Trip report: Eastern Australia. From Top to Bottom (October 2012)

Guided by Nick Leseberg.

Australia is a land of contrasts, from lush green tropical rainforests that measure their annual rainfall in meters to arid red deserts that might receive no rain in a year. The birds are just as varied, and with such a range of habitats it is not surprising they have developed a corresponding variety of techniques to survive in these environments. The last few years have been good ones inland with plenty of rain resulting in an explosion of birds. Now as conditions inland dry out, those birds are being pushed to the coast in large numbers.

Given these conditions, it is not surprising this was a record breaking trip, with over 450 species. Bird-of-the-trip went to the gaudy Noisy Pitta for the second year in a row, while the adorable Budgerigar came second. For the past two years I have recorded one solitary budgie on each trip; this year we saw hundreds. Third place was shared between a group of very cute Little Penguins coming ashore and the enigmatic Plains-wanderer. The mammals were also fantastic with an amazing 40 species, including Platypus, Koala, Short-beaked Echidna, Common Wombat, Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroo and 12 other species of kangaroo or wallaby. It will be a hard trip to beat!

Click this link to view the full report (15 MB) in PDF format