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Tropical North Queensland dragonflies, from left:  Jewel Flutterer (Rhyothemis resplendens), Iridescent Flutterer (Rhyothemis braganza), Painted Grasshawk (Neurothemis stigmatizans stigmatizans), Graphic Flutterer (Rhyothemis graphiptera), Sapphire Flutterer (Rhyothemis princeps), Yellow-striped Flutterer (Rhyothemis phyllis), Jewel Flutterer (Rhyothemis resplendens).

 

Tour Suggestions    

Wild Watch Australia offers a wide range of bird watching, wildlife, plant and photography tours, tailor-made to suit your interests. Tours are usually fully accommodated but can also be with just guiding only, either in vehicles approved for commercial tours or in the clients own vehicle. These can be from one day to several days or even several weeks in duration either in the tropical north Queensland region or inter-state. Other destinations include the Northern Territory, Darwin, Kakadu/Litchfield NPs, Lamington NP, Tasmania, Victoria, the Grampians, Little Desert, Hattah-Kulkyne, Wyperfeld and South Australia etc.

All tours are led by experienced professional naturalist, Jonathan Munro.

The tropical North Queensland/Cape York regions. A wide range of destinations and habitats are offered in this area including Cairns, Southern Tablelands; Atherton and Evelyn Tablelands/Cairns Highlands, Ravenshoe and the Misty Mountains, the Hoods, Ingham, Lucinda, Halifax, Mission Beach/Etty Bay, Daintree, Cooktown, Cape York/Lakefield/IronRange NPs, Valley of Lagoons, the Gulf Savannah, Normanton/Kurumba and Lawn Hill NP.

Some suggestions, which make the most economical and productive use of time in the tropical North Queensland and Cape York regions include the following:

 

Bird Watching and/or Bird Photography Tours in the Tropical North Queensland region. 

 

  1. Tropical North Queensland Endemics Tour.

    Fully accommodated 4-days/3-nights, Cairns, Atherton Tablelands, Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve, Misty Mountains and Daintree regions. Includes 2 hour early morning Daintree River Birding cruise. Accommodation at two locations. Species include Golden Bowerbird, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Victoria’s Riflebird, Chowchilla, Bower’s Shrike-thrush, Pied Monarch, Atherton Scrubwren, Fernwren, Macleay’s and Bridled Honeyeater etc.

  2. Tropical North Queensland Bird Watching Tour.

    Fully accommodated 7-days/6-nights. Accommodation in 4 locations. Areas covered include Cairns, Ingham, Atherton Tablelands/Cairns Highlands, Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve, Ravenshoe, Misty Mountains, Julatten, Carbine Tablelands and Daintree regions. Includes 2 hour early morning Daintree River Birding cruise. Add a day for Great Barrier Reef trip to Michaelmas Cay, the seabird island refuge and marine park. We would expect 225-240 species in peak season on a 7-day tour. Species include Cassowary, Emu, Golden, Satin, Great and Tooth-billed Bowerbirds, Victoria’s Riflebird, Wompoo, Superb and Rose-crowned Fruit-doves, Crimson Finch, White-browed Robin, White-browed Crake, Black-necked Stork, Australian Bustard, Lesser Sooty and Rufous Owl, Brolga and Sarus Cranes, Blue-faced Finch, Noisy Pitta, White-eared Monarch, Red-backed and Lovely (Fairy) Wrens etc.

  3. Cairns and near Atherton Tablelands.

    Full-day. Lowlands, foothills and uplands. Habitats include mud flats and mangroves along Cairns Esplanade and forshore, freshwater lagoons and swamp, feather palm and paperbark forest, upland rainforest, dry sclerophyll woodland and savannah woodland. Includes lunch at the Mareeba Wetlands. Species include Barred Cuckoo-shrike, Double-eyed Fig-parrot (race Macleayana), Crimson Finch, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Little and Forest Kingfishers, Mangrove Robin, White-breasted Wood-swallow, Olive-backed (Yellow-bellied) Sunbird, Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorrikeets, Black Butcherbird, Yellow Oriole, Metallic Starling, Rainbow Bee-eater, Magpie-lark, Spangled Drongo, Bar-shouldered Dove, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Brown-backed and Varied Honeyeaters, Green Pygmy-goose, Comb-crested Jacana, Australian Darter, Brush Turkey, Tawny Frogmouth, Osprey, Welcome Swallow, Helmeted Friarbird and Peregrine Falcon.

  4. Daintree and Northern Tablelands.

    Full-day. Includes 2 hour Daintree River birding/wildlife cruise. Habitats include riparian/riverine, mangrove, estuarine, lowland and upland rainforest, dry sclerophyll woodland and freshwater wetlands. Species include Great-billed Heron, Striated Heron, Double-eyed Fig-parrot (race Macleayana), Yellow Oriole, Wompoo Fruit-dove, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Little, Azure Forest and Sacred Kingfishers, White-eared Monarch, Lovely Wren, Shinning Flycatcher, Papuan Fromouth, Black-necked Stork, Cattle Egret, White-breasted Sea-eagle, Brahminy Kite, Osprey, Grey-crowned Babbler, Apostlebird, Galah, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Pale-headed Rosella, Red-tailed Black-cockatoo and in season Black Bittern, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Buff-breasted Paradise-kingfisher, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Koel etc.

  5. Ravenshoe and the Misty Mountains.

    Fully accommodated 3-days/2-nights at ‘The Pond Cottage’. Habitats include Highland Rainforest, Wet and Dry Sclerophyll Woodland, Savannah/Savannah Woodland extensive freshwater wetlands, billabongs and riverine. Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve and surrounding region. Species include Victoria’s Riflebird, Golden, Satin, Tooth-billed and Great Bowerbirds, Little Lorrikeet, Chowchilla, Bower’s and Grey Shrike-thrush, White-throated (Little) and Brown (Black-backed) Treecreepers, Grey Goshawk, Pacific Baza (Crested Hawk), Pale-headed and Crimson Rosellas, King Parrot, Red-winged Parrot, Bridled, White-cheeked, Fuscous, Scarlet, and Macleay’s Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebill, Varied Sitella, Crested Shrike-tit, Red-tailed Black-cockatoo, Owlet Nightjar, Apostlebird, Grey-crowned Babbler, Topknot and White-headed Pigeons, Wompoo Fruit-dove, Eastern Yellow, Pale-yellow and Grey-headed Robins, Fernwren, Atherton Scrubwren, White-browed Scrubwren, Painted Button-quail, Bassian and Russet-tailed Thrushes, Black-faced and Pied Monarhs, Mountain and Buff-rumped Thornbills, Common Bronzewing and Squatter Pigeons, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brolga and Sarus Cranes, Australian Bustards, Emu, Magpie Geese, Green and Cotton Pygmy-geese, Hardheads and whistling ducks et

  6. Lotusbird Lodge (‘The Jewel of Cape York’) and Lakefield.

    Fully accommodated 5-days/4-nights. Habitats include extensive freshwater wetlands (billabongs), savannah, savannah woodland, monsoon (gallery) forest, riverine/riparian, mangroves and the inter-tidal zone. Species include Golden-shouldered Parrots, possible Palm Cockatoo, Black-backed Butcherbird, Red Goshawk, Black-breasted Buzzard, Emu, White-streaked, Banded, Red-headed, Rufous-throated, Rufous-banded and Bar-breasted Honeyeaters, Star, Masked, Black-throated, the white-bellied form of Crimson Finch and occassional Gouldian Finches, Red-browed Pardalote, Comb-crested Jacana (the Lotusbird), Radjah Shelducks, Wandering and Plumed Whistling ducks, Pink-eared Duck, Common Bronze-wing, Black-necked Stork, Black-winged Stilt, Australian Pratincole, Oriental Plover, Southern Boobook, Barking and Grass Owls, Papuan Frogmouth, Owlet, Large-tailed and Spotted Nightjars, White-breasted Sea-eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brolga and Sarus Cranes and numerous waders

  7. Iron Range, Lotusbird Lodge and Lakefield.

    Fly one way, drive the other. Fully accommodated 8 days/7-nights. 4-nights Iron Range, 3-nights Lotusbird Lodge.

  8. Iron Range.

    Fly-in/Fly-out. Fully accommodated 5-days/4-nights. Habitats include monsoon (gallery) forest, riparian/riverine, estuarine, heathland, dry sclerophyll woodland, mangroves, freshwater lagoons and paperbark swamps. Species include Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus Parrot, Red-cheeked Parrot, Double-eyed Fig-parrot (race Marshalli), Magnificent Riflebird, Trumpet Manucode, Yellow-billed and Azure Kingfishers, Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, Marbled Fogmouth, Red-bellied and Noisy Pittas, Frilled and Black-winged Monarchs, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, White-faced Robin, Green-backed, Tawny-breasted and White-streaked Honeyeaters, Tropical Scrubwren, Mangrove Robin, Collared Kingfisher and Grey Goshawk.

  9. Lower Cape York Bird Watching Tour.

    Fully accommodated, 7-days/6-nights. Daintree, Cooktown, Lakefield and Lotusbird Lodge. Accommodation in three locations. Includes early morning 2 hour Birding Daintree River cruise. Habitats include riparian/riverine, mangrove, estuarine, lowland and upland rainforest, dry sclerophyll woodland and freshwater wetlands. Species include Great-billed Heron, Striated Heron, Double-eyed Fig-parrot, Noist Pitta, Yellow Oriole, Wompoo Fruit-dove, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Little, Azure Forest and Sacred Kingfishers, White-eared Monarch, Lovely wren, Shinning Flycatcher, Papuan Fromouth, Black-necked Stork, Cattle Egret, White-breasted Sea-eagle, Brahminy Kite, Osprey and in season Black Bittern, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Buff-breasted Paradise-kingfisher, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Koel etc. Habitats for Lakefield/Lotusbird Lodge include extensive freshwater wetlands (billabongs), savannah, savannah woodland, monsoon (gallery) forest, riverine/riparian, mangroves and the inter-tidal zone. Species include Golden-shouldered Parrots, possible Palm Cockatoo, Black-backed Butcherbird, Red Goshawk, Black-breasted Buzzard, Emu, White-streaked, Red-headed, Bar-breasted and Banded Honeyeaters, Star, Masked, Black-throated, the white-bellied form of Crimson Finch and occassional Gouldian Finches, Red-browed Pardalote, Comb-crested Jacana (the Lotusbird), Radjah Shelducks, Wandering and Plumed Whistling ducks, Pink-eared Duck, Common Bronze-wing, Black-necked Stork, Black-winged Stilt, Australian Pratincole, Oriental Plover, Southern Boobook, Barking and Grass Owls, Papuan Frogmouth, Owlet, Large-tailed and Spotted Nightjars, White-breasted Sea-eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Brolga and Sarus Cranes.

    *** Please note that a number our bird species migrate to south-east Asia and beyond. Most do not return to the Tropical North Queensland region until around the end of August/early September and depart again in late February to mid-March depending on weather conditions prevailing at the time. There are exceptions; the Buff-breasted Paradise-kingfisher seldom arrive before the first week in November and most adults have usually departed by late February/early March. The Red-bellied Pitta of the monsoon forests of Iron Range/Cape York frequently arrive very late around early to mid-December. A few individuals appear to over-winter as we have found and photographed them in August and September. We have not however, heard over-wintering birds calling……!

  10. Georgetown and the Gulf Savannah.

    Fully accommodated 4-days/3-nights. Can be added to 1, 2 or 5.

    Habitats include savannah/savannah woodland, freshwater wetlands etc. Species possible include Masked, Black- throated, Zebra, Double-barred, Plum Headed and occassionally Gouldian Finches, Pictorella Mannikin, Red-backed Kingfisher, Varied Lorrikeet, Cockatiel, Budgerigar, Squatter and (occassionally) Spinifex Pigeons.

  11. Lawn Hill, Normanton/Kurumba and the Gulf.

    Fully accommodated 8-days/7-nights.

  12.  Wetlands and Waterbirds Tour

  13. Tropical Parrots and Kingfishers.

     

     

    Tropical North Queensland Fauna and Flora Tours with opportunities for photography. 

     

    Wildlife Tours include. Platypus, Lumholtz’s and Bennett’s Tree-kangaroos, Kangaroos, rare Possums, Golden, Satin, Great and Tooth-billed Bowerbirds at bowers, Victoria’s Riflebirds, Reptiles and Amphibians, Butterflies and Dragonflies.

     

    The very best areas for viewing mammals/marsupials in Tropical North Queensland are the Misty Mountains/Ravenshoe, Southern Tablelands/Atherton and Evelyn/Cairns Highlands.  These areas have the greatest diversity of habitats, landforms and elevations in Tropical North Queensland. The main populations of arboreal mammals occur above 900 metres elevation in the climax highland rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests of the Misty Mountains and Southern Tablelands.

    To maximize the opportunity of seeing wildlife, timing, temperature and lighting situation are critical. Platypus are crepuscular and nocturnal and the very best time to observe them is very early morning around 06:00-07:00am before the sun reaches the water and before there are too many people moving around! They are relatively common and easy to find and see, providing certain procedures are observed. Possums and tree-kangaroos are mostly nocturnal. Tree kangaroos can also be found in some locations sleeping in favourite trees during the morning,warming themselves after a cool/cold night. They disappear in to vine thickets as the day warms up and are impossible to find. Kangaroos are best observed either early morning or late afternoon or early evening. The rarer arboreal marsupials are mostly nocturnal and are best observed with the aid of a spotlight.

     

      1. Tablelands and Misty Mountains Wildlife Tour.

        Fully accommodated 3-days/2-nights. Includes spotlighting at Warrigal Highland Rainforest Preserve. Species include Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Common Wallaroo, Pretty-face Wallaby, Agile Wallaby, Swamp Wallaby, Mareeba Rock-wallaby, Red Legged Pademelon, Rufous Bettong, Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo, Musky-Rat-kangaroo, Platypus, Spectacled Flying-fox (fruit bat), Lemuroid Ringtail Possum, Herbert River Ringtail Possum, Green Ringtail Possum, Common Ringtail Possum, Striped Possum, Coppery Brushtail Possum, Longtailed Pygmy-possum, Feathertail Glider, Fluffy Glider, Greater Glider, Sugar Glider, Squirrel Glider, Northern Brown Bandicoot, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Red-legged Pademelon, Swamp Wallaby, Rufous Bettong, Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko, Chameleon Gecko, Pink-tongue Lizard, Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Eastern Water Dragon and nocturnal birds etc.

      2. Nocturnal Wildlife ‘Spotlighting’ Tour.

        Fully accommodated (1-night) or afternoon and evening with pick-up from Tablelands only. The main populations of arboreal mammals occur above 900 metres elevation in primary rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests of the Misty Mountains and Southern Tablelands. Species include Lemuroid Ringtail Possum, Herbert River Ringtail Possum, Green Ringtail Possum, Common Ringtail Possum, Striped Possum, Coppery Brushtail Possum, Longtailed Pygmy-possum, Feathertail Glider, Fluffy Glider, Greater Glider, Sugar Glider, Squirrel Glider, Northern Brown Bandicoot, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo, Red-legged Pademelon, Swamp Wallaby, Rufous Bettong, Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko, Chameleon Gecko, Pink-tongue Lizard and nocturnal birds etc.

      3. Lumholtz’s and Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo Tour.

        Fully accommodated 4-days/3-nights. Misty Mountains, Southern Tablelands and Cooktown.

      4. Kangaroo Tour.

        Species include Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Common Wallaroo, Pretty-face Wallaby, Agile Wallaby, Swamp Wallaby, Mareeba Rock-wallaby, Red Legged Pademelon, Rufous Bettong and occassionally Antilopine Wallaroo.

      5. Platypus Tour.

        Platypus are mainly nocturnal and crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk) but can occasionally be observed during daylight hours. They are particularly active during winter and early spring when females feed frequently to build up fat reserves in preparation for breeding and egg laying.

        Sensitive to sudden noise, vibrations and movements, this secretive animal usually disappears at the first sight or sound of disturbance. On our excursions, we regularly have excellent views of this shy and elusive animal and have often observed interesting interactions between individuals and with other species.

      6. Lakefield and Iron Range; 7-14 days.

        Wild Watch offers excursions to the Cape York wilderness region, with the cooler, drier months being the best times for observing wildlife. The wetlands of this region support large populations of Estuarine and Freshwater Crocodiles.

        In Lakeland and Lakefield National Park areas we also frequently see Eastern Grey Kangaroo, Common and Antilopine Wallaroo, Agile and Northern Nailtail Wallabies, Godman's rock-wallaby, Dingo and Northern Quoll. Reptiles such as Gould's Sand Monitor, Yellow Monitor, Bearded Dragon and Frilled Lizard are also often encountered.

        Further north, the monsoon forests of the Iron Range offer some exciting species, including Spotted and Southern Common Cuscus, Striped Possum, Rufous Spiny Bandicoot, Cinnamon Antechinus, and the beautiful Emerald Python and Emerald Monitor.

      Rainforest Natural History Tours.

      Orchids and rare and primitive plants