Trip report: Australia Birding With A Camera® (Sept-Oct 2019) by Tropical Birding

Guided by Ben Knoot. This was a set-departure tour.

With almost 900 resident species, Australia is a one of a kind destination for birders and general nature enthusiasts. Our “Birding with Camera” Tour is a slower but still faced paced, intense vacation that targets a moderately high bird species list, with an extra emphasis on spending some time photographing the amazing wildlife Australia has to offer. We also target an impressive mammal list and in doing so, we are proud to offer a one of a kind experience for our guests. This 21-day excursion down the east coast of Australia starts in the north of Cairns, travels to Brisbane and then takes a large detour inland in search of the classic “outback” specialties. We then finish off this tour on the fantastic island of Tasmania. There were many excellent birds seen on this trip, 387 species to be exact, but eventually the group was able to narrow down a list of their TOP FIVE and even a TOP BIRD of the trip. Similarly, even though there were a lot of excellent mammals seen on the trip, the group narrowed the list of 24 species to their favorite TOP THREE.

Top Five Birds
1. Southern Cassowary
2. Pink (Major Mitchell’s) Cockatoo
3. Turquoise Parrot
4. Splendid Fairywren
5. Superb Parrot

Top Three Mammals
1. Koala
2. Duck-billed Platypus
3. Short-beaked Echidna

Top Bird of the Trip
Well, what are you supposed to say when your guide asks this question during the last dinner? You’re enjoying your wine and steak and then all of a sudden, you’re hit with this impossible question. To select one bird out of 350+ is hard enough but to select one bird out of 350+ Australian birds?! That’s just cruel. And to be frank, it’s always a little fun for the guide to see the smiles appear when this question is asked, because the guests know it’s coming so the whole trip you know they’re toiling with the possibility of the most recent bird they’ve seen making the list. However, there is one bird that is always in the TOP FIVE and subsequently usually takes the gold for everyone’s favorite bird of the trip. And that bird of course is the prehistoric, completely unique and insane looking SOUTHERN CASSOWARY. Congratulations again on your gold medal finish.

Click the link below to read the whole report, full of great images from the tour

Australia: Birding With A Camera®, Sept-Oct 2019, full trip report. (3.5 MB PDF)