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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Australia: the Southwest and Northern Queensland

with Cape York Peninsula extension

We’ll start out around Perth, where Laughing Kookaburras now ply the city parks, and a selection of waterfowl like this handsome Chestnut Teal inhabit the park lakes.                    Traveling inland into the drier forests we’ll be investigated by curious Western Yellow Robins, and look for some more widespread but spectacular species like this Spotted Pardalote. It always pays to look up carefully, as a Tawny Frogmouth could be just overhead.                               Further to the south we’ll reach the beautiful Stirling Ranges, home to bounding Western Grey Kangaroos, snuffling Echidna,           and the dazzling Red-capped Parrot.                             Eventually we will reach the coast near Cheynes Beach, our base for several days where we’ll seek some very special species such as Western Bristlebird, Western Whipbird,                             the gaudy Red-winged Fairywren and                               Western Rosellas. One day we’ll venture to the east to reach a section of open mallee forest,                                where, with luck, we shall encounter the worlds southern-most species of megapode, the impressive Malleefowl. Enroute back to Perth we’ll stop along the way for birds like Red-eared Firetail, and the dramatic Hooded Plover.                               A flight inland to the MacDonnell Ranges and the heart of the outback around Alice Springs.                           The birdlife here is completely different than the southwest, with nomadic species like Budgerigar,                                and Crimson Chat joining the resident Western Bowerbirds and Spinifex Pigeons.                             Seemingly barren fields of Spinifex and the rocky lower slopes of the mountains support                                mammals such as this Black-flanked Rock Wallaby,  and truly impressive monitor lizards like this Perentie                               After our three days in the heat of the outback we’ll fly to the far Northeast of the country, where we’ll enter yet another world.  Brush Turkeys stalk the forest floor,          Blue-faced Honeyeaters feed in the flowering trees, and an array of impressive pigeons (like this Topknot Pigeon) call from the treetops.                               Around the temperate Atherton Tableland we’ll investigate remnant patches of humid forest, home to some of the most special birds in the country like Golden Bowerbird,         and (as this is the wet season) the stunning Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher.                               In the drier savanna’s north of the Tablelands we should encounter Australian Bustard tucked in the higher grass, and in the denser tropical forests along the coast we’ll seek out one of the true signature birds in the world; the Southern Cassowary.                             An extension to the Cape York Peninsula will expose us to a wealth of birds more commonly associated with New Guinea, such as this Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrots, the attractive Frilled-necked Monarch, diminutive White-faced Robins, and the aptly named Magnificent Riflebird. We’ll have several days to explore the area, looking for some of the more difficult to find birds like Northern Scrub-Robin and the remarkably difficult to see Yellow-billed Kingfisher. Nocturnal forays might produce Frogmouths, Cuscus or even a bright green Emerald Tree Python. Once back in Cairns we’ll likely stop by the esplanade for a last look at the hordes of waders that winter there.                              and then will sadly bid farewell to this wonderful continent of birds from the comforts of our hotel balconies in Cairns.