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BBB - STANTHORPE AND SURROUNDS
AUSTRALIAN BIRDING SAFARIS – BRISBANE BIRDING BREAKS
NAME – STANTHORPE AND SURROUNDS
AND DURATION – 5
DAYS – Brisbane – Lockyer Valley – Stanthorpe – Giraween National Park –
Sundown National Park – Warwick - Brisbane
/S OF DEPARTURE –
AND INCLUSIONS –
M - Day #1 – Brisbane to Stanthorpe
Depart Brisbane Transit Centre at 8-30am bound for
Stanthorpe. We will take some time for birding while we are in the area of
Lockyer Valley and Gatton. There are a range of wetlands and forested areas in
this region and we should get a good list going before our picnic lunch.
In the afternoon we will have a two-hour drive to
Stanthorpe via the town of Warwick. We will keep our eyes open for raptors
during the drive south.
T - Day
#2 – Giraween NP
Our morning birding will take us directly to the
National Park headquarters at Girraween National Park. This National Park has
an awesome setting of huge granite boulders and hills with scenic streams
running through its valleys. It is famous for its wildflowers; indeed, Giraween
is an aboriginal word meaning ‘Place of Flowers’, [sadly though not of local
origin] Wildflowers begin to bloom in late July with golden wattle brightening
the bush canopy, and pea flowers bursting into blossom below. The park has
significant communities of eucalypt forests, sedgelands and heathlands.
Birding around the main picnic area we will start to
experience a few of the key species; White eared, Yellow tufted and Yellow
eared Honeyeaters, Red Wattlebird, Weebill, Yellow rumped, Buff rumped, Striated,
Brown and perhaps Yellow Thornbills.
We will take a short walk following the river. The path
takes us over granite rocks however it is not steep.Along this path Spotted Quail thrush have
been sighted and perhaps we will encounter Chestnut rumped Heathwren.
In the afternoon we will take a drive along the old
Wallangara Road; this is an excellent area for birding. Diamond Firetails,
Brown Treecreepers, Scarlet Robins, Fuscous Honeyeater, White plumed
Honeyeater, Rufous Songlark and Turquoise Parrots have all been recorded.
The road ends near Wallangara, where there is a small
series of sewerage ponds. What decent birding trip does not have sewerage
ponds? These ponds are home to a range of duck species, often including
Australian Shoveler and Pink eared Duck. In addition Australian Reed Warbler
and Little Grassbird are located here.
Towards dusk we will drive back to Stanthorpe for our
W - Day
#3 – Giraween NP
This morning again we will find our way into Girraween
National Park for a short birding walk. We may return to some of the areas
visited the day before however my might try some new walks.
The birding today will be dictated by how we went the
previous day but there are no shortage of options.
The Old Wallangara Road will almost certainly deserve a
repeat and with that a visit to the southern sections of the park where Red
browed Treecreepers may be found in the trees, while in the under-growth we
might hear the splendid calls of Superb Lyrebird.
Storm King Dam, located between Stanthorpe and Girraween,
can be good for a variety for species. For a time, it was a known haunt for
If there are adequate numbers of people interested we may
take a half an hour in the afternoon to try some of the local wine.
T - Day
#4 – Sundown NP
An early start this morning for a drive to Sundown
National Park’s southern entrance which is just over an hours drive.
“Sundown National Park, is a rugged wilderness area with spectacular
steep-sided gorges, sharp ridges and peaks of over 1,000 m that rise above
the Severn River. The vegetation is mainly woodland consisting of box, ironbark
and cypress trees, river red gums and river oaks along the river,
stringybark and yellow box trees dominate forest in some high eastern areas and
pockets of dry vine scrub are found in sheltered gorges”.
We will take much of the day to explore this park,
stopping where birds are seen and enjoying a few short walks within the park.
While many of the species that can be seen in Sundown are
similar to that of Giraween there are a few most western species recorded more
often and one of the delights of outback birding is the knowledge that one
never really knows what is possible to find.
We will return to Stanthorpe for our evening meal and an
F - Day #5 – Return to Brisbane
We begin our drive home but first a stop off in
Durikai State Forest near the town of Warwick. Here there a few opportunities
to see a great variety of honeyeaters if conditions are right. Several uncommon
species have been recorded here over the years including Regent Honeyeater,
Black Honeyeater, Painted Honeyeater, Black chinned Honeyeater in addition to
the more common White throated, Brown, Yellow tufted, White eared, Brown headed
We will enjoy a picnic lunch in a Warwick park where
hopefully there will be some Musk Lorikeets in attendance in nearby gums.
The afternoon will take us through Cunningham’s Gap as we
return to Brisbane at approximately 4-30pm.
KEY BIRD SPECIES –
Pacific Black Duck
Little Black Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
Great Egret (Australasian)
Intermediate [Plumed] Egret
Australian White Ibis
Australian Black shouldered Kite
Pale vented Bush-hen
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
Barn Owl (Australian)
New Holland Honeyeater
Buff rumped Thornbill
Eastern Yellow Robin
SELECTED OTHER FAUNA – Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Common Wallaroo, Red-necked Wallaby, Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby, Swamp Wallaby, Common Brushtail Possum, Feathertail Glider, Southern Greater Glider, Common Ringtail Possum, Yellow-bellied Glider (southern subspecies), Sugar Glider, Common Wombat, Koala, Yellow-footed Antechinus, Brown Antechinus, Spotted-tailed Quoll, Echidna, Platypus