Personal nine-day birding tour

starting in Melbourne

Tour leader: Philip Maher

Day 1
Collect participants at Melbourne Airport or in town and drive to Healesville (about two hours, north-east of Melbourne), checking out sites for superb lyrebird and powerful owl in the late afternoon. Spotlight for owls including sooty owl and gliders after dark.
Accommodation: Healesville

Day 2.
Healesville area in the morning; then drive on to Beechworth/Chiltern area after lunch. We’ll bird the tall mountain ash forest around Healesville in the morning for iconic species such as superb lyrebird, king parrot, crimson rosella, yellow and rose robins and white-throated and red-browed treecreepers. After lunch we will drive to Beechworth, keeping a lookout for koalas, which are often in this area.
Accommodation: Beechworth/Chiltern area

Day 3.
Beechworth/Chiltern area
We will spend the day birding the dry box and ironbark forests around Beechworth and Chiltern. Notable birds we will look for include spotted quail-thrush, gang-gang cockatoo, crested shrike-tit, yellow-tufted and black-chinned honeyeaters, scarlet robin and barking owl.
Tonight we could spotlight for tawny frogmouth and white-throated nightjar.
Accommodation: Beechworth/Chiltern area

Day 4
Beechworth to Deniliquin
We will spend most of the morning birding the foothill forests around Beechworth for turquoise parrot, painted honeyeater, speckled warbler, varied sittella and red-capped robin. After lunch we will journey on to Deniliquin, looking out for raptors such as black and brown falcons and little eagle.
Accommodation: Deniliquin

Day 5.
Deniliquin area.
We’ll bird the river redgum forests this morning for local specialties including superb parrot, Gilbert’s whistler, diamond firetail and white-browed and grey-crowned babblers. After lunch, we will venture out on the plains to seek the delightful white-winged wren, white-fronted chat, banded lapwing, inland dotterel, Australian pratincole and emu. After dark, we’ll spotlight for plains-wanderer, stubble quail, little buttonquail and fat-tailed dunnart.
Accommodation: Deniliquin

Day 6.
Deniliquin to Ouyen
We’ll checkout any wetlands about Deniliquin looking for Australasian bittern, spotless, spotted and Baillon’s crakes and black-tailed native-hen and an assortment of ducks. We then move on to the mallee country to seek out the iconic malleefowl, as well as chestnut quail-thrush, yellow-plumed honeyeater and regent parrot.
Accommodation: Ouyen

Day 7
Ouyen area.
We spend the day birding the mallee about Hattah National Park where we seek out specialities including striated grasswren, mallee emu-wren, shy heathwren, southern scrub-robin, owlet nightjar, Major Mitchell’s cockatoo and crested bellbird. After dark we’ll try for spotted nightjar.
Accommodation: Ouyen

Day 8
Ouyen to Port Campbell
Quite a long drive today down to the Ship Wreck Coast. If we are still missing malleefowl, we may try another locality before leaving the Ouyen area. Further south we will try at a salt lake for rufous fieldwren and orange chat. In the foothill forests, at about half way to the coast, we will have another go for painted honeyeater and powerful owl if we need it. If any wetlands have water in them, we will try for brolga.
Accommodation: Port Campbell

Day 9
Port Campbell to Melbourne
Today we seek out the primitive rufous bristlebird, a species that resides in the thick coastal heath around Port Campbell – or alternatively it may seek us out! The heath around this area also holds beautiful firetail and southern emuwren. Travelling back to Melbourne we have some backup sites for Cape Barren goose, brolga, blue-billed duck and Australasian shoveler.  Return to Melbourne Airport or city hotel.

End of tour

This can be a nine-day tour or it can be configured to your available time and interests.

© 2013 Australian Ornithological Services P/L