Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Around Oz Part 2 - Winton to Mt Isa

Spinifex Pigeon
Following our stay in the Blackall area (see previous post) we moved on to Winton for a two-night stay in Bladensburg National Park. We camped at the pleasant Bough Shed Waterhole. A birding highlight of Bladensburg was the good numbers of Spinifex Pigeon.

Bough Shed Waterhole

Budgerigars have been one of the most common species during our travels in western Queensland. Every watercourse appears to have its share of budgies. Conditions generally are surprisingly dry. Budgerigars in large numbers are usually associated with good weather conditions but the Winton-Longreach region missed out on summer rains and is in a serious drought situation.

There are extensive areas of spinifex in the park, which is not too far removed from where John Young photographed his Night Parrot earlier this year. Plenty of perfect-looking Night Parrot habitat here. Unfortunately it was extremely windy during our visit so I didn't contact with spinifex specialties such as Striated Grasswren and Rufous-crowned emu-wren.

Spinifex - Bladensburg National Park
Australian Bustard
Birds in good numbers included Diamond Dove and Zebra Finch. It is encouraging that we have regularly encountered Australian Bustard (10 so far) and Brolga.


Diamond Dove

Spinifex Pigeon

Macropods continue to be abundant, with large numbers of Euro and Red Kangaroo in Bladensburg.
Red Kangaroo

Grey-headed Honeyeater
 A nice find in the Bladensburg spinifex was Grey-headed Honeyeater. Red-browed Pardalotes were present in small numbers and a single Flock Bronzewing was seen late one afternoon.

Combo Waterhole
Moving on from Winton we visited the Combo Waterhole, famed as the spot where a jolly swagman allegedly drowned while escaping state troopers in Banjo Patterson's Waltzing Matilda.

Little Woodswallow
Little Woodswallow was present in the waterhole parking area along with more Plumed Pigeons.

Black-chinned Honeyeater
At a stop between Cloncurry and Mt Isa, it was nice to find Black-chinned (Golden-backed race) Honeyeater and Grey-fronted Honeyeater.

Grey-fronted Honeyeater
Zebra Finch

Long-tailed Finch
 Grey-fronted Honeyeaters were numerous in the rocky country around Lake Moondarra, outside Mt Isa. Long-tailed Finch was another pleasant find. We camped for a couple of nights in a caravan park by the Leichardt River. Birds included our first Varied Lorikeets and Great Bowerbirds of the trip.

Lake Moondarra
Varied Lorikeet
 Nice local parrots included the distinctive regional ("Cloncurry") race of the Australian Ringneck.
Australian Ringneck (Cloncurry) Parrot

1 comment:

  1. Great collection of photos here Greg, and it looks like an exciting adventure is underway. I've never seen any of these species besides the Euro and Brolga, but they are all impressive, especially the Bustard, Spinifex Pigeon and Red Kangaroo.