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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Eastern Australia - 3 weeks March & April 2017 (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I'll see how I get on with this. I'll try, if time and other things permit, to keep it up to date, but plenty of distractions will be around to make things difficult.

At the time of writing it's about 10 hours until we fly out from Birmingham, arriving in Sydney at 06:30 on Sunday morning. We intend to do a lot of bird and wildlife watching but have other priorities as well, like seeing family and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Here's our itinerary:

26th March Sydney - Hotel Palisade
27th March Sydney - Hotel Palisade
28th March Sydney - Hotel Palisade - full day professional guided birding
29th March Sydney - Hotel Palisade
30th March Sydney - Bondi Beach, staying at my eldest son's place, apparently.
31st March Melbourne - Victoria Hotel
1st April Melbourne - Victoria Hotel - full day professional guided birding
2nd April Melbourne - Victoria Hotel
3rd April San Remo - Quays Motel
4th April Melbourne - Ciloms hotel
5th April Julatten (nr Cairns) - Kingfisher Park
6th April Julatten - Kingfisher Park - full day professional guided birding
7th April Julatten - Kingfisher Park
8th April Darwin - DoubleTree
9th April Darwin - DoubleTree
10th April Alice Springs - Alice in the Territory
11th April Alice Springs - Alice in the Territory - full day professional guided birding
12th April Alice Springs - Alice in the Territory
13th April Bowrah - Biota Alice Springs
14th April Sydney - Q Station, Manly
15th April - return to UK

We'll have rental cars most of the time. The closest we've been to Australia hitherto is Singapore so we're hoping to find a decent number of species that we haven't seen before and at least one of us has Koala and Duck-billed Platypus on her priorities list. I have a plan for those.

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
It sounds like a wonderful trip Chris.

Think I'd be wanting koalas and duck-billed platypus too! So don't disappoint us, will you!;)


Well-known member
Hi Delia . I'll see what we can do. A quick update for day 1 as we've been on the go for quite a while.

26th March

Arrived Sydney airport at 07:30, an hour late. My firstborn Alex picked us up and took us to his house in Bondii where we could shower and change.

Species list:

Airport to Bondi
Silver Gull
Common Mynah
Crimson Rosella
Noisy Miner
Plus several viewed too briefly to identify.
Sulphur Crested- Cockatoo
Welcome Swallow
Path - Bondi-Bronte Beach
Splendid Fairy Wren
Grey Falcon (possibly bird of the day if our field guide is to be believed)
Brontë Park
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Rainbow Lorikeet
Pied Currawong
Sydney Harbour
Masked Lapwing

Plus Grey-headed Flying Fox.


Well-known member
To be more constructive - Grey Goshawk perhaps? Bondi beach still unlikely but at least do occur in Sydney's larger parks.


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Catching up after a couple of busy days:

27th March

The Rocks
Australian Raven

Sydney Botanical Gardens
Australian Wood Duck
Dusky Moorhen
Little Black Cormorant
Magpie Lark

Centennial Parklands
Black Swan
Purple Swamphen
Eurasian Coot
Crested Pigeon
Need to look pics for poss Hoary-headed Grebe
Australasian Grebe
Australian Darter
Willie Wagtail
Little Corella
Buff-banded Rail (at least 4 in the channel with the ornamental bridge between the fruit bat roost and Vernon Pavilion, close to a small brick blockhouse).
Long-billed Corella
White-faced Heron
Intermediate Egret
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo

Black Flying Fox
Brown Rat

Australian Eel (main pond, Botanical Gardens)

"Tomorrow" (28th) is the first of our guided days around the northern/western edges of Sydney so we will see some different habitats.


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Pacific Black Duck as well. The Splendid Fairy Wren on day 1 was of course Superb. A misplaced superlative rather than a misidentification.


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28th March.

A day guided by Andrew Patrick of Zest for Birds. We had an excellent time despite Andrew being thwarted by the unexpected closure of the Cattai NP (we birded the approach road) and the recent heavy rains having resulted in the dispersal of many species, especially wetland birds.

Castlebrook Cemetery
Red-rumped Parrot
Musk Lorikeet
Australian Hobby

Dunn's Rd, Maraylya
Great Egret
Sacred Kingfisher
Cattle Egret

Cattai NP

Yellow Robin
Variegated Fairy Wren
Golden Whistler
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Grey Fantail
White-throated Treecreeper
Rufous Whistler
Shining Bronze Cuckoo
Black-faced Cuckoo Shrike
White-eared Honeyeater
Grey Shrike-thrush
Rufous Fantail
Yellow Thornbill
White-browed Scrubwren
Bell Miner
King Parrot
Red-browed Finch
Peaceful Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove
Lewin's Honeyeater
Spotted Dove.


Well-known member
28th March (continued)

Noisy Friarbird
Brown Thornbill
Black-faced Monarch
Leaden Flycatcher

Pitt Town
White-winged Chough
Australian Reed Warbler
Mistletoe Bird
Swamp Harrier
Golden-headed Cisticola

Pugh's Lagoon
House Sparrow
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Brown Goshawk
Black-shouldered Kite
Azure Kingfisher

Richmond Lowlands
Zebra Finch
Pied Stilt

Sydney Water Treatment Plant (from moving vehicle)
Australian Pelican

Vineyard Creek
Powerful Owl


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I'm hopefully only recording 1st sightings of species but worth mentioning that SOP held many species we'd seen elsewhere and IMO is well worth a visit.

29th March

Sydney Olympic Park
Red-necked Avocet
Royal Spoonbill
Caspian Tern
Black-fronted Dotterel
Red Wattlebird

Blue Tongue Lizard


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30th March

Complete washout. We were changing accommodation and rain started about 9 and persisted for about 12 hours, becoming heavy frequently. No new birds added. Few birds seen.


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31st March

Early flight to Avalon Airport (Melbourne's Luton I think). The Serendip Reserve is about ten minutes drive from the airport and hosts several breeding programmes but also has plenty of wild birds. I planned to stay for about one hour but we were there much longer.

Common Bronzewing
New Holland Honeyeater
Cape Barren Goose
Spotted Pardalote
Eurasian Blackbird
White-plumed Honeyeater
Dusky Woodswallow
Black Kite
Purple-crowned Lorikeet
Fairy Martin
Australian Shelduck
Whistling Kite

On reflection, we needn't have bothered with the walk to the wader hide because the pool was dry.


Well-known member
31st March (continued)

Kennett River, Grey River Rd

Flame Robin
Gang Gang Cockatoo
Little Wattlebird

Koala (there was one by the famous Cafe Koala) but a twenty minutes walk up the road led us to lots more with far fewer tourists. Look for the sign - house name? - Narble Marn, after which there are plenty.

Great Ocean Road
Australian Gannet

Australian Fur Seal

Road between​ Lorne and Winchelsea

Magpie Goose
Wedge-tailed Eagle

Eastern Grey Kangaroo
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
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