Trip Report for Rainforest Birds of
Dorrigo, Iluka and Port Macquarie
From 3-8 April 2004, I led a group of Sydney birdos to the rainforests of Dorrigo, Iluka and Port Macquarie (NSW). The first day was basically driving from Sydney to Dorrigo with brief stops at Newcastle Botanic Gardens, Kew and Urunga. Birds recorded along the way were mostly common species, the highlights being Musk Lorikeet and Large-billed Scrubwren at Kew and Darter at Nambucca Heads. We arrived at Dorrigo National Park at 5pm and spent 40 minutes of excellent viewing from the skywalk. Birds included Satin and Regent Bowerbird, White-headed Pigeon and Forest Raven.
Next morning we birded through tall lush rainforest along the eastern part of the Wonga track in Dorrigo NP adding Rose Robin, Brush Turkey, Russet-tailed Thrush – perched and singing only 5 m away, Green Catbird, Paradise Riflebird, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Crested Shrike-tit, Logrunner(heard only) and stunning views of a Wompoo Fruit-dove through a scope. Lunch was in the Never Never picnic ground with a brief walk to the giant Blackbutts along the Rosewood track. It rained and there were few birds. We returned to the skywalk, stopping along the way along to check out a small pocket of rainforest gaining crippling views of Paradise Riflebird, Golden Whistler and Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Torresian Crow and Bar-shouldered Dove.
Day three saw us on the road again; first stop was the Norman Jolly walk in Nymboi-Binderay NP to view the 600 year-old majestic Tallowwood. Here we had close views Pale-yellow Robin, Golden Whistler more Green Catbirds and Superb Lyrebird. Lunch was at the small village of Nymboida, with some excellent woodland. Here we added Little Bronze-cuckoo, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Double-barred Finch, Rufous Whistler, Australian King-Parrot and White-throated Gerygone. After lunch we found Bell Miner at Coutts Creek State Forest; a hundred Plumed Whistling-duck on a farm dam south of Grafton and Intermediate Egret on a road-side pond near Macleay. We arrived at Iluka (on the northern entrance to Clarence River) at 4pm, and as the tide was out we walked along the mangrove-covered shoreline towards the old Ferry wharf in Bundgalung NP. Here we added Mangrove Gerygone, Azure and Sacred Kingfisher, Peaceful Dove, Little Cuckoo-shrike(dark form), Mistletoebird, Bhraminy Kite, Osprey, a White-bellied Sea-Eagle with a Whimbrel in its talons, Brown honeyeater, Pacific Golden Plover, Rainbow Bee-eater, Striated Heron, Grey-tailed Tattler and White-breasted Woodswallow.
Day four began with a walk around Iluka harbour, adding Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers, Little Lorikeet, Tree Martin, Leaden Flycatcher and Spangled Drongo. We then walked through famous littoral rainforest to Iluka Bluff adding Varied Triller, Spectacled Monarch, Little Shrike-thrush, Sooty Oystercatcher and Ruddy Turnstone. Although it rained for most of the afternoon, we birded from the bus on Goodwood Is., adding Stripedn Honeyeater, Olive-backed Oriole, Figbird, Shinning Bronze-cuckoo, Pheasant Coucal, Eastern Curlew and Common Greenshank. We also went to Shark Bay, where a quick walk to the reef produced Lesser and Double-banded Plover and Common Tern.
Day five began with an early walk through the littoral rainforest, this time adding Regent Bowerbird, Rufous Fantail and the often elusive White-eared Monarch. After breakfast we were on the road, stopping at Station Creek in Yurigir NP to add Little Friarbird, White-throated and Scarlet Honeyeater, Brown Goshawk, Black-faced Monarch, Singing Bushlark and a flock of Topknot Pigeons travelling south. Lunch was on the foreshore at Urunga with its 600m board walk across the estuary. Here we added White-cheeked Honeyeater, another Striated Heron, Bar-tailed Godwit and Common, Little and Gull-billed Tern. We arrived at dusk in Port Macquarie.
Day six dawned bright and sunny, and the rainforest-lined creek beside our motel produced astonishing close views of 5 Barred Cuckoo-shrike and just for comparison Little and Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike were in the same tree. A quick sea-watch at Lighthouse Beach produced Pomarine Jaeger and Wedge-tailed Shearwater. Next stop was the littoral rainforest of Sea Acres
Nature Reserve, which echoed with the flute-like calls of Barred Cuckoo-shrike. We also added Spectacled Monarch, Crested Shrike-tit and Figbird, before all too soon it was time to head back to Sydney. A great six days, even if it was interrupted by rain periods and we ended up with 160 species.
Species recorded: Australian Brush-turkey, Plumed Whistling-Duck, Black Swan, Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Chestnut Teal, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Australasian Gannet, Darter, Little Pied Cormorant, Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Australian Pelican, White-faced Heron, Little Egret, White-necked Heron, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Cattle Egret, Striated Heron, Australian White Ibis, Straw-necked Ibis, Osprey, Black-shouldered Kite, Whistling Kite, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Brown Goshawk, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Nankeen Kestrel, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eastern Curlew, Common Greenshank, Grey-tailed Tattler, Ruddy Turnstone,Red-necked Stint, Pied Oystercatcher, Sooty Oystercatcher, Pacific Golden Plover, Double-banded Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Masked Lapwing, Pomarine Jaeger, Silver Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Crested Tern, Common Tern, Little Tern, Rock Dove, White-headed Pigeon, Spotted Turtle-Dove, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Crested Pigeon,Peaceful Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove, Wonga Pigeon, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Topknot Pigeon, Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo, Galah, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Musk Lorikeet, Little Lorikeet, Australian King-Parrot, Crimson Rosella, Eastern Rosella, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Little Bronze-Cuckoo, Pheasant Coucal, Azure Kingfisher,
Laughing Kookaburra, Sacred Kingfisher, Rainbow Bee-eater, Superb Lyrebird, White-throated Treecreeper, Superb Fairy-wren, Variegated Fairy-wren, Spotted Pardalote, Striated Pardalote, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, White-browed Scrubwren, Large-billed Scrubwren, Brown Gerygone, Mangrove Gerygone, White-throated Gerygone, Brown Thornbill, Yellow-rumped Thornbill, Yellow Thornbill, Striated Thornbill, Red Wattlebird, Little Wattlebird, Striped Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird, Little Friarbird, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Bell Miner, Noisy Miner, Lewin’s Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-throated Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Scarlet Honeyeater, Pale-yellow Robin, Eastern Yellow Robin, Logrunner, Eastern Whipbird, Crested Shrike-tit, Golden Whistler, Rufous Whistler, Little Shrike-thrush, Grey Shrike-thrush, Black-faced Monarch, Spectacled Monarch, White-eared Monarch, Leaden Flycatcher,Magpie-lark, Rufous Fantail, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail, Spangled Drongo, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Barred Cuckoo-shrike, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Varied Triller, Olive-backed Oriole, Figbird, White-breasted Woodswallow, Grey Butcherbird, Australian Magpie, Pied Currawong, Pied Butcherbird, Paradise Riflebird, Australian Raven, Forest Raven, Torresian Crow, Green Catbird, Regent Bowerbird, Satin Bowerbird, Singing Bushlark, House Sparrow, Double-barred Finch, Red-browed Finch, Mistletoebird, Welcome Swallow Tree Martin, Clamorous Reed-Warbler, Silvereye, Russet-tailed Thrush, Common Starling, Common Myna.
Chris Chafer guiding for Follow That Bird