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Queensland(?) June/July

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Old Monday 28th October 2019, 20:02   #1
rylirk
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Queensland(?) June/July

Hi all,

I have a work conference in Sydney in June or July 2020 (I forget the exact dates but am just putting out feelers at the moment), and was rather hoping to combine it with some birding trips. As I cannot drive I feel it would be much easier if I could get a short guided tour of a few days or so; as for location, it looks like Queensland would be the most productive? I have never been to Australia or even the southern hemisphere so everything would be new.

Does anyone have any experience birding Australia or have any guides they would reccommend?
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2019, 16:22   #2
tarsigercyanurus
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Not a personal recommendation but try zestforbirds.
If I was a non driver with limited time I'd stick to places accessible from Sydney on day trips or possible overnight stays. Everything is going to be new.
Best of luck with whatever you decide.
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2019, 16:34   #3
rylirk
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Awesome, I'll check them out! I was thinking about flying up to Brisbane or similar and taking day trips from there, unless you think that wouldn't be too much of an advantage over Sydney? Most of the birds on my target list are common and should be pretty easy to find I hope (Stone-Curlew, Magpie, Pied butcherbird, Kookaburra, Frogmouth), but I was under the impression that North Queensland has a better diversity?
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2019, 18:33   #4
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Originally Posted by rylirk View Post
Awesome, I'll check them out! I was thinking about flying up to Brisbane or similar and taking day trips from there, unless you think that wouldn't be too much of an advantage over Sydney? Most of the birds on my target list are common and should be pretty easy to find I hope (Stone-Curlew, Magpie, Pied butcherbird, Kookaburra, Frogmouth), but I was under the impression that North Queensland has a better diversity?
Generally the further north you go in Australia, the higher the species diversity, and the wet tropics in North Queensland will give you the opportunity to see the most species. I think Cairns would be a better bet than Brisbane.

One suggestion would be to spend a few days with a guide in the Melbourne area, then fly up to Cairns and have a few days there. This will allow you to bird in a variety of habitats, and give you a good cross section of Aussie birds.
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Old Tuesday 29th October 2019, 22:15   #5
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Thanks! Cairns sounds good, maybe I can go see the reef while I'm up there too

Does anyone know if the Cassowary is a likely find? Or are they unusual to see up near Cairns? I guess maybe they are more confined to the Cape York area?
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Old Wednesday 30th October 2019, 01:44   #6
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Cassowary is 'moderately' easy in the Cairns area, specifically in a forest area less than an hour north and at a beach locality further south. Cairns itself offers excellent birding without need for transport of any sort - the city parks offer good birding and the esplanade is amazing for birds on the mudflats, as well as neighbouring mangroves and planted areas.

I did a trip at the same time of year, including both Sydney and Cairns - this report may give you a few ideas and details Cassowary locations
http://josstratford.co.uk/index.php?...446&Itemid=166
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Old Wednesday 30th October 2019, 05:25   #7
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Hi Rylirk. I spent a month in Australia as a solo traveller in June 2004. I flew between cities Cairns-Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne. I would give another vote to Cairns and wish I spent longer there. A tourist spot so lots of day trips available to Atherton, Daintree etc. Cairns is a small town and I had no problem exploring alone on foot, the Esplenade area was good. I also had no problem with Cassowaries in the Daintree. It is also the gateway to the barrier reef of course if diving is your thing. At the time there was a website where you could hook up with local Aussie birders who would take you round their local patches in exchange for a pie or a bit of petrol money. I had 2 friendly guys take me out around Sydney and another chap around Werribee, near Melbourne. Not sure the site is still going, I will try and dig out the details and send them to you. June/July is quite cold down south so I would stick to the north.
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Old Wednesday 30th October 2019, 08:49   #8
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Originally Posted by Pitta Patter View Post
Hi Rylirk. I spent a month in Australia as a solo traveller in June 2004. I flew between cities Cairns-Brisbane-Sydney-Melbourne. I would give another vote to Cairns and wish I spent longer there. A tourist spot so lots of day trips available to Atherton, Daintree etc. Cairns is a small town and I had no problem exploring alone on foot, the Esplenade area was good. I also had no problem with Cassowaries in the Daintree. It is also the gateway to the barrier reef of course if diving is your thing. At the time there was a website where you could hook up with local Aussie birders who would take you round their local patches in exchange for a pie or a bit of petrol money. I had 2 friendly guys take me out around Sydney and another chap around Werribee, near Melbourne. Not sure the site is still going, I will try and dig out the details and send them to you. June/July is quite cold down south so I would stick to the north.
Yes Kevin, I belive Grindr is still active......

Never got around to doing OZ but still hope to one day and Cairns / Darwin is where I'd head, not least for the two Pittas. There are tons of guide books that could help you decide what to do and they will have some contacts within them I believe?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Birds-Austr...s=books&sr=1-1

This title isn't easy to find now but it's worth trying.

https://www.abebooks.com/products/is...&afn_sr=impact
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Old Wednesday 30th October 2019, 09:50   #9
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If Australia is new then pretty much anywhere will be good.

Bear in mind June / July is the middle of winter so some birds will have moved north out of Australia, or dispersed away from breeding areas and be a bit trickier to find. Still plenty of relatively sedentary species though.

Species you've mentioned will still be around:
(Bush and Beach) Stone-Curlew easier in Queensland though both possible nearer to Sydney
Australian Magpie - everywhere - should get in Sydney easily enough!
Pied butcherbird - more of a dry woodland bird so means heading inland a bit. The related Grey Butcherbird should be findable around Sydney, and Cairns has the Black Butcherbird
Laughing Kookaburra - should be easy enough anywhere, and in Queensland there is the Blue-winged Kookaburra too
Frogmouth - three possible - Tawny possible anywhere and the commonest. Papuan around Cairns, Marbled rare, 2 subspecies in rainforest one ssp near Brisbane the other ssp Cape York.

ebird is used widely in Australia after merging with the local Aremea website some years ago, and is a good bet to research sites.
In Sydney itself the Botanical Gardens is a good spot https://ebird.org/australia/hotspot/L915566
Sydney Olympic Park is another good suburban birding spot https://ebird.org/australia/hotspot/L2555587

And the benefit of a winter trip is if you can coordinate onto a pelagic (dates are Saturday 13 June 2020
Saturday 11 July 2020 at the moment) there is a good bet of half a dozen southern ocean albatross and some other tubenoses http://www.sydneypelagics.info/bookings.shtml#dates

If you make it to Melbourne / Victoria give me a shout!
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