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Bird-watching day-tours from Brisbane

    Top ethical
                                                          award Terra
                                                          Ecotours 2020      Birdwatching
                                                          at Eaglby
                                                          Wetlands crimson rosella

RATES: please click here for prices of our tours (in Australian dollars)
Tour departs from your city or south-side accommodation, or a  convenient public transport stop/
(other by arrangement with plenty of advance notice: may be extra cost) 

Whoever is first to book for a particular day gets to choose the starting time
    (anywhere between 5.00am and 9.00am)

                                                          bowerbird in
                                                          National ParkSouth-east Queensland is one of the richest regions of Australia in terms of bird species. Every raptor of Australia and around half of all Australian bird species has at some time been seen here. Many southern species reach their northern limits here and many northern species reach their southern limits here or just below the border, and there are a few species that are found only in the border regions. Summer and winter migrants and nomadic species add to the diversity.

Destinations are flexible.  We have chosen our usual route to maximise sightings but we may be able to take you instead to other sites of your choosing.

                        spoonbil  egret
                        on nest  magpie
                        geese  chestnut teal at Redlands  pelican
wonga pigeon   logrunner   Lewins
                        honeyeater   satin bowerbird at bower

Our usual route:

From Brisbane we head south to O'Reilly's Rainfores Rereat in Lamington National Park, often with a couple of brief stops along the way to view birds or have a cup of tea/coffee/other.

eastern yellow robin

The rainforests here are easily accessible with well-maintained walking trails. They harbour many species, including regent and satin bowerbirds, green catbird, paradise riflebird, Albert's  lyrebird, noisy pitta, eastern whipbird, Lewin's honeyeater, monarch flycatchers, scrubwens, crimson rosella, wompoo and rose-crowned fruit pigeons, brush turkey and many, many more.  Also nearby are wetlands (which can include great and intermediate egrets, glossy ibis, white-necked heron, royal and yellow-billed spoonbills, black-winged stilts, whistling ducks, black swans, Australasian grebes, cormorants, darters, pelicans, purple swamp hen, comb-crested jacana,  magpie geese, black-necked stork, many others) and eucalypt forests (several honeyeaters, fairy-wrens, Australian magpie, butcherbirds, olive-backed oriole, magpie lark, laughing kookaburra and other kingfishers, eastern and pale-headed rosellas, rainbow and scaly-breasted lorikeets, fan-tailed cuckoo and many more).

black swans at Eagleby WetlandsOn our way back to Brisbane we visit Eagleby Wetlands, which harbour several lagoons plus an easy walk through surrounding woodland.  We see a changing array of birds here since many of our waterbirds are nomadic, as are some of our honeyeaters and fruit-eating species, moving around according to where the best resources are. We usually see Australian pelican, little pied cormorant, little black cormorant, Australian darter, black swan, wood duck, Pacific black duck, grey teal, hardhead, Australasian grebe, Eurasian coot, dusky moorhen, Ausralasian swamphen, masked lapwing, Eastern great egret, intermediate egret, cattle egret,royal spoonbill,  Australian white ibis, straw-necked ibis,little corella cockatoo, rainbow lorikeet, laughing kookaburra, striated pardaote, brown honeyeater, redbacked fairy-wren and grey fantail. With a bit of luck we also see black-ncked stork, osprey, white-bellied sea eagle, brahminy kite, whistling kite, magpie goose, comb-crested jacana, red-necked avocet, pale-headed rosella, buff-banded rail, sacred kingfisher, forest kingfisher, pink-eared duck, scarlet honeyeater, blue-faced honeyeater, golden whistler and various others.

Not all species will be seen on any particular day, and some will only be seen in certain seasons (e.g. channel-billed cuckoo, common koel and dollar bird are summer visitors only).
Your main guide will be Dr Ronda Green, who has conducted extensive research over the years in bird behaviour and ecology in Australian forests, especially those of south-east Queensland, and her son Darren Green, a keen amateur naturalist.
You may like to assist our research on dispersers of rainforest seeds by helping us find out what the fruit-eating birds are feeding on and where they spend their time when not feeding. We also contribute sightings, especially of less common species, to online databases, and send information to researchers studying particular species.

We take a variety of guests on this tour, from complete novices to experienced birders. So that we can plan the best experience for you (and since our group size is small enough to do this) let us know at your time of booking whether your primary interests are:
  • learning about Australian or south-east Queensland birds and their ecology and behaviour
  • photographing birds
  • seeing as many bird species as possible (NOTE: we don't specialise in adding to life-lists as much as some operators do, our emphasis being more on ecology and behaviour of birds)
  • seeing particular species (no guarantees that we can find them all but we can try where possible - warning: a few are almost impossible with a one-day tour)
  • learning about birdwatching techniques
  • interacting with birds (we don't normally feed birds on ecotours but there is one long-standing and well-regulated parrot-feeding experience you can participate in at O'Reilly's if you wish),
  • simply spending time in beautiful forests, with birds as just part of a memorable experience.
  • seeing some other wildlife in addition to birds
  • spending a day birding and then being left at either Binna Burra or O'Reilly's to spend a night or more next to the rainforests and extensive walking trails of  Lamington National Park (both have wonderful guest lodges and camp grounds)
  • (also tell us if you would prefer no children on the tour on the day you are booking for, or whether you have children who would like to join in
birdwatching in Redlands wedge-tailed eagle filming waterbirds at Redlands
                                Indigiscapes forest at Daisy Hill birdwatching in forest

 wild bird feeding
                                      area crimson rosellas at
                                      Green Mountains regent bowerbird
                                      andcrimson rosella at O'Reilly's walking at
                                      Green Mountains

rainforest Lamington
                                        National Park  whipbird  Bassian thrush at Binna

kookabuura rainbow lorikeet eastern spinebill   

We also see plenty of birds on: other day-tours, longer tours, educational camps, excursions and presentations, conference tours, customised tours

                    Mitchell cockatoobrolga at Bollon
If you wish to spend a night or two, both Binna Burra and O'Reilly's have  comfortable and scenic  lodge accommodation by Lamington National Park and also a campsites (permanent safari tents or BYO tent).
If you'd really like to maximise your Australian birding experiences, try combining an 6 or 8 day outback tour with a side-trip to Girraween, a CoochieMudloe Island day tour, and/or a couple of days birding days in the rainforest at Binna Burra or O'Reillys. We would suggest March or October as the best compromise between avoiding the heat of an outback summer, summer migrants being present, many birds actively breeding and vocal, and either many flowers or many fruits attracting many birds. We need a substantial advance notice to arrange these back-to-back tours, so let us know if you'd like to make plans for next spring or autumn.

Also see our pages on: wildlife of the Scenic Rim, Australian birds, and species seen on our tours

tour vehicle and young
We generally don't take young children on birding tours that include other birding guests, in case the youngsters disturb birds others are trying to watch (some children - and of course some adults - find it very difficult to stand still for long and don't realise how loud their own voices are). However, we do enjoy including children in our tours generally, and if your child has a special interest, or if you would like a small group tour for a family (or a couple of families) or other group including children for a birding tour we are very happy to do this. We can also split the group with two guides when we enter the forest or wetlands.

                                                          parrotWith small group sizes (usual maximum is ten and we more often travel with two to six guests), this is not a hurried herding of tourists on and off buses, into souvenir shops, etc. You will have ample opportunity to tell us your interests, and let us know any time you want to stop for photos or anything else of interest. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like - if we don't know the answers we will suggest ways of finding out.

We uphold the ideals of ecotourism and all our tours have achieved achieved advanced eco-accreditation