Trip report: Eastern Australia Top to Bottom (Oct-Nov 2019)

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 “Top to Bottom” Tour is a fast paced, intense vacation that targets a high bird species list, an impressive mammal list and 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 Sydney and finishes on the scenic island of Tasmania. There were many excellent birds seen on this trip, 422 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 25 species to their
favorite TOP THREE.

Top Five Birds
1. Southern Cassowary
2. Pink (Major Mitchell’s) Cockatoo
3. Inland Dotterel
4. Southern Emu-Wren
5. Flame Robin

Top Three Mammals
1. Koala
2. Duck-billed Platypus
3. Common Wombat

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 400+ is hard enough but to select one bird out of 400+ 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 you beautiful specimen.

Click this link to view the full report. (4 MB PDF)