For those with limited time or who want to go Wet Season birding in Iron Range a 4-5 day Fly In/Fly Out tour can be arranged.
This tour allows us to have a good look at the different habitats that can be found around the Iron Range area. Iron Range is the furthest south many species get in Australia. These are the “New Guinea” specials such as Eclectus Parrot, Palm Cockatoo and Yellow-billed Kingfisher and during the Wet Season the Papuan (Red-bellied) Pitta is a big draw.
AU$2,630.00 per person (group of 4)
Approximately AU$840.00 (return airfare from Cairns to Lockhart River)
7:30am – 8am from your hotel in Cairns
We suggest you bring with you:
This is not a difficult tour and suitable for anyone with a moderate level of fitness. The return flights mean that participants are spared the 2 day drive up the Cape which is often impassable during the Wet.
At Iron Range this is either in air-conditioned en suite cabins or in a very pleasant house with air-conditioned bedrooms but a shared bathroom.
Today we fly from Cairns to Lockhart River. The time of departure will depend on the day of travel as flight times vary from day to day. On arrival we will collect our vehicle and then check into our accommodation before heading out for an afternoon’s birding around the local area. Palm Cockatoo is often one of the first birds we see on arrival at Lockhart. River, A visit to the local sewage ponds can be productive so we may well call in there. We will also be looking for Green-backed Honeyeater, White-streaked Honeyeater and Tropical Scrubwren.
Today we spend a full day birding the tropical rainforest and woodlands around Lockhart River. We are likely to visit Cooks Hut, the camp ground and Gordon Creek looking for the area specialities such as Eclectus Parrots, Trumpet Manucode, Frill-necked Monarch, Magnificent Riflebird and Yellow-billed Kingfisher.
Another day around the Lockhart area but today we will be concentrating on any of the skulkers we did not see yesterday, Black-eared Catbird, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, White-faced Robin and Northern Scrub Robin can fall into this category. In the evening we can do some spotlighting for Marbled and Papuan Frogmouth and Rufous Owl. If we are lucky will also see Cuscus, there are two species of this wonderful prehensile-tailed animal for us to look for here.
If necessary we will spend the morning around Lockhart. In the Wet Season we will be particularly looking for Papuan Pitta and Black-faced Monarch if we haven’t already seen them. However in the afternoon we will travel over to the coast and the area around Portland Roads where we we will look for the bowers of the Fawn-breasted Bowerbird and, if everything goes to plan, see the birds as well. Mangrove Robin can also be seen in this area and the nearby Chilli Beach usually gives us a variety of shorebirds and if we are lucky some seabirds as well. In the evening large flocks of Metallic Starlings can be seen wheeling along the coast.
Depending on our flight time we will spend time chasing any missing birds, perhaps visit the local Arts Centre in Lockhart River or take a last look at the seabirds off Chilli Beach, before heading to the airfield for our flight back to Cairns.