Principal Habitat in a Nutshell: Open Eucalypt Savanna is a very open savanna with broadly spaced trees, mainly eucalypts, and with many large termite mounds. This tour combines a trip into the open eucalypt savannas and remnant patches of monsoon forest that occur west of Cairns, with a visit to nearby tropical wetlands.
Target Species: Australian Bustard, Magpie-Goose, Comb-crested Jacana, Green Pygmy-Goose, Cotton Pygmy-Goose (erratic), Radjah Shelduck, Pink-eared Duck (erratic), Red-winged Parrot, Squatter Pigeon, Blue-winged Kookaburra, White-browed Robin, White-gaped and Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Great Bowerbird, and Northern Fantail. Mareeba Rock-Wallaby and Agile Wallaby.
Tour Information: This day tour combines the open eucalypt savannas and remnant patches of monsoon forest that occur west of Cairns, with a visit to nearby tropical wetlands. Open Eucalypt Savanna offers some of the easiest birding and photography in the region, due to its open nature. Conspicuous birds within this habitat are Galah, Red-winged Parrot, Blue-winged Kookaburra, Noisy Friarbird and Blue-faced Honeyeater. Less conspicuous and more local are Australian Bustards, which can be found displaying in the early mornings during spring, and Squatter Pigeons, which occur locally along red dirt road verges and rocky outcrops which also host the very local Mareeba Rock-Wallaby. Tawny Frogmouths can often be located either at roost or nesting sites, depending on the season. During the breeding season, we can usually locate a Great Bowerbird bower, often decorated with varied objects of grey coloration, complimented with silvery and glass items. Within these vast savannas lie creeks with remnants of monsoon vine tangles, which are home to scarcer species like White-browed Robin, Northern Fantail, and White-gaped Honeyeater. Tropical Wetlands are often brimming with life, from the large flocks of Magpie-Geese that dwell there, to Comb-crested Jacanas trotting across floating vegetation, and small flocks of Green Pygmy-Goose dabbling within them; there will be plenty to survey there. Other regulars in this habitat include Whistling Kite, Black Swan, Radjah Shelduck, Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck and Australasian Grebe, while species like Pink-eared Duck and Cotton Pygmy-Goose occur more erratically.