Birding Tour Australia: Tasmania – Endemics and the Orange-bellied Parrot


THIS TOUR INCLUDES A DAY-TRIP RETURN FLIGHT TO MELALEUCA FOR THE CRITICALLY ENDANGERED ORANGE-BELLIED PARROT. THE COST OF THIS DAY-TRIP IS INCLUDED IN OUR TOUR PRICE. NOT ALL TASMANIA BIRD TOURS OFFER THIS INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE, WHICH IS THE ONLY REALISTIC WAY TO SEE THIS EXTREMELY RARE SPECIES. THIS DAY-TRIP IS ALWAYS A TOUR HIGHLIGHT AND WE WOULD NOT RECOMMEND MISSING OUT ON IT!

Dates and Costs:

 

24 – 29 October 2024

Spaces Available: 5

Price: AU$5,864  / $4,080 / £3,203 / €3,761 per person sharing (6 – 8 participants), which includes the Orange-bellied Parrot day-trip flights

Single Supplement: AU$773 / $538 / £422 / €496

 

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

 

24 – 29 October 2025

Price: AU$6,450  / $4,488 / £3,523 / €4,137 per person sharing (6 – 8 participants), which includes the Orange-bellied Parrot day-trip flights

Single Supplement: AU$850 / $591 / £464 / €545

 

24 – 29 October 2026

Price: AU$7,095  / $4,937 / £3,875 / €4,551 per person sharing (6 – 8 participants), which includes the Orange-bellied Parrot day-trip flights

Single Supplement: AU$935 / $651 / £510 / €600


Recommended Field Guide

(Please also read our blogs about recommended field guides for the seven continents here)


Tour Details

Duration: 6 days
Group Size: 6 – 8
Tour Start: Hobart, Tasmania
Tour End: Hobart, Tasmania


Price includes:

Day trip return flights for Orange-bellied Parrot day trip
All accommodation (as described above from Day 1 through Day 5, note accommodation on Bruny Island might include shared bathrooms, we usually stay in small cottages that have a couple of private bedrooms and a communal dining room and bathroom)
Meals (from dinner on Day 1 until lunch on Day 6)
Expert tour leader
National park/birdwatching reserve/protected areas entrance fees
Private transportation during the tour

Price excludes:

International or domestic flights to/from Hobart
Airport transfers
Any pre- or post-tour accommodation, meals, or birding/sightseeing/etc. excursions
Visa if required
Items of a personal nature, e.g. gifts, laundry, internet access, phone calls, etc.
Any pre- or post-tour accommodation, meals, or birding/sightseeing/monument excursions
Soft/alcoholic drinks (drinking water is safe from the taps, please bring a refillable water bottle)
Personal travel insurance
Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog)

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Australia: Tasmania – Endemics and the Orange-bellied Parrot
October 2024/2025/2026

 

This small group tour of the Australian island state of Tasmania looks for all Tasmanian endemics (we usually see them all well) and also includes a day-trip flight to look for the Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) Orange-bellied Parrot, not everyone offers this option within their tours so do check as this is the only realistic way to see this species.

Tasmanian birding toursThe handsome Orange-bellied Parrot is the primary target on this tour.

 

Adjoined to the mainland until the end of the last glacial period about ten thousand years ago, Tasmania is both geographically and genetically isolated from the Australian mainland. Through the millennia this island has developed its own unique set of plants and animals, including twelve avian endemics: Forty-spotted Pardalote, Tasmanian Nativehen, Green Rosella, Yellow Wattlebird, Scrubtit, Tasmanian Scrubwren, Tasmanian Thornbill, Dusky Robin, Yellow-throated Honeyeater, Black-headed Honeyeater, Strong-billed Honeyeater, and Black Currawong. Beyond the endemics Tasmania also harbors several species which winter on the mainland and breed on Tasmania, such as Orange-bellied Parrot already mentioned above, Swift Parrot another Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) parrot and another major target on this tour, and Tasmanian Boobook (some of which seem to overwinter in Victoria).

Tasmanian birding toursForty-spotted Pardalote is one of the Tasmanian endemics we will target on this tour.

 

This tour also offers wonderful opportunities for many other highly sought-after species such as Little Penguin, Hooded Plover, Freckled Duck, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Grey Goshawk, (Eastern) Ground Parrot, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo, Pink Robin, Flame Robin, Scarlet Robin, Olive Whistler, Southern Emu-wren, and Beautiful Firetail.

For those wishing to continue exploring Australia, this tour can be combined with our Australia Birding Tour: Eastern Australia – from the Outback to the Wet Tropics tour.

 

Itinerary (6 days/5 nights)

 

Day 1. Arrival in Hobart

Afternoon arrival at Hobart International Airport and transfer to your hotel in the city, our base for the next few nights, with the rest of the day at your leisure.

Overnight: Hobart

Tasmanian birding toursEndemic to Tasmania, Strong-billed Honeyeater will be an early target on the tour.

 

Day 2. Hobart environs

We spend the day birding at a couple of sites within close proximity to Hobart city, exploring the beautiful Fern Glade at Mt Wellington and the nearby Waterworks Reserve, where we can expect to get our list of Tasmanian endemic species up and running with Tasmanian Scrubwren, Scrubtit, Tasmanian Thornbill, Black Currawong, Yellow Wattlebird, Dusky Robin, and Strong-billed Honeyeater. The supporting cast may include Pink Robin, Bassian Thrush, and Olive Whistler.

Tasmanian birding toursUsually one of the tougher endemics, Scrubtit loves the deep dark areas of forested ravines!

The spectacular Pink Robin is always popular!

 

Day 3. Melaleuca Orange-bellied Parrot day trip

An unforgettable day is in store for us today! Weather-permitting we will board a small plane early in the morning, flying over some incredible scenery over southwestern Tasmania before descending onto the remote airstrip at Melaleuca. Originally a tin mine, Melaleuca is now the center of conservation efforts aimed at restoring the wild population of the Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) Orange-bellied Parrot. A Tasmanian breeding endemic, these beautiful little parrots are in a dire situation, with fewer than forty individuals left in the wild. Time unfortunately seems to be running out for them.


Tasmanian birding tours
We will hopefully find Orange-bellied Parrot at Melaleuca.

 

The surrounding heath hosts a healthy population of Southern Emu-wren, Striated Fieldwren, Olive Whistler, Pink Robin, Crescent Honeyeater, Beautiful Firetail, and the very secretive and subtly beautiful (Eastern) Ground Parrot, which we will also try to find. Over the course of the day we will be truly spoiled with a range of fantastic local Tasmanian food and drink. Our return flight to Hobart late in the afternoon will likely take us on a different route back to Hobart, offering more views of stunning mountain scenery. This is often considered one of the most enjoyable days across all of our Australian tours.

Overnight: Hobart

 

Day 4. Hobart to Bruny Island

Located off the southeastern coast of Tasmania, Bruny Island supports all twelve currently recognized Tasmanian endemics, including the world’s largest population of the Endangered (BirdLife International) Forty-spotted Pardalote. We will board a ferry to this rich site during the morning, watching for White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pacific Gull, and Black-faced Cormorant on our way out.

Once we arrive on the island, we will spend the better part of the day looking for all the Tasmanian endemics, such as the demure Dusky Robin, the vociferous Yellow Wattlebird, and the comical Tasmanian Nativehen. By scanning sandy beaches, we also hope to connect with the increasingly rare Hooded Plover. While here we will also look for the Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) breeding-endemic Swift Parrot, another species in a state of unfortunate rapid decline.


Tasmanian birding tours
Swift Parrot – another Critically Endangered (BirdLife International) parrot that we hope to find on this tour.

 

We will take a drive and walk around at dusk to look for Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwater as well as the recently split Tasmanian Boobook (a hawk-owl).

Overnight: Bruny Island

 

Day 5. Bruny Island to Hobart

We spend a full day birding Bruny Island, focusing perhaps on the scarcer endemics such as Scrubtit and Strong-billed Honeyeater. Other specialties like Wedge-tailed Eagle, Beautiful Firetail, Olive Whistler, (Eastern) Ground Parrot, and Swift Parrot will be among our targets too. We will also keep an eye open over the water for Black-browed Albatross and Shy Albatross, Australasian Gannet, and White-bellied Sea Eagle. In the late afternoon we will catch the ferry off Bruny Island and head back to our hotel in the city of Hobart.

Overnight: Hobart

 

Day 6. Birding Southeast Tasmania and tour concludes

We will have a final morning session birding at some sites in the southeast of the island, where we may find Latham’s Snipe, Baillon’s, Australian, and Spotless Crakes, Little Grassbird, and Australian Reed Warbler, as well as, hopefully, an assortment of waterbirds (depending on water levels).

The tour will end after a final lunch together before we make our way back to Hobart International Airport, where the tour ends at 2pm. Those continuing on the Birding Tour Australia: Eastern Australia – from the Outback to the Wet Tropics tour will fly to Melbourne for the start of that tour the following day.

Overnight: Not included

Tasmanian birding toursThis tour gives great opportunities to see the magnificent Beautiful Firetail.

 

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors. In addition, we sometimes have to use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.

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Tasmania Trip Report, October 2023

25 – 30 OCTOBER 2023 

By Andy Walker 

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Overview

This short birding tour of Tasmania, Australia started in Hobart on the 25th of October 2023 and ended back there on the 30th of October 2023. The tour focused on Tasmanian endemic birds, as well as many more widespread Australian endemics. During this Tasmanian bird tour, we birded at Waterworks Reserve, Fern Tree Trail, Mount Wellington, Melaleuca, and several sites across Bruny Island.

Tasmania birding report

Orange-bellied Parrot – what a stunner! Our trip to Melaleuca was a resounding success, with great looks at multiple parrots. The day spent birding at this beautiful remote site was a definite tour highlight, as were our scenic flights there and back.

 

We recorded 96 bird species on this short Tasmanian birdwatching tour, (two of these were heard only). Some of the tour highlights seen included some of the best birds in Tasmania, including Musk DuckTasmanian NativehenHooded DotterelPacific GullShort-tailed Shearwater (thousands!), Black-faced CormorantYellow-tailed Black CockatooGreen RosellaSwift ParrotOrange-bellied ParrotSuperb FairywrenSouthern Emu-wrenYellow-throated HoneyeaterStrong-billed HoneyeaterBlack-headed HoneyeaterYellow WattlebirdForty-spotted PardaloteScrubtitStriated FieldwrenBlack CurrawongOlive WhistlerAustralian Golden WhistlerSatin FlycatcherForest RavenDusky RobinPink RobinFlame RobinScarlet Robin, and Beautiful Firetail.

In addition to the great birds seen and photographed, we also found a nice selection of other animals, such as Short-beaked EchidnaRed-necked Wallaby, and Tasmanian Pademelon. Bird and animal lists for this Tasmanian birding tour follow the report.

Tasmania birding report

Tasmanian Nativehen is usually the first Tasmanian endemic bird seen on arrival in Hobart.


Detailed Report

 

Day 1, 25th October 2023. Arrival in Hobart

We arrived in Hobart in the late afternoon and had a group welcome meal in the evening, discussing the plans for the coming week of birding in Tasmania, Australia.

A pair of Black-headed Honeyeaters were busily feeding their recent fledglings.

 

Day 2, 26th October 2023. Birding in Hobart

We spent the morning birding at the Waterworks Reserve on the edge of Hobart city. It was a great location to start birding on the island, or the country, despite the poor weather. We found several Tasmanian endemic birds, as well as more widespread Australian endemic species. The Tasmanian endemic birds seen included Tasmanian NativehenYellow WattlebirdGreen RosellaBlack CurrawongStrong-billed Honeyeater, and Black-headed HoneyeaterTasmanian Scrubwren was heard only, keeping well hidden in the undergrowth at this time.

Tasmania birding report

We enjoyed multiple sightings of the gorgeous Superb Fairywren during the morning

 

Other species seen during the morning, of which there were many, included Fan-tailed CuckooCrescent HoneyeaterEastern SpinebillAustralian Golden WhistlerSilvereyeGrey CurrawongForest RavenWelcome SwallowTree MartinBrown ThornbillSpotted PardaloteStriated PardaloteGrey FantailLaughing Kookaburra, and plenty of very popular Superb Fairywrens. Lots of waterbirds were attracted to the reservoirs and here we saw Masked LapwingKelp GullEurasian CootPacific Black DuckManed Duck, and Little Pied Cormorant.

Tasmania birding report

Eastern Spinebill, a small and very attractive honeyeater, gave excellent views.

 

In the afternoon we visited the Fern Trail on Mount Wellington, it was rather cold and windy but walking up the fern-filled valley, we got a little shelter and found some great birds. Top of the list of quality birds was the Scrubtit, a secretive Tasmanian endemic, quickly followed by other Tasmanian endemics including Tasmanian Scrubwren and Tasmanian Thornbill. A female Pink Robin briefly showed, but there was no sign of the male today. Several other species recorded during the morning birding session were also heard or seen again.

Tasmania birding report

We enjoyed great views of Scrubtit today, a prized Tasmanian endemic.

 

Day 3, 27th October 2023. Birding Melaleuca – Orange-bellied Parrot birding trip

What an amazing day! We took a scenic flight from Hobart down to Melaleuca in the far southwest of Tasmania. Our flight to Melaleuca took us out along the south coast as we flew between Tasmania and Bruny Island, enjoying the spectacular scenery along the way. Our journey back to Hobart in the late afternoon cut a more direct route as we passed over and through snow-capped mountain ranges, enjoying more equally spectacular scenic views along the way. After the pretty grim weather, endured over previous days across Tasmania, it was a great relief to enjoy a glorious, calm, and sunny day. The main reason for coming all the way to Melaleuca was to try and see the Critically Endangered (BirdLife International), Tasmanian breeding endemic, Orange-bellied Parrot, at the only known site that these tiny migratory parrots breed (with a global population estimated to be less than 30 mature individuals). We were not to be disappointed with the birding at Melaleuca, and had an awesome day. We spent the morning watching multiple Orange-bellied Parrots coming to supplementary feeding stations and visiting their nest sites, seeing a large proportion of the global population of this gorgeous but rare parrot.

Tasmania birding report

Excellent views of Orange-bellied Parrot were the order of the day while birding at Melaleuca.

 

Once we’d enjoyed seeing the Orange-bellied Parrots, we focused our attention on the other birds of the area during the rest of the day, getting great views of Dusky Robin and Yellow-throated Honeyeater (two new Tasmanian endemics for us, the latter pulling hair from a Red-necked Wallaby to use as nesting material!). Other top birds seen included Green RosellaBeautiful FiretailOlive WhistlerGrey ShrikethrushStriated FieldwrenSouthern Emu-wrenBrush BronzewingNew Holland Honeyeater, and a brief (Eastern) Ground Parrot for some.

Tasmania birding report

Beautiful Firetails were very conspicuous during our visit to Melaleuca, and several birds were seen collecting nesting material and giving an entertaining courtship display.

 

Some of the other birds noted through the day included Swamp HarrierWhite-bellied Sea EagleGreat CormorantLittle Pied CormorantLittle Black CormorantBlack Swan, and the ever-popular Superb Fairywren.

We enjoyed absolutely sensational views of a pair of Southern Emu-wrens, this is the male.

 

On arrival back in Hobart we noted Tasmanian NativehenAustralasian SwamphenMasked LapwingKelp GullSilver GullGreat EgretLittle WattlebirdNoisy MinerAustralian MagpieGalahEastern RosellaSulphur-crested Cockatoo, and European Goldfinch.

 

Day 4, 28th October 2023. Birding Bruny Island                                             

We left Hobart after breakfast, drove the short distance to Kettering harbor, seeing Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and several other species along the way, and then boarded the ferry for the short journey to Bruny Island. While on the ferry we saw our first Black-faced Cormorant and several Silver Gulls.

We arrived on North Bruny Island and commenced our birding. The wind had picked up and it was rather cool, but we found plenty of exciting species as soon as we got out of the vehicle, such as Blue-winged ParrotPallid CuckooFan-tailed CuckooBlack-faced CuckooshrikeDusky WoodswallowDusky Robin, and Yellow-rumped Thornbill. As we made our way to a patch of woodland, we were soon watching some stunning, and now Critically Endangered (BirdLife InternationalSwift Parrots (a Tasmanian breeding endemic). They were rather flighty at first, but eventually we managed to get some great views. Next up was a pair of the Endangered (BirdLife InternationalForty-spotted Pardalotes, a highly localized and declining Tasmanian endemic. They came in and showed nicely for everyone, but got chased around variously by Striated PardaloteSpotted PardaloteBlack-headed Honeyeater, and New Holland Honeyeater, the latter also chasing off a gorgeous male Satin Flycatcher that made a brief appearance. Swamp HarrierBrown Falcon, and White-bellied Sea Eagle were overhead.

Tasmania birding report

Following on from our excellent views of Orange-bellied Parrot on the previous day, we got similarly great views of the Critically Endangered (BirdLife InternationalSwift Parrot today. Both species of these declining and rare parrots are Tasmanian breeding endemics. 

 

As the tide in a nearby bay receded, we noted Pied OystercatcherWhite-faced Heron, and most spectacular of all, an adult Pacific Gull (which is saying a lot for a gull!). We then moved across to South Bruny Island via “The Neck”, spotting Chestnut Teal and Sooty Oystercatcher along the way.

After lunch at Adventure Bay, we walked along the beach, finding a pair of nesting and Vulnerable (BirdLife InternationalHooded Dotterels. We also saw more Kelp GullsPacific GullsSilver Gulls, and Black-faced Cormorants, with several Greater Crested Terns offshore. Flowering trees along the coast held Yellow Wattlebird and more Swift Parrots. We then drove across South Bruny Island, making a stop in some tall Mountain Ash eucalyptus forest, where we found our main target, Strong-billed Honeyeater, gaining much better and more prolonged views than we’d had earlier in the tour. As we checked into our quaint accommodation for the night, we found Scarlet RobinAustralian PipitBeautiful Firetail, and a couple of Pallid Cuckoos.

After dinner we went back to “The Neck”, where we watched an impressive moonrise and the incredible sight of hundreds of Short-tailed Shearwaters coming back to their nesting burrows, wheeling around right above our heads! Unfortunately, not long after the sun had set, a storm rolled in and we had even stronger wind and persistent heavy rain, which curtailed our evening activities, and resulted in the loss of power across parts of the island, which was a little unfortunate for some!

After brief views earlier in the tour, it was good to get better views of Strong-billed Honeyeater.

 

Day 5, 29th October 2023. Birding Bruny Island

We had a final day birding on beautiful Bruny Island and thankfully the storm that had caused a bit of chaos overnight had departed, and we were left with a dry and relatively mild day. Pallid CuckooYellow-throated HoneyeaterDusky RobinWedge-tailed EaglePied Oystercatcher, and Greater Crested Terns were all noted around our accommodations on South Bruny Island.

We moved across to Adventure Bay for our tasty breakfast and then birded in some nearby beautiful and ancient forest, noting Tasmanian Pademelon and Red-necked Wallaby along the way. Once inside the forest we found our main target, the simply spectacular Pink Robin. We had a pair of birds hanging around us for a while and giving good views. With these birds “in the bag” we started our journey back to North Bruny Island; however, we made a brief stop which turned into a longer stop, and we enjoyed watching pairs of both Flame Robin and Scarlet Robin, to go with the Pink Robin and Dusky Robin seen earlier in the day. Dusky Robin aside, it was a colorful morning! At the robin stop we also saw Striated Pardalote (probably our best views of the tour), a male Australian Golden Whistler, and a couple of small flocks of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos.

Tasmania birding report

The gorgeous Pink Robin (this is the male) showed nicely.

 

We crossed “The Neck” again, back onto North Bruny Island, and walked a track down to a wetland. The walk was relatively quiet, it was getting to the hot part of the day, but we found White-fronted ChatAustralian PipitEurasian SkylarkSilvereyeNew Holland HoneyeaterGrey ShrikethrushDusky WoodswallowBlack-faced Cuckooshrike, and Grey Fantail. At the lake we had a surprise in the form of a Pied Stilt, an uncommon species in this part of Australia, but more expected were the numerous Black Swans. A few Musk Ducks were also a highlight. Around the edge of the lake, in some recently burnt areas, were over a dozen of the attractive Blue-winged Parrots, which gave close views. A Short-beaked Echidna sighting here proved very popular. After a late and enjoyable lunch, we caught the ferry off Bruny Island, noting White-bellied Sea Eagle and Black-faced Cormorant, we then drove back to Hobart.

Tasmania birding report

We had excellent views of many Blue-winged Parrots while birding on Bruny Island.

 

Day 6, 30th October 2023. Departure from Hobart

The tour ended with our earlier-than-originally-planned departure from Hobart due to airline flight schedule changes. It had been an enjoyable tour of a beautiful part of Australia, seeing plenty of Tasmanian endemic birds, lots of Australian endemic birds, and with loads of great photo opportunities of many species, including two of the rarest parrots in the world.

Tasmania birding report

The rather brutish Pacific Gull was a popular bird with everyone.

 

Bird List – Following IOC (13.2)

Birds ‘heard only’ are marked with (H) after the common name, all other species were seen. The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following BirdLife International: CR = Critically Endangered, EN = Endangered, VU = Vulnerable.

Common Name Scientific Name
Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)
Black Swan Cygnus atratus
Maned Duck Chenonetta jubata
Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa
Grey Teal Anas gracilis
Chestnut Teal Anas castanea
Musk Duck Biziura lobata
Cuckoos (Cuculidae)
Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx basalis
Shining Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus
Pallid Cuckoo Cacomantis pallidus
Fan-tailed Cuckoo Cacomantis flabelliformis
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)
Rock Dove Columba livia
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis
Common Bronzewing Phaps chalcoptera
Brush Bronzewing Phaps elegans
Rails, Crakes & Coots (Rallidae)
Tasmanian Nativehen Tribonyx mortierii
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra
Australasian Swamphen Porphyrio melanotus
Oystercatchers (Haematopodidae)
Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus longirostris
Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus
Stilts, Avocets (Recurvirostridae)
Pied Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus
Plovers (Charadriidae)
Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles
Hooded Dotterel – VU Thinornis cucullatus
Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)
Silver Gull Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae
Pacific Gull Larus pacificus
Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus
Greater Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii
Petrels, Shearwaters, Diving Petrels (Procellariidae)
Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris
Gannets, Boobies (Sulidae)
Australasian Gannet Morus serrator
Cormorants, Shags (Phalacrocoracidae)
Little Pied Cormorant Microcarbo melanoleucos
Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens
Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)
Great Egret Ardea alba
White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae
Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)
Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax
Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus
Swamp Harrier Circus approximans
White-bellied Sea Eagle Icthyophaga leucogaster
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)
Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)
Brown Falcon Falco berigora
Cockatoos (Cacatuidae)
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo Zanda funerea
Galah Eolophus roseicapilla
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita
Old World Parrots (Psittaculidae)
Green Rosella Platycercus caledonicus
Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius
Swift Parrot – CR Lathamus discolor
Ground Parrot Pezoporus wallicus
Blue-winged Parrot – VU Neophema chrysostoma
Orange-bellied Parrot – CR Neophema chrysogaster
Musk Lorikeet Glossopsitta concinna
 
Australasian Wrens (Maluridae)
Superb Fairywren Malurus cyaneus
Southern Emu-wren Stipiturus malachurus
Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)
Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
White-fronted Chat Epthianura albifrons
Crescent Honeyeater Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus
New Holland Honeyeater Phylidonyris novaehollandiae
Yellow-throated Honeyeater Nesoptilotis flavicollis
Strong-billed Honeyeater – VU Melithreptus validirostris
Black-headed Honeyeater Melithreptus affinis
Little Wattlebird Anthochaera chrysoptera
Yellow Wattlebird Anthochaera paradoxa
Noisy Miner Manorina melanocephala
Pardalotes (Pardalotidae)
Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus punctatus
Forty-spotted Pardalote – EN Pardalotus quadragintus
Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus
Australasian Warblers (Acanthizidae)
Scrubtit Acanthornis magna
Striated Fieldwren Calamanthus fuliginosus
Tasmanian Scrubwren Sericornis humilis
Brown Thornbill Acanthiza pusilla
Tasmanian Thornbill Acanthiza ewingii
Yellow-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza chrysorrhoa
Woodswallows, Butcherbirds & Allies (Artamidae)
Dusky Woodswallow Artamus cyanopterus
Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen
Black Currawong Strepera fuliginosa
Grey Currawong Strepera versicolor
Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)
Black-faced Cuckooshrike Coracina novaehollandiae
Whistlers & Allies (Pachycephalidae)
Olive Whistler Pachycephala olivacea
Australian Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis
Grey Shrikethrush Colluricincla harmonica
Fantails (Rhipiduridae)
Grey Fantail Rhipidura albiscapa
Monarchs (Monarchidae)
Satin Flycatcher Myiagra cyanoleuca
Crows, Jays (Corvidae)
Forest Raven Corvus tasmanicus
Australasian Robins (Petroicidae)
Dusky Robin – VU Melanodryas vittata
Pink Robin Petroica rodinogaster
Flame Robin Petroica phoenicea
Scarlet Robin Petroica boodang
Larks (Alaudidae)
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)
Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena
Tree Martin Petrochelidon nigricans
White-eyes (Zosteropidae)
Silvereye Zosterops lateralis
Starlings, Rhabdornises (Sturnidae)
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Thrushes (Turdidae)
Common Blackbird Turdus merula
Old World Sparrows, Snowfinches (Passeridae)
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Waxbills, Munias & Allies (Estrildidae)
Beautiful Firetail Stagonopleura bella
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Australian Pipit Anthus australis
Finches, Euphonias (Fringillidae)
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Total seen 94
Total heard only 2
Total recorded 96

Mammal List

Common Name Scientific Name
Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Allies (Macropodidae)
Red-necked Wallaby Notamacropus rufogriseus
Tasmanian Pademelon Thylogale billardierii
 
Echidnas (Tachyglossidae)
Short-beaked Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus
 
Hares and Rabbits (Leporidae)
European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus
European Hare Lepus europaeus
Total 5

Reptile List

Common Name Scientific Name
Skinks (Scincidae)
Tasmanian Tree Skink Carinascincus pretiosus
Total 1

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Please see the downloadable PDF above with the full species lists included. Please email us ([email protected]) for more trip reports from this destination.

Birding Tour Australia: Tasmania – Tasmanian Endemics And The Orange-Bellied Parrot


Tour-Specific Information

 

GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT AUSTRALIA CAN BE READ HERE

 

TOUR OUTLINE

This short (just under one week in duration) Tasmanian birding tour offers an excellent chance of finding all of the Tasmanian resident endemic birds, as well as three Tasmanian breeding endemics (Swift Parrot, Orange-bellied Parrot, and Tasmanian Boobook) and a host of more widespread Australian endemics. The Tasmanian endemic bird targets on our birding tour of Tasmania include Tasmanian Nativehen, Green Rosella, Strong-billed Honeyeater, Black-headed Honeyeater, Yellow-throated Honeyeater, Yellow Wattlebird, Scrubtit, Tasmanian Scrubwren, Tasmanian Thornbill, Dusky Robin, Black Currawong, and Forty-spotted Pardalote. We can also find many other great Australian birds on this Tasmanian bird tour, such as Little Penguin, Hooded Plover, (Eastern) Ground Parrot, Southern Emu-wren, Flame Robin, Pink Robin, and Beautiful Firetail – some of Australia’s best birds in a short space of time. The tour starts and ends in, and is mainly based in Hobart.

This tour combines very well with our Birding Tour Australia: from the Outback to the Wet Tropics tour that covers the eastern side of Australia, including birding in Victoria, New South Wales, and north and south Queensland.

 

DAILY ACTIVITIES, PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS, AND TOUR PACE

This is a fairly relaxed pace Tasmania birding tour, with limited driving and few accommodation changes. Accommodation and food are generally considered to be of a higher standard than most other bird tours, given the areas we are staying in and visiting have been developed for tourism. Tasmania is an island in the far southeast of Australia and is often wetter and colder than other parts of the vast country. The longest drive of the tour is likely to be two hours (between Hobart and our accommodation on South Bruny Island); however, in reality, we will be birding our way there, so it will take longer to reach.

We will be based in Hobart for most of the tour, and we will make morning and afternoon trips out of the city to key birding sites in our quest to find the endemic birds of Tasmania (e.g., drives of around 20 – 30 minutes). On one full day, we will take a charter flight to the far southwest of the island (to Melaleuca) in pursuit of the Critically Endangered Orange-bellied Parrot (see the “Orange-bellied Parrot Trip” section below for more information). We will also spend one night and the majority of two days birding on the delightful Bruny Island. This small offshore island (reached by a short car ferry ride) acts as a refuge for many of Tasmania’s endemic birds, and we are sure to enjoy our time here during our Tasmanian bird tour.

Most of the walking on our Tasmania bird tour is considered easy, although there are two moderately strenuous walks. We will bird at a waterworks site near Hobart that has some loop circuits; these are slightly undulating, and we will probably walk about 1.2 – 1.8 miles (2 – 3 kilometers/km) on these, with a fair bit of stopping and scanning some reservoirs. A mountain trail near the city will be the most strenuous hike on the tour. This is probably a similar length to the aforementioned hike, but this is a windy uphill then downhill trail, which is steep in places. A hiking pole will be useful or necessary if you are unstable when walking. We will be looking for secretive forest birds here and going slowly. While on Bruny Island and in the southwest of Tasmania (Melaleuca), we will likely have a couple of hikes of around 3.5 – 5 miles (6 – 8 km), but these will be on mainly flat ground. All walking will be at a slow birding pace.

During our time on Bruny Island, we will take a look at dusk for Little Penguin and Tasmanian Boobook and may find some mammals at this time too.

 

TRANSPORTATION

We will use a 12-seater minibus on this Tasmanian bird tour. There will be limited baggage space in the vehicle, so please pack as lightly as possible for the tour (including within the seating area). It will be possible to leave larger baggage at our hotel in Hobart for our overnight trip to Bruny Island, which will help with space. There will not be masses of time spent in vehicles on this tour, the most vehicle time will be when we are travelling to and birding around Bruny Island.

We will take a short (approximately 30 minutes) car ferry ride between the Tasmanian “mainland” and Bruny Island. This crossing is usually smooth and stable, but if you suffer from motion sickness, you might want to bring along suitable medication.

The tour doesn’t include any domestic flights; however, we do take one chartered flight during the tour; see the “Orange-bellied Parrot Trip” section below for more information.

 

ORANGE-BELLIED PARROT TRIP

We will spend a full day of the tour taking a scenic flight into the remote wilderness in the Melaleuca area of southwest Tasmania. Our flight will leave Hobart at 08:30 hrs. and return there at 16:30 hrs. The flight time for each journey is approximately one hour. Our route out to Melaleuca is usually different from our route back to Hobart, thus maximizing the opportunities for spectacular landscape views (maybe even some snow-capped peaks!). We will be making this journey with Par Avion (a division of Airlines of Tasmania Pty Ltd.), and a gourmet lunch of local Tasmanian food and drinks will be provided. The aim of our trip is to connect with the extremely rare and Critically Endangered Orange-bellied Parrot. This area remains the stronghold for the species, where they are supported by massive levels of predator management, nest site provisions, and supplementary feeding. The area is also good for several other species, and we will look for these too.

We will be using a small aircraft, likely with a capacity of nine passengers. Depending on the final size of the group, we may have the plane to ourselves. We will need to supply body weight information to the airline ahead of our flight (so expect an email in the lead-up to the tour asking for this information). A carry-on baggage allowance of 8.8 pounds (4 kilograms) is permitted per person on this trip. Everyone will need to bring a personal water supply with them for the day. The carriage of dangerous goods is prohibited as per Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations (e.g., including, but not limited to, compressed gases, explosives, corrosives, etc. – see here for full details – in general, the usual things you cannot take on a plane).

All flights are subject to change due to weather or other operational requirements. In case of poor weather cancellation, flights will be transferred to an alternative day if possible. We will make every effort to make the flight happen; however, there is a chance the trip might be cancelled if weather conditions are not suitable and an alternative date does not work. These factors are beyond our control.

Par Avion has a range of aircraft in their lineup, but we usually use the Britten-Norman Islander light utility aircraft on our tours. For further details, photographs, and frequently asked questions about this trip, please see here.

 

LUGGAGE

Please pack as lightly as possible for this Tasmanian birdwatching tour. A medium, soft-sided, and robust duffle bag is likely to work best for packing in the tour vehicle. You will be expected to load and unload your own bags into and out of vehicles and to/from your rooms.

We recommend a daypack is used to keep items that you wish to use daily when in the vehicle or when birding in the field (such as binoculars, camera, notebook, field guide, personal supply of water, snacks, umbrella, rain jacket, extra layers of clothing, etc.).

 

ACCOMMODATION

In Hobart, we stay at a city hotel, usually the Best Western Hobart, or equivalent. This hotel is typical of most modern city hotels, with air conditioning, ensuite bathrooms, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel has a restaurant where we will have breakfast and dinner on most days of our time in the city. The hotel is also located in the city center, so you can explore the sights in downtime from birding, should you wish to do so.

We spend one night on Bruny Island, and our accommodation is located on South Bruny Island. We usually stay in holiday cottages/houses run by Bruny Island Hotel. These usually have several bedrooms of various arrangements with a shared lounge area, kitchen, and bathroom/toilet. Depending on the overall group size and final rooming arrangements of the group, we might need to book two or three such properties. These properties might be a little drive apart from each other, but you will be picked up and dropped off at each of these as needed. We will eat meals together at the various cafés or restaurants on the island as required. The properties will be unlikely to have Wi-Fi.

 

WEATHER

We will be birding in Tasmania during the spring period on this Tasmanian bird tour. Temperatures and weather can be quite varied and can also be heavily influenced by wind direction. Anything from the south will drop the feel of the temperature, sometimes considerably. The average peak daytime temperature is likely to be around 59 – 63 degrees Fahrenheit (oF) (15 – 17 degrees Centigrade/oC). At night we can expect temperatures of around 46 oF (8 oC). Showers or periods of rainfall should be expected; Tasmania receives a lot of rainfall, particularly compared to other parts of the country.

 

WHAT TO BRING: CLOTHING AND OTHER ITEMS

The following is a list of useful items to bring on this Tasmanian birding tour and should be read in conjunction with the Australia general information document.

  1. A field guide to the birds of Tasmania. See the general information for our recommendations for this tour.
  2. Hiking pole or walking stick to help on the tracks and trails. While probably not necessary for everyone, a walking stick is compulsory for anyone who is unsteady walking, as we feel this is a safety issue. We don’t want anyone slipping on the trails or anywhere else. Please discuss with us if you are unsure whether you will need one or not.
  3. Torch (flashlight) and/or headlamp (headtorch), and spare batteries.
  4. A small personal first aid kit. See the suggested items from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here.
  5. Lightweight hiking boots are likely the best footwear for this tour. A set of sandals (flip-flops) and/or trainers would be useful for walking around some of the accommodations but are not suitable for birding time (consider snake bites, mud, slips, trips, falls, etc.).
  6. Quick-drying birding clothes (in suitable colors) are the best for this tour, and a good selection of clothing layers (including sweater/jumper/fleece/warm coat) are also recommended due to the potential for cool or even cold mornings/days.
  7. Light rain jacket/poncho (and small umbrella) as rain could fall at any time at any location.
  8. A dry bag to keep valuable documents in, such as passports, cell phones, wallets, etc., as well as cameras, if it rains.
  9. A day pack suitable for our Orange-bellied Parrot charter flight for personal supply of drinking water (please bring a refillable water bottle) and other items you may require for the day such as cameras and optics.

Birding Ecotours

Download Australia Tasmania tour Information

AUSTRALIA GENERAL INFORMATION

This is the best tour I've been on in my many years of international birding! Excellent guides, good food, great accommodations! Andy was the best guide I have ever had. Knew the birds cold, was able to call them in for photo ops, great on keeping us on schedule and getting where we needed to be, when we needed to be there. Can't say enough good things about Andy.

Ken - On Andy and Australia

Andy Walker was absolutely excellent. Knowledgeable, affable, organized, sense of humor, and attentive to everyone. I would go anywhere with Andy.

RT - on Andy and Australia

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