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.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Diamantina National Park to Quilpie: Flock Bronzewing, Gibberbird, Bourke's Parrot, Slaty-backed Thornbill

Flock Bronzewing
Following our visit to Lark Quarry and Old Cork Road, we headed south at the Old Cork Homestead along the Diamantina Development Road. We were in the Channel Country now, amid vast expanses of Mitchell grass plains.

Pink-eared Ducks
Between Old Cork and Brighton Downs were quite a few small flocks of flighty Crimson Chat and Orange Chat. Although it was hot and dry, there was plenty of water about from good rains late last year. Each small dam seemingly had its resident pair of Pink-eared Duck.

Brolgas were encountered in a few spots.

Diamond Doves
We found Diamond Dove along the road.

Banded Lapwing
At Brighton Downs we saw a pair of Banded Lapwings.

Red Kangaroos
Macropods were somewhat scarce, with just a few Red Kangaroos and Euros about.

Gum Holes camping ground
We camped near the road outside Diamantina National Park before moving into the park for a look around. Our sixth and last night camping was at Gum Holes, a nice spot by Whistling Duck Creek.

Flock Bronzewings
Late in the afternoon we headed out along the road to Boulia; 12km west of Gum Holes we came across a stunning gathering of an estimated 3,000 Flock Bronzewings around a small watering hole.

Flock Bronzewings

Flock Bronzewing

Several different flocks variously gathered and separated as they wheeled about as birds tried to evade a pair of hunting Black Falcons. As we settled near the watering hole, we were privileged to have at close quarters large numbers of these beautiful birds.

Inland Dotterel immature
We spotlighted along the road back through the gibber and Mitchell grass plains, encountering several immature Inland Dotterels; the species was clearly quite common here.

Desert Short-tailed Mouse. Pic by Scott Baker
We encountered two mammals we identified as Desert Short-tailed Mouse (Leggadina forresti). That night Scott saw Long-tailed Rats around the camp.

Black Falcon
As we headed south through the national park the next day we encountered a single Black Falcon at 2 more sites, along with an unexpected Swamp Harrier.

Zebra Finch
Zebra Finch was abundant. We saw a small group of White-backed Swallows. For a list of birds seen in the national park can be seen here.

Leaving Diamantina National Park, we proceeded south-west towards Windorah, picking up more Orange Chats along the way before eventually connecting with a Gibberbird 65km south of the park headquarters.
 We saw 5-6 Gibberbirds over the next few kilometres.

We came across an adult and an immature Inland Dotterel by the road.

Australian Pratincole
We found several Australian Pratincoles at a bore drain.

Orange Chat immature male 
Along with a few more Orange Chats, including this immature male.

Collared Sparrowhawk
We spent the next night in the Windorah Hotel, welcoming the hot showers and cold beer. The next morning, just south of Windorah, we had an immature Collared Sparrowhawk showing well close to the road, with another sparrowhawk later in the town.

Hall's Babbler
We spotted several parties of Hall's Babbler as we drove east through the mulga towards Quilpie; the species is evidently quite common.

Bourke's Parrot
Late in the afternoon, Scott and Bernie found a relatively large gathering of Bourke's Parrot (30+) in sparse mulga 32km west of Quilpie.
Bourke's Parrot

Bourke's Parrot
We returned the next morning after overnighting in Quilpie and had the birds in the same area performing very nicely.

Crested Bellbird
Chesnut-breasted Quail-Thrush, White-browed Treecreeper and Crested Bellbird were here.

Slaty-backed Thornbill
A big surprise was Scott discovering a party of Slaty-backed Thornbills. This is a rare species in Queensland, known from this general area west of Quilpie but seldom seen, let alone photographed.

Slaty-backed Thornbill
We spent the last night where the trip began for me 12 days earlier - in Charleville's Corones Hotel.


  1. Hey very interesting those bourke parrots are particularly beautiful

  2. A fabulous series of birds!