Tasmania - February 2005

In February 2005, I caught the Spirit of Tasmania over to Devonport for a long weekends birding. We started the trip around Devonport and quickly saw Kelp Gull flying around the port area (an uncommon species on the mainland). The Tasmanian race of Little Wattlebird was also seen near the portlands as we got some early morning breakfast. We were amazed to get Beautiful Firetail, Swift Parrots, Green Rosella, Dusky Robin and few other species, all in the hills just out of Devonport. Heading down to cradle mountain, Black Currawongs and Tasmanian Native Hens were common. We also picked up Yellow Wattlebird here, but the visit remained brief.
We headed down the westcoast and picked up Scrubtit on the Franklin River. Various stops along the way also convinced us that we'd found Tasmanian Thornbill, as distinct from Brown Thornbill. After making it Strahan, we tried the area around the airport for Ground Parrot with no success. We did however get good views of a Striated Field Wren (tasmanian race) and a group of Southern Emu wren. Heading south we headed to Mt Field. This was a great spot for honeyeaters, picking up Strong-billed Honeyeater and Yellow-throated Honeyeater. There were plenty of Cresecent Honeyeaters around too, as well as Black Currawong's and Tasmanian Scrubwrens. The infamous Peter Murrell Reserve near Hobart was a great place for most of the endemics. Tasmanian Native Hens stayed close to the dam. Black-headed Honeyeaters and Yellow-throated Honeyeater were both in trees overhanging the area around the dam. Forty-spotted Pardolote took a bit of finding, but we worth the wait, even though i had about 30 king-sized bullants scaling my legs while i tried to take photos of them. The extra height the bullant nest provided was invaluable though! : ) Also around the reserve were a number of tasmanian subspecies like Scarlet RObin, Grey Shrike Thrush, Little Wattlebird and Richards Pipit. I was suprised how easy it was to pick up all the endemics of Tasmania. The hardest would have to be Scrubtit from my experience, but i've heard Strong-billed Honeyeater can be a common dip too. Its a great birding spot though, especially for harder to find birds on the mainland like Swift Parrot, Beautuful Firetail and apparently Masked Owl, Olive Whistler and Pink Robin. I hope to get back soon to pick up a few more of these birds.

Tasmanian Endemics slideshow

Tasmanian Subspecies slideshow