Birding East Coast Australia 2000
From Cairns to Sydney 27.10. - 26.11.2000
Introduction:This trip started in Munich on October 27th 2000. Since it was nearly impossible to get a flight to Australia around Chrismas, we chose November as our travelling month. This is a good time to travel since the flights are cheaper and the climate in the north is generally better than in December. We had a flight via London and Hongkong which was fairly long but affordable. So we arrived a little bit sleepy on October 29th in the morning in Cairns.
The climate in Far North Queensland is very tropical, especially in the lowlands. Although coming from cold autumny Germany, we quickly accustomed ourselves to the hot and humid climate easily. Around Brisbane, where we spent several days, we had much lower temperatures, partly due to the bad weather we had to put up with. Fortunately our friends John Lowry from Kingaroy and Chris Pavey found every day places where birding in little or no rain was possible. The only majar area we did not visit was Lamington National Park, mostly because of the bad weather conditions we would have had to face there.
After leaving Brisbane for Sydney we almost got into trouble because of the ongoing rain. Most of the smaller roads leading to birding spots between Brisbane and Sydney were flooded and unpassable. Other spots like New England National Park, were said to have so much rain, that we shouldn't even try to go there. So next time birding was in and around Sydney. Interestingly enough the weather forced us to either stay in Sydney or visit the Royal National Park, since all attempts to visit for example Wollongong or Barren Grounds lead to heavy rain around us, which could only be stopped by going back towards Sydney.
Nevertheless we managed to see more than 330 bird species. So even in bad weather birding in Australia is a real pleasure. We met lots of nice birders, locals and travellers, who gave advice, showed us around, helped us identifying the birds and were nice companions. I would like to thank especially (chronological): Captain Greg of Seastar II (Cairns), Chris Dahlberg (Daintree), Timo Lahti (Finland), Arnoud van den Berg and Cecilia Bowman (Netherlands), Carol and Andrew from Kingfisher Park (Julatten), John Lowry (Kingaroy), Chris Pavey and Anita Smyth (Brisbane) and Tony Palliser (Sydney). I apologize to all who should have been listed aswell...
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