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Stumers Creek, 2021-2022

Summary: Excellent creek-side birding trail with grass tree side-track Date of visits: Oct 29&30 2021, Nov 4&5 2022 How good does a birding site have to be for you to excitedly return the day after discovering it? Pretty good, I’d say, and Stumers Creek in Coolum on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland is just such…

Noosa Headland, 2021-2022

Summary: Satisfying coastal and forest birding with some decent scenery Dates of visits: May 15 2021, Nov 5 2022 Noosa National Park consists of three separate sections, of which the headlands is the largest. It is situated immediately to the east of the resort town of Noosa Heads, and is in fact within easy walking…

South-West WA Trip Jan 2023

Due to its geographical isolation, south-west WA has a lot of lovely endemic birds (including some from recent taxonomic splits), so we couldn’t wait to head there for an extended birding holiday. The idea was to trace a clockwise circuit starting and ending at Perth, heading far out east to Esperance and working our way…

Cairns-Daintree-Julatten Christmas trip, 2022

You know you’re a pair of tragic-level birders when one gets the other a Christmas present consisting of a 5 day trip to far north Queensland in summer to see birds… oh well, life is tough, isn’t it? We simply do what we must. Straight off the plane and into birding is how we do…

Swan Lake, 2021-2022

Summary: Small lake by the ocean worth a quick visit if you’re birding in the area Dates of visit: Oct 3 2021, Sep 11 2022, Oct 25 2022 Swan Lake is a man-made lake that is wedged uneasily between some busy roads and commercial areas in the Port of Brisbane precinct. In 2013 it was…

Archerfield Wetlands, 2022

Summary: Excellent, large site for a variety of bird species, with good light and easy paths Dates of visits: Oct 2021 to Oct 2022 Archerfield Wetlands is a sizeable site of 150 hectares featuring eucalypt forest, open grassland, freshwater wetlands and creeks. It lies on Oxley Creek, a few kilometres upstream from its well-known “big…

Canberra Trip, Nov 2022

Canberra! Some say it’s the nation’s capital. A city of students and public servants, with a reputation for being kind of boring, and bloody cold to boot. But what if – hypothetically – you undertook a super-impulsive last-minute long weekend birding trip there? Would it be… worthwhile? Where would you go and what birds would…

Lake Galletly, 2021-2022

Summary: Excellent compact site with bird hides for uncommon duck and water bird species Dates of visit: Jun 27 2021, Oct 17 2021, Mar 20 2022, Jul 17 2022, Aug 23 2022, Oct 30 2022 Lake Galletly, within the grounds of the UQ Gatton Campus, is a well-known birding site (at least to seasoned birders)…

Oakey, 2021-2022

Summary: Awesome country birding along an exposed dirt road, with good nearby parks too Dates of visits: May 22 and Aug 5, 2021, and Aug 23 2022 A visit to Oakey, just west of Toowoomba on the Darling Downs in Queensland, is something of a rite of passage – or perhaps a pilgrimage – for…

Norfolk Island, Oct 2022

Summary: Lovely isolated island with a couple of alluring endemic species and excellent seabird watching from windy headlands Date of visit: Oct 6 to 11, 2022 Norfolk Island is an Australian external territory in the Pacific Ocean island about 1450km east of Brisbane. It makes for an intriguing birding destination due to a couple of…

Flagstaff Hill, Port Douglas, Nov 2021

[A stop on the Cairns + Atherton + Daintree, 2021 trip] Port Douglas is a resort town about an hour north of Cairns and might not be somewhere you’d be inclined to do a lot of serious birding, what with the beaches, the resort shops and Sunday markets, golf courses, and plenty of options for boat cruises…

Daintree River Cruise, Nov 2021

[A stop on the Cairns + Atherton + Daintree, 2021 trip] The Daintree Rainforest in Far North Queensland is truly enormous at 1200 square kilometres and is a very special place indeed. One of the highly recommended ways to explore it is via a boat cruise on the Daintree River, and for birders especially this is a…

Mt Lewis, Nov 2021

[A stop on the Cairns + Atherton + Daintree, 2021 trip] Mount Lewis is a region of highland rainforest within the huge Wet Tropics World Heritage Area of northern Queensland. There is only one road in, Mount Lewis Rd, starting just a kilometre or two north of Julatten. The road has two major sections: from the Mossman-Mount…

Kingfisher Park Lodge, Nov 2021

[A stop on the Cairns + Atherton + Daintree, 2021 trip] The famed Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge in Julatten, Queensland is truly a very special place. This is reflected in its eBird all-time species count, which places it as the #4 birding hotspot in all of Australia. What’s interesting though is that if you filter eBird’s top Australian…

Lake Eacham, Apr 2021

[A stop on the Cairns + Atherton + Daintree, 2021 trip] Lake Eacham, part of the Crater Lakes National Park, was once a volcanic crater formed around 9,100 years ago, by magma rising to the surface of the earth’s crust and super-heating the water table, causing massive explosions and craters. It is now isolated from other waterways…

Cattana Wetlands, Apr 2021

[A stop on the Cairns + Atherton + Daintree trip, 2021 trip] Cattana Wetlands is a relatively new site of 80 hectares, located about 15km north of Cairns. Its proximity to Cairns and its excellent set-up for birding, as well as a very respectable 243 species recorded on eBird (putting it in the top 20 sites in…

Centenary Lakes and Cairns Botanic Gardens, Apr 2021

[A stop on the Cairns + Atherton + Daintree trip, 2021 trip] Centenary Lakes and the adjoining Botanic Gardens is a sprawling site with many varied habitats and vegetation sections. It sits a mere 3km north of the Cairns CBD and so is very easily accessible for birding, and furthermore has access to the massive Mt…

Cairns Esplanade, Apr 2021

[A stop on the Cairns + Atherton + Daintree trip, 2021 trip] How good does a birding hotspot have to be to be the #3 all-time eBird hotspot in Australia? Pretty darned good, you’d expect, and with 278 species recorded, Cairns Esplanade is that spot. Even more surprising, there’s not a forest in sight – instead it’s beach…

Litchfield + Katherine + Kununurra trip, 2022

The Dream Team, subtly renaming themselves to The Team With The Dream, took themselves off to the Northern Territory in July 2022 to chase birds, and especially those cute little denizens of the grasses, the finches. It was our second trip to the Top End after a successful birding expedition to Darwin and Kakadu in…

Michaelmas Cay, Apr 2021

[A stop on the Cairns + Atherton + Daintree trip, 2021 trip] What would you think about taking a boat trip out to the Great Barrier Reef and being dumped on a tiny remote sandy island for an hour? If you’re a birder, and that tiny sand island is Michaelmas Cay, you’ll absolutely love it! Michaelmas…

Forest Lake, 2021-2022

Summary: Beautiful suburban lake which is fantastic for bird photography Dates of visits: Apr 8 2021, Feb 10 2022, Mar 8 2022, Jun 8 2022 Forest Lake is the man-made lake (completed in 1994) upon which the surrounding suburb is named, and is located in the south-west of Brisbane, reasonably easily reached via the Centenary…

Oxenford Weir, 2021-2022

Summary: Unique site to watch birds (including Osprey) hunting for fish at close quarters Dates of visit: Apr 3, 2021 to present Oxenford Weir, also known as Old Tamborine Rd Weir and Coomera River Weir, is easy to reach, being just 3km from the Pacific Motorway (just go to the end of Old Tamborine Rd)…

Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens, Mar-Dec 2021

Summary: Lovely manicured gardens with birds just waiting to be photographed Dates of visit: Mar 26 2021, Oct 8 2021, Dec 12 2021 I’ve had some awesome birding experiences in botanic gardens around Australia, with George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens (Darwin) and the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens (Hobart) providing some very fond memories of bird…

John Oxley Reserve, Mar 2021

Summary: Good birds to be found in a short paved path and mangrove boardwalk loop Date of visit: Mar 14, 2021 John Oxley Reserve lies on Brisbane’s northside and is basically a rectangle containing sports fields and bushland/mangroves bordering the North Pine River. It contains a very well-constructed path and a boardwalk circuit, and boasts…

Springbrook Twin Falls Circuit, Mar 2021

Summary: Superlative short bushwalk with good rainforest birds Date of visit: March 2, 2021 Springbrook lies in the Gold Coast hinterland in South-East Queensland, about half an hour from the main highway. It’s a little slice of heaven at high altitude, featuring several stunning lookouts and superlative waterfall-strewn bushwalks, and is much quicker to access…

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