Trip report

Tasmanian bird and mammal tour

17 - 23 March 2004

Tour leaders:
Philip Maher & Trisha Maher

Doug Brodie, Ann Brodie, Nancy Burhop, Kay Morgan (USA),
Dick Jenkin, Adrian O'Neill, Jack Sharpiro, Mike Doyle, Fran Standing, Jim Standing (AUST)

Musk duck: one on a reservoir near Ouse and another on Pitt Water lagoon near Sorell

Black swan: a few seen most days

Australian shelduck: low numbers, mainly in the Sorell area

Australian wood duck: a few seen on most days of the tour, mainly on farm dams. Appears to be getting more common in Tasmania.

Pacific black duck: common

Australasian shoveller: small flocks seen along the Derwent River

Grey teal: moderately common, seen most days

Hardhead: a couple seen on a roadside swamp near Rosegarland

Hoary-headed grebe: seen on several wetlands inland and along the coast; no Australasian grebes seen

Little penguin: a few stragglers at the rookery on Bruny and one during the pelagic trip

Common diving-petrel: about 10 seen during the pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck

Northern giant-petrel: at least one northern identified; three seen in total; southern giant-petrel may have also been present

Great-winged petrel: about four seen during the pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck

White-chinned petrel: about six seen during the pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck

Short-tailed shearwater: about 50 around the rookery on Bruny Island; large flocks feeding inshore in Great Taylors Bay (Bruny Island); hundreds seen during the pelagic off Eaglehawk Neck

Wandering albatross: at least two seen during the pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck

Black-browed albatross: one seen during the pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck

Shy albatross: around 30 seen during the pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck

Yellow-nosed albatross: at least two seen during the pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck

Buller's albatross: at least 20 seen during the pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck

White-faced storm petrel: one seen during the pelagic trip off Eaglehawk Neck

Australian gannet: a few seen during the D'entrecasteaux Channel ferry crossing to Bruny Island and some large flocks seen off Eaglehawk Neck

Little pied cormorant: a few inland; good numbers in the Marion Bay area

Black-faced cormorant: a few seen during the D'entrecasteaux Channel ferry crossing to Bruny Island; hundreds seen on Hippolyte Rocks and around Eaglehawk Neck during the pelagic trip

Little black cormorant: a few inland and on inshore waters at Marion Bay and Eaglehawk Neck

Great cormorant: moderately common around inland water storages; a few on inshore areas

Australian pelican
: a few on wetlands around Marion Bay and Sorell

White-faced heron: common and widespread; about 20 feeding together in the Marion Bay wetlands

Little egret: about seven in the Sorell/Marion Bay wetlands

Great egret: only one seen, near the Midway Point crossing

White-bellied sea-eagle: two only seen—a juvenile on Bruny Island and an adult on a small wetland near Rosegarland

Brown goshawk: an immature female seen on Bruny Island and another at Hamilton

Grey goshawk: one seen at Inala cabin on Bruny Island

Wedge-tailed eagle: probably the most sightings of this species AOS has recorded in Tasmania on one trip—two were seen in the northern part of Bruny, one at Orielton lagoon, and one near Hobart airport

Brown falcon: about seven seen in total on Bruny Island and in the drier areas around Hobart

Australian hobby: two sightings—one on Bruny and the other north west of Hobart

Peregrine falcon: a single bird soaring high above Derwent Bridge roadhouse

Nankeen kestrel: a single bird in dry country north west of Hobart

Dusky moorhen: one bird on the river at Hamilton

Tasmanian native-hen: common and widespread

Eurasian coot: good numbers on a wetland near Rosegarland and some on wetlands along the Derwent River near Hobart

Bar-tailed godwit: one at Orielton lagoon

Eastern curlew: one at Orielton lagoon

Red-necked stint: 100+ at Orielton lagoon

Pied oystercatcher: common and widespread around the coast

Sooty oystercatcher: good numbers on Bruny Island and in the Marion Bay/Eaglehawk Neck area

Red-capped plover: about 30 seen at Orielton lagoon

Double-banded plover: about 10 seen at Orielton lagoon

Black-fronted dotterel: a single bird seen on a dam near Marion Bay

Hooded plover: two pairs seen at the mouth of the Prosser River

Masked lapwing: common and widespread

Artic jaeger: one seen during the pelagic trip

Pacific gull: common and widespread

Kelp gull: common and widespread

Silver gull: common and widespread

Caspian tern: one seen on Bruny Island and two near Marion Bay

Crested tern: common around inshore areas

Rock dove: few flocks seen around habitation

Yellow-tailed black-cockatoo: birds seen flying over at Mt Field, Derwent Bridge (18) and Seven Mile Beach

Galah: small flocks around Midway Point, Seven Mile Beach and Hobart airport

Sulphur-crested cockatoo: common and widespread

Musk lorikeet: small groups at Hobart airport (where they are regularly sighted), and around 20 near Marion Bay

Green rosella: common and widespread

Eastern rosella: moderately common in the vicinity of Hobart

Swift parrot: at least 20 adults and immatures in wet eucalyptus forest near Derwent Bridge; a couple of immatures in flowering eucalypts near the Hobart airport

Blue-winged parrot: a few near Brady's Lake on the central plateau; and a flock of about 20 seen on a fence near Hobart airport

Orange-bellied parrot: about 10, mainly immatures near the feeding station at Melaleuca. Most of the adults had started their migration. We were informed that only about 50% of the adults and immatures return from the mainland each year.

Fan-tailed cuckoo: a single bird on Bruny Island

Superb fairy-wren: common and widespread

Southern emu-wren: two groups in heathland near Derwent Bridge

Spotted pardalote: moderately common and widespread in eucalypt forest

Forty-spotted pardalote: about 10 in eucalypt woodland near Barnes Bay and a couple at Inala, all on Bruny Island

Striated pardalote: moderately common and widespread in flocks on Bruny Island

Tasmanian scrubwren: moderately common and widespread in forest with an understorey; quite variable in colour, birds in rainforest much darker than woodland birds

Scrubtit: a pair observed closely for about 10 minutes on Mt Wellington

Striated fieldwren: a pair seen well in heathland near Derwent Bridge and another at Melaleuca

Brown thornbill: common and widespread in drier eucalyptus forest

Tasmanian thornbill: common in the wetter forest types

Yellow-rumped thornbill: common on Bruny Island and north east of Hobart in dry woodland, some flocks of up to 20 individuals seen

Yellow wattlebird: a few seen about Hobart and Bruny Island; good numbers in eucalypt forest around Derwent Bridge

Little wattlebird: common in coastal scrub east of Hobart

Noisy miner: a few in dry eucalypt woodland east of Hobart

Yellow-throated honeyeater: widespread in low numbers —seen on every day of the tour

Strong-billed honeyeater: some down low at Inala on Bruny Island; few at Mt Field; lots around Derwent Bridge; few around Tasman Peninsula

Black-headed honeyeater: common and widespread in dry eucalypt forest, lots of juveniles; seen on every day of the tour

Crescent honeyeater: common and widespread in the wetter forest types; seen everyday of the tour except for the day of the pelagic trip; very common in flowering banksia scrub near Derwent Bridge

New Holland honeyeater: common and widespread at lower altitudes

Eastern spinebill: widespread in low numbers in forested areas

White-fronted chat: a few in samphire at Orielton lagoon

Scarlet robin: widespread in low numbers in the drier forest and woodland

Flame robin: widespread in low numbers, more common on the central plateau

Pink robin: a couple of adult males in wet forest up Mt Wellington and one on Bruny Island

Dusky robin: a surprisingly high number of sightings on Bruny Island, Derwent Bridge and Melaleuca

Olive whistler: sightings on Mt Wellington, Bruny (juvenile being fed by adult), and Melaleuca

Golden whistler: common and widespread

Grey shrike-thrush: widespread in low numbers, the call quite different from mainland birds

Satin flycatcher: an adult male feeding a juvenile in dry eucalypt forest near Derwent Bridge

Grey fantail: common and widespread in wet and dry forest types

Black-faced cuckoo-shrike: just a couple around Derwent Bridge

Dusky woodswallow: moderately common and widespread in the drier forest types

Grey butcherbird: moderately common and widespread in the drier forest types

Australian magpie: common and widespread in open farmland

Black currawong: surprisingly, only seen on the central plateau around Derwent Bridge where they were common

Grey currawong: few about Hobart, Bruny island and about Eaglehawk Neck

Forest raven: common and widespread, seen on every day of the tour

Skylark: moderately common around Orielton lagoon

Australasian pipit: only a couple of sightings — one on the central plateau and another near Orielton lagoon

House sparrow: common and widespread around habitation

Beautiful firetail: one seen well on South Bruny, another seen briefly near Derwent Bridge and one immature seen at the feeder at Melaleuca

European goldfinch: common and widespread in farmland

Welcome swallow: moderately common on around Hobart and Bruny Island

Tree marten: common and widespread

Silvereye: common and widespread

Bassian thrush: a brief sighting up Mt Wellington

Common blackbird: common and widespread

Common starling: common and widespread

Platypus: one seen swimming and climbing up rocks in the spotlight in a small creek near Ouse; another two swimming in the river at Derwent Bridge

Short-beaked echidna: a couple on Bruny Island and another on the central plateau

Eastern quoll: surprisingly, we saw mostly the dark phase—about nine on Bruny Island, one near Ouse and about four near Derwent Bridge

Tasmanian devil: one seen briefly crossing a road near Ouse and two very cute juveniles, less than one month old, seen near Derwent Bridge

South brown bandicoot: one seen during the day at the motel at Seven Mile Beach

Common wombat: one spotlighted near Derwent Bridge

Common ringtail possum: about six along Ridgeway Road near Hobart

Common brushtail possum: lots seen in a variety of colour phases, seemingly not as common on Bruny Island as previously

Tasmanian bettong: one seen very well on a forest road near Ouse

Red-necked wallaby: common and widespread at least 50 seen in a night near Derwent Bridge

Tasmanian pademelon: common and widespread, 40+ seen over two night's spotlighting near Ouse and Derwent Bridge

Australian fur seal: about ten including a baby on the Hippolyte Rocks, another at sea near the rocks

Whale sp: three very large whales seen during the pelagic trip that we couldn't get close enough to identify

Species conspicuous by their absence:
Swamp harrier: presumedly all had migrated to the mainland
Bronzewing spp.: not a single bronzewing of either species seen
Cuckoo spp.: very scarce, only a single fantail seen
Night birds: not a single boobook or frogmouth seen despite much spotlighting
European greenfinch

checklist for this 2004 Tasmanian tour