By Gloria Seow, travelling with Timothy Pwee
21 March to 12 April 2015
Australia somehow beckoned. Perhaps what drew us was the sudden desire to add marsupials to our mammal sightings. Or was it the Great Barrier Reef? Or the tantalising chance of getting my Dugong? Or finally clapping eyes on the albatross? Or the prospect of our first penguin? Whatever it was, it swayed us to undertake a safari Down Under. We spent three splendid weeks in a self-drive exploration of Brisbane, Heron Island and Tasmania where we encountered most of our targets.
After settling in, we walked down Albert and Roma Streets to visit the Supreme and District Courts, shops, restaurants, and Ann Street Presbyterian Church. We also caught some dinner and observed an ardent street preacher who was largely ignored.
As wildlife connoisseurs, Brisbane city held little for us. The next morning, we hopped onto a Qantas flight north to Gladstone. A coach transfer and a ferry ride brought us to Heron Island, 89 km off the Queensland coast. Most people take day trips to the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns or elsewhere on the mainland, involving boat rides and tonnes of tourists. I stoutly did not want a one or two day affair with a place that can be seen from space (the Reef spans 2,300 km). I duly searched for a resort where I could snorkel at the Reef at any hour I fancied, and surfaced darling Heron Island. This coral cay (low elevation island) is situated on the Great Barrier Reef. It is only 29 ha (800 m x 300 m), with room for just one resort (max: 200 guests, no day trippers) and the Heron Island Research Station of the University of Queensland.
Indeed, Heron Island blew our minds. We discovered only upon arrival that heaps of seabirds breed here. There were hundreds of nests up in trees (mostly White-capped/Black Noddy (Anous minutus)), and down in burrows (Wedged-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna pacifica)). What's more, the 100,000-strong bird population was not in the least bit skittish. It felt surreal to see raucous seabirds that had no fear of man a la a David Attenborough documentary.
The only downside was that nesting areas were covered in guano. The smell of acrid ammonia was ever present, except when one was out snorkeling. Thankfully, the stench did not penetrate into the inner recesses of our chalet where our bed was, providing some respite. Also, we became habituated to the smell. It was inevitable that one would get pooped upon at some point. I was twice 'lucky' in our five-day stay, and had to get a change of clothes both times. Guests resorted to walking around with umbrellas. We even observed people sprinting past the Pisonia trees hosting White-capped Noddy colonies. University of Queensland staff told us that researchers always returned from field trips with raincoats covered in fishy-smelling splotches.
A surefire highlight was experiencing the wonder of baby turtles (see photo). Seven of the world's nine sea turtle species can be found in Heron Island waters. But only two breed on the island: 98% of hatchlings come from Green Turtles, 2% from Loggerheads. We went in search of the turtles the first night (egg laying and hatching are nocturnal activities). After an hour, Tim spotted tiny flipper impressions in the sand. With more searching, he found the first of several struggling babies. Apparently, their mummy had laid her eggs on the sandy strip behind a wide rocky patch full of deep crags and crevices. The babies had to overcome this obstacle to reach the sea. Those we found had literally fallen through the cracks. Even though their legs moved non-stop in a wound-up toy fashion, they could not get out of the trap crevices. We frantically rescued 15 babies and released them into the dark waters. Bon voyage, little ones.
On our last night, the hatchlings came searching for us. Attracted by the lights of the resort, they had scattered in the garden instead of heading for the surf. In our after dinner stroll, we found a few guests picking up turtles in their hats. We helped locate more stray ones and these were set free in the dark sea (torches have to be switched off so that the babies do not mistakenly swim inland).
One encounter is deeply etched in my memory - that of keeping pace with an adult Green Turtle browsing the reefs. I swam just above and behind this beauty for a full five minutes undetected, giving me ample time to admire its carapace and scutes up close, observe how it moved its head and legs, and feel how effortlessly it swam wild and free.
In our night hunt for turtles, we came across many interesting crabs. In the bottom photo, you can see a crab feasting on a baby turtle, a horrific and heart-breaking sight. I was so angry with the crab that I shed a tear, but everything has a right to eat.
In reality, only a tiny percentage of turtles make it to adulthood. Many young succumb to predation. Even adults are not spared the dangers. Ocean trash such as discarded plastic bags and released helium balloons that fall into the sea are often mistaken for jelly fish (a turtle tid bit). Ingested objects accumulate in the stomach over time, leaving little space for actual food. In effect, the poor turtle starves to death. Do your part by not littering (uncleaned litter is swept by rain into waterways which lead to the sea eventually) or releasing balloons to mark 'special' occasions.
Right off the Heron Island jetty, I was flabbergasted to spot a partially-buried Giant Shovelnose Ray (Glaucostegus typus). We encountered good numbers of other rays as well, including the White-spotted Eagle Ray doing leaps in the air, Blue-spotted Fantail Ray, Cow-tail Ray and Pink-whip Tail Ray (some seen while snorkeling).
The jetty waters were constantly patrolled by Blacktip Reef Sharks. Tim insisted on snorkeling for closer looks, even though his leg had a small wound. Since young, I have been told that sharks naturally home in on blood. Well, the myth is busted. These sharks swam past Tim several times without any indication of interest. In another instance, I was amused to note a metre long Blacktip sliding harmlessly behind a mother playing with her toddler in the shallows.
The poop-filled nests of the White-capped Noddy. See how closely spaced the nests are.
During the summer breeding season, some 70,000 to 120,000 White-capped Noddy Terns (also called the Black Noddy) nest in Pisonia grandis trees, the dominant vegetation type on Heron Island. The black blobs in these trees (see photo) indicate the high density of nests.
The world's largest population of 1 m long Epaulette Sharks lives around Heron Island. Each outing can produce about five to eight sightings. As part of the Capricorn Bunker group, Heron Island has 21 dive sites located within a 15-minute radius.
We participated in a guided tour to the next door Heron Island Research Station. Run by the University of Queensland, the research station studies the Reef and conducts experiments in huge tanks including some related to climate change. At the touch pool, our guide advocated that sunblock should not be worn when handling creatures, when snorkeling (use rash guards instead) or diving as it damages reef life.
Sadly, Tim had work to finish during our first week in Australia. As he pecked away at his laptop in our chalet or at the bar for the better part of the day, I explored the Reef and Pisonia forests alone. Nevertheless, I enjoyed two solo inter-tidal walks and many snorkeling sessions. Regrettably, we missed out on diving.
Since I am familiar with snorkeling/diving at Tioman island in Peninsular Malaysia, I felt that the corals and marine life at the Great Barrier Reef held some similarities and differences. This shade of purple coral (see photo) is certainly new, enclosing a familiar Giant Clam as part of a coral boulder. Fortunately when we visited, the Great Barrier Reef was healthy and colourful. With accelerated global warming in the intervening years, extensive coral bleaching has since happened. So much so that one fake news claimed that the entire Reef had died with a RIP post online that some of my Facebook friends fell for. The Reef is also under threat from coal mining concessions. Thankfully, WWF and others have been petitioning the Australian government to save the Reef from further decimation. Any positive action is better than no action. Nature is irreplaceable and cannot be resurrected once its gone.
On Heron Island, Buff Banded Rails (Gallirallus philippensis) are relatively common. Some are even tame, coming into the bar to suss out scraps. Was happy to find this female and her five chicks resting under our elevated chalet at night.
The Wedged-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna pacifica) colony announced its presence every night with the most hair-raising wailing calls that took some getting used to. Listen to it here. Adult pairs call frequently to reinforce the mating bond, defend their territory, and communicate with their single chick. This shearwater is referred to as muttonbird as its chicks are harvested for food. Muttonbird can also mean other species of shearwaters and petrels. The bird above is likely an adult as chicks do not leave their burrows during the nesting period.
As the largest tropical shearwater, the Wedged-tailed temporarily visits Heron Island during the September to June breeding season. Otherwise, this pelagic bird roams the wide seas, shearing/skimming the water surface and diving up to 66 m for fish and other delicacies.
Funny enough, we did not see the Wedge-tailed Shearwater properly until our third night. We were returning from turtle hunting on the second evening when Tim almost tripped over a black bird on the ground that I registered as "not a Noddy", before we rushed off to beat restaurant closing times. It subsequently dawned on me that the mystery bird had to be the Wedge-tailed Shearwater. To get to the bottom of things, we got out our torches the next night to trace the wailing calls. And viola, I saw the first bird almost immediately, sitting on the ground outside our hut, metres from its burrow. As we examined our surroundings, we found bird after bird, all sitting solitary within 10 paces of each other. We had been so blind! If we approached, the shearwater would simply waddle out of the way without taking flight. After this discovery, it felt magical to hear their moaning calls and know that they were close by.
Monogamous adults dig or repair an old burrow that ends in an underground chamber, sometimes lined with vegetation. They mate and return to sea for a month to build up their fat reserves. Thereafter, a single egg is laid in the chamber. Incubation duties alternate between the parents for up to 13 days at a stretch, taking a total of 50 to 53 days. After hatching, the chick is brooded for up to six days. Then it is left alone while the parents hunt. The chick is initially fed with stomach oil and eventually fish. It grows so quickly that it even outweighs its parents at one point (560 g), before dropping to 430 g. The chick remains in the burrow during the nesting period of 103 to 115 days. Generally, it is deserted again a few weeks before fledging. This is when it becomes vulnerable to 'muttonbirding', the harvesting of chicks by hand, for its meat, oil and feathers. Many island populations have become extinct as a consequence. Today, ‘muttonbirding’ is regulated in Australia and NZ with the sustainable harvesting of Short-tailed and Sooty Shearwaters respectively.
I was walking around on my own when I stumbled across a ball of fluff. I realised with a delighted start that it was not some discarded sponge but a muttonbird (Wedge-tailed Shearwater) sitting out in the open. Its burrow seemed partially collapsed. Sometimes, adults do not build burrows, but nest on rock crevices and caves, or on the surface under dense vegetation. I felt lucky to see a live chick covered in down (usually they are underground). About 30,000 to 35,000 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters breed on Heron Island.
As a food item, muttonbird is supposed to be seasonally offered in restaurants and supermarkets. We enquired but did not come across any for sale, not until we visited NZ in 2016 when I spotted a stack of (waxed?) muttonbirds in the chilled section of a charcuterie retailing for NZ$18 (S$18) a bird. It reminded me of Chinese waxed duck (ie. flattened and preserved), and was roughly the size of a spring chicken.
Other lifers seen at Heron Island included the Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis), Capricorn Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis chlorocephalus), and Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster).
Once you fin out to the barrier reef proper, it becomes a nearly unbroken stretch of corals (ie. no more clusters as in the photo above taken from shore). It can be a long swim if you start off at the beach furthest from the reef, but near if approached from the jetty area. I had not bought a GoPro then, so no photos of the contiguous reef. Came across two big blue sea stars, a multitude of hard and soft corals, as well as kaleidoscopic fishes and crabs darting around. Heron Island is at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef where the corals are more colourful. In comparison, the northern end (eg. Lizard Island) has more brown corals.
It was fascinating to watch this large orange sea star slowly arrange its limbs in an attempt to blend in with the surrounding corals. From the jetty, a cuttlefish gave me a psychedelic show as it switched hues from transparent to brown to yellow to green back to transparent within milliseconds while swimming from patch to patch.
After the magical spell that was Heron Island, we flew back to Brisbane and met up with Ivor Lee who hosted us to a morning's birding at Oxley Creek Commons, the local patch for Brisbane's birders. We saw many of the grassland and bush birds here, including the Australian Brushturkey (Alectura lathami) sitting up in a tree, Spotted Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna guttata) and Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus). Then, we popped into a true blue Farmer's Market where strawberries and blueberries went for just 99 cents per punnett, prompting us to stock up for our next leg to Lamington National Park. We also filled our famished stomachs with breakfast grub of sinful sausages, soft buns and freshly-brewed coffee.
Back in Brisbane, we picked up a rental from Europcar and drove 106 km (1 hr 45 min) to our next base in Binna Burra Mountain Lodge at Lamington National Park. Evening was the best time to spot our first marsupial - the Red-necked Pademelon (Thylogale thetis). A whole troop of them was found grazing in the open grass next to the forest edge (where they had been holed up during the day). This was my only sighting of a marsupial-with-joey-in-pouch, first appearing as quadruple eye shine.
In the UNESCO World Heritage List, Lamington National Park is part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, home to some 230 bird species. It purportedly has Australia’s largest remnant sub-tropical rainforest, set in a mountainous terrain. Temperate rainforest cloaks its peaks, dominated by 2,000-year old Antarctic Beech. Forest streams host Spiny Blue Crayfish which we did not see.
This photo should be in portrait view. It shows four traps made by the Trap Door Spider across two tree trunks. A nature guide pointed out the first ones to us. He was impressed when I found the next few myself. When the nature group learnt that we were Singaporeans, they sent their condolences as the day before, Singapore's former PM Mr Lee Kuan Yew had passed on. We were surprised that news traveled fast, even in remote mountain resorts.
Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis), an easy-to-see bird that likes to forage at eye level along the forest paths of Lamington National Park.
I learnt the hard way that this is the Stinging Tree (Dendrocnide moroides), also called Gympie Gympie. Yes, I was stung by it. I had spotted a skink and had pushed a stem out of the way for a better look when an excruciating pain shot up my fingers. Australia has several species of Stinging Trees with this being the most toxic (enough to kill dogs and even horses). Upon contact, hollow silica-tipped hairs covering the plant deliver a neurotoxin. Some poor sods suffer pain for days (that's me, albeit with diminishing intensity), weeks, months, or even years (eg. triggered by cold water). The Stinging Tree is between 1 to 3 m in height and is common in NE Australian rainforest.
I was struck by the mimicry in the appearance of the ant above with that of the spider below. Both critters were found along the same forest path in Lamington.
The trails at Lamington are typically flanked by swathes of forest giants, but sometimes open up to offer views of escarpments on which are colonies of bee hives hanging far above the ground (the brown stuff in the upper portion of this photo).
Two species of skinks found in Lamington. We spotted at least 10 skinks in one morning.
Ivor drove up the next day to set up his tent at Binna Burra's camping ground. His outdoor gear was extensive and impressive: roomy tent, camp bed, folding chair, lights, table with attached benches, as well as BBQ equipment complete with fantastic food. As our chef, he fried up yummilicious burger patties, buns and sausages over a gas flame (Australia's version of the BBQ). We only contributed some fruits and our appetites.
Ivor's cooking attracted this little guy - a Common Brushtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) that suddenly appeared behind me, giving me a scare. It was the first of many encounters with this species. The cutie calmly hopped onto a rock, climbed a nearby tree and disappeared into the night.
After dinner, the three of us went spotlighting in the nearby bush and Tim found us our only sighting of the Short-eared Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus caninus). This nocturnal marsupial is restricted to the wet sclerophyll forest and rainforest from sea level up to 1,600 m ASL in SE Australia. It forages in trees or on the ground for leaves, buds, flowers, fruits, fungi, lichen and even bark.
Binna Burra's gardener saw us birding and offered to show us the lek of the Satin Bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) located outside one of the guestrooms. I was thrilled to witness the antics of this classic species. This individual had a predilection for all things blue (eg. berries, shells, straws, petals, feathers, butterfly wings, pens, bottle caps, buttons, pegs etc). We observed him arranging his collection, calling, bobbing his body energetically, and flying about. Was upset that my camera ran out of battery during the performance.
After building his bower (the tunnel of sticks in the photo above) used for courtship rituals, the male bird decorates it with objects that capture his fancy. Satin Bowerbirds favour blue as it matches the colour of their feathers (googled images of leks were mostly covered in blue odds and ends). Other bowerbirds collect up to three colours. There are 20 bowerbirds in the world today, eight endemic to Australia, 10 endemic to Papua, and two found in both places.
At Ivor's recommendation, we drove to O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat some distance away. O'Reilly is the only other big resort on the opposite side of Lamington National Park from Binna Burra. It appears more densely wooded based on Google Map images. The first thing that greeted us was the resort's bird feeding station next to the car park. I have never liked feeding wild animals as it builds reliance on humans and is nutritionally poorer than foraged food. Wild King Parrots, Australian Brush-turkey and passerines were lured to ground level by the buffet. Some parrots even landed on feeders' shoulders and arms, much to their delight.
The real reason for coming to O'Reilly was for its free Tree Top Walk and supposedly better birding. We walked along a series of nine bridges suspended 16 m above the forest floor, culminating in a ladder that stretched 30 m upwards. Tim and I clambered onto the topmost viewing platform for grand vistas of the canopy and surroundings. The birding was pleasant but average, both at ground and upper levels. We spotted several Red-necked Pademelons on the dim forest floor and next to the boardwalk. Enroute to Binna Burra, we stopped by a quiet town for lunch and a wefie (see photo).
We said our goodbyes to Ivor and arranged to rendezvous back at his Gold Coast home in a couple of days. Tim and I then made it over to Springbrook National Park, 45 km from Binna Burra via Nerang-Murwillumbah Road. Our one-room Riverstone Cottage was quaint and pretty, decked out with homey touches. It also had an expansive garden with charming outdoor furniture and a dreamy country atmosphere due in part to a bed of fallen pink petals that cloaked the ground.
Springbrook was really good for spotlighting. We had multiple sightings of Red-necked Pademelons and Common Brushtail Possums in our night survey of the forest trail just opposite our cottage. Tim miraculously picked out the elongated form of a 3-m long Carpet Python (Morelia spilota) high up on a distant tree. In our half hour of observation, the python only moved a little. I wished we had better views, but the ground vegetation proved too thick to get closer. Nevertheless, we were elated to have found a snake.
The next morning when darkness still reigned, we drove an hour towards the glow worm caves at Natural Bridge. This photo shows the whitish stringy and sticky silk produced by the larvae of a small fly Arachnocampa flava. In darkness, Arachnocampa glow worms emit blue-green light. Found only in Australia and New Zealand, glow worms live in moist and dark rainforests and caves, on ceilings and riverbanks. As the Australian continent dried out, glow worms have become isolated. Eight restricted range species are found here. The bioluminescence is caused by the reaction of four chemicals, and is used to lure midges, mosquitoes, mayflies and other insects into the silky traps. Glow worms exist as larvae for nine months, metamorphosing into adults that live only three to four days, enough to mate and produce the next generation.
Natural Bridge has a dramatic waterfall puncturing the roof of a cave. The 1-km walking circuit passes through forest where we had excellent views of a pair of Australian Logrunners (Orthonyx temminckii) kicking up dead leaves in search of a meal.
Another inhabitant of the Natural Bridge glow worm cave is a colony of Little Bent-wing Bats (Miniopterus australis) with head-body length of just 4.5 cm. As a versper bat, it feeds from dusk to dawn on insects caught just below the canopy level.
We then drove onward to Gold Coast. For me, its crown jewel was the stunning stretch of sand at Surfers Paradise, which itself was a hop from glittering high rises. We milled about the shopping area, searching for a suitable gift for Ivor's family, and settling for a chocolate fondue set.
Then it was time to visit Ivor, Tricia (his wife) and their excitable dog in their home in the Gold Coast suburbs. We felt privileged to be hosted by Ivor again, who gave us our first outback BBQ, and now a typical Oz meal of scrumptious pizza and dessert. It was good to have a feel of family living Down Under. We chatted about many things, and got a chance to see the infamous Cane Toads living in their garden and neighbourhood. I was slightly nervous at having to drive 60 km back to our Brisbane hotel at such a late hour. Still, the journey felt shorter than I anticipated.
In Brisbane, we popped over to a farmers' market. We have visited too many farmers' markets in Europe and elsewhere that I do not recall anything outstanding about this one. But we keep going to them anyway, as it is a chance to gawk at local produce and sample strange or iconic food. Tim always orders the most exotic item(s) on the menu.
We toured the nature exhibits at the Museum of Brisbane. The photo shows a fully articulated kangaroo skeleton. We also visited Archives Fine Books on Charlotte Street to indulge Tim in his book fetish. Thankfully, he held back his buy instincts in consideration of the 20 kg baggage limit. Then, we trawled the vintage and antique shops along Latrobe Terrace for a bit of nostalgia.
While waiting at a traffic light in Brisbane one evening, I noticed two humongous 'bats' flapping by just above some cars. When we mentioned this to Ivor and Tricia, they said that flying foxes are commonly seen around dusk. So we googled and found a reliable roost for the Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) at a riverine park on the outskirts of Brisbane. As dusk descended, we witnessed a grand spectacle as they took off in waves upon waves. They looked very much like the inspiration for the Batman logo. We stayed on for a night survey and found both the Common Brushtail and Ringtail Possums. The photo shows a Grey-headed Flying-fox feeding on fruits from a low branch.
After the flying fox diversion, we hastened back for a meal at the celebrated Tukka Restaurant. The degustation menu featured morsels of native game meat such as wallaby, possum, crocodile and kangaroo, as well as local fruits, nuts, berries, spices and dessert. Portions were sizeable and we had fun tasting the variety presented. Sad to learn that Tukka permanently closed its doors in June 2016.
We signed up for a day trip to Morten Island (located near Brisbane) for two reasons - to get in another spot of snorkeling and for a stab at the Dugong. Morten Island is also rich in all forms of birdlife. Here, we watched the courtship antics of the charismatic Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus), so close to us that we could even peer down its massive throat pouch.
A flock of Australian Pied Cormorants (Phalacrocorax varius) sitting atop the Tangalooma Wrecks of Moreton Island, formed by 15 deliberately sunk vessels. The wrecks are a haven for coral and marine life such as wobbegongs (a shark that we missed), trevally, kingfish, yellowtail etc.
We stowed our belongings in lockers at Tangalooma Resort. On the 20-minute walk to the wrecks, we came across more than 20 sea stars in a range of colours but having the same patterning (probably all of the same species). They were all 3 to 5 m inland, likely above the high water mark. Sensing that they were beached, we threw them back one by one into the sea.
I was discouraged when Tim proclaimed that the water was too cold for snorkeling, something he has never said before. Luckily, I had on four layers of swimwear (costume + two rash guards + life jacket). He was only wearing one rash guard. It turned out to be my most chilly and harrowing snorkeling session. To reach the wrecks, we had to fin a long distance over a featureless sandy bottom that fed on my imagination of lurking sharks a la Jaws. Then, there was a strong current that swept us rapidly over the wrecks. Even in the murky waters, I could make out that coral growth was poor, marine life was lacking, and the wrecks were more menacing than exciting. Pushed by the currents, I could feel myself streaking uncontrollably towards a big and stationary barracuda. I started praying that we would not collide, twisting this way and that to get out of its path. In a nail-biting moment, I came within one metre of this frightening fish, offering me terrifying views of its steely stare and a long jawline of sharp teeth. Thank God the barracuda was unflinchingly calm and I was left unharmed.
Before we knew it, we had reached the end of the 15 wrecks and had to turn inland. Despite finning for what seemed an eternity, I found that I was still in the same spot and rapidly tiring out. I suppressed my panic and took stock of the situation. Realising that I could not fight the currents if I persisted in the same direction (aiming for a 4WD parked on the beach), I changed tack and allowed the currents to carry me while I swam inland at an angle, making very slow progress. I figured that Rous Channel was some 18 km away in the direction of the currents, so I had 18 km more of land on Moreton Island to aim for (a thought that gave me some hope). You can bet that I was enormously relieved to make it to shore alive.
Then the next worry struck me. Where was Tim? He had declined a life jacket and I began to fear the worst. It turned out that Tim was an old hand with currents. He had done the same thing, swimming in at an angle right from the start, and had landed further down the beach. The whole incident was so traumatic that even though there was time, I refused to do another round of drift snorkeling.
Contrast our experience with what some Tangalooma websites say: "The wrecks offer every diving environment in one dive: reef, wreck, drift and naturalist, in an average of about 12 m of clear water. Snorkelling and scuba diving here is an amazing experience." *Ahem*. Other websites were more honest: "The Snorkel Tour is a much safer experience as you are taken to the wrecks by boat so there is no need to battle the currents and swim there yourself. This tour includes a guide and all snorkel equipment." My advice? Take the tour.
The best moment of the trip came right after the worst. We had booked Tangalooma Resort's two hour 'Marine Discovery Cruise', where a nature guide pointed out surfacing turtles, sand dunes (good for sand boarding/tobogganing), and birds from an open-sided ferry. Our boat followed the coastline about 300 to 500 m from shore. Tim and I constantly scanned the waters for bubbles or hulking shapes that could signal dugong. About 1.5 hours in, we suddenly spotted one DUGONG! Everybody yelled for the boatman to turn back. I was jubilant with arms pumping the air, a case of opponent-process theory in action (a super low followed by a super high). Ever since finding a dugong tusk on Changi Beach, I had always wanted to see the real thing. This was my moment to savour. We observed the dugong for 12 minutes, grazing on sea grass and surfacing for air every one to three minutes.
Moreton Island has a population of 1,000 dugongs moving in herds of 10 to 300 individuals. It sounded like an all or none situation in terms of catching sight of them. Dugongs are most commonly encountered in the 2-km long Rous Channel separating Moreton and North Stradbroke islands where there are sea grass beds. From April to August, 50 to 100 dugongs can be found shuttling between the channel and the warmer waters of the ocean. Our cruise did not take us to Rous Channel, so we counted ourselves lucky to spot a dugong within a two hour search period in a hit or miss area. Amongst mammal watchers, dugongs and manatees are in the top 50 most wanted list.
After the cruise, we had lunch and I took an overseas call from Japan. Then we boarded the 4 pm ferry for the 1.5 hour journey back to Holt Street Wharf in Brisbane. The next morning, we caught our flight for Tasmania.
We flew Virgin Airlines from Brisbane to Melbourne and onward to Lauceston. Upon picking up a new car, we drove to our pit stop at Beauty Point. This was our designated gateway to Narawntapu National Park situated between Launceston and Devonport. On paper, Beauty Point was 25 km from Narawntapu if we took Bowens Road. But Bowens Road turned out to be a stony dirt track, shooting up the risk of damaging our ill-adapted city car. To drive on paved roads, we had to make a 160 km round trip everyday. The worst part was having to take the wheels for an 80 km journey back home around midnight, after our nocturnal jaunts. To overcome the distance, I (unwisely) took to speeding like a maniac sometimes, on single lane winding and unlit roads. But I had fun. It boosted my confidence that I knew how to 'read' the reflectors to see ahead of the curves even at top speed.
Having Google maps on our smart phones saved our lives at least once. Tim warned me that a T junction was up ahead, otherwise, there was no way to tell as everything was dark (sometimes, a lone street lamp marks the T junction). Without the knowledge, one could easily crash headlong into the bushes, or God forbid, into a passing car.
The languid scene (see photo) of grazing Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) encapsulates Narawntapu as the 'Serengeti of Tasmania'. Roos are much bigger than wallabies or pademelons but all their body forms are similar. It was particularly difficult to tell apart wallabies from pademelons. To complicate matters, the Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus - see below) belongs to the same genus as the Kangaroo even though it is so much smaller.
Red-necked Wallaby nibbling on grass shoots.
We also paid attention to macro life at Narawntapu. The photo on the right shows a wasp depositing eggs in a tree trunk.
A male Musk Duck (Biziura lobata), one of many waterfowl floating on the freshwater lakes in Narawntapu. Males have a leathery lobe beneath the bill that swells during breeding season. The lobe is not connected to the voice box and is purely cosmetic. Females lack the lobe. They are so named because of the musky odour emitted during courtship. The Musk Duck is the second heaviest diving duck in the world after the Common Eider (which we saw in Ireland). As a result, it floats low in the water and has webbed feet that are set well back on the body, making it clumsy on land but elegant underwater. It barely goes on land, even sleeping in the water, and has an omnivorous diet diving for water beetles, yabbies, aquatic plants, snails, fish, shellfish etc.
The ethereal swamps around Narawntapu.
One of the most isolated beaches we have ever visited (a reward at the end of one of the trails in Narawntapu). There was nobody for miles around, only a few Silver/Red-billed Gulls (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) and Black-backed/Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus).
In the magical mirror pool along the beach, we found a lone Hooded Dotterel (Thinornis cucullatus) industriously ploughing its bill into the sand for sustenance. A lifer!
A pair of Red-necked (Bennett's) Wallabies in the Narawntapu bush. It can be identified by the white stripe on its upper lip, black nose and paws, and reddish fur across the shoulders contrasting with a medium grey coat.
The Saturday night of 4 April 2015 was the first time Tim and I witnessed a Blood Moon at Beauty Point in Tasmania. This phenomenon occurs when the sun, moon and earth align. The blood red hue is due to sunlight scattering off the earth's atmosphere. This eclipse was purportedly the shortest of the century. The alignment began at about 8 pm, with the moon turning red shortly after 9 pm, and the full eclipse taking place just after 10 pm when the moon turned completely red and dark. This photo shows the stage just before total lunar eclipse. We kept popping out of our container motel to photograph the eclipse. There was only one other family a few motels and RVs away watching the show in the cold (15 degrees celsius). The blood moon was the third in a series of four eclipses (tetrad - April 2014, September 2014, April 2015, September 2015), and the last total lunar eclipse visible from Earth until 2018. Unfortunately, views were thwarted by cloud and rain on the east coast of Australia like at Sydney Observatory.
A pair of Galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) on a roadside wire, one of the commonest parrots in Oz.
Tasmanian Native Hen (Tribonyx mortierii), an endemic waterfowl that is fairly common in Tasmania's bush country. It has been extinct on mainland Australia for 4,700 years, roughly corresponding to the arrival of the dingo.
Mole cricket (Gryllotalpidae spp) and Lowland Copperhead (Austrelaps superbus). A bushwalker tipped us off to this venomous snake further down the trail. We broke into a quick trot and managed to catch it slithering away. Rather unsatisfying views as we did not see its head. Tasmania has only three species of snakes and this one delivers a neurotoxin with its bite.
The national flower of Scotland, Spear/Common Thistle (Cirsium vulgare), has been naturalised in Tasmania. This plant is native throughout most of Europe, Western Asia, and northwestern Africa.
Staked out Lillico Beach Conservation Area between Ulverstone and Devonport in NW Tasmania to tick off the Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) - our first penguino and the smallest in the world at 33 cm. Yes, the same little fella found at Phillip Island in Melbourne. Volunteer guides and rangers are present every night during the breeding season (September to May) and summer months (mid-December to mid-February). Australia and NZ have strict ethics code concerning nocturnal wildlife viewings. No blinding bright lights, hence the use of red film over torches or torches that emit red light, and no flash photography. So the best picture I have is this one above.
In the late evening, a group of us were strung out along a viewing platform 20 m above the shingle beach. We waited for the penguins to return to their burrows after a day of fishing in the Bass Strait. I was the first to see three little fellas scrambling over a log on the beach below when there was still some sunlight. We traced them as they climbed up the slope somewhat obscured by tall grass. As the night progressed, the artificial wooden and natural earth burrows around us were soon filled with penguins. We were separated from the birds by a low fence. It was fun to see the penguins up close tottering around and preening themselves. At the end of the session, the place was locked up to prevent mischief. This attraction is free but accepts donations. We stayed that night in an Ulverstone motel.
The next morning, we drove to Cradle Mountain for a two-night stay. I love the gnarled, mossy trees in this forest, reminding me of Japan.
We ate our picnic lunch by this simple waterfall.
Found this unbelievably red mushroom growing on a fallen log.
Tasmanian/Red-bellied Pademelon (Thylogale billardierii). Tim and I were confused by the roo-like marsupials. They really looked the same, differentiated chiefly by size (pademelon< wallaby< kangaroo). Both pademelons and wallabies were abundant - saw many roadkills too.
Photo shows the Eastern Quoll. Even though we looked everywhere at night, we did not find any wild Tasmanian Devil, Eastern Quoll, Spotted-tailed Quoll or Platypus. The next best option of seeing some of these creatures was to visit Devils@Cradle sanctuary at Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park. This is a well-run conservation facility that does night tours. Our group of 30 was led by an informative guide. All three species bred by the sanctuary (devil + 2 quolls) are carnivorous and threatened. After the official tour, we were allowed to wander around the sanctuary.
I love the Tasmanian Devil. They are most charming with a dog-like expression especially when gazing up expectantly at you. When it comes to food, their devilish instincts take over. We witnessed two devils ripping apart what we think was a dead pademelon fed by the guide, and wolfing down chunks of bloody meat. Tragically, they are threatened by the Devil Facial Tumour Disease which has devastated entire populations. Tasmania has embarked on several initiatives to counter this threat.
We ate well at Cradle Mountain, with restaurants in some of the nicer hotels serving up Tim's favourite lamb medallions. If I remember right, the one we went to had a roaring fireplace that felt very English. Cradle Mountain is cold. On one of the mornings, our windshield was coated in fine icicles.
A slimy slug observed during a night walk.
We trekked around the scenic Dove Lake but the birding was nothing to shout about.
A skink, this one with a spotted belly. ID welcomed!
The surreal colours of the Pink Robin (Petroica rodinogaster) makes even a blur photo a momento.
Tim was utterly thrilled to see the Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus), his number one animal for the trip. This furry grazer holds special meaning as it is also the name of his library working group. We encountered the first one on our first night at Cradle Mountain. It proved fairly common here but not in other parts of Tasmania. We always came across them alone, scattered about the grasslands in small numbers and grazing nonchalantly without so much as a glance at us. We even tailed one back to its burrow. In fact, the wombat is amongst the largest burrowing animals in the world.
Tim followed the example of an Aussie family, creeping up very slowly to a wombat to pat it. He even purchased a 70-cm wombat plushie. However, wombats could potentially be dangerous as any creature that burrows has strong and sharp claws. For me, the wombat was a good substitute for not seeing a koala as I find that their faces are quite alike.
Came across these strange orange fingers growing in the moss bed. ID welcomed!
Had good sightings of the Yellow Wattlebird (Anthochaera paradoxa) at Cradle Mountain and Hobart Rivulet Park. It is conspicuous and attractive with pendulous yellow wattles around the bill.
I see pendulous wattles, even on flowers.
From Cradle Mountain, it was a long drive across Tasmania (roughly 300 km) to the Tasman Peninsula in the south. I felt so sleepy at times that I had to wind down the windows for a blast of cold air. The radio did little to help, my audiobook was too soft, and a somnolent Tim made things worst. But I survived the drive.
At Eagle Hawk geologic site, we visited the Tessellated Pavement. It reminded me of the Giant's Causeway in Ireland, albeit a flattened version. Luckily we peered closer and discovered plenty of marine life around.
First, we found limpets.
Then some barnacles with obvious operculums, marine snails, and curious maroon blobs that were jelly smooth but firm. IDs welcomed!
There were also black mussels growing in the grooves of the pavement.
Rock pools held various types of seaweed, some with air sacs.
A dead 'hairy' crab that was around 7 cm across its widest portion.
Our cottage had visitors - about half a dozen Wood/Forest Scorpions (Cercophonius squama) no more than 3 cm long. They hung around the floor near the main door and inside the toilet. Native to southeastern Australia, it is Tasmania's only scorpion. The landlord said that they are attracted to the heat inside the house. We had to sweep them out each morning. When touched by the broom, some played dead while others reared up their claws and stinging tails. They were cute and fun to observe, but still gave me the shudders. The photo shows one with red spheres on its back which we speculate could be mites. We also wonder what are the whitish 'gills' for.
Another Wood Scorpion with red spheres and a raised tail.
A must-see attraction for us was Port Arthur Historic Site, the most intact former penal settlement in Australia. Port Arthur is one of 11 properties in the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. It provided an interesting window into Australia's convict history with over 30 buildings, ruins and restored period homes contained in 40 hectares.
Port Arthur started as a timber station in 1830, growing fast with new manufactories in ship building, shoe making, smithing, timber, brick making, flour mill, granary, and hospital added, wherein convicts were worked hard. Those with more severe crimes were kept in a Separate Prison that favoured mental subjugation (ie. solitary confinement). Men and women were transported to the Australian colonies because after the American War of Independence in 1788, Britain could no longer send its convicts to America. Their crimes were fairly trivial, mostly theft of small items. But because they were repeat offenders, they had to be shipped away. Transportation was for a minimum of seven years if I remember right. One in five was a woman. Some kids were transported with their parents. A good number tried innovative ways to escape back to Britain. Few returned home with many becoming forced migrants. The tours featured some of these characters, and showcased general living and working conditions. We saw convict artefacts and heard their fascinating stories (original misdeeds and what became of them upon release).
We had a spot of pelagic birding in a 3-hour cruise with Pennicott's Wilderness Journeys in the waters around Eaglehawk Neck. Everybody donned orange coveralls to keep warm and dry. Despite the motion sickness pills, I was nauseous halfway through the tour. I felt miserable even in the excitement of a feeding frenzy where a school of tuna was relentlessly attacked from above and below by seabirds and fur seals/dolphins respectively.
Awe-inspiring sea cave and arch at the Hippolyte Rocks.
A waterfall dropping directly into the sea, similar to Milford Sound which has hundreds of them.
Pelagic birding was superb as Tasman Peninsula is close to the continental shelf that forms part of the Tasman National Park. We chalked up lifers including the Buller's Albatross (see photo), Black-browed Albatross, Shy Albatross, Fairy Prion, Wedge-tailed Shearwater etc. The albatrosses here were not as big as I imagined. In our later trip to NZ, we saw the largest of them all - the Antipodean/Wandering Albatross - a bird that truly deserves its epithet of 'wings as wide as a barn door' (wingspan of 3 to 4 m).
Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals in a mixed colony, basking lazily below some sea cliffs. The thick kelp cover was constantly buffeted by the crashing waves.
One of our best meals in Tasmania was at Fox and Hounds Inn/Restaurant in Port Arthur comprising a substantial seafood platter and quail wrapped in streaky bacon.
I spotted a small flock of Cape Barren Goose (Cereopsis novaehollandiae) in a roadside patch.
Good birding around the Port Arthur Coal Mines, part of the Port Arthur Historic Site.
Little Wattlebird (Anthochaera chrysoptera) sitting in a Banksia shrub, Port Arthur Coal Mines.
Eastern Spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris), Port Arthur Coal Mines.
Our last leg of the trip was to Hobart. As we had yet to see the Platypus, we decided to give it one last try at the Hobart Rivulet Linear Park which traces the Hobart Rivulet upstream from the city to the foot of Mount Wellington. Platypus is occasionally seen in this fresh water source. We looked and looked but missed the fabled creature. However, I had a glimpse of the Common Water Rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) as it disappeared into a burrow by the river bank. As Australia’s heaviest native rodent, it is an amphibious mammal with water-repellent fur and partially-webbed hind feet. The Water Rat is endemic to Australia and New Guinea and leads a semi-aquatic lifestyle, foraging for food under stones on the river bed. It is hefty with a head-body length of 29 cm to 39 cm with brown/grey pelage and a furred tail that ends in a white tip. While most rodents have up to 22 teeth, the Water Rat has only 12 teeth of unique basin-shaped molars. Park rangers say that many 'Platypus' sightings are actually Water Rat as both swim underwater.
Located next to the park, we also visited the World Heritage Listed Cascade Female Factory that used to house convict women and their children. Too bad, we ran out of time for the historic Cascade Brewery.
At the Hobart Rivulet Park, we came across people rock climbing, and observed wild apples trees with colourful bugs on them. Their shapes look similar to the Assasin (top) and Shield bugs in Singapore. IDs welcomed!
Back in Hobart, we caught the tail end of Salamanca Market before it closed at 11 am. Bought gifts (lip balm, dried fruit 'leather' etc) for the folks at home. We also dropped by Wursthaus Kitchen at Battery Point for some gourmet deli goodies.
Came across an antique car display in the open area near Salamanca market. Both photos show an old Jaguar, clunky compared to its sleek incarnation. Owners were hovering nearby to show off their precious babies.
This is an early sports model methinks.
Later in the day, we shopped at Kathmandu for reasonably-priced outdoor equipment and clothing, and admired the Gille and Marc bronze sculptures 'Paparazzi Dog and Marilyn Rabbit' at Salamanca Square. Down at Constitution Dock, we spied corals growing in the sea water and various marine life, and toured the old buildings there.
We finished off the trip humbly, wolfing down freshly-fried fish and chips (as well as squid and prawns) at Fishy Business, a fish punt located at Constitution Dock. In the cool night air, we were quite content to watch the world go by as we ate by roadside benches. We then enjoyed the final 15-minute walk back to our hotel.
|#||Common Name||Scientific Name|
|1||Green Turtle||Chelonia mydas|
|2||Unidentified Skink at Lamington - clear skin|
|3||Unidentified Skink at Lamington - mottled skin|
|4||Carpet Python||Morelia spilota|
|5||Lowland Copperhead (snake)||Austrelaps superbus|
|6||Common Wombat||Vombatus ursinus|
|7||Short-eared Brushtail Possum||Trichosurus caninus|
|8||Common Brushtail Possum||Trichosurus vulpecula|
|9||Common Ringtail Possum||Pseudocheirus peregrinus|
|10||Eastern Grey Kangaroo||Macropus giganteus|
|11||Red-necked Wallaby||Macropus rufogriseus|
|12||Black Wallaby||Wallabia bicolor|
|13||Red-necked Pademelon||Thylogale billardierii|
|14||Tasmania (Red-bellied) Pademelon||Thylogale thetis|
|15||Grey-headed Flying-fox||Pteropus poliocephalus|
|16||Little Red Flying-fox||Pteropus scapulatus|
|17||Common Water Rat||Hydromys chrysogaster|
|18||European Rabbit (introduced)||Oryctolagus cuniculus|
|19||Australian Fur Seal||Arctecephalus pusillus doriferus|
|20||New Zealand Fur Seal||Artocephalus forsteri|
|22||Little Bent-wing Bat||Miniopterus australis
|No.||Scientific Name||IOC English Name||Total/Lifer|
|1||Dendrocygna guttata||Spotted Whistling Duck||1||1|
|2||Cereopsis novaehollandiae||Cape Barren Goose||1||1|
|3||Chenonetta jubata||Australian Wood Duck||1||1|
|4||Cygnus atratus||Black Swan||1||1|
|5||Tadorna tadornoides||Australian Shelduck||1||1|
|6||Cairina moschata||Muscovy Duck||1||1|
|7||Anas superciliosa||Pacific Black Duck||1|
|8||Anas gracilis||Grey Teal||1||1|
|9||Anas castanea||Chestnut Teal||1||1|
|10||Oxyura australis||Blue-billed Duck||1||1|
|11||Biziura lobata||Musk Duck||1||1|
|12||Alectura lathami||Australian Brushturkey||1||1|
|13||Eudyptula minor||Little Penguin||1||1|
|14||Thalassarche melanophris||Black-browed Albatross||1||1|
|15||Thalassarche cauta||Shy Albatross||1||1|
|16||Thalassarche bulleri||Buller's Albatross||1||1|
|17||Pachyptila turtur||Fairy Prion||1||1|
|18||Puffinus pacificus||Wedge-tailed Shearwater||1||1|
|19||Threskiornis moluccus||Australian White Ibis||1|
|20||Ardea pacifica||White-necked Heron||1||1|
|21||Bubulcus ibis||Cattle Egret||1|
|22||Egretta intermedia||Intermediate Egret||1|
|23||Egretta novaehollandiae||White-faced Heron||1||1|
|24||Egretta sacra||Pacific Reef Heron||1|
|25||Pelecanus conspicillatus||Australian Pelican||1|
|26||Morus serrator||Australasian Gannet||1||1|
|27||Sula leucogaster||Brown Booby||1||1|
|28||Microcarbo melanoleucos||Little Pied Cormorant||1||1|
|29||Phalacrocorax fuscescens||Black-faced Cormorant||1||1|
|30||Phalacrocorax sulcirostris||Little Black Cormorant||1||1|
|31||Phalacrocorax varius||Australian Pied Cormorant||1||1|
|32||Phalacrocorax carbo||Great Cormorant||1|
|33||Anhinga novaehollandiae||Australasian Darter||1||1|
|34||Aquila audax||Wedge-tailed Eagle||1||1|
|35||Haliastur sphenurus||Whistling Kite||1||1|
|36||Haliastur indus||Brahminy Kite||1|
|37||Haliaeetus leucogaster||White-bellied Sea Eagle||1|
|38||Gallirallus philippensis||Buff-banded Rail||1||1|
|39||Porphyrio porphyrio||Purple Swamphen||1|
|40||Gallinula tenebrosa||Dusky Moorhen||1||1|
|41||Tribonyx mortierii||Tasmanian Nativehen||1||1|
|42||Fulica atra||Eurasian Coot||1|
|43||Haematopus longirostris||Pied Oystercatcher||1||1|
|44||Haematopus fuliginosus||Sooty Oystercatcher||1||1|
|45||Vanellus miles||Masked Lapwing||1||1|
|46||Pluvialis fulva||Pacific Golden Plover||1|
|47||Thinornis cucullatus||Hooded Dotterel||1||1|
|48||Tringa glareola||Wood Sandpiper||1|
|49||Tringa brevipes||Grey-tailed Tattler||1|
|50||Arenaria interpres||Ruddy Turnstone||1|
|51||Anous minutus||Black (White-capped) Noddy||1||1|
|52||Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae||Silver Gull||1|
|53||Larus pacificus||Pacific Gull||1||1|
|54||Larus dominicanus||Kelp Gull||1||1|
|55||Thalasseus bergii||Greater Crested Tern||1|
|56||Thalasseus bengalensis||Lesser Crested Tern||1||1|
|57||Sterna sumatrana||Black-naped Tern||1|
|58||Chlidonias hybrida||Whiskered Tern||1|
|59||Columba livia||Rock Dove||1|
|60||Spilopelia chinensis||Spotted Dove||1|
|61||Macropygia phasianella||Brown Cuckoo-Dove||1||1|
|62||Geopelia humeralis||Bar-shouldered Dove||1||1|
|63||Ptilinopus magnificus||Wompoo Fruit Dove||1||1|
|64||Centropus phasianinus||Pheasant Coucal||1||1|
|65||Podargus strigoides||Tawny Frogmouth||1||1|
|66||Dacelo novaeguineae||Laughing Kookaburra||1|
|67||Todiramphus sanctus||Sacred Kingfisher||1|
|68||Merops ornatus||Rainbow Bee-eater||1||1|
|69||Calyptorhynchus lathami||Glossy Black Cockatoo||1||1|
|70||Calyptorhynchus funereus||Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo||1||1|
|72||Cacatua galerita||Sulphur-crested Cockatoo||1||1|
|73||Trichoglossus moluccanus||Rainbow Lorikeet||1||1|
|74||Platycercus caledonicus||Green Rosella||1||1|
|75||Platycercus elegans||Crimson Rosella||1|
|76||Platycercus adscitus||Pale-headed Rosella||1||1|
|77||Platycercus eximius||Eastern Rosella||1||1|
|78||Neophema chrysostoma||Blue-winged Parrot||1||1|
|79||Lathamus discolor||Swift Parrot||1||1|
|80||Alisterus scapularis||Australian King Parrot||1||1|
|81||Atrichornis clamosus||Noisy Scrubbird||1||1|
|82||Ailuroedus crassirostris||Green Catbird||1||1|
|83||Ptilonorhynchus violaceus||Satin Bowerbird||1||1|
|84||Cormobates leucophaea||White-throated Treecreeper||1||1|
|85||Malurus lamberti||Variegated Fairywren||1||1|
|86||Malurus cyaneus||Superb Fairywren||1||1|
|87||Malurus melanocephalus||Red-backed Fairywren||1||1|
|88||Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris||Eastern Spinebill||1||1|
|89||Lichmera indistincta||Brown Honeyeater||1||1|
|90||Lichenostomus chrysops||Yellow-faced Honeyeater||1||1|
|91||Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus||Crescent Honeyeater||1||1|
|92||Phylidonyris novaehollandiae||New Holland Honeyeater||1||1|
|93||Philemon corniculatus||Noisy Friarbird||1||1|
|94||Melithreptus albogularis||White-throated Honeyeater||1||1|
|95||Melithreptus lunatus||White-naped Honeyeater||1||1|
|96||Nesoptilotis flavicollis||Yellow-throated Honeyeater||1||1|
|97||Anthochaera chrysoptera||Little Wattlebird||1||1|
|98||Anthochaera paradoxa||Yellow Wattlebird||1||1|
|99||Manorina melanocephala||Noisy Miner||1|
|100||Meliphaga lewinii||Lewin's Honeyeater||1||1|
|101||Pardalotus punctatus||Spotted Pardalote||1||1|
|103||Sericornis frontalis||White-browed Scrubwren||1||1|
|104||Sericornis humilis||Tasmanian Scrubwren||1||1|
|105||Gerygone olivacea||White-throated Gerygone||1||1|
|106||Acanthiza pusilla||Brown Thornbill||1||1|
|107||Acanthiza ewingii||Tasmanian Thornbill||1||1|
|108||Acanthiza reguloides||Buff-rumped Thornbill||1||1|
|109||Acanthiza chrysorrhoa||Yellow-rumped Thornbill||1||1|
|110||Orthonyx temminckii||Australian Logrunner||1||1|
|111||Artamus cyanopterus||Dusky Woodswallow||1||1|
|112||Cracticus nigrogularis||Pied Butcherbird||1||1|
|113||Gymnorhina tibicen||Australian Magpie||1||1|
|114||Strepera graculina||Pied Currawong||1||1|
|115||Strepera fuliginosa||Black Currawong||1||1|
|116||Strepera versicolor||Grey Currawong||1||1|
|117||Coracina novaehollandiae||Black-faced Cuckooshrike||1||1|
|118||Coracina tenuirostris||Common Cicadabird||1||1|
|119||Daphoenositta chrysoptera||Varied Sittella||1||1|
|120||Pachycephala pectoralis||Australian Golden Whistler||1||1|
|121||Pachycephala rufiventris||Rufous Whistler||1||1|
|122||Colluricincla harmonica||Grey Shrikethrush||1||1|
|123||Sphecotheres vieilloti||Australasian Figbird||1||1|
|124||Dicrurus bracteatus||Spangled Drongo||1|
|125||Rhipidura leucophrys||Willie Wagtail||1||1|
|126||Rhipidura albiscapa||Grey Fantail||1||1|
|127||Rhipidura rufifrons||Rufous Fantail||1||1|
|128||Monarcha melanopsis||Black-faced Monarch||1||1|
|130||Myiagra rubecula||Leaden Flycatcher||1||1|
|131||Myiagra cyanoleuca||Satin Flycatcher||1||1|
|132||Pica pica||Eurasian Magpie||1|
|133||Corvus orru||Torresian Crow||1||1|
|134||Corvus tasmanicus||Forest Raven||1||1|
|135||Corvus coronoides||Australian Raven||1||1|
|136||Tregellasia capito||Pale-yellow Robin||1||1|
|137||Eopsaltria australis||Eastern Yellow Robin||1||1|
|138||Melanodryas vittata||Dusky Robin||1||1|
|139||Microeca fascinans||Jacky Winter||1||1|
|140||Petroica rodinogaster||Pink Robin||1||1|
|141||Petroica phoenicea||Flame Robin||1||1|
|142||Petroica boodang||Scarlet Robin||1||1|
|143||Cheramoeca leucosterna||White-backed Swallow||1||1|
|144||Hirundo neoxena||Welcome Swallow||1||1|
|145||Petrochelidon nigricans||Tree Martin||1||1|
|146||Megalurus timoriensis||Tawny Grassbird||1||1|
|147||Cisticola exilis||Golden-headed Cisticola||1||1|
|149||Acridotheres tristis||Common Myna||1|
|150||Sturnus vulgaris||Common Starling||1|
|151||Zoothera lunulata||Bassian Thrush||1||1|
|152||Turdus merula||Common Blackbird||1|
|153||Passer domesticus||House Sparrow||1|
|154||Neochmia temporalis||Red-browed Finch||1||1|
|155||Taeniopygia bichenovii||Double-barred Finch||1||1|
|156||Lonchura castaneothorax||Chestnut-breasted Mannikin||1||1|