2019 The Parrots of Australia

Maps courtesy of Daniel Feher

click to enlarge

Australia, the land of parrots. Over 50 species in all! Our 15 day tour is designed to connect participants with approximately half of these gorgeous and charismatic birds! Parrots live in every different habitat found in the country. During our two weeks 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 interior.  Others are only found in the humid forests of the Northern Territories top end.

April/May is the Australian autumn and an opportune season to interact with parrots.  During this period they tend to be congregated in flocks rather than paired in more scattered locations during the breeding season. 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 against the backdrop of this varied rugged and spectacular country.

REGION ONE
CITY PARROTS

April 23 Tuesday
We will arrange to pick you up at the airport followed by a get together dinner nearby. Night at Best Western Airport and Convention Center

Day One April 24
After an early breakfast we head out to explore the well planted grounds of Melbourne’s city parks. Depending on parrot sightings, we may check out LaTrobe University sanctuary and Melbourne's Royal Park. Tucked amid the busyness of an urban landscape, these are excellent places to search for members of the lorikeet family.  We could possibly find Little, Musk and Rainbow Lorikeets, and with good luck we might even catch looks at the endangered swift parrot!  Later in the day, we will journey south towards Geelong to search for our first Blue-winged Parrots.  This may be our only opportunity to connect with this delicate and lovely little parrot, which frequents marsh grass habitat where it feeds each fall/winter.  Night in Geelong

Day Two April 25
Early morning finds us ready to explore Serendip Park, which is a short drive from our hotel.  Serendip is a great place for a casual stroll and to comb the area for endemic parrots.  Here we should spot gorgeous Rose-breasted Cockatoos (Galahs) as well as Sulphur-crests and perhaps other cockatoo species! In addition, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for the often hard to locate Purple-crowned Lorikeet. Later in the day we will explore other parks and botanical gardens in the areas surrounding Geelong.  With more cockatoos to see and grass parrots such as the Red-rumped Parrot the parrots just keep coming!  Overnight Geelong

Day Three April 26
Morning finds us searching for species missed during the previous two days. If not located previously we will scour the surrounding regions for the often hard to find Blue-winged Parrot. Afternoon is travel time as we say goodbye to Geelong and surrounds and travel approximately 2 hours to Sherbrooke Forest, part of the Dandenong Mountain Range. Lush forests with tree ferns and easy accessible forest paths contain one of the best areas anywhere to view Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Crimson Rosellas, and Australian King-Parrots up close. Overnight outside of Melbourne in Fawkner.

REGION TWO - COUNTRY PARROTS - NEW SOUTH WALES
Day Four April 27
Today we head for the countryside as we embark on a 2.5-hour drive destined for Warby-Ovens National Park. Warby-ovens host such rare bird species as the Regent and Painted Honeyeaters. Its box ironbark trees provide vital habitat for these and a host of important species. This is one of the best regions in all of Australia to locate the spectacular little Turquoise Parrot. Schedules permitting, we may visit with biologists working to keep this little neophema in good numbers by important management practices. Overnight in Warrangatta.

Day Five April 28
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 the region to find the threatened Superb Parrot.  Superbs are one of only 3 members of the genus Polytelis. The other two being the Regent and Princess Parrot.  In addition to Superb Parrots, we should also get excellent looks at the striking yellow variety of the Crimson Rosella and possibly Blue Bonnets and Little Corellas. Overnight in Denilquin

Day Six April 29
Saying so long to Denilquin we hit the road destined for Griffith, a 2.5 hr. trip. Arriving in Griffith we’ll search near the airport, golf course and surrounding areas for Blue Bonnets and perhaps Major Mitchells Cockatoos. In the afternoon, we will take a short drive to Cocoparra national Park. A forested oasis in the middle of an agriculture area, this will be our only location to search for the threatened Glossy-black Cockatoo. We should also get good looks at the mallee version of the Australian Ringneck parrot and possible Mulga parrots. Overnight in Griffith

Day Seven April 30
Up early our destination is Cocoparra Park 1 hour away.  We will wait quietly beside a small pond for looks at Mulga Parrots, Australian Ringnecks and other parrots as they come down to drink.  Afternoon we will dedicate to searching around Griffith for additional looks at such gorgeous parrots as Major Mitchells Cockatoos and Greater Blue Bonnet and others. Overnight in Griffith

Day Eight May 1
Morning finds us combing the areas for any parrots we may have missed in the Griffith area.  This will be our last chance to see such local species such as Glossy-black Cockatoos and Blue Bonnets.  Blue Bonnets are notoriously skittish but we will do our best to try to film these beautiful birds.  Later in the day we journey 2 hours away to spend the night in Wagga Wagga.  Night in Wagga Wagga

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
2 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
1 Australian King-Parrot
2 Superb Parrot
1 Crimson Rosella
2 Eastern Rosella
1 Red-rumped Parrot
2 Mulga Parrot
3 Blue Bonnet
2 Blue-winged Parrot
3 Turquoise Parrot