South-east Queensland - July 2011

A weeks trip, from 22nd to 31st July 2011, was organised to visit South East Queensland to pick up some of the local birds, the main targets being Black-breasted Buttonquail, Albert's Lyrebird and Paradise Riflebird.

Yvonne and I left Melbourne on 22nd July and flew up to Brisbane. From there we drove up to Noosa Heads and then onto Rainbow Beach for three nights. We then headed up to Bunya Mountains for two nights and then onto Goomburra (Main Range National Park) for another two nights. We finished off the trip with two nights at O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, before heading up the Gold Cost via Mount Tamborine, back to Brisbane airport.

For accommodation we stayed at:

  • Rainbow Beach - Rental property in Satinwood Road – close to golf course, coastal bush and beach, only 15min from Inskip Point
  • Bunya Mountains – Godshill Lodge – situated on a private estate and adjacent to the forest
  • Main Range National Park – Goomburra Forest Retreat – situated within walking distance of the national park
  • Lamington National Park - O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat - at the end of a long and hairy drive, situated in the rainforest
All the accommodation was of high standard and well situated, with good access to local forests. The best place we stayed at was Goomburra Forest Retreat, where we were provided with an excellent breakfast hamper and BBQ pack. This accommodation also has the most effective wood fireplace, important for this time of year. Unfortunately O'Reilly's accommodation was dated and overpriced, and seemed to be catering for business functions and large crowds.

The weather was generally cool to cold in the evenings, warming up nicely during the day, well at least compared to Melbourne. The weather held out for the trip and we had no rain.
This was probably not the best time of year for birding, however we achieved our objective of seeing the main target species.

Of the places visited, O'Reilly's was the only disappointing venue. Goomburra and Bunya Mountains offer excellent birding, although each site has a different mix of birds. O'Reilly's was the best place to visit for Paradise Riflebird and Albert's Lyrebird, just for ease of sighting. We had been very close to several Albert's Lyrebird in the Main Range NP, however the dense undergrowth made it impossible to see or approach the birds.

The forest walks at both Goomburra and Bunya Mountains had very few visitors, compared to Lamington NP, and we generally had the place to ourselves.

Some of the areas visited:
  • Noosa Heads – Very pleasant midday birding along the Noosa Spit Recreational Park
  • Cooloola National Park – Good forest and fresh water lake for both daytime and evening birding

  • Inskip Point – Amazing number of birds considering the 4WD traffic, campers and visitors to the small area.

  • Wooroolin Wetlands – Large number of birds on the wetlands with many Plumed Whistling Duck
  • Bunya Mountains – Very pleasant walks though forest, plenty of Green Catbird but unfortunately no Sooty Owl in the hollow tree
  • Maclagan Area – Farming community with plenty of birdlife along the roadsides, such as Cockatiel and Striped Honeyeater
  • Main Range National Park – Good variety of habitats, access to rainforest requires a drive up to the top of the mountain range, which has great views down towards the Gold Coast

  • Lamington National Park – Away from the crowds and early in the morning (before sunrise) was good for birding.

  • Mount Tamborine – Probably a good spot in the early morning, at midday it was just too busy.

Some of the birding highlights:
  • Black-breasted Buttonquail – First visited Inskip Point in late afternoon and didn't expect to find the buttonquail. However several were seen and there were plenty of platelets around indicating that the birds were active. Went back the following morning and had excellent views of both male and female birds, the best being very close-up views of a beautiful female about 2m from the car. Best approach was to stand still, close to the area with the platelets and listen for their scratching in the leaf litter. The Brushturkey were also chasing the buttonquail and were effective in finding them. Not the best of photographs but good enough for ID.

  • Beach Stone-curlew – Three birds in the open as 4WD's raced around on the beach, most heading over to Fraser Island. Also seen the next day on the mud flats in a far quieter area.

  • Green Catbird – Many birds at Bunya Mountains, with about 30 counted on an afternoon walk.

  • Striped Honeyeater – Six birds seen on the roadside close to the small town of Maclagan, together with other nice birds.
  • Albert's Lyrebird – At least six birds heard at the top of Main Range NP, with a further three birds seen up close at Lamington's. Watched a male bird close to the path foraging for food, whilst walkers went past, without even a glance into the forest. Also had a female bird walking down the track before diving off into the forest. Not the greatest of photos as the bird was head down behind a log for most of the time.

  • Australian Logrunner – Very tame birds at Lamington's, especially early in the morning, literally had to kick them out of the way.
  • Yellow-throated Scrubwren - Very tame and photogenic birds at Lamington's. I found that scratching the ground with a stick would attract the birds up close. Generally they seem to follow the Brushturkey looking for food amongst the disturbed litter.

  • Paradise Riflebird – Heard initially at O'Reilly's and then a female seen well. Heard and saw a male bird briefly down at Duck Creek Road.

Whilst the three (must-see) target birds were seen, there were quite a few target birds which were not seen, such as Plum-headed Finch, Russet-tailed Thrush, Marbled Frogmouth and Sooty Owl.

It's a great part of Australia to visit and the next trip will need to be at a better time of year and should include a visit to places like Bowra Station.

The full list of the 148 birds seen during the trip, including subspecies according to the IOC taxonomy, is as follows:


Megapodes (Megapodiidae)

Australian Brushturkey [sp] (Alectura lathami)

Australian Brushturkey [lathami] (Alectura lathami lathami)


Ducks, Geese & swans (Anatidae)

Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)

Maned Duck (Chenonetta jubata)

Pacific Black Duck [sp] (Anas superciliosa)

Grey Teal (Anas gracilis)

Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea)

Hardhead [sp] (Aythya australis)


Grebes (Podicipedidae)

Australasian Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae)


Ibises, Spoonbills (Threskiornithidae)

Australian White Ibis [sp] (Threskiornis moluccus)

Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis)

Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)

Eastern Cattle Egret (Bubulcus coromandus)

White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica)

Eastern Great Egret (Ardea alba modesta)

White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)


Gannets, Boobies (Sulidae)

Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator)

Cormorants, Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)

Little Pied Cormorant [sp] (Microcarbo melanoleucos)

Little Black Cormorant (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris)

Australian Pied Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax varius)

Anhingas, Darters (Anhingidae)

Australasian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae)


Kites, Hawks & Eagles (Accipitridae)

Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris)

Black Kite [sp] (Milvus migrans)

Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus)

Brahminy Kite [sp] (Haliastur indus)

White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

Wedge-tailed Eagle [sp] (Aquila audax)

Little Eagle (Hieraaetus morphnoides)


Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)

Nankeen Kestrel [sp] (Falco cenchroides)

Black Falcon (Falco subniger)


Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae)

Purple Swamphen [sp] (Porphyrio porphyrio)

Dusky Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula tenebrosa)

Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)


Buttonquails (Turnicidae)

Black-breasted Buttonquail (Turnix melanogaster)

Stone-curlews, Thick-Knees (Burhinidae)

Beach Stone-curlew (Esacus magnirostris)

Oystercatchers (Haematopodidae)

Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)

Plovers (Charadriidae)

Masked Lapwing [sp] (Vanellus miles)

Masked Lapwing [novaehollandiae] (Vanellus miles novaehollandiae)

Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)

Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops)

Gulls, Terns & Skimmers (Laridae)

Silver Gull [sp] (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae)

Gull-billed Tern [sp] (Gelochelidon nilotica)

Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia)

Greater Crested Tern [sp] (Thalasseus bergii)


Doves and Pigeons (Columbidae)

Rock Dove [sp] (Columba livia)

Feral Pigeon (Columba livia ''feral'')

White-headed Pigeon (Columba leucomela)

Spotted Dove [sp] (Spilopelia chinensis)

Brown Cuckoo-dove [sp] (Macropygia phasianella)

Pacific Emerald Dove [sp] (Chalcophaps longirostris)

Common Bronzewing (Phaps chalcoptera)

Crested Pigeon [sp] (Ocyphaps lophotes)

Crested Pigeon [lophotes] (Ocyphaps lophotes lophotes)

Wonga Pigeon (Leucosarcia melanoleuca)

Peaceful Dove [sp] (Geopelia placida)

Bar-shouldered Dove [sp] (Geopelia humeralis)

Wompoo Fruit Dove [sp] (Ptilinopus magnificus)

Rose-crowned Fruit Dove [sp] (Ptilinopus regina)

Topknot Pigeon (Lopholaimus antarcticus)


Cockatoos (Cacatuidae)

Galah [sp] (Eolophus roseicapilla)

Little Corella [sp] (Cacatua sanguinea)

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo [sp] (Cacatua galerita)

Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)

Parrots and Macaws (Psittacidae)

Rainbow Lorikeet [sp] (Trichoglossus moluccanus)

Rainbow Lorikeet [moluccanus] (Trichoglossus moluccanus moluccanus)

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus)

Little Lorikeet (Glossopsitta pusilla)

Crimson Rosella [sp] (Platycercus elegans)

Crimson Rosella [elegans] (Platycercus elegans elegans)

Eastern Rosella [elecica] (Platycercus eximius elecica)

Red-rumped Parrot [haematonotus] (Psephotus haematonotus haematonotus)

Australian King Parrot [sp] (Alisterus scapularis)

Australian King Parrot [scapularis] (Alisterus scapularis scapularis)


Cuckoos (Cuculidae)

Pheasant Coucal [phasianinus] (Centropus phasianinus phasianinus)


Owls (Strigidae)

Southern Boobook [sp] (Ninox boobook)

Southern Boobook [boobook] (Ninox boobook boobook)


Frogmouths (Podargidae)

Tawny Frogmouth [strigoides] (Podargus strigoides strigoides)


Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)

Laughing Kookaburra [sp] (Dacelo novaeguineae)

Laughing Kookaburra [novaeguineae] (Dacelo novaeguineae novaeguineae)

Forest Kingfisher [sp] (Todiramphus macleayii)

Sacred Kingfisher [sp] (Todiramphus sanctus)

Bee-Eaters (Meropidae)

Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)


Lyrebirds (Menuridae)

Albert's Lyrebird (Menura alberti)

Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae)

Green Catbird (Ailuroedus crassirostris)

Regent Bowerbird (Sericulus chrysocephalus)

Satin Bowerbird [violaceus] (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus violaceus)

Australasian Treecreepers (Climacteridae)

White-throated Treecreeper [metastasis] (Cormobates leucophaea metastasis)

Fairywrens (Maluridae)

Variegated Fairywren [sp] (Malurus lamberti)

Variegated Fairywren (Malurus lamberti lamberti)

Superb Fairywren [sp] (Malurus cyaneus)

Superb Fairywren [cyanochlamys] (Malurus cyaneus cyanochlamys)

Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Yellow-faced Honeyeater [sp] (Lichenostomus chrysops)

Mangrove Honeyeater (Lichenostomus fasciogularis)

Lewin's Honeyeater [sp] (Meliphaga lewinii)

Lewin's Honeyeater [lewinii] (Meliphaga lewinii lewinii)

Bell Miner (Manorina melanophrys)

Noisy Miner [sp] (Manorina melanocephala)

Blue-faced Honeyeater [sp] (Entomyzon cyanotis)

Brown-headed Honeyeater [sp] (Melithreptus brevirostris)

White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)

Little Friarbird [sp] (Philemon citreogularis)

Noisy Friarbird [sp] (Philemon corniculatus)

Noisy Friarbird [corniculatus] (Philemon corniculatus corniculatus)

Striped Honeyeater (Plectorhyncha lanceolata)

Little Wattlebird [sp] (Anthochaera chrysoptera)

Red Wattlebird [sp] (Anthochaera carunculata)

Red Wattlebird [carunculata] (Anthochaera carunculata carunculata)

Brown Honeyeater [sp] (Lichmera indistincta)

Brown Honeyeater [ocularis] (Lichmera indistincta ocularis)

White-cheeked Honeyeater [sp] (Phylidonyris niger)

Eastern Spinebill [tenuirostris] (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris tenuirostris)

Dusky Myzomela [sp] (Myzomela obscura)

Scarlet Myzomela (Myzomela sanguinolenta)

Pardalotes (Pardalotidae)

Spotted Pardalote (Pardalotus punctatus punctatus)

Striated Pardalote [sp] (Pardalotus striatus)

Thornbills (Acanthizidae)

White-browed Scrubwren [sp] (Sericornis frontalis)

Buff-breasted Scrubwren (Sericornis frontalis laevigaster)

Yellow-throated Scrubwren [cairnsi] (Sericornis citreogularis cairnsi)

Large-billed Scrubwren [magnirostra] (Sericornis magnirostra magnirostra)

Brown Gerygone [sp] (Gerygone mouki)

Brown Gerygone [richmondi] (Gerygone mouki richmondi)

Brown Thornbill [sp] (Acanthiza pusilla)

Brown Thornbill [dawsonensis] (Acanthiza pusilla dawsonensis)

Brown Thornbill [pusilla] (Acanthiza pusilla pusilla)

Yellow-rumped Thornbill [sp] (Acanthiza chrysorrhoa)

Striated Thornbill [alberti] (Acanthiza lineata alberti)

Australasian Babblers (Pomatostomidae)

Grey-crowned Babbler [temporalis] (Pomatostomus temporalis temporalis)

Logrunners (Orthonychidae)

Australian Logrunner (Orthonyx temminckii)

Whipbirds, Jewel-babblers, Quail-Thrushes (Psophodidae)

Eastern Whipbird [sp] (Psophodes olivaceus)

Eastern Whipbird [olivaceus] (Psophodes olivaceus olivaceus)

Butcherbirds (Cracticidae)

Grey Butcherbird [sp] (Cracticus torquatus)

Grey Butcherbird [torquatus] (Cracticus torquatus torquatus)

Pied Butcherbird [sp] (Cracticus nigrogularis)

Pied Butcherbird [nigrogularis] (Cracticus nigrogularis nigrogularis)

Australian Magpie [sp] (Gymnorhina tibicen)

Pied Currawong [graculina] (Strepera graculina graculina)

Woodswallows (Artamidae)

Masked Woodswallow (Artamus personatus)

Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Black-faced Cuckooshrike [sp] (Coracina novaehollandiae)

Black-faced Cuckooshrike [melanops] (Coracina novaehollandiae melanops)

White-winged Triller (Lalage tricolor)

Varied Triller [leucomela] (Lalage leucomela leucomela)

Whistlers and Allies (Pachycephalidae)

Eastern Shriketit (Falcunculus frontatus frontatus)

Australian Golden Whistler [sp] (Pachycephala pectoralis)

Australian Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis pectoralis)

Little Shrikethrush [sp] (Colluricincla megarhyncha)

Grey Shrikethrush [sp] (Colluricincla harmonica)

Grey Shrikethrush [harmonica] (Colluricincla harmonica harmonica)

Old World Orioles (Oriolidae)

Australasian Figbird [sp] (Sphecotheres vieilloti)

Australasian Figbird [vieilloti] (Sphecotheres vieilloti vieilloti)

Olive-backed Oriole [sp] (Oriolus sagittatus)

Olive-backed Oriole [sagittatus] (Oriolus sagittatus sagittatus)

Drongos (Dicruridae)

Spangled Drongo [sp] (Dicrurus bracteatus)

Fantails (Rhipiduridae)

Willie Wagtail [sp] (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Grey Fantail [sp] (Rhipidura albiscapa)

Grey Fantail [alisteri] (Rhipidura albiscapa alisteri)

Monarch Flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Magpie-lark [sp] (Grallina cyanoleuca)

Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Torresian Crow [sp] (Corvus orru)

Australian Raven [sp] (Corvus coronoides)

White-winged Chough and Apostlebird (Corcoracidae)

White-winged Chough [sp] (Corcorax melanoramphos)

Apostlebird [sp] (Struthidea cinerea)

Birds-of-Paradise (Paradisaeidae)

Paradise Riflebird (Ptiloris paradiseus)

Australasian Robins (Petroicidae)

Eastern Yellow Robin [sp] (Eopsaltria australis)

Eastern Yellow Robin [chrysorrhos] (Eopsaltria australis chrysorrhos)

Jacky Winter [fascinans] (Microeca fascinans fascinans)

Rose Robin (Petroica rosea)

Red-capped Robin (Petroica goodenovii)

Swallows and Martins (Hirundinidae)

Welcome Swallow [sp] (Hirundo neoxena)

Tree Martin [sp] (Petrochelidon nigricans)

Reed warblers and allies (Acrocephalidae)

Australian Reed Warbler [australis] (Acrocephalus australis australis)

Grassbirds and allies (Locustellidae)

Tawny Grassbird [sp] (Megalurus timoriensis)

Cisticolas and Allies (Cisticolidae)

Golden-headed Cisticola [exilis] (Cisticola exilis exilis)

Starlings (Sturnidae)

Common Myna [sp] (Acridotheres tristis)

Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)

Thrushes (Turdidae)

Bassian Thrush [sp] (Zoothera lunulata)

Bassian Thrush [cuneata] (Zoothera lunulata cuneata)

Old World Sparrows and Snowfinches (Passeridae)

House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)

Waxbills, Munias and Allies (Estrildidae)

Red-browed Finch [sp] (Neochmia temporalis)

Red-browed Finch [temporalis] (Neochmia temporalis temporalis)

Double-barred Finch [sp] (Taeniopygia bichenovii)

Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Australian Pipit [australis] (Anthus australis australis)