Outback NSW Bird WatchingAuthor: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: January 2007
In 2006 and 2007 we spent 255 Days driving around Australia. We started in Darwin, drove south to Alice Springs, backtracked to Cairns, went down the East Coast to Rockhampton, cut over to Melbourne, went across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth, drove up the West Coast to Broome, and finished by crossing the Kimberely Region on our way back to Darwin -- 24,000 miles & 6 rental cars. Along the way we stayed in 56 cities and saw 693 bird species/subspecies.
This Trip Report covers the 9-days we spent bird watching while based in 2 locations in Outback NSW in Jan 2007– Dubbo & Tocumwal/Deniliquin.
We saw 131 bird species at 10 parks. The parks where we saw the most bird species were: Island Sanctuary = 63, Tocumwal Wetland = 41, Newell Hwy = 38, Slaughter Ponds = 43, Macquarie River Walk = 34, Dirt Rd NE of Deniliquin = 30, Ulupna Island = 30, Deniliquin Salt-bush Plain = 21, Riverina Hwy = 14, & Gulpa Island SF = 12.
The cities where we saw the most birds: 3 days in Deniliquin = 105, 4 days in Tocumwal = 55, & 2 days in Dubbo = 40.
Dubbo - We stayed at the Comfort Inn (32.254S 148.604E) in downtown Dubbo.
If you put these coordinates into Google Earth, you can see the locations I am discussing. Typically, there will be lots of pictures as well.
Tocumwal - We stayed at the Coatchman's Cottage (35.819S 145.577E) near the Murray River and Tocumwal Wetlands. The cottage has bore water, so flowers and green grass abound. The owner was proud of her family of Laughing Kookaburras. They have birdbaths, so there are lots of house birds.
If we were planning the trip again, I would:
Stay in Dubbo at least 3 nights, more if I could find a reasonable B&B or cottage.
Stay in a cabin at the Deniliquin Riverside Caravan Park for a week (http://members.optusnet.com.au/~jesterhall1/accommodation.htm 35.529S 144.968E). The Coatchman's Cottage was a nicer accommodation, but you really need to be in Deniliquin for the best birding (it takes about an hour to drive from Tocumwal to Deniliquin).
Highlights of the Region:
Meeting a keen local birder in Deniliquin who took us to where we could see Red-vented Blue Bonnets, Superb Parrots, Red-backed Buttonquails, Southern Boobook Owls and Tawny Frogmouths.
Seeing waves of Long-billed Correllas.
Seeing 29 Koalas along the Murray River.
We didn't see the Plaines Wanderers, but we didn't go out at night either.
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