Australia, August 2000

Published by Surfbirds Admin (surfbirds AT


by Julian Thomas and Jane Clayton.

Places visited.

6th August. After a smooth and uneventful flight we were picked up at Brisbane Airport and driven to Lamington N.P. by Allstate Scenic Tours. As we left the suburbs and headed inland birds such as Laughing Kookaburras, Masked Lapwings and Galahs were reminders that we were far from home. As we reached open eucalypt woodland on the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, the first marsupials were seen; Red-necked, and the aptly named Prettyface Wallabies. Finally we reached O'Reilly's, where luxurious accomodation set amongst rainforest might have given a chance to relax, except no sooner than we had explored the extensive breakfast buffet than it was out to a viewpoint called Luke's Bluff and the obligatory "billy tea and damper".

It was worth it for the views, never mind the sightings of Variable Goshawk and Tawny Frogmouth. In the afternoon a contrast to rainforest was offered by dry eucalypt woodland along Duck Creek Road and here we saw the lovely Rose Robin, as wailing Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos flew overhead.

7th August. In the early morning we were taken for a walk with Glen, whose patter turned birdwatching into something of a circus act. He seemed to be on first name terms with most of the birds, not least Jock, the famous Satin Bowerbird who has featured in a host of T.V. documentaries. One attraction of O'Reilly's is that normally shy forest species such as Eastern Whipbird and Wonga Pigeon are tame, while no-one could ignore the stunning Regent Bowerbirds and King Parrots. During the day we visited rainforest along Python Rock Track and returned to Duck Creek Road, where explorations with Glen gave views of Painted Button-Quail and Red-Browed Treecreeper, even though the elusive Painted Quailthrush we were searching for remained just that - elusive.

At night a spotlight walk revealed delightful Sugar Gliders and Red-necked Pademelons and a Boobook Owl.

8th August. At dawn the forest at Python Rock Track rang with the astonishing and beautiful calls of the rare Albert's Lyrebirds, while brilliantly coloured Rainbow Pittas bounced along the forest floor - a good way to start the day. The morning excursion to balancing rock gave a chance to clamber up this massive granite boulder on a ledge, and to feel it gently rocking as one bounced on its edge. In the afternoon Glen took us on an excursion along the road that twists down 300 hairpins to Canungra, and here at dusk we saw on the stream there perhaps the definitive Australian mammal, the Platypus.

9th August. With perhaps a view to shaking off the gastronomic indulgences at O'Reilly's, the day saw us out on a hike (or bushwalk as described by Australians) to Mt.Bithongabel. Initially through sub-tropical rainforest dominated by huge Booyongs and Strangler Figs the increasing altitude saw us entering temperate rainforest with fantastically sculptured Antarctic Beech trees becoming more frequent. Everywhere a luxuriant growth of epiphytes emphasised how much rainfall the area receives. Birds were relatively scarce on this walk, but when they include Albert's Lyrebird it was a question of quality rather than quantity.

In the evening a spotlight walk to a colony of Glow-worms was a novel experience.

!0th August. A dawn departure from Lamington took us to Brisbane and hence to Cairns. A short ride in our minibus and we were at Cassowary House. Decidedly off the beaten track, but we found it in time for lunch, only to be delayed by the amazing sight of three Cassowaries on the lawn- at last the house lived up to its name! The afternoon was spent exploring the forest around the house, and sightings of Victoria's Riflebird (a Bird of Paradise) and Musky Rat Kangaroos were just some of the reasons that made it worthwhile.

11th August. An early start took us to Cairns where we boarded Seastar 2, for a trip to the Great Barrier Reef. The two hour journey to Michaelmas Cay might have brought sightings of Humpback Whale, for four had been seen the day before, but it was not to be, and for some the roll imparted to the boat by the South-east trades was a little too much.

Michaelmas Cay is a tiny scrap of land on a coral atoll but home to tens of thousands of seabirds, giving it a biological importance out of all proportion to its size. Sooty Terns and Brown Noddies crowded all available space while huge Great Frigatebirds drifted overhead.

Snorkelling here and at Hastings Reef that we visited after lunch gave just the briefest insight into the world of the reef, with its kaleidoscope of fish and wonders such as the Humphead Wrasse that allowed one to pat its enormous head.

12th August. With a packed lunch on board the minibus we were free to explore the area around Cairns. Our first stop was the Esplanade- still a marvellous location for waders in spite of the threat of development, but with the tide out and the sun in our eyes conditions were less than ideal. From there we made our way to Cairns Crocodile Farm, surely the "dudest" of locations, but the shallow reedy pools are a magnet for water birds and time passed quickly as we searched for White-browed Crakes and Buff-banded Rails amongst the enormous resting reptiles. A complete change of scene was offered by the lush rainforests of the Atherton Tablelands, with a visit to the gigantic Cathedral Figtree. Hasties Swamp was another port of call and here we admired spectacular numbers of Cranes, Magpie Geese and Whistling Ducks. Too much to see and too little time, but we made it to the Crater N.P. before dusk and had time to view the great chamber in the ground, with its lake far below, and could speculate on the forces that had produced such a feature.

Once dark we went spotlighting and the area lived up to its reputation with good views of some of Australia's most elusive and rarest marsupials.

13th August. Leaving Cassowary House we drove to Kingfisher Park via Mareeba, where an initiative by local people has created and safeguarded a wetland of immense importance.

The lake surface was decorated with waterlilies that provided a haven for Jacanas, and Pgymy Geese among others, while the dry eucalypt savannah woodland shelters scarce species such as Black-throated Finch.

Kingfisher Park is set in an isolated block of rainforest and is a relaxing place to sit an watch the honeyeaters visiting the feeders, or the shy Red-necked Rail venturing out for a scrap of cheese. In the evening the place echoes with the haunting calls of Bush Thick-knee, the mechanical calls of Long-tailed Nightjars and the eerie "falling bomb" call of the Lesser Sooty Owl, and we were able to spotlight some of these.

!4th August. In the morning we drove to the Daintree River where Chris Dahlberg took us for a cruise in his "tinny" (Australian slang for an aluminium boat - and also a can of beer!). Chris has an intimate knowledge of the river and its birdlife and his cruise produced such highly desired species as Great-billed Heron and Papuan Frogmouth.

In the afternoon we explored some of the drier inland areas from Kingfisher Park; Mt Carbine for Bustards and Red-tailed Black Cockatoos, Mt.Molloy for Great Bowerbirds and Abbatoir Swamp for Forest Kingfishers.

!5th August. In the morning we made the rather tortuous ascent of the Mt.Lewis Road where in the luxuriant rainforest such species as Fernwren, Bridled Honeyeater and Tooth-billed Catbird were encountered. Sadly the main attraction, the Golden Bowerbird failed to visit his bower in the hour we waited for him.

In the afternoon we visited another artificial wetland, Lake Mitchell. The degree of habitat destruction in much of Queensland is deeply depressing, but this at least is a superb new habitat, with a species complement similar to the Mareeba Wetlands.

16th August. Much of the day was spent travelling to Adelaide, but before our flight we visited the Esplanade again and toured the Mangrove Boardwalk which is sited close to the Airport. On arrival in Adelaide our first real problem of the trip surfaced when we learned our hoped for minibus was not available and instead we had to make do with two cars- far from ideal!

We spent the night in the Princes Lodge Motel.

17th August. In the morning we went to Greenfields Wetlands. This artificial wetland is normally brilliant for waterbirds, including species such as Pink-eared Duck, but our visit to South Australia coincided with some of the heaviest rains on record and huge areas inland were flooded. This meant many nomadic waterbirds had vacated the coast and numbers of birds were low. We did at least have John Cox to show us round. John manages the wetlands and has a tremendous knowledge of their wildlife, but even he failed to show us the Australian Bittern.

We then toured the extensive Penrice Saltfields, a strange landscape of rectangular ponds and bunds covered in saltbush. Here we saw the hoped for Banded Stilts and Red-necked Avocets, albeit in small numbers.

We then drove down to Cape Jervis, at the far tip of Kangaroo Island, to catch the evening ferry to Kangaroo Island. As we drove to Stranraer Homestead regular sightings of Possums and Wallabies along the road reminded one what Australia might be like without rabbits and foxes.

18th August. Trying to see the best of Kangaroo Island in two days is something of a tall order, but at least we had to try. Our first stop was Seal Bay where a colony of the threatened Australian Sealions rests among a backdrop of sand dunes and a wild surf beach. There are always sealions here, but activity depends partly on the weather and with a beautiful warm sunny day they flaunt themselves on the beaches instead of hiding in the dunes. After also admiring one of the world's most beautiful waders, the Hooded Plover in the similar setting of nearby Bayles Bay we went to the large Murray Lagoon. Here we saw Cape Barren Geese and Australian Hobby as we ate a lavish lunch, but it was perhaps the captivating Superb Wrens around our feet that drew most attention. An excursion along the north coast to Lathami C.P. took us to a hillside covered with thick stands of Casurinas, and a wait here was profitable with several sightings of the rare Glossy Black Cockatoo.

19th August. The western third of Kangaroo Island is an unspoilt wilderness of native bush and a dramatic coastline, nowhere more spectacular than the aptly named Remarkable Rocks. From a vantage point by these tortured granite boulders we saw the impressive sight of a Humpback Whale offshore.

Further west, by the natural limestone arch at Cape de Couedic, members of a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals lazed on rocks or sported in the surging gigantic swell, while albatrosses drifted offshore. Rocky River, also part of Flinders Chase N.P. is a more sheltered oasis of sugargum woodland and here we viewed some of the most distinctive Australian mammals, the Koala and the Echidna.

A further bush walk amongst the Yaccas, wattles and Eucalypts of Kelly Hill Caves C.P. brought the day to a close.

20th August. An early morning ferry ride from Kangaroo Island was enlivened by encounters with Bottlenosed Dolphins. We then went to the Bluff at Victor Harbour. Great views, but no sign of the Southern Right Whales we hoped for. As the Whale Hotline said "whales are wild animals and do not perform to set schedules". Travelling southeast we reached the Coorong, a unique and wild coastline of sand dunes, heath and lagoons that stretches for ninety miles along the shore of South Australia. Here we visited the largest Australian Pelican colony in the world, and explored some of the surrounding area by a system of loop roads- without seeing another soul.

21st August. With a massive depression and 25 knot winds hitting the South Australian coast the planned pelagic trip was clearly out of the question and as an alternative we visited a series of attractive coastal parks around Robe - Little Dip and Butcher's Gap. It was disappointing to miss out on the opportunity of seeing oceanic seabirds but we did encounter species such as Rufous Bristlebird and Banded Lapwing, that might otherwise have been missed.

22nd August. Leaving Robe we drove to Naracoorte, stopping to admire the inevitable Emus and Western Grey Kangaroos on the way. Naracoorte Caves are one of the richest fossil deposits in the world as well as offering spectacular limestone formation and we visited the Blanche, Bat and Wet Caves before continuing to Yookamura. Set in an extensive area of old growth mallee this sanctuary offers a taste of what the area must have been like before the coming of Europeans, as feral animals such as foxes, cats and rabbits have been excluded. In their place once common native mammals such as Woylies and Bilbies have been reintroduced and we were able to view several of these on a spotlight walk.

23rd August. After a morning walk at Yookamura, during which we stoically ignored the rain as Tim, the manager, informed us about the ecology of the area, we drove along a series of tracks to nearby Portee Station. This is a working sheep farm, but apart from offering a taste of outback life offers a diversity of habitats, from native grassland, through mallee woodland to a system of lagoons along the river, with its extensive groves of the massive Red Gums. We had time to take in the atmosphere, with the abundant and noisy Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Corellas before searching for the intriguing Hairy-nosed Wombats and Red Kangaroos on the plains.

24th August. Some 50km along a dirt road, north of the town of Waikerie, lies the strangely named Gluepot Station. This remote area of mallee, with stands of spinifex and belar is well worth the trouble taken to visit it, as it is home for at least seven species of globally threatened species of bird as well as a diversity of plants and reptiles. Now a Birds Australia reserve the road is well signposted, even though a shower of rain reminded us forcefully as to how it acquired its name as the claypans along the road became decidedly difficult to pass. Here we were able to view the strange Malleefowl, as well as examine an active mound, as well as birds such as White-browed Treecreeper and Mulga Parrot.

25th August. A relaxed day seemed in order to conclude the tour and we made an excursion to the small but diverse Sandy Creek Conservation Park before enjoying a gourmet lunch in a nearby winery. A final bushwalk in Kaiserstuhl C.P. gave a last opportunity to savour the Australian bush and look at some off the birds and mammals that had now become familiar.

26th August. We drove to Adelaide in the morning to catch an early afternoon flight to Singapore. It became something of a scenic experience as our flight path took us past a flooded Lake Eyre, over Ayre's Rock and the Olgas, and through the Kimberley.

Species Lists

The list follows Birds of the World, a Check List, by J.F. Clements.

1. Emu. Five seen on 22nd between Robe and Bool Lagoon, and 12 seen in mallee areas along the road to Gluepot on 24th.

2. Southern Cassowary. This splendid and threatened species was rather easier to see than anticipated, with a male accompanied by a half grown chick striding out of the rainforest at Cassowary House on 10th. Unusually these birds were followed by a female and the three foraged together. These birds gave excellent close range photo opportunities.

3. Great-crested Grebe. Four seen on the Coorong at Jack's Point on20th.

4. Hoary-headed Grebe. In Queensland c 20 seen at Mareeba Wetlands and Lake Mitchell, while in South Australia similar numbers were seen at Greenfields wetlands and Penrice salt fields.

5. Australasian Grebe. More widespread than the previous species, and pairs seen on small dams, with larger numbers seen at Lake Mitchell, Hasties Swamp, Mareeba Wetlands and Greenfields Wetlands.

6. Little Penguin. An hour at Penneshaw on 17th passed all too quickly as we watched some 50 Little Penguins coming ashore in small groups to attend chicks waiting by their burrows. The chicks seen varied from half grown to close to fledging. A noisy copulation was observed which was interrupted by a chick begging for food- instead it received a series of pecks from the male. Birds were also seen gathering nesting material.

7. Black-browed Albatross. Three were seen on the 19th, resting on the sea off the south of Kangaroo Island, some feeding on the numerous dead floating cuttlefish.

8. Shy Albatross. One seen with Black-browed Albatrosses on 19th.

9. Giant Petrel sp. Two seen during a brief seawatch at Robe on 21st.

10. Fluttering Shearwater. A party of five seen during a seawatch at Robe on 21st.

11. Great Frigatebird. Surprisingly no Lessers were seen at Michaelmas Cay, but three examples of this species were present, giving great views as they soared overhead, or harassed returning Brown Boobies in breathtaking displays of flying.

12. Australasian Gannet. Small numbers, up to 30 daily were seen around Kangaroo Island, and at Robe.

13. Brown Booby. On 10th some 300 were seen roosting on the beaches at Michaelmas Cay, with many other birds crowding the navigation buoys as we headed out to the Great Barrier Reef.

14. Little Pied Cormorant. Seen at most inland waterbodies in Queensland and S.A., with c50 seen at Greenfields wetlands and Penrice Saltfields.

15. Black-faced Cormorant. Some 50 were seen along the breakwater at Cape Jervis on 17th, were many birds had nests amongst the piles of boulders. Similar numbers were seen at Seal Bay, with a few birds at Robe.

16. Pied Cormorant. Some 20 seen with Black-faced Cormorants at Cape Jervis on 17th, with odd birds at several other locations along the coast of K.I.

17. Little Black Cormorant. Just a few birds seen in Queensland, with 3 at the Cairns Crocodile Farm, but larger numbers in S.A., with c300 at Penrice Saltfields on 17th and c30 along the Murray River on 22nd.

18. Great Cormorant. Just a few birds seen in S.A.

19. Australian Darter. Seen regularly in Queensland, with up to 10 birds daily, at Lake Mitchell, Hasties Swamp, Mareeba Wetland and the Daintree River. Rather fewer seen in S.A., mostly along the River Murray.

20. Australasian Pelican. In Queenland small numbers seen at Cairns on 6th and Lake Mitchell on 10th. In S.A. seen in most wetlands, with c2,000 visible at the nesting colony at Jack's Point in the Coorong on 20th. Numbers around Blanchetown were greatly reduced with extensive flooding inland.

21. Magpie Goose. Numerous at Hasties Swamp on 12th, with c1,000 present in noisy flocks. Also seen at Mareeba Wetlands, but in much smaller numbers.

22. Plumed Whistling-Duck. Numerous at Hasties Swamp on 12th, with c500 present.

23. Wandering Whistling-Duck. Small parties, totalling some 40 birds seen at Mareeba Wetlands on 13th.

24. Musk Duck. One was seen on a lagoon by the Murray on 20th and 5 comprised the total wildfowl population of Lake Robe on 21st.

25. Black Swan. Some 30 at lake Mitchell were the only ones seen in Queensland. Rather more numerous in S.A., with up to 50 seen at Murray Lagoon, and along the Murray River.

26. Cape Barren Goose. Common on K.I., with 10 birds at Murray Lagoon and c100 around Rocky River in Flinders Chase N.P. Many had goslings and one such bird was seen making threat displays to an inoffensive Echidna.

27. Australian Shelduck. Widely distributed in S.A., with a maximum of 30 seen around Murray Lagoon, but birds were often seen in fields as we drove though the state.

28. Green Pygmy-Goose. Lake Mitchell and Mareeba Wetlands provided perfect habitat for this species and c30 were seen amongst the floating vegetation at both locations.

29. Cotton Pygmy-Goose. Some 10 examples of this little stunner were seen with Green pygmy-Geese at Mareeba Wetlands on 13th.

30. Maned Duck. Common by small lakes and dams on the drive to Lamington N.P. Seen most days in small numbers in S.A.

31. Grey Teal. This was first seen at Greenfields wetlands and Penrice Saltfields, with 300 present. Some 50 were at Murray Lagoon, with several hundreds on a lake near Kingston on 21st

32. Chestnut Teal. Seen in the same locations as the previous species, but in rather smaller numbers, with up to 50 seen daily.

33. Pacific Black Duck. Common and widespread and seen in mainly small numbers at all wetland sites visited.

34. Australasian Shoveler. 10 were seen at Greenfields Wetlands on 17th, and a further 5 birds on a lake near Kingston on 21st.

35. Hardhead. Up to 10 seen at Mareeba Wetlands, and Lake Mitchell. Some 30 seen at a lake along the Murray on 20th and on a lake near Kingston on 21st.

36. White-faced Heron. A common and widely distributed heron in both Queensland and S.A., with a maximum of 20 seen on 17th at Greenfields Wetlands, and Penrice Salt Fields.

37. Little Egret. Ten birds seen at Cairns Crocodile farm on 10th and in smaller numbers at Mareeba and Lake Mitchell.

38. Intermediate Egret. Just 3 seen at Cairns Crocodile Farm on 19th.

39. Great-billed Heron. One example of this rare bird was seen on the Daintree River Cruise on 14th. Difficult to locate among fringing trees, in spite of its huge size, the bird, a juvenile allowed a close approach. At times it extended its almost grotesquely long neck.

40. Great Egret. The most common and widespread Egret, with up to 10 seen at all wetland sites visited in Queensland and S.A.

41. Cattle Egret. Small flocks seen with cattle on the drive to Lamington N.P., and in the Atherton Tablelands.

42. Striated Heron. Just two seen on the Daintree River Cruise.

43. Rufous Night-Heron. Only one example of this stylish heron was seen, on the Daintree River Cruise, but it was obliging enough to allow a close approach and gave excellent views as it clambered among overhanging branches.

44. Glossy Ibis. One seen along the margins of Lake Mitchell on 15th.

45. Australian Ibis. Common and widespread in both Queensland and S.A., with the largest numbers, up to 100 daily, seen on K.I.

46. Straw-necked Ibis. Seen in similar numbers and locations to the preceding species, although it was not seen on K.I.

47. Royal Spoonbill. One was seen on the drive to Lamington on 6th, while 2 birds were seen at Cairns Crocodile Farm and along the promenade on 16th.

48. Yellow-billed Spoonbill. With extensive flooding in the states interior this normally easy species proved elusive, until one was seen on a lagoon at Portee on 25th.

49. Black-necked Stork. Always an amazing and impressive bird, a pair were present at Cairns Crocodile Farm on 12th, and one was seen on the drive to Mareeba Wetlands on 13th.

50. Osprey. Just one seen at Bayles Bay on K.I. on 18th.

51. Pacific Baza. We had excellent views of one bird that landed above our heads on the Daintree River Cruise. A boldly marked and handsome raptor.

52. Australian Kite. In Queensland this species was only seen in the Atherton Tablelands, where some 6 were present, but it was more common in S.A., with a maximum of 12 on 17th. A parent was observed to pass a mouse to a fledged juvenile, with a talon to talon transfer in mid air. Often seen mobbing other larger raptors.

53. Black Kite. Fairly numerous around Cairns, over cut sugar plantations, and at the Crocodile Farm. A few birds were seen with the more numerous Whistling Kites at Portee.

54. Whistling Kite. Common along rivers, floodplains and wetlands in both Queensland and S.A., with the largest numbers (up to 15) drifting over the River Red Gums at Portee.

55. Brahminy Kite. Not very obvious, with just two singles seen on drives to Cairns on 11th and 12th.

56. White-bellied Sea-eagle. In Queensland this splendid raptor was seen over Cairns on 11th, a pair was perched by the roadside on the drive to the Daintree River, and it was also seen at Lake Mitchell. In S.A. it was regularly seen along the rugged south coast of K.I.

57. Swamp Harrier. This species was first seen at Penrice Saltfields on 17th, where up to 5 birds stirred up flocks of Grey Teal. It was also seen on K.I. and the Coorong, with up to 5 birds daily in these areas.

58. Spotted Harrier. A superb adult gave brilliant views as it hunted along the roadside and over fields near the Cathedral Figtree in the Atherton Tablelands.

59. Variable Goshawk. We had a number of sightings of this rather difficult species in Queensland. At Lamington N.P a pair was seen soaring together near Luke's Bluff. The male was a grey bird, while the female was a stunningly beautiful white phase. A Grey phase bird was seen at the Cathedral Figtree on the 12th, and a further grey phase bird was perched by the roadside near Kingfisher Park on the 16th.

60. Collared Sparrowhawk. One flew overhead on 13th, showing the notched tail.

61. Brown Goshawk. One was seen along the road as we drove back from the Daintree River on 14th, while a pair showed well at Rocky River in Flinders Chase N.P. on 19th, both birds calling frequently.

62. Wedge-tailed Eagle. Five birds were seen in Queenland, including an adult feeding a chick at a nest site in a tree at Mareeba. In.S.A. five birds were seen including a juvenile feeding on a dead lamb. It tried to carry away the remains of its meal, but failed to do so, dropping it to the waiting Ravens.

63. Brown Falcon. Not seen in anything like the numbers expected, with just one in Queensland, near the Crocodile Farm, and only five birds in the south of S.A., typically along roadsides.

64. Australian Kestrel. Reasonably common in open country in Queesland, with up to 3 seen daily, and even more so in S.A., where it was seen daily, with a maximum of 10 on 17th.

65. Australian Hobby. One was seen briefly at Lamington on 6th, but a bird at Murray Lagoon on K.I. gave brilliant prolonged views as it hunted dragonflies with easy grace, either dismemebring them on the wing, or returning to perches. A third was seen near Adelaide on 26th.

66. Black Falcon. One flew in front of the car on the road to Penrice Saltfields, showing its easy wing action and glides on depressed wings, before it continued on its way, causing mayhem amongst starlings and Crested Pigeons.

67. Orange-footed Scrubfowl. Reasonably common, but surprisingly elusive around Cassowary House, where it was more often heard than seen. Very common and easy to see at Kingfisher Park, where we also saw the impressive mounds.

68. Malleefowl. We had excellent views of this difficult and sought after species as it walked slowly through open mallee along the track leading south from road 8 at Gluepot. We could note the large earhole and the beautiful cryptic plumage before it wandered away. A little futher on we found a clearly active mound.

69. Australian Brush-Turkey. Very common in all rainforest areas in Queensland, being particularly abundant at Lamington, where quite intense fight between males were observed. One was seen on K.I., where an introduced population sustains itself in a habitat totally different to that of its natural range.

70. Painted Button-Quail. One was flushed twice in dry sclerophyll woodland in Lamington N.P. A fairly typical encounter with this rather elusive species.

71. Red-necked Rail.
Although a scarce and skulking species it can be relied on at both Cassowary House and Kingfisher Park, where individuals emerge from cover to indulge their craving for cheese, and we had good views at both locations. A roadkill was seen near Karunda.

72. Buff-banded Rail. This smart rail gave rather brief views at Cairns Crocodile Farm on 12th, but two very obliging birds in the open at Hasties Swamp gave everyone good views. A final sighting was at Kingfisher Park.

73. White-browed Crake. Two birds gave good views as they foraged on floating vegetation amongst reeds at Cairns Crocodile Farm.

74. Purple Swamphen. Small numbers seen at most wetlands in Queensland and S.A., but particularly numerous at Hasties Swamp.

75. Dusky Moorhen. Similarly numerous at Hasties Swamp, and small numbers seen on many small ponds in Queensland. Amazingly, not seen in S.A.

76. Black-tailed Native-Hen. With flooding inland this species was going to be rather difficult to locate, and it is nomadic in such conditions, but fortunately 5 were found at Greenfields Wetlands, mostly seen in flight.

77. Eurasian Coot. Several seen at Mareeba Wetlands.

78. Sarus Crane. Some 30 were identified in impressive mixed flocks of cranes feeding in harvested maize fields near Hasties Swamp on 12th.

79. Brolga. Large flocks of Cranes near Hasties Swamp included several of this species, although the precise composition of the birds was not established. More Brolgas (c20) were seen over Mareeba Wetlands on 13th.

80. Australian Bustard. A slow cruise along Mary Road East, which is off the Mt.Molloy/Mt.Carbine road gave sightings of 6 individuals in the open grasslands. Fortunately this stately species is actually increasing in this area.

81. Comb-crested Jacana. One was seen at Hasties Swamp on 12th, but it was more common at both Mareeba Wetlands, and lake Mitchell, with c20 at both locations.

82. Bar-tailed Godwit. 6 birds seen along Cairns Esplanade on both our visits.

83. Whimbrel. 5 birds seen along Cairns Esplanade.

84. Eastern Curlew. Small numbers were seen along Cairns Esplanade on both our visits; 3 on 12th and 6 on 16th.

85. Great Knot. Six were seen in a mixed flock of waders along Cairns Esplanade on the 12th.

86. Red-necked Stint. Just 3 seen along Cairns Esplanade on the 12th, one of which was in full breeding plumage.

87. Curlew Sandpiper. 10 were seen along Cairns Esplanade on the 12th.

88. Bush Thick-knee. Heard nightly around both Cassowary House and Kingfisher Park, where four birds were spotlighted on the 15th. Occasional birds heard on K.I.

89. Pied Oystercatcher. A total of six seen on 18th, along sandy beaches at Seal Bay and Bayles Bay on K.I.

90. Sooty Oystercatcher. Four seen at Seal Bay on 18th, and another four around Cape de Couedic of the 19th. This species generally frequents rocky areas.

91. Black-winged Stilt. Small numbers were seen at Cairns Crocodile Farm. In S.A. the largest numbers, c150 were seen at Penrice Saltfields, but most large shallow lagoons in the state held a few.

92. Banded Stilt. With the flooding of areas inland the entire adult population of Banded Stilts had vacated the Penrice Saltfields, but we did at least find 8 juveniles roosting with Black-winged Stilts.

93. Red-necked Avocet. This species was similarly hard to locate, but 6 individuals were found on Buckland Park lake, to the north of Penrice Saltfields, while another 4 were seen on a lake near Kingston on 21st.

94. Red-capped Plover. Not seen in any numbers, but 4 were seen at Cairns Crocodile Farm, 6 along Cairns Esplanade, and 2 at Penrice Saltfields.

95. Hooded Plover. A pair of this beautiful species was found in the classic location of a surf pounded white sand beach of Bayles Bay on K.I., while another pair was found by a saline lagoon near Salt Creek along the Coorong.

96. Red-kneed Dotterel. There were 4 present at Greenfields Wetlands. We were somewhat fortunate to see these, as they had been absent from this site for 3 months.

97. Black-fronted Dotterel. Pairs were seen at Cairns Crocodile Farm, the Daintree River, and Lake Mitchell.

98. Banded Lapwing. A group of 4 in a grass field in Little Dip C.P. gave some reward for venturing out in pouring rain, while a second sighting of this rather difficult species was made near Sedan, where 2 birds were seen.

99. Masked Lapwing. This adaptable and successful species was seen in small numbers virtually daily in both Queensland and S.A.

100. Pacific Gull. Some 15 were seen along the south coast of K.I. on 19th, mostly around Cape de Couedic.

101. Silver Gull. Very common along coastlines in Queensland, and also inland in S.A.

102. Whiskered Tern. Winter plumaged birds, c100 in total were seen at Penrice Saltfields on 17th.

103. Gull-billed Tern. Small numbers, c10 birds were seen around Cairns on 11th as we headed out to the Barrier Reef.

104. Caspian Tern. A single was seen on K.I. on the 18th, but rather larger numbers of this species were seen along the Coorong, perhaps 20 in total, with a few over the River Murray.

105. Crested Tern. Perhaps 100 were seen on the trip to the Barrier Reef on the 11th, with similar numbers at Cape Jervis on 17th, and at Cape de Couedic on K.I.

106. White-fronted Tern. Seen in surprisingly large numbers, with c50 seen in small flocks off Cape de Couedic, K.I. on the 19th. They looked dazzlingly white compared with Crested Terns.

107. Sooty Tern. Large numbers of this oceanic wanderer were breeding on Michaelmas Cay, with some thousands present. Many of the chocolate and white blotched juveniles could be seen on the beach.

108. Brown Noddy. As with the previous species large numbers were breeding on Michaelmas Cay, and hundreds if not thousands were seen.

109. Black Noddy. It seemed a rather forlorn hope to pick out some of the few individuals of this species among the hordes on Brown Noddies on Michaelmas Cay, but very obligingly four were found perched on a rope. From a few feet, and with Brown Noddies alongside, features such as the finer bill and whiter crown could be appreciated.

110. Southern Skua. One was seen following the ferry as we returned from K.I. on the 20th.

111. White-headed Pigeon. The only ones seen were 2 that flew overhead at O'Reilly's in Lamington on the 7th.

112. Brown Cuckoo-Dove. Four were seen along the Python Rock Track in Lamington, and 3 were seen around Cassowary House.

113. Common Bronzewing. Seen in small numbers in a variety of locations in S.A., including 12 birds along the Coorong, and 10 at Yookamura, where birds are very tame and easily viewed.

114. Brush Bronzewing. Singles were seen along roadsides on K.I. at Murray Lagoon, and Flinders Chase, while 4 were seen in Little Dip C.P. It is not always easy to get good views of this species as it is overlooked until it bursts into flight.

115. Crested Pigeon. A common species in cleared land and around houses in both Queensland and S.A.

116. Peaceful Dove. Seen along Cairns Esplanade, and at the Crocodile Farm, and numerous at Cassowary House, feeding on grain.

117. Bar-shouldered Dove. Seen a Cairns Crocodile Farm, and daily in quite large numbers at Kingfisher Park.

118. Wonga Pigeon. A striking and beautifully marked pigeon of the forest floor, this species was seen regularly at O'Reilly's, with up to 10 birds daily. Those around the resort were very approachable, but those deeper in the forest were shy.

119. Wompoo Fruit-Dove. Although the loud "wollock-woo" was heard quite often in rainforest in Queensland, only two examples of this spectacular and gorgeous bird were actually seen. One was at Cassowary House, the other was on the Daintree River cruise.

120. Emerald Dove. A few birds were seen at Carrowary House, but it was present in much larger numbers at Kingfisher Park, where c10 birds fed on spilt grain.

121. Topknot Pigeon. This species was seen daily at Lamington N.P., with up to 50 birds in flocks. Unfortunately all views were of distant flying birds.

122. Double-eyed Fig-Parrot. This gem was only seen in flight, with pairs of birds of birds speeding over Cassowary House and Kingfisher Park on several occasions, with birds picke out by their "zit" call.

123. Australian King-Parrot. Particularly obvious at O'Reilly's where large numbers of hand tame birds come to feeding stations, but also seen daily at Cassowary House. To have birds landing on ones shoulders as one attempts to photograph them was a novel experience.

124. Red-winged Parrot. Two singles were seen in flight over dry sclerophyll woodland near Mt.Molloy.

125. Mallee Ringneck. Quite common along roadsides in mallee areas, such as Yookamura and Gluepot, with up to 20 seen daily.

126. Crimson Rosella. Abundant and hand tame at Lamington, this was one species impossible to overlook at this location. Birds of the race 'adelaidiae' were seen along roadsides in the Fleurieu Peninsula, while birds seen on K.I. were crimson as opposed to orange.

127. Yellow Rosella. Four were seen in River Red Gums at Portee on 22nd .

128. Eastern Rosella. One seen with a Pale-headed Rosella in Queensland showed features of a hybrid, and was apparently paired with the Pale-headed. Otherwise 20 were seen along roadsides between Robe and Naracoorte.

129. Pale-headed Rosella. 2-4 birds were seen daily in paddocks and along roadsides near Lamington N.P, with a further 2 birds in the Atherton Tablelands. Aptly nicknamed "custard heads" thet show vivid turquoise as they fly away.

130. Red-rumped Parrot. First seen along the Coorong road (6 birds) it was also seen in farmland near Blanchetown and in the Adelaide Hills, with up to 20 birds feeding on the ground or perched on wires.

131. Mulga Parrot. A beautiful small parrot, this species was seen in and around Gluepot, usually feeding on the ground, or taking seeds from small shrubs. Some 20 were seen during the day.

132. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo. Always drawing attention to itself by its wailing calls, three were seen at Duck Creek road in Lamington, on the 6th. 35 were seen over the two days we spent on K.I., and smaller numbers were seen in the state's south-east, typically over pinewoods.

133. Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo. Noisy flocks of this most impressive black cockatoo were seen oveer sclerophyll woodland between Mt.Molloy and Mt.Carbine on the 14th. Some 20 birds were seen in total.

134. Glossy Black-Cockatoo. This rare species was missed at Lamington but an expedition to Lathami C.P. on the north coast of K.I. gave sightings of seven birds. A valley with extensive stands of Casurina was an obvious place to wait and pairs plus a single were seen flying to roost in the late afternoon. The funereal plumage was relieved by beautiful scarlet when the birds fanned their tails.

135. Galah. Typically common over farmland in South Australia, as well as in mallee and in River Red Gums along the Murray. In Queeensland only seen on the drives to and from Lamington.

136. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. Common and widespread with the largest numbers around Portee, often mixed with Little Corellas. These flocks of hundreds were feeding in grassland, and were quite wary, flying off as soon as we stopped the car.

137. Little Corella. Large flocks were seen on the Fleurieu Peninsula, and around the Murray at Portee, with hundreds seen daily in these locations.

138. Long-billed Corella. Our visit to Naracoorte brought us to the edge of the range of this bird, and hundreds were seen in several noisy flocks along roads in this area.

139. Rainbow Lorikeet. 2-20 birds seen daily at Lamington and around Kingfisher Park. Surprisingly this was the only Lorikeet seen on K.I.

140. Musk Lorikeet. Flocks of up to 50 birds were seen in flowering gum trees in Naracoorte, Waikerie, and in Adelaide's suburbs.

141. Little Lorikeet. Four flew over at Lamington on 7th, while more obliging birds were seen feeding in gum blossom at O'Reilly's.

142. Scaly-breasted Lorikeet. 5 were seen as we waited for th Platypus at Canungra, wihile another 10 were seen around Mt.Molloy on the q4th.

143. Purple-crowned Lorikeet. Common in mallee areas around Gluepot, and Yookamura, with up to 40 seen daily. Some birds were clearly prospecting for nest sites.

144. Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo. Single birds that drew attention to themselves by their plaintive calls were seen along the Coorong, and at Butcher's Gap C.P.

145. Pheasant Coucal. Three were seen, all from the road, with one seen on the way to Lamington, with the others by sugarcane fields near Cairns.

146. Lesser Sooty Owl. Heard only at Kingfisher Park.

147. Barn Owl. A pair were nesting in an eucalypt close to Kingfisher Park, while another was seen by the road near Robe.

148. Rufous Owl. A sorry looking road casualty brought into care at Kingfisher Park did at least allow study of this elusive species.

149. Southern Boobook. Single bird were spotlighted around O'Reilly's on two nights, while we also had excellent views of a bird roosting in a Yacca along the road to Lamington N.P.

150. Tawny Frogmouth. A roosting bird was seen in an eucalypt near O'Reilly's on the 6th, while a rather more active bird was spotlighted along the road to O'Reilly's from Canungra on the 8th.

151. Papuan Frogmouth. Two individuals were roosting over a backwater of the Daintree River, although it took a fair amount of staring and searching to penetrate their almost perfect camouflage.

152. Large-tailed Nightjar. The monotonous call, like chopping wood, was commonly heard at Kingfisher park, and on the 13th males calling from dead branches were successfully tracked down with the spotlight.

153. Australian Swiftlet. Flocks of up to 50 or so were frequently seen around Cairns, or over the Atherton Tablelands.

154. Azure Kingfisher. This species was first seen at the Platypus site at Canungra, while another bird found on the Daintree River cruise allowed an astonishingly close approach. This confiding nature is apparently fairly typical of the species.

155. Little Kingfisher. This diminutive royal blue and white stunner was easily found by a pool at Redmill House in daintree village, and caught several fish as we watched it.

156. Laughing Kookaburra. Seen regularly in Quensland, with up to 10 birds seen in a day. Less common in South Australia, but birds were seen at Portee and Kaiserstuhl C.P.

157. Blue-winged Kookaburra. Surprisingly scarce, and only seen in flight near Mareeba Wetlands.

158. Forest Kingfisher. This larger edition of the Little Kingfisher was seen at Cairns Crocodile Farm, and at Abbatoir Swamp, with up to 5 birds in family groups at both locations.

159. Sacred Kingfisher. Just three birds seen perched on wires along roadsides in the Cairns area.

160. Rainbow Bee-eater. Always a delight to see, flocks of up to 20 were seen around Mt.Carbine dam and at Kingfisher Park, with scattered birds elsewhere in Queensland.

161. Noisy Pitta. At Lamington birds were seen along the Python Rock Trail and the Pensioners track, but proved a challenge to those not used to scanning for rainforest skulkers. Another 2 were seen briefly on the drive down at dawn from Lamington on the 10th. Fortunately an obliging bird at Kingfisher park gave good views on the 13th.

162. White-throated Treecreeper. Fairly common in both rainforest and sclerophyll woodland at Lamington, with up to 5 birds seen daily.

163. White-browed Treecreeper. A party of this scarce species was seen in a stand of Belars along the Old Gluepot Road and up to 8 separate individuals were seen.

164. Red-browed Treecreeper. Two individuals of what is again a scarce species were seen along Duck Creek Road as they worked the branches of eucalypts.

165. Brown Treecreeper. Several birds seen in mallee areas such as Yookamura and Gluepot. Its terrestrial habits might make it deserve the name "groundcreeper"!

166. Albert's Lyrebird. To judge from the number of birds heard singing this species was quite common in its restricted habitat of sub-tropical rainforest at Lamington, but seeing the birds was a different matter. They sing from dense thickets of vines and attempts to stalk singing birds gave brief views of one disappearing and a pair of tail feathers waving above the undergrowth. However along the Pensioner track we had views of three Lyrebirds, including a close range sighting of a male digging in the leaf litter.

167. Spotted Catbird. Generally more often heard than seen, but this species was still reasonably common and easy to find at Cassowary House, Kingfisher park and the Mt.Lewis Road, with up to 5 seen daily at these locations.

168. Green Catbird. Fairly common in rainforest at Lamington, with a few birds coming to feed on fruit at O'Reilly's. Up to 5 birds seen daily.

169. Tooth-billed Catbird. One was seen on a trail leading off from the Mt.Lewis Road on the 14th.

170. Regent Bowerbird. This species was numerous and easy to see around O'Reilly's at Lamington N.P. The adult males were quite incredible, their colours so bright it almost hurt the eyes! Up to 20 might be in view at one time as they indulged their taste for raisins.

171. Satin Bowerbird. As with the previous species numerous and easy to see at Lamington, with adult males, green males and females all on view. A number of bowers were seen, including that of the famous TV star, Jock. The bower of sticks was decorated by an amazing assortment of blue objects, with natural items such as Rosella feathers and flowers from Tobacco being somewhat outshone by the garish hues of drinking straws, plastic forks and individual creamer pots. Watching Jock attending and decorating his bower from a few feet away gave a great photo opportunity. One further bird was seen at the Crater on the 12th.

172. Golden Bowerbird. Sadly not seen in spite of an hour spent waiting by a bower off the Mt.Lewis Road, but we able to examine the construction of sticks decorated with lichins.

173. Great Bowerbird. Some 6 were seen around Mt.Molloy on the 15th, and we were able to examine a bower in the school grounds there, the arch of sticks decorated with green glass, and white items such as snail shells.

174. Red-backed Fairywren. A party of c4 birds was seen foraging in Pandanus along the track to Mareeba Wetlands on the 13th.

175. White-winged Fairywren. A party was found along one of the bunds at Penrice Saltfields on the 17th. With the strong wind views of the brilliant blue and white male were at a premium.

176. Superb Fairywren. Common around Lamington, and in the wetter areas of S.A. As with last year birds at Murray Lagoon on K.I. were particularly tame and photogenic.

177. Variegated Fairywren. Several including the gorgeous males were seen around Old Gluepot Dam on the 24th.

178. Lovely Fairywren. A party of this species was encountered in trees fringing the Daintree River on the 14th.

179. Southern Emuwren. Several were heard calling from low scrub near Jack's Point in the Coorong, but the strong wind made the birds reluctant to show themselves and only glimpses were obtained.

180. Spotted Pardalote. Three birds were seen on two days in Lamington N.P.

181. Yellow-rumped Pardalote. This species was common at Gluepot and we were able to view several of these jewel like birds from just a few feet.

182. Striated Pardalote. In Queensland seen at Big Mitchell Creek, and Mareeba Wetlands, while it was as common as Yellow-rumped in mallee areas in S.A., with up to 15 seen daily.

183. Rufous Bristlebird. One heard calling from cover in Butcher's Gap C.P. was induced to appear briefly in response to pishing.

184. Fernwren. The extraordinary calls of this species were heard fairly frequently from the forest floor along the Mt.Lewis Road, as those prepared to worm their way though a tangle of vines were rewarded with great views of two Fernwrens hopping about, the white supercilium and throat almost luminous in the gloom.

185. Yellow-throated Scrubwren. Common on the forest floor at Lamington, with up to 10 seen daily. Also seen at Kingfisher Park and along the Mt.Lewis Road.

186. White-browed Scrubwren. This widespread species was seen in a variety of habitats ranging from sub-tropical rainforest at Lamington to coastal heath on Kangaroo Island.

187. Atherton Scrubwren. Two examples of this mouse like bird were seen working the forest floor, at the Cathedral Figtree, and along the Mt.Lewis Road.

188. Large-billed Scrubwren. Common in rainforest at Lamington and around Cairns, typically working much higher up into trees than the preceding species.

189. Buff-rumped Thornbill. A party of 10 seen in sclerophyll woodland along Duck Creek Road in Lamington N.P.

190. Mountain Thornbill Two seen in rainforest along the Mt.Lewis Road on the 15th.

191. Brown Thornbill. Seen daily at Lamington and on K.I.

192. Yellow-rumped Thornbill. Two parties seen in Sandy Creek C.P. on the 25th.

193. Chestnut-rumped Thornbill. Three parties were encountered in mallee at Gluepot.

194. Yellow Thornbill. Parties were seen at Lamington and at Sandy Creek C.P. in S.A.

195. Striated Thornbill. Parties were seen in Lamington N.P. and on K.I.

196. Weebill. The distinctive call drew attention to a few examples of this species foraging with thornbills at Gluepot.

197. Fairy Gerygone. One seen on the Daintree River Cruise on the 14th.

198. Large-billed Gerygone. Two were seen on the Daintree River cruise on the 14th.

199. Brown Gerygone. Four seen at Lamington on the 6th.

200. Southern Whiteface. Several parties, totalling some 20 birds, were seen in short vegetation between Yookamura and the Sturt Highway. Also seen at Gluepot.

201. Brown Honeyeater. One seen at Canungra on the 8th, and 10 around Kingfisher Park on the 14th.

202. Dusky Honeyeater. Two birds seen on two occasions visiting bottlebrush wattles at Cassowary House.

203. Scarlet Honeyeater. Three birds seen in the canopy at Lamington on the 7th and 8th.

204. Graceful Honeyeater. Quite common at Cassowary House and Kingfisher Park, where side by side comparisons allowed separation from the larger Yellow-spotted.

205. Yellow-spotted Honeyeater. Common in the same places as Graceful. Both species were often heard giving their distinctive calls, probably the best way of separating them.

206. Lewin's Honeyeater. One of the most common rainforest birds at Lamington N.P., their call (like a machine gun) was quickly learned by the group.

207. Bridled Honeyeater. Some four birds were seen at 800m up the Mt.Lewis Road.

208. Yellow-faced Honeyeater. Seen in small numbers in sclerophyll woodland in various locations, for example Lamington, Yookamura and Kaiserstuhl.

209. Varied Honeyeater. Seen in mangroves at Yule Point and at the boardwalk near Cairns Airport.

210. Singing Honeyeater. Abundant at Penrice Saltfields, along the Coorong and at Butcher's Gap C.P. As always noisy and easy to see as it perches on top of bushes.

211. Yellow Honeyeater. Two were seen along Cairns Esplanade on the 12th.

212. White-eared Honeyeater. Some 7-10 birds were seen in mallee areas at Gluepot. A fairly confiding honeyeater that generally gives good views.

213. Purple-gaped Honeyeater. The coastal scrub of K.I. is generally a good stakeout for the uncommon species, and we were not disappointed, with some 20 seen near Remarkable Rocks and Cape de Couedic.

214. Yellow-plumed Honeyeater. Easily the most common honeyeater in mallee areas, and large numbers were seen at Yookamura and Gluepot.

215. White-plumed Honeyeater. This counterpart of the Yellow-plumed was seen at Portee, and was very common at Sandy Creek and Kaiserstuhl.

216. Macleay's Honeyeater. Common and easy to see as they visited feeders at Cassowary House and Kingfisher Park.

217. White-naped Honeyeater. Common in sclerophyll woodland at Lamington and at Kaiserstuhl C.P. in S.A.

218. Brown-headed Honeyeater. A noisy party of 10 seen in Flinders Chase N.P.

219. Little Friarbird. Several seen on flowering eucalypts at Mt.Carbine Dam on the 14th.

220. Helmeted Friarbird. This species was seen visiting flowering bottlebrush wattles at Cassowary House, with up to10 seen daily there.

221. Silver-crowned Friarbird. Several examples of this species were seen at Mt.Carbine Dam on the 14th.

222. Crescent Honeyeater. To judge from its loud "egypt" calls this species was common at Flinders Chase C.P. and at Kaiserstuhl, although getting close views of this attractive honeyeater is not always so easy.

223. New Holland Honeyeater. Very common in most areas visited in South Australia. One of the birds most readily attracted by pishing.

224. White-fronted Honeyeater. This nomadic species was reasonably common at Gluepot, with some 10 birds being seen.

225. Tawny-crowned Honeyeater. One seen in the typical habitat of coastal heath at Remarkable Rocks on K.I.

226. Brown-backed Honeyeater. One seen at cairns Crocodile Farm on the 12th.

227. Eastern Spinebill. This very smart Honeyeater was seen in small numbers at Lamington, and on K.I.

228. Blue-faced Honeyeater. A common, but striking and indeed exotic honeyeater, this species was seen in some numbers at Mareeba Wetlands, Kingfisher Park and Mt.Molloy.

229. Bell Miner. Birds from a colony on the road to Lamington were heard noisily pinging, but in spite of scanning the canopy in this area they remained elusive.

230. Noisy Honeyeater. Common in open cleared areas at Lamington and in S.A.

231. Yellow-throated Miner. Common along roadsides at the edge of mallee areas north of Yookamura.

232. Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater. Quite an attractive honeyeater, with its apricot throat, this species was very common along the Coorong, at Butchers Gap C.P., and in all mallee areas visited.

233. Brush Wattlebird. Two examples were seen at Naracoorte Caves C.P., and it was encountered again at Kaiserstuhl.

234. Red Wattlebird. Very common in all areas visited in S.A.

235. White-fronted Chat. This common species is to be expected is any open area of saltbush or low vegetation in S.A., and up to 50 were seen daily, being most numerous at Penrice Saltfields, and around Robe.

236. Jacky Winter. This unobtrusive, neat robin was seen in small numbers at Yookamura and Gluepot, a total of 7 birds.

237. Scarlet Robin. Three birds were seen in Flinder's Chases N.P., while it proved to be quite common in Kaiserstuhl C.P., with some 10 seen.

238. Red-capped Robin. The Scarlet Robin is a fairly spectacular species, but this one is a little fireball, and we had great views of a pair at Gluepot.

239. Rose Robin. One was seen along Duck Creek Road in Lamington on the 6th. This is quite a difficult species to spot, in spite of its shocking pink colour, being a hyperactive canopy dweller.

240. Hooded Robin. Three were seen between Gluepot and the Sturt Highway on the 23rd, and 5 at Gluepot on the 24th.

241. Pale-yellow Robin. This robin of the understory of rainforest was fairly common at Cassowary House, Kingfisher Park and in areas visited on the Atherton Tablelands, with up to 10 birds seen daily.

242. Eastern Yellow Robin. Very common and tame in rainforest at Lamington. Often perching on the trunks of trees.

243. Grey-headed Robin. This subtly plumaged, large headed robin was seen in small numbers at the Cathedral Figtree, along the Mt.Lewis Road, and at Kingfisher Park.

244. Varied Sitella. Small noisy parties of this rather nuthatch like bird were seen in Lamington N.P., and at Gluepot.

245. Crested Bellbird. The chiming call of this species was heard at Gluepot.

246. Grey Whistler. Two were seen in fringing vegetation on the Daintree River Cruise.

247. Golden Whistler. This beautiful species was encountered quite commonly, with small numbers of birds seen at Lamington (up to 3 daily), Cassowary House, Kangaroo Island, and at Gluepot.

248. Rufous Whistler. Another stylish bird, two examples were seen at Gluepot, with singles at Sandy Creek and Kaiserstuhl.

249. Rufous Shrike-thrush. This small shrike-thrush was quite common in all rainforest areas visited in north Queensland, with 1-10 birds seen daily.

250. Grey Shrike-Thrush. A very widely distributed species and seen daily in habitats that ranged from the edge of rainforest to arid mulga. Its fluting song was often heard.

251. Logrunner. Quite common in the rainforest at Lamington, either seen scurrying like a rodent over the forest floor or scratching like tiny chickens among the leaf litter. 4-8 birds seen daily.

252. Chowchilla. Frequently heard but difficult to see around Cassowary House. Two birds were seen along the Mt.Lewis Road and gave good views in response to a tape of their calls.

253. Grey-crowned Babbler. A party of c10 birds were seen at Mt.Carbine Dam.

254. White-browed Babbler. Common in arid areas in S.A., we saw several parties flying low across roads in mallee areas, such as Gluepot and Yookamura, as well as in Kaiserstuhl.

255. Chestnut-crowned Babbler. One party was found along the side of the track between Yookamura and the Sturt Highway.

256. Western Whipbird. One was heard singing north of Cape de Couedic on K.I.

257. Eastern Whipbird . This normally highly skulking species was common and relatively easy to see at Lamington. Tame individuals at O'Reilly's showed a liking for cheese, but we even had several sightings in the forest. It was frequently heard in north Queensland, but here was far harder to see.

258. White-winged Chough. A common bird along roadsides and parties were seen at Yookamura, and on the road to Gluepot. A clan was seen nest building at Sandy Creek, with just one bird "supervising" the construction of the extraordinary structure of mud, grass and debris, while the rest of the team brought contributions. Meanwhile birds were incubating at Gluepot.

259. Apostlebird. One party of this social species was seen foraging with Babblers at Mt.Carbine Dam, while a few others were seen at Gluepot.

260. Willie-wagtail. Very common and seen almost everywhere except for dense forests.

261. Grey Fantail. Almost as common and widely distributed as the preceding species.

262. Rufous Fantail. A very attractive flycatcher of the forest understory, 1-2 birds were seen daily at Cassowary House and Kingfisher Park, as they postured and flirted their tails.

263. Spectacled Monarch. A smart combination of rufous, black and steel blue, this species was common in rainforest in north Queensland, with up to 8 seen daily.

264. Pied Monarch. An eye catching species that works tree trunks rather like a tit, this species was seen in rainforest near Cassowary House on two occasions.

265. Shining Flycatcher. Two pairs of this beautiful species were seen on the Daintree River Cruise and along the Mangrove Boardwalk near Cairns. Opinion was divided as to whether the glossy blue black male was smarter than the pure white, rufous and black female!

266. Yellow-breasted Boatbill. Two examples of this species, with its seemingly grotesque but presumably well adapted bill, and vivid yellow underparts were obtained. One was seen in rainforest near Cassowary House, the other along the Mt.Lewis Road.

267. Spangled Drongo. Small numbers seen daily in north Queensland. It was seen visiting nectar feeders at Cassowary House.

268. Torresian Crow. Commonly seen in Queensland from Lamington to north of Cairns.

269. Australian Raven. Fairly frequent inland in S.A. A particularly bold and photogenic pair at Rocky River in Flinders Chase on K.I. clearly had smash and grab raids on picnic table down to a fine art.

270. Little Raven. Common in coastal areas in S.A., such as the Penrice Saltfields.

271. Victoria's Riflebird. This spectacular species is easily viewed coming to feed on fruit at Cassowary House. Often the first sign of its arrival are the harsh calls or a sound like rustling silk as the bird flies. Up to 5 birds were seen daily at this location, otherwise a male and two females were seen along the Mt.Lewis Road.

272. White-breasted Woodswallow. A common bird in and around Cairns, being frequently seen perched on wires, and seen daily in quite large numbers.

273. Dusky Woodswallow. This species was seen in S.A., with 5 along roadsides in K.I., 2 at Little Dip C.P., and 2 near Yookamurra.

274. Grey Butcherbird. A pair of this widespread species were prepared to catch meat thrown in the air at Lamington. Otherwise pairs were also seen at Gluepot and Yookamura in S.A.

275. Pied Butcherbird. Up to 5 birds were seen daily in and around Lamington N.P., typically in cleared areas and paddocks.

276. Black Butcherbird. One example of this rather shy forest living butcherbird was seen in Kingfisher Park on the 13th.

277. Australian Magpie. Very common and widespread in all areas visited except for dense forest.

278. Pied Currawong. Common around Lamington with up to 10 birds seen daily.

279. Grey Currawong. Common on K.I., also seen at Gluepot and at Kaiserstuhl.

280. Magpie-Lark. This strange monarch flycatcher (who would have guessed such a relationship except by DNA analysis) was commonly seen in all areas of Australia that we visited.

281. Yellow Oriole. Several were heard calling from the canopy on the Daintree River criuse, but the birds were quite elusive, and only flight views were obtained.

282. Figbird. This species was seen quite commonly in north Queensland, usually in flocks of 10-30 birds. It was seen along Cairns Esplanade, at Cassowary House, and along the Daintree River.

283. Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike. In Queensland 5 birds were seen at Hasties Swamp. In S.A. 1-5 birds were seen on 4 days, usually along roadsides.

284. Barred Cuckoo-Shrike. This uncommon and easily overlooked species was found quite easily at Cassowary House, with parties of up to 10 birds perching in the open. With their yellow eye and hawk like barring they repaid close study.

285. White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike. Six birds seen along roadsides on the 14th .

286. White-winged Triller. Two were seen with Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrikes near Yookamura on the 23rd.

287. Varied Triller. Four examples of this neat bird were seen on the Daintree River cruise.

288. Bassian Ground-Thrush. With two species present in Lamington all Zoothera seen needed very careful examination. This species was certainly seen along the Pensioners Track in typical habitat, and surprisingly in sclerophyll woodland along Duck Creek Road.

289. Russet-tailed Ground-Thrush. An example of this species was seen by the roadside near the Python Rock Trail in Lamington, showing warm brown tail and rump, with little scalloping. Five other Zoothera were seen.

290. Metallic Starling. A single bird was seen at Cassowary House, and a flock of 20 was seen in flight at Cairns.

291. Welcome Swallow. Common and widespread in all areas of Australia visited.

292. Tree Martin. Not seen at Lamington, but otherwise fairly common and seen daily. Obviously nesting in trees in some of the mallee areas we visited.

293. Fairy Martin. The only birds seen were c20 individuals over Greenfields Wetlands on the 17th.

294. Silvereye. Abundant on K.I. and in the coastal areas of scrub in the south of S.A. that we visited.

295. Australian Reed Warbler. A number in song at Greenfields Wetlands on 17th proved difficult to see, we also had views of a few birds in reeds by the Murray River on the 20th.

296. Brown Songlark. Not a very common bird but it draws attention to itself by its strange scratchy song and distinctive flight. Birds were seen at Penrice Saltfields, near Lake Alexandrina, and at Little Dip C.P.

297. Rufous Songlark. One was seen in roadside vegetation between Yookamura and the Sturt Highway on the 23rd.

298. Beautiful Firetail. This uncommon species was seen twice on K.I., in coastal scrub at Cape de Couedic, and birds nesting in Lathami C.P. provided entertainment as we waited for Gloosy Black Cockatoos.

299. Red-browed Firetails. Flocks of 20-30 birds were seen along roadsides south of Lamington, and it was also numerous on feeders at Kingfisher Park.

300. Crimson Finch. Small numbers were seen feeding on the seed heads of Juncus at Cairns Crocodile Farm.

301. Black-throated Finch. This scarce species proved quite easy to see at Mareeba Wetlands, with small parties totalling some 30 birds coming down to drink at small pools by the lake.

302. Australasian Pipit. Seen in small numbers in grassy fields and along roadsides in S.A.

303. Mistletoebird. Two seen at Lamington and 2 on the Daintree River Cruise.

304. Olive-backed Sunbird. A pair was seen at Cassowary House, and it was also encountered at Daintree and at the mangrove boardwalk.

We made no effort to see any of the introduced species present in Australia, but these species were noted ; Spotted Dove, Starling, House Sparrow, Mallard, Goldfinch, Skylark, Common Mynah, Rock Dove, Blackbird.

Australia 6th - 26th August. List of mammals.

1. Short-beaked Echidna. Three were seen, all on Kangaroo Island. One was found along a roadside near Stranraer, while another was found near Cape de Couedic. The third, at Rocky River was being harassed by a Cape Barren Goose, which saw this inoffensive animal as a threat and attacked it this open wings whenever it tried to move away. One road casualty seen on mainland S.A.

2. Platypus. A wait by a river at Canungra brought some interesting bird sightings and a c12kg Short-finned Eel. However, it was not until near dusk that a Platypus appeared on the surface of the pool just a few metres from us, and we were able to watch it diving for some minutes. A second Platypus was seen briefly on a small stream near The Crater. A third Platypus was seen on the Bushy River at Kingfisher Park.

3. Bilby. At least 12 of these distinctive bandicoots, with their rabbit like ears and banded tails were seen at Yookamura. We were also shown the diggings and burrows of this remarkable animal.

4. Long-nosed Bandicoot. One was seen on a lawn at Lamington on the 8th, and another foraging along a path at Kingfisher Park on the 15th.

5. Northern Brown Bandicoot. One crossed the road in front of us near Canungra, a behaviour that shows why this species is a frequent road casualty. Two others were seen at Kingfisher Park and another during a drive at night near Mt.Molloy.

6. Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat. The area around Portee was studded with Wombat warrens, and an hour before sunset we located no fewer than 16 of these animals out feeding, or sitting by their burrows. By approaching the wombats only when they had their head down feeding we managed to get reasonably close to some. One road kill was seen.

7. Koala. This species was seen at Rocky River in Flinders Chase N.P. Five Koalas were located in sugar gums, all asleep except for an active joey, that left the pouch and clambered all over its mother as well as feeding on leaves.

8. Herbert River Ringtail Possum. One example of this striking black and white marsupial was found by spotlighting at The Crater.

9. Mountain Brushtail Possum. Two examples of this steel grey marsupial were seen nightly at a feeding station at O'Reilly's. Generally very similar to Common Brushtail, although it has smaller ears.

10. Common Brushtail Possum. Common on Kangaroo Island where 10 were seen at night along roadsides, and where,sadly, it was a very frequent road casualty. A further 5 were seen at Yookamura, while two examples of the distinctive copper coloured variety were seen at the Crater.

11. Sugar Glider. One of these charming small possums was found feeding on the blossoms of the Banksia at O'Reilly's

12. Striped Possum. Initially difficult to see because of its activity and because it was high in the canopy we eventually had good views of this rare animal while spotlighting at The Crater.

13. Musky Rat-Kangaroo. These delightful diurnal macropods were seen in the rainforest around Cassowary House, 3-10 daily, usually as they came to a feeding station.

14. Brush-tailed Bettong (Woylie). The introduced populations of this small nocturnal macropod are clearly thriving at Yookamura, and c30 were seen on a short walk at night, which makes one realise how abundant this animal must have been when its range covered most of the Australian mainland.

15. Red-legged Pademelon. Just one was seen at Kingfisher Park. Unfortunately this species has obviously declined severely here from last year, and with no corridors for recolonisation a local extinction would seem inevitable.

16. Red-necked Pademelon. This species was quite numerous around O'Reilly's, retreating to the forest during the day and coming out in late afternoon to feed on the lawns. Up to 20 might be seen on a short walk with a spotlight.

17. Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo. A representative of one of the most unlikely groups to become arboreal, two were found together while spotlighting at the Crater. They sat motionless as we noted dark noses and feet and their long hanging tails.

18. Red-necked Wallaby. Common in light woodland and forest edge on the drive up to Lamington N.P., and 7-12 were seen each time we made this journey.

19. Tammar Wallaby. Still common on its last refuge of Kangaroo Island, 12 were seen while driving along the islands roads at night, four were seen near Rocky River, and two at Seal Bay. A very frequent road casualty on the island.

20. Whiptail (Pretty-face) Wallaby. A distinctive Wallaby, with a dark forehead etched in by bold white lies, this species was also common on the road to Lamington, with up to 20 seen in several small groups each time we made that journey.

21. Eastern Grey Kangaroo. Four were seen in agricultural land as we travelled to Brisbane on the 10th.

22. Western Grey Kangaroo. Common in South Australia, with up to 35 seen daily in various locations; Yookamura, Gluepot, Sandy Creek, and Kaiserstuhl. On Kangaroo Island the darker and coarser furred subspecies was seen, including around 40 at Stokes Bay. Here we saw two large males face each other on their hind legs. After several seconds of eyeing each other up one lashed out, and the conflict was resolved with one being put to flight.

23. Red Kangaroo. Seen on open grass plains around Portee including several fine red males. Some 7 were seen here and another 5 in mallee areas towards Gluepot.

24. Spectacled Flying Fox. Small numbers were seen at night at Cassowary House and Kingfisher Park, visiting flowering gum trees.

25. Little Mastiff Bat. Small numbers flying overhead at Yookamurra could be heard calling.

26. Common Bent-winged Bat. A few examples of the hundreds of thousands that use the caves at Naracoorte could be seen in crevices in those parts of the cave accessible to the public.

27. White-tailed Rat. This common species proved quite elusive, although examples were seen working their way with great agility through tangled forest understory at Cassowary House and Kingfisher Park.

28. Bottlenose Dolphin. A pod of c6 came to Seastar all too briefly as we left Michaelmas Cay, while about 40 were seen in several groups as we sailed from Kangaroo Island on the 20th.

29. Humpback Whale. A large whale was sighted some distance offshore from Remarkable Rocks on K.I. The expectation would be a Southern Right Whale, but a view through the telescope revealed bumps on its upper jaw and a small triangular fin visible when a high rolling dive brought the fin into view. The blow was a broad, low balloon of spray. There may have been two humpbacks as sightings on the surface were widely separated.

30. Australian Sealion. This species was seen at Seal Bay on K.I., where c300 animals were on view. With perfect weather a great many were active on the beach, and we were able to view interactions between males, as well as the spectacle of juveniles rolling and porpoising in the breaking waves.

31. New Zealand Fur Seal. Several hundred were seen at Cape de Couedic on K.I. Apart from those hauled up on the rocks dozens of pups sported in sheltered areas. At times massive swells carried several off from their resting places and tipped them several metres onto lower rocks- it seemed a miracle that they could escape serious injury!

Reptiles and other beasts.

1. Carpet Python. One was found curled up in a suntrap at O'Reilly's on two successive days.

2. Green Tree Snake. One was found in a tree overhanging the Daintree River on the 14th.

3. Mulga Snake. An example of this venomous species was found under a sheet of corrugated iron at Penrice saltfields.

4. Eastern Brown Snake. A large example of this venomous species was seen crossing the road near Mt.Carbine. Unfortunately it quickly disappeared before I could confirm the identification, and other species such as Taipan cannot be ruled out.

5. Red-bellied Black Snake. One was found by Renee along the Mt.Lewis Road.

6. Northern Snake-necked Turtle. One basking on a log at Redmill House, Daintree.

7. Krefft's River Turtle. A few examples seen in the creek below Cassowary House.

8. Eastern Water Dragon. Two were seen basking on flood debris in the Daintree River.

9. Pobbledonk (Banjo) Frog. Common in wetlands in S.A., but not very easy to see.

10. Glow-worms . These midge larvae suspend sticky threads and attract small night flying insects with their luminescence. These then become entangled in the threads and are then eaten by the larvae. Large numbers of these larvae on clay river banks at Lamington produced an effect that resembled the night sky.