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Eastern Australia birding information (1 Viewer)

le1368

Member
United States
Hello,
My husband and I are interested in doing a birding trip in Eastern Australia, maybe later next year.
We see lots of tours out there, but they can be very expensive.
Do you have any recommendations for a local bird guide that we can hire to take us to see some birds there? I really like to see the tawny frogmouth and its chicks, and my husband really wants to see the currasow, and other new birds there.
We're from the USA, have never been to Australia.
We're hoping to do some birding on our own somewhere, maybe staying at the famous O'Reilly Retreat place. Any other bird lodges that you can recommend for us?
I don't know how easy it'd be for driving there if we can get a rental car for some of the days?
If we come during October, would we be able to see tawny frogmouth and its chicks?
Thanks,
LB
 
I have no special birding abilities and have been birding a few times in Australia by myself with reasonable success. Here's my last trip to eastern Australia; you can see the itinerary and sightings from the checklists. I did go to O'Reilly's. I hired a guide one day for the Frogmouth, Bustard, and Golden Bowerbird; I think it was Doug Herrington. You might ask Kingfisher Park (lodge) because the guide picked me up there for the day; I also recommend you stay at Kingfisher Park.
By curassow, you probably mean cassowary?
Frogmouths lay eggs Sep-Oct and incubation requires a month.
Renting and driving is a piece of cake. You are unlikely to encounter (m)any other birders IME.
 
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Hello Brad,
Thanks so much for your response. I'll look into the information you've provided, regarding the guide and the Kingfisher Park.
Yes, I meant cassowary, sorry. :)
We definitely would like to see kingfishers there too.
It's encouraging to know that driving is easy there. We're thinking of doing some birding on our own and use the guide for some days too.
Thanks again!
 
We definitely would like to see kingfishers there too.
You'll see Sacred Kingfishers on almost every body of water, they're just about everywhere LOL.

I was there from late September to mid-late November. September/October in Queensland. I stayed with friends made on the forum here. However, you can read about all the places they took me to in my Trip report linked to in my signature below.

The early part was based in Brisbane, from 4 October I was in the Outback areas, Gold Coast etc. We also went to O'Reilly's which was wonderful and well worth the trip.

This may well give you some ideas of where to go and what you might see there, and maybe you'll then decide you won't necessarily need a guide, apart from maybe the more specialist species on your list.
 
Thanks Delia for the information. We'll do more research to see if we can do the majority of the birding on our own. We'd love to stay at the eco lodges like O'Reilly Place, and Kingfisher Park.
I really like to see the frogmouth and hopefully its baby. Is it hard to see them?
Thanks
 
Sorry, I can't really help re the frogmouth as I didn't get to see one. I do know they're not really easy to spot, even if you've got one under your nose LOL

Have a look at our Opus article for them and scroll down to the yellow Gallery Search bar at the bottom. There you can look at the pictures of them that have been uploaded to the Gallery here. They should show where they have been photographed.

Maybe Peter Day, one of our Opus Editors might be able to give you some advice. He lives in South Australia, but does travel around. I think he has a picture of one in the Gallery, so you can either ask in a comment on that picture or click on his name and start a Conversation with him.

Hope this helps.
 
Hello Brad,
Thanks so much for your response. I'll look into the information you've provided, regarding the guide and the Kingfisher Park.
Yes, I meant cassowary, sorry. :)
We definitely would like to see kingfishers there too.
It's encouraging to know that driving is easy there. We're thinking of doing some birding on our own and use the guide for some days too.
Thanks again!
But they do drive on the left...!
MJB
 
I spent 6 weeks in Brisbane/Cairns/Whitsundays over Christmas & New Year just gone. While it wasn't a birding holiday as such (more a family trip) we still found some great birds. My son was doing his Masters in Brisbane so had already been there 6 months & had done a lot of site research ahead of us arriving.

He found us Tawny Frogmouth during the day at Mount Gravatt reserve which was one of my most wanted species (we'd only been there 3 days!!). We also had 3 nights at O'Reillys which was great - we did one of the dawn walks but to us it was a waste of time, found it easier wandering the trails ourselves. The rangers are a good source of information though for IDs.

Etty Bay is good for Cassowary - we saw 4 in about an hour. We also had one cross the main highway in the Atherton Tablelands from Cairns. Mission Beach is supposed to be good for them too, but we never made it there.

I must get around to finding time to write a trip report one day!!
 

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Wow, that's so awesome that you were able to see the Tawny frogmouths and Cassowary!
Australia is on our bucket list.
We have looked at a few birding tours, but they are very expensive. We're still trying to see if we can swing it by doing it on our own, and use guide on some locations to save in the cost.
We'd love to go to Tasmania too, but have to do more research on that.
I'd love to see your trip report in the future. Thanks so much for sharing about your experience and the bird photos!
 

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