Today will be a long one, starting early
and finishing late. Well visit the river redgum forest south of
Deniliquin, looking for superb parrot and the highly localised Gilberts
whistler. Other species in the forest include crested shrike-tit, diamond
firetail, white-browed babbler, red-capped and hooded robins, varied
sittella and a host of thornbills. Painted button-quail may also be
about if seasonal conditions have been favourable.
We will return to Deniliquin
at about 1 p.m. Around 3 p.m. we head
out to the plains north of Deniliquin, stopping to bird in various habitats
en route. A patch of boree (Acacia pendula) woodland is often
good for honeyeaters such as spiny-cheeked, striped and singing, and
in summer, the painted honeyeater. Black-faced woodswallow, white-winged
triller and bluebonnet might also be seen here.
Another stop will be
a black box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) woodland where, knock on
wood, a owlet nightjar might be seen. Other species could include western
warbler (gerygone), chestnut-rumped thornbill, weebill and southern
If seasonal conditions
are right, well look at some remnant sandhill vegetation consisting
of native pine and eremophilas. Black honeyeaters might be about if
the eremophilas are flowering and white-backed swallow, one of the neatest
swallows in the world, is often present on the sandhills.
Out on the plains proper,
if the rains have been good, brown songlark, singing bushlark and white-winged
fairy-wren should be seen; likewise, the other denizens of the
open plains spotted harrier and black falcon. In the more sparsely
vegetated areas well look for banded lapwing, and in some years
well also see Australian pratincole and inland dotterel. After
dark well spotlight for plains-wanderer. We may also see stubble
quail and little buttonquail and red-chested buttonquail. and a cute mammal, the fat-tailed dunnart. On the way home we could spotlight a barn owl.
Arrival back in Deniliquin
can vary from 10 pm to 2 am depending on the time of year.
Check the Latest News page for what species have been seen recently.
Our start this morning will depend on what time we arrived home the
previous night and the season.
First up well visit some swampy areas where Australian bittern
should be in residence. The highly secretive black-backed bittern (little bittern) may
also be present during the summer months but satisfying views can be
difficult. Crakes can also be present and can include spotless, Australian
spotted and Baillon's with spotless the more resident of the three.
Other possible waterbirds include red-kneed dotterel and black-tailed
native-hen and a variety of ducks including the delightful pink-eared
Back to Deniliquin for
lunch, after which we will visit another area of river redgum forest
where the possibilities include the jewel of the riverbank, the azure
kingfisher; plus dollarbird and tawny frogmouth. A visit to an evaporative
lake could produce an array of waterbirds, such as red-necked avocet,
banded stilt, Australian shelduck, the peculiar looking musk duck, and
occasionally, the highly nomadic and much sought after, freckled duck.
Today we will leave the Deniliquin area, travelling to the foothill
forests of the Great Dividing Range, about two hours drive south-east
of Deniliquin. This area has a higher rainfall and different soils and
topography. The eucalypts in this area are ironbarks and stringybarks,
often with an understorey of shrubs. Specialities of the area include
a bag of honeyeaters , such as yellow-tufted, fuscous, black-chinned,
brown-headed, and if the ironbarks are in flower, we have a chance for
the rare regent honeyeater, and another chance of painted honeyeater.
Black-eared cuckoo and its host species, the delightful speckled warbler
may also be present at this locality. After lunch in the field well
visit a daytime roost of the powerful owl our largest owl species.
Later we'll visit some swamps for Australasian shoveler and Lathams
Overnight: Beechworth area
This morning we will visit more dry eucalypt forest with an understory
of shrubs. This is the territory of two difficult species the
spotted quail-thrush and its companion, chestnut-rumped heathwren. Other
species here often include fan-tailed cuckoo, shining bronze-cuckoo,
scarlet and yellow robins and white-throated gerygone.
Turquoise parrot and
little lorikeet are on the agenda after lunch, and if we still need
regent honeyeater we'll visit another locality. Later we will call in
at a daytime roost of the barking owl. Back at our motel we may be greeted
by gang gang cockatoos. White-throated nightjar is a possibility after
Overnight: Beechworth area
Today we will visit some wetter eucalypt forest at higher elevation.
Here we should find satin bowerbird and red-browed treecreeper, and
in the summer months we may be lucky enough to see cicadabird and brush
cuckoo. Other species here include eastern spinebill, yellow-faced and
white-naped honeyeaters. Further up well search for pilotbird,
superb lyrebird, rose robin and satin flycatcher. In the afternoon we
will return to Deniliquin, perhaps stopping off to look at apostlebirds
This morning we will drive west of Deniliquin following the floodplain
of the Edward River until we reach patches of mallee and scrub. Here
we have a good chance for Major Mitchells cockatoo and mallee
ringneck parrot. Further west we cross the Murray River into Victoria
and travel through cleared mallee until we reach some large areas of
uncleared mallee. Here we have a good chance of the elusive malleefowl,
as well as chestnut quail-thrush, chestnut-crowned babbler, regent parrot,
crested bellbird and splendid and variegated fairy-wrens. Further west
again, we reach a much larger area of virgin mallee. Here we search
for the southern scrub-robin and shy heathwren.
Today we return to the Mallee in search of its most elusive residents*
and some of Australias best birds striated grasswren and
mallee emu-wren. Other species we should encounter
include mulga parrot, yellow-plumed and white-fronted honeyeaters, red-backed
kingfisher and rufous fieldwren. If seasonal conditions are favourable,
white-browed and masked woodswallows should be in abundance.
After lunch we will return
to Deniliquin, perhaps visiting wetlands en route. We may pick-up blue-billed
duck as well as some waders such as marsh sandpiper, sharp-tailed sandpiper,
red-capped and black-fronted dotterels.
* red-lored whistler is also a possibility but ususally requires a second night at Ouyen.
© 2011 Australian Ornithological Services P/L