the day was Sea Elephant. This 
area was somewhat quiet, maybe due to the late afternoon, but more likely the 
result of fires some years ago. On the drive out of Sea Elephant we did get our 
only Common Bronzewing of the trip.

Day 4 we returned to Pegarah SF in calmer conditions and added Yellow-throated, 
Strong-billed and Black-headed Honeyeaters. We visited Shag Lagoon where where 
there were numerous waterfowl, with the highlight being a pair of Pink-eared 
Ducks, believed to be vagrant on King Island. Also of note were eleven Latham 
Snipe roosting on the islands of the lagoon. 

The afternoon was spent back at Colliers Swamp where we carried out a very 
thorough sweep of the area and still no Scrubtit. Thanks to a tip from Denise 
at the  Harbour Road Cafe  we were given a location along Old Grassy Road for 
Tasmanian Morepork. We visited that site later in the evening and after two 
hours of hearing a pair call deep in the forest were treated to an appearance 
around 9:30.

Day 5 Having a couple of hours before our departure, we returned to Yellow Rock 
Beach where we added Double-banded, and Red-capped Plovers. Along the road we 
encountered our only Cattle Egrets despite cattle being everywhere.

Black Currawong [colei] were surprisingly scarce. We had two in Currie on two 
separate days. Silvereyes [ochrochrous] occurred regularly at many sites, but 
typically you would be hard pressed to locate them if you wanted to.

Raptors: White-bellied Sea-eagle was found most days and at many locations. 
Brown Falcon was scarce with a pair found at Colliers Swamp and the odd single 
bird while driving in the north. Swamp Harrier we quite numerous and not as shy 
as the Victorian ones were are used to. Nankeen Kestrel was seen most days with 
4 at different locations on day 2. A single Brown Goshawk was seen over Currie.

We finished the trip with a total of 88 birds for King Island as follows:

Emu  ("Dromaius novaehollandiae") [domestic?]
Wild Turkey  ("Meleagris gallopavo")
Common Pheasant  ("Phasianus colchicus")
Indian Peafowl  ("Pavo cristatus")
California Quail  ("Callipepla californica")
Cape Barren Goose (novaehollandiae) 
Greylag Goose  ("Anser anser") [domestic]
Black Swan  ("Cygnus atratus")
Australian Shelduck  ("Tadorna tadornoides")
Pink-eared Duck  ("Malacorhynchus membranaceus")
Maned Duck  ("Chenonetta jubata")
Mallard  ("Anas platyrhynchos") [domestic?]
Pacific Black Duck  ("Anas superciliosa")
Australasian Shoveler (rhynchotis) 
Grey Teal  ("Anas gracilis")
Chestnut Teal  ("Anas castanea")
Hardhead  ("Aythya australis")
Blue-billed Duck  ("Oxyura australis")
Musk Duck  ("Biziura lobata")
Little Penguin  ("Eudyptula minor")
Shy Albatross (cauta)
Hoary-headed Grebe  ("Poliocephalus poliocephalus")
Eastern Cattle Egret  ("Bubulcus coromandus")
White-necked Heron  ("Ardea pacifica")
Great Egret ("Ardea alba modesta")
White-faced Heron  ("Egretta novaehollandiae")
Little Pied Cormorant   ("microcarbo melanoleucos melanoleucos")
Black-faced Cormorant  ("Phalacrocorax fuscescens")
Little Black Cormorant  ("Phalacrocorax sulcirostris")
Great Cormorant  ("Phalacrocorax carbo")
White-bellied Sea Eagle  ("Haliaeetus leucogaster")
Swamp Harrier  ("Circus approximans")
Brown Goshawk (fasciatus)  ("Accipiter fasciatus fasciatus")
Nankeen Kestrel  ("Falco cenchroides cenchroides")
Brown Falcon ("Falco berigora tasmanicus")
Purple Swamphen ("Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus")
Eurasian Coot ("Fulica atra australis")
Pied Oystercatcher  ("Haematopus longirostris")
Sooty Oystercatcher ("Haematopus fuliginosus fuliginosus")
Banded Lapwing  ("Vanellus tricolor")
Masked Lapwing  ("Vanellus miles novaehollandiae")
Red-capped Plover  ("Charadrius ruficapillus")
Double-banded Plover (bicinctus)  ("Charadrius bicinctus bicinctus")
Hooded Dotterel  ("Thinornis rubricollis")
Latham's Snipe  ("Gallinago hardwickii")
Sanderling ("Calidris alba alba")
Silver Gull  ("Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae novaehollandiae")
Pacific Gull  ("Larus pacificus pacificus")
Greater Crested Tern  ("Thalasseus bergii cristatus")
Common Bronzewing  ("Phaps chalcoptera")
Brush Bronzewing ("Phaps elegans elegans")
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo  ("Calyptorhynchus funereus xanthanotus")
Green Rosella  ("Platycercus caledonicus brownii")
Shining Bronze Cuckoo (plagosus)  ("Chrysococcyx lucidus plagosus")
Fan-tailed Cuckoo  ("Cacomantis flabelliformis")
Morepork ("Ninox novaeseelandiae leucopsis")
Superb Fairywren ("Malurus cyaneus elizabethae")
Yellow-throated Honeyeater  ("Lichenostomus flavicollis")
Strong-billed Honeyeater  ("Melithreptus validirostris")
Black-headed Honeyeater  ("Melithreptus affinis")
Yellow Wattlebird  ("Anthochaera paradoxa kingi")
Crescent Honeyeater ("Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus pyrrhopterus")
New Holland Honeyeater  ("Phylidonyris novaehollandiae caudatus")
White-fronted Chat  ("Epthianura albifrons")
Tasmanian Scrubwren  ("Sericornis humilis tregellasi")
Tasmanian Thornbill  ("Acanthiza ewingii rufifrons")
Olive Whistler ("Pachycephala olivacea apatetes")
Australian Golden Whistler  ("Pachycephala pectoralis")
Grey Shrikethrush  ("Colluricincla harmonica strigata")
Australian Magpie ("Gymnorhina tibicen tyrannica")
Black Currawong ("Strepera fuliginosa colei")
Black-faced Cuckooshrike  ("Coracina novaehollandiae novaehollandiae")
Dusky Robin ("Melanodryas vittata kingi")
Flame Robin  ("Petroica phoenicea")
Grey Fantail ("Rhipidura albiscapa albiscapa")
Forest Raven  ("Corvus tasmanicus tasmanicus")
Eurasian Skylark ("Alauda arvensis arvensis")
Welcome Swallow ("Hirundo neoxena neoxena")
Little Grassbird ("Megalurus gramineus gramineus")
Silvereye ("Zosterops lateralis ochrochrous")
Common Starling  ("Sturnus vulgaris")
Bassian Thrush (lunulata)  ("Zoothera lunulata lunulata")
Common Blackbird  ("Turdus merula")
House Sparrow  ("Passer domesticus")
Australian Pipit ("Anthus australis bistriatus")
European Greenfinch  ("Chloris chloris")
European Goldfinch  ("Carduelis carduelis")
<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Trip Report: King Island 9 - 13 Sept 2014, Iian Denham via Birding-Aus <=

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