Tasmania bird and mammal tour 2013

3 February to 9 February 2013

Fully accommodated tour seeking all Tassie endemic birds and species that are difficult to see on the mainland, such as pink robin, beautiful firetail and southern emuwren.

Mammals could include Tasmanian devil, southern bettong, eastern quoll, eastern barred bandicoot and platypus. A pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck should give us a swag of seabirds. The flight to Melaleuca, in the south west, for orange-bellied parrot is spectacular. The tour starts and finishes in Hobart.

(Day 1) Hobart to Bruny Island
3 February
Our first birding in the Hobart area will be in the temperate rainforests on Mt Wellington where we will seek out scrub-tit, which is one of the more difficult Tassie endemics. Also present here should be olive whistler and yellow-throated honeyeater. We will then catch the car ferry across the D'entrecasteaux Channel to Bruny Island for forty-spotted pardalote, and other delights. After dinner we will visit a colony of little penguins and short-tailed shearwaters. Red-necked wallaby, Tasmanian pademelon and common brushtail (in a variety of colour phases) are abundant on Bruny Island. We have a slight chance for masked owl.
Overnight: Bruny Island

(Day 2) Bruny Island to Hamilton area (Mt Field NP area)
4 February
This morning we will bird the eucalypt forests and farmland on Bruny; here we should pick up beautiful firetail, yellow wattlebird and black-headed honeyeater. Tasmanian native hens are always in good numbers here. Swift parrot and yellow-tailed black cockatoo may also be about. Along the coast we could see pied and sooty oystercatchers and hooded plover. We journey back to the Tasmanian mainland after lunch and head towards the Hamilton area, west of Hobart. Spotlighting tonight could produce the delightful eastern quoll and eastern barred bandicoot and a chance for the furtive Tasmanian devil and southern bettong.
Overnight: Hamilton area

(Day 3) Hamilton to Derwent Bridge
5 February
In the early morning we have a chance for platypus. Travelling on to Mt Field National Park, we look for pink robin in massive swamp gums and we have more chances for scrub-tit. Also prominent here is the sinister looking black currawong. Higher up on the mountain we should view flame robin. After lunch we will travel further west to the centre of the Tasmania to the small settlement of Derwent Bridge, on the edge of Lake St Clair. Spotlighting tonight gives us our best chance for Tasmanian devil, plus common wombat and tawny frogmouth and more chances for eastern quoll.
Overnight: Derwent Bridge

(Day 4) Derwent Bridge to Hobart area
6 February
Birding the swampy heath lands around Derwent Bridge, we have a chance for such delights as southern emuwren, beautiful firetail and striated fieldwren. The adjacent dry eucalypt forest should produce strong-billed honeyeater and yellow wattlebirds and with luck some swift parrots might be about. We travel back to Hobart after lunch to check out swamps for assorted ducks along the Derwent River. Australasian bittern can also occasionally be seen in this area. Tonight we will spotlight for masked owl —one of our more difficult nocturnal birds.
Overnight: Hobart

(Day 5) Melaleuca return
7 February
We witness spectacular scenery on our morning charter flight down to the wilderness area of south-west Tasmania. This is the breeding area of the rare orange-bellied parrot and we should have a good chance of seeing them, and we might be lucky enough to get ground parrot. Here we could also see beautiful firetail, striated fieldwren and have another chance for southern emuwren. Return to Hobart airport in the afternoon.
Overnight: Hobart

(Day 6) Hobart to Eaglehawk Neck
8 February
This morning we will check out the mudflats around Sorell for waders such as eastern curlew, bar-tailed godwit and various sandpipers and plovers. We'll visit a sandspit along the coast, east of Hobart, where Pacific gull, fairy tern and hooded plover are possible. We will then travel down the Tasman Peninsula to Eaglehawk Neck. The wet forest around Eaglehawk Neck can be good for brush bronzewing and flame robin. Eaglehawk Neck has its share of geological attractions such as the Tasman Arch, Blowhole, Devils Kitchen and Tessellated Pavement. 

Overnight: Eaglehawk Neck

(Day 7) Pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck
9 February
This morning we voyage out into the Tasman Sea, travelling past the Hippolyte Rocks, to the edge of the continental shelf. A great variety of seabirds is possible if the gods are willing. These could include several albatrosses such as wandering, royal, Buller's, black-browed, shy, yellow-nosed and maybe even sooty. Petrels such as northern and southern giant, cape, white-chinned, great-winged and Gould's are possible. Short-tailed and fluttering shearwaters should be in abundance and we should get a couple of the storm-petrels, such as Wilson's and grey-backed, as well as the unusual common diving-petrel. Pelagic trips are rich with possibility. The Hippolyte Rocks are good for Australian fur seal and we sometimes see common and bottle-nosed dolphins, and if we are very lucky— killer whale.

On our return from the pelagic trip, about 3—4 pm, we will travel back to Hobart Airport (those staying on in Hobart can be dropped back in the city).

Cost: $3,808.00 AUD

Single supplement: $575.00

The tour covers accommodation for seven nights including the pre-tour evening (2 February) but does not include 9 February 2013. The cost includes all meals from breakfast on 3 February to lunch on 9 February 2013; transport including Melaleuca flight and pelagic cruise; guiding and park entrance fees.

Not included: transportation to and from Tasmania, alcohol, laundry, phone calls, min-bar or personal items …

Starting time 6.30 am in Hobart on 3 February 2013

Accommodation comprises good to excellent quality motels, cabins and B&Bs

Transportation: 22 seater bus or 12 seater mini-bus depending on numbers

Limited to: 10 participants

Tour leaders: Philip Maher and Patricia Maher

Please note that the Melaleuca flight and pelagic trip are subject to weather conditions.

Participants are advised not to book flights to the mainland that depart prior to 7.00 pm on 9 February.

2012 checklist of species seen