BBB - BOWRA AND SURROUNDS

Major Mitchell Cockatoo

AUSTRALIAN BIRDING SAFARIS – BRISBANE BIRDING BREAKS

TOUR NAMEBOWRA AND SURROUNDS
ROUTE AND DURATION6 DAYS – Brisbane – Dalby – Cunnamulla – Bowra - Brisbane
DATE /S OF DEPARTURE

COST AND INCLUSIONS

ITINERARY
DAY #1 – Depart Brisbane Transit Centre at 8-30am bound for St George. There will be some time for birding enroute.
o/n St George                                                                                                                       LD


Emu
Day #2 – After some early morning birding along the river at St George we will drive the three hours remaining west to the town of Cunnamulla. In the afternoon we will visit a few sites around the township, including the Eudlo Bore where we will see our first western sunset.
o/n    Cunnamulla                                                                                                       BLD

Day #3 & 4 – Birding Bowra
We have planned two days birding at Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary, just west of Cunnamulla. Bowra is a former pastoral property that is owned and managed by Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC).
Bowra has a long reputation as a reliable birding site with a bird list of over two hundred species, although some of those are very infrequent visitors. Bourke’s Parrot and Hall’s Babbler are resident species. During August Bowra can be alive with wild flowers.
From the AWC website;
Bowra Wildlife Sanctuary lies just northwest of Cunnamulla, in central southern Queensland. The
Black tailed Nativehen
property extends from the floodplain of the Warrego River in the east to tablelands of Mulga woodland in the west. 
The hills and plains of central western Queensland and New South Wales were, in living memory, covered by a huge blanket of woodland, frequented by Bridled Nailtail Wallabies, Bilbies, Western Quolls and Burrowing Bettongs – all now extinct in the region. Bowra, with its intact vegetation structure and permanent waterholes, provides a refuge for declining wildlife and an ecological foundation from which to help rebuild the region’s once dazzling wildlife community. 
The eastern part of Bowra occupies the flood plain of the Warrego River, with one branch of the river running through the sanctuary. The
Chestnut breasted Quail thrush
Warrego River only flows during large and intermittent floods (about once in 2 years), but over time has carved a wide and shallow valley through a plateau of cretaceous sediments. The deeper alluvial sands and clays in this part of the property are watered by floodwaters as well as local rainfall, and support a mosaic of grasslands and open forest communities. In drier times, the clay-rich soils crack and provide important habitat for small mammals and reptiles. 
Bowra occupies part of both the plateau and the river plain country. The plateau is 10 metres higher than the river flat and relies entirely on the intermittent and scarce local rainfall of about 350 mm per year. The soil here is stony
Spotted Bowerbird
and heavily leached, but supports a hardy Mulga community which is beautifully adapted to these trying conditions.
Bowra supports 15 distinct ecosystems (as defined by the Queensland Government), some of which are otherwise not formally reserved. There are over 250 plant species from 58 families, including Gidgee, Poplar Box, Cypress, Coolabah, River Red Gum, Acacia and Mulga. There are also several distinct grassland ecosystems on the lower parts of the sanctuary. The patchwork of woodlands, shrublands, grasslands and riparian vegetation provides both breeding habitat and drought refuge for an impressive diversity of semi-arid wildlife, with a particularly rich community of birds.
 
Singing Honeyeater
Wildlife at Bowra
Bowra supports over 300 species of native vertebrate animals including a number of species near their eastern or western range limits, such as the Striated Grasswren, Blue-Winged Parrot, Desert Spadefoot Toad, Striped Skink, Pebble Dragon and Little Red Flying-Fox. The diversity of species is a consequence of the sanctuary’s location, straddling a suite of habitats on both the Warrego River plains and the plateau further west. 
Recent surveys have identified 29 native mammal species on the property. Populations of small mammals like the Gile’s Planigale, Stripe-faced Dunnart and Central Short Tailed Mouse fluctuate in response to the irregular rainfall, but numbers of larger wallabies and kangaroos are more consistent. 
The bird fauna at Bowra is prolific (>200 species) and includes nine threatened species. All three species of Australian babblers are present and the rare Grey Falcon breeds on the sanctuary. Reptiles are also well represented with over 60 species, from the large Gould’s Goanna to the scarce and secretive Yakka Skink and a range of tree dwelling geckos. Burrowing and water-holding frogs inhabit the sandy soils, while other frogs frequent the waterholes.
o/n   Cunnamulla                                                                                                         BLD

Day #5Driving east to Dalby
Today we leave Cunnamulla for a long drive back towards the coast. Mindful of species we have thus far missed we will make some stops for birding.
Hopefully towards the end of the day we may have some time to explore Lake Broadwater, just east of Dalby.
o/n Dalby                                                                                                                    BLD

Day #6 – Lockyer Valley and Gatton enroute to Brisbane
On Day 6 we will drive towards Brisbane with some birding in the species rich Lockyer Valley.
BL


KEY BIRD SPECIES –   
                                                                                                                                   
SELECTED OTHER FAUNA – Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroos, Common Wallaroos, Red Kangaroo, Swamp [Black] Wallaby,
OTHER –
Red Kangaroo

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