stubble quail

painted honeyeater
Australian painted snipe
regent parrot © Phlip Maher


Sample itinerary

Seven day personal tour

Please note that the itinerary will vary with the time of year and prevailing conditions.

Day 1
Today will be a long one, starting early and finishing late. We’ll visit the river redgum forest south of Deniliquin, looking for superb parrot and the highly localised Gilbert’s whistler. Other species in the forest include crested shrike-tit, diamond firetail, white-browed babbler, red-capped and hooded robins, varied sittella and a host of thornbills. Painted button-quail may also be about if seasonal conditions have been favourable.

We will return to Deniliquin at about 1 p.m. Around 3 p.m. we head out to the plains north of Deniliquin, stopping to bird in various habitats en route. A patch of boree (Acacia pendula) woodland is often good for honeyeaters such as spiny-cheeked, striped and singing, and in summer, the painted honeyeater. Black-faced woodswallow, white-winged triller and bluebonnet might also be seen here.

Another stop will be a black box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) woodland where, knock on wood, a owlet nightjar might be seen. Other species could include western warbler (gerygone), chestnut-rumped thornbill, weebill and southern whiteface.

If seasonal conditions are right, we’ll look at some remnant sandhill vegetation consisting of native pine and eremophilas. Black
honeyeaters might be about if the eremophilas are flowering and white-backed swallow, one of the neatest swallows in the world, is often present on the sandhills.

Out on the plains proper, if the rains have been good, brown songlark, singing bushlark and white-winged fairy-wren should be seen; likewise, the other denizens of the open plains —spotted harrier and black falcon. In the more sparsely vegetated areas we’ll look for banded lapwing, and in some years we’ll also see Australian pratincole and inland dotterel. After dark we’ll spotlight for plains-wanderer. We may also see stubble quail and little buttonquail and red-chested buttonquail. and a cute mammal, the fat-tailed dunnart. On the way home we could spotlight a barn owl.

Arrival back in Deniliquin can vary from 10 pm to 2 am depending on the time of year.
Overnight: Deniliquin

Check the Latest News page for what species have been seen recently.

Day 2
Our start this morning will depend on what time we arrived home the previous night and the season.

First up we’ll visit some swampy areas where Australian bittern should be in residence. The highly secretive black-backed bittern (little bittern) may also be present during the summer months but satisfying views can be difficult. Crakes can also be present and can include spotless, Australian spotted and Baillon's — with spotless the more resident of the three. Other possible waterbirds include red-kneed dotterel and black-tailed native-hen and a variety of ducks including the delightful pink-eared duck.

Back to Deniliquin for lunch, after which we will visit another area of river redgum forest where the possibilities include the jewel of the riverbank, the azure kingfisher; plus dollarbird and tawny frogmouth. A visit to an evaporative lake could produce an array of waterbirds, such as red-necked avocet, banded stilt, Australian shelduck, the peculiar looking musk duck, and occasionally, the highly nomadic and much sought after, freckled duck.
Overnight: Deniliquin

Day 3
Today we will leave the Deniliquin area, travelling to the foothill forests of the Great Dividing Range, about two hours drive south-east of Deniliquin. This area has a higher rainfall and different soils and topography. The eucalypts in this area are ironbarks and stringybarks, often with an understorey of shrubs. Specialities of the area include a bag of honeyeaters , such as yellow-tufted, fuscous, black-chinned, brown-headed, and if the ironbarks are in flower, we have a chance for the rare regent honeyeater, and another chance of painted honeyeater. Black-eared cuckoo and its host species, the delightful speckled warbler may also be present at this locality. After lunch in the field we’ll visit a daytime roost of the powerful owl – our largest owl species. Later we'll visit some swamps for Australasian shoveler and Latham’s snipe.
Overnight: Beechworth area

Day 4
This morning we will visit more dry eucalypt forest with an understory of shrubs. This is the territory of two difficult species — the spotted quail-thrush and its companion, chestnut-rumped heathwren. Other species here often include fan-tailed cuckoo, shining bronze-cuckoo, scarlet and yellow robins and white-throated gerygone.

Turquoise parrot and little lorikeet are on the agenda after lunch, and if we still need regent honeyeater we'll visit another locality. Later we will call in at a daytime roost of the barking owl. Back at our motel we may be greeted by gang gang cockatoos. White-throated nightjar is a possibility after dark.
Overnight: Beechworth area

Day 5
Today we will visit some wetter eucalypt forest at higher elevation. Here we should find satin bowerbird and red-browed treecreeper, and in the summer months we may be lucky enough to see cicadabird and brush cuckoo. Other species here include eastern spinebill, yellow-faced and white-naped honeyeaters. Further up we’ll search for pilotbird, superb lyrebird, rose robin and satin flycatcher. In the afternoon we will return to Deniliquin, perhaps stopping off to look at apostlebirds or brolgas.
Overnight: Deniliquin

Day 6
This morning we will drive west of Deniliquin following the floodplain of the Edward River until we reach patches of mallee and scrub. Here we have a good chance for Major Mitchell’s cockatoo and mallee ringneck parrot. Further west we cross the Murray River into Victoria and travel through cleared mallee until we reach some large areas of uncleared mallee. Here we have a good chance of the elusive malleefowl, as well as chestnut quail-thrush, chestnut-crowned babbler, regent parrot, crested bellbird and splendid and variegated fairy-wrens. Further west again, we reach a much larger area of virgin mallee. Here we search for the southern scrub-robin and shy heathwren.
Overnight: Ouyen

Day 7
Today we return to the Mallee in search of its most elusive residents* and some of Australia’s best birds — striated grasswren and mallee emu-wren. Other species we should encounter include mulga parrot, yellow-plumed and white-fronted honeyeaters, red-backed kingfisher and rufous fieldwren. If seasonal conditions are favourable, white-browed and masked woodswallows should be in abundance.

After lunch we will return to Deniliquin, perhaps visiting wetlands en route. We may pick-up blue-billed duck as well as some waders such as marsh sandpiper, sharp-tailed sandpiper, red-capped and black-fronted dotterels.
Overnight: Deniliquin

* red-lored whistler is also a possibility but ususally requires a second night at Ouyen.

© 2011 Australian Ornithological Services P/L


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