2020 The Parrots of Australia

Maps courtesy of Daniel Feher

click to enlarge

Australia, the land of parrots. Over 50 species in all! Our 16 day tour is designed to connect participants with approximately half of these gorgeous and charismatic birds! Parrots live in every different habitat found in this expansive country. During our adventure down under we will visit and target those areas richest in parrot numbers and variety. Habitats will vary from parks and botanical gardens in the south, to rugged and dry regions in the rural outback.  We'll travel north in search of other parrots that are only found in the humid gum forests of the Northern Territories top end.

September/October is the Australian spring and an opportune season to interact with parrots.  This is the breeding season. This means that they are often stationary and dedicated to specific areas during this time of nesting and raising young.  As a result, this can create an opportune time to locate and film them. Not just parrots, we will encounter a variety of other fascinating wildlife species as well.  Such iconic species as the Emu, Kangaroo, Kookaburra and possibly even the infamous salt water crocodile in the region of Kakadu. This tour presents a once in a lifetime opportunity to view parrots, often only seen as popular cage birds, living wild and free in their native environment.  This is also a fantastic opportunity to experience the sights and sounds of nature in this spectacular country.

REGION ONE
CITY PARROTS

October 6 Tuesday
We will arrange to pick you up at the airport (if needed) followed by a get together dinner nearby. Night at Best Western Airport and Convention Center.

Day One October 7 Wednesday

After an early breakfast we head out to explore the well planted grounds of surrounding Melbourne Parks. Before beginning our parrot-filled day we may find ourselves observing wild cockatoos flying right near our Motel! Tucked amid the busyness of an urban landscape, Melbourne's well planted parks are an excellent place to spot both Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets, as well as close up looks at Long-billed Corellas, Galahs and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos! Next stop; the well-forested Parks near Geelong where we will comb the flowering eucalyptus forests for Little and Purple-crowned Lorikeets and other parrot species. Later in the day we will make our journey south in the direction of the coastal region of Anglesea. Night in Anglesea

Day Two October 8 Thursday

Up early in Anglesea, we will stroll the cool lush vegetated paths of nearby forests keeping a look out for Gang-gang Cockatoos and other species.  Gang-gangs are often heard before being seen, as their classic rusty-hinge call is unmistakable. Here, with good fortune we might also observe our first member of the Neophema parrots, the Blue-winged Parrot.  Blue-wings are a very easy species to overlook because of their quiet nature, low numbers and subtle green colored plumage. Then later in the day, we will journey north to Geelong’s surrounding parks and botanical gardens.  Here we can have a leisurely stroll amid the tall trees and open spaces in search of such charismatic species as Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo and whatever other parrots come our way! Night in Geelong

Day Three October 9 Friday

Our day begins with a drive to Serendip Park north of Geelong.  Here we should have great looks at more than just parrots!  Wild Kangaroos and Emu may make an appearance as we search for the little fast flying Purple-crowned Lorikeet. We may also spot Eastern Rosellas and other parrots as well.  Then it’s back towards Melbourne, a 2-hour journey north.  We’ll make a stop in Ferntree Gully to view the lush Dandenong Mtn Range Forest where we should get excellent looks at Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Crimson Rosellas.  With luck we may even spot a Superb Lyrebird! Then it's time to say goodbye to the many Cockatoos at this location and travel one hour north to Fawkner. Night in Fawkner.      

REGION TWO - COUNTRY PARROTS - NEW SOUTH WALES
Day Four October 10 Saturday

Early morning finds us enroute from Fawkner to Glenrowan a 2- hour drive to the north. We will explore Glenrowan and its surrounding parks where we should get views of the beautiful yellow variety of Crimson Rosella, Eastern Rosellas and Red-rumped parrots.  With good fortunate we may even spot some Gang-gang Cockatoos! This area provides our only opportunity to observe Turquoise parrots. No parrot tour traveling in this area would be complete without a thorough search for this beautiful little neophema parrot.  Turquoise parrots are often only present in low numbers and are a species of special concern.  Time permitting we may even have an opportunity to visit areas where we can learn of the conservation measures in place to boost the population of this stunning little parrot.  Night in Wangaratta

Day Five October 11 Sunday

Morning finds us on the road heading for Denilquin a 2-hr. drive away. Situated on the Edward River in the Southern Riverina district, this is one of the best places in Australia to find the threatened Superb Parrot.  Superbs are one of only 3 members of the genus Polytelis. After arriving here in the late afternoon we will have a casual stroll along the beautiful Edward River in search of this elegant parrot. Here we should get looks at the iconic Laughing Kookaburra, Long-billed Corellas, Red-rumped Parrots and the yellow variety of Crimson Rosella. Night in Denilquin

Day Six October 12 Monday

After an early breakfast in Deniliquin we'll head back to Island Sanctuary where we will begin our search for Superb Parrots in earnest. Here amid the towering River Red Gum trees they can be observed in small flocks and pairs entering nesting hollows. After our last great views of Superbs we head out again where a 2.5-hour drive north finds us in the state of New South Wales and the Griffith area.  This rural area is well known for its exceptionally rich variety of parrots.  Enroute to Griffith we may join up with a local naturalist and spend time searching for threatened Glossy-black Cockatoos, a great find because of their scarcity.  Glossies have such specific requirements for feeding and nesting that their numbers remain low throughout Australia. This may be our only opportunity to spend time with this lovely Black Cockatoo. We may even spot the colorful Mulga Parrot here as well. Time permitting, we will search he towering gum trees in nearby Leeton for wild Koalas.  Night in Griffith

Day Seven October 13 Tuesday

Up early, we dedicate the morning to combing various hotspots around Griffith for such charismatic parrots as Major Mitchells Cockatoos and Greater Blue Bonnets. We should also encounter the electric colored Australian Ringneck parrot. This species comes in several color varieties and sub species.  In this region the subspecies is called the Mallee Ringneck.  With their stunning pink coloration and flamboyantly colored crest, Major Mitchells or Pink Cockatoo is one of those must-see cockatoos and this may be one of our only opportunities to observe them.  Declining in numbers it's always a red-letter day to spot these charismatic and exquisite cockatoos!  After leaving Griffith it’s off to the beautiful area of Lake Cargelligo. Lake Cargelligo is a small community that offers gorgeous country scenery and a visit here may provide our only opportunity to view Cockatiels in the wild. Beautiful and elegant in flight its such a treat to see this popular cage bird free-flighted and wild.  We may also be provided with a look at the iconic Spotted Bowerbird and it's unique nest. Night in Lake Cargelligo

Day Eight October 14 Wednesday

Morning time and we will search around Lake Cargelligo and the surrounding country side for parrot species we might not have had good looks at yet.  Then by noon it’s time to make the 3-hour drive, with stops along the way to Wagga Wagga and catch our flight to Brisbane where we arrive later in the evening. Night in Brisbane

TARGET SPECIES Total for Combined Regions 1 & 2
1 Commonly Seen
2 Highly probable sighting
3 Possible sighting

3 Glossy-Black Cockatoo
2 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
2 Gang-gang Cockatoo
1 Galah
1 Long-billed Corella
1 Little Corella
3 Major Mitchells Cockatoo
1 Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
1 Rainbow Lorikeet
2 Musk Lorikeet
3 Purple-crowned Lorikeet
3 Little Lorikeet
2 Australian King-Parrot
2 Superb Parrot
1 Crimson Rosella
2 Eastern Rosella
1 Red-rumped Parrot
3 Mulga Parrot
2 Blue Bonnet
2 Cockatiel
3 Blue-winged Parrot
2 Turquoise Parrot