Leif Rydell

Travel, birding and taking photos as the main purpose.

Brisbane area and marvelous outback at Bowra.

In the summer of 2007 I made a fantastic trip with my family to Brisbane. Here our great friends Graham and Liz took care of us and let us experience some true feelings of Australia without a touristic feel. We had met them 2,5 years earlier when we made a combo trip to Brisbane and New Zeeland. When we arrived we spent a few night at their home in Jimboomba south of Brisbane. Before we headed west into the outback we visited the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (which is highly recommended for families) where you had the possibility to cuddle with koalas and kangaroos. Here you can see my kids with a Whiptailed Wallaby.

My kids with a Whiptail Wallaby

Our goal was the great birding and outback at Bowra station, just outside the small town of Cunnamulla, about 800 km straight west from Brisbane. We stopped for overnight on the way and enjoyed some local activities before we reached the former cattle range.

Graham driving

Graham driving west.

Liz with Sirpa and Hannes

Liz having fun with my wife and son at a local caravan park

Bowra is quite unique as it is one of few places which has let natural growth to remain instead of clear it for other purposes. The result is a true outback location with the possibility to see some true outback birds. The area is not exactly teeming with birds but the quality is just excellent. On the way we also made some detours inte "Red soil country" which just gave us an extra feeling of this stunning country. Not so nice were all the roadkills we saw during our drive. Many kangaroos are killed on these roads even if australians try not to drive late in the evenings and the nights. "Never drive west in sunset" is a saying in this part of the world and it makes sense.

Outback road

Roadkill (Eastern Grey Kangaroo)

One of the most common birds is the Brown Honeyeater, a group that resembles our warblers. Also quite common are the Galahs which of some local farmers are consider as pests (like our Crows and Jackdaws).

Brown Honeyeater


Halfway, we stopped at the "famous?" local pub Ningully, where we had lunch. (I guess they don´t have the same rules for driving after drinking beer as we have in Sweden!?) but still a great experience.

Outback pub

Bowra, gate to magic birding

Not luxury, but the gate to birding heaven.

One of the first birds to be encountered was the Emu.


We stayed in the former house of the son of the owner. They have moved away as the cattle ranch was not in use any more. It´s so great to experience different places to spend your nights. Usually you stay at ordinary hotels or similar. This was a "rundown" family house but still perfect for our stay with plenty of space. Our hosts had big laughs about us as we wanted more blankets for the nights (swedish people live among the ice and should not concern about cold nights) as the temperatures out here really could fall down during the nights at this time of the year. Birding begins right next to the houses. A short walk the first morning gave me birds as Red-capped Robin, Red-winged Parrot and a group of "tired in the morning" White-breasted Woodswallows.

Red-capped Robin

Red-winged Parrot

White-breasted Woodswallows

We took our car out into the bush and started to see som magnificent birds like; Bourke´s Parrot, Mulga Parrot and Splendid Fairy-wren. Under the picture of the Fairy-wren you can see me and my kids walking in the red soil country looking for great birds.

Bourke´s Parrot

Mulga Parrot

Splendid Fairy-wren

Me and my two kids (closest) in wonderful outback

Without managing to take photos we saw all the Babblers which are specialities for this place as well as White-winged Fairy-wren and Redthroat and many others.

However, the very handsome and characteristic outback bird Chestnut-sided Hornbill was polite enough for a sensitive photo.

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill

As the evening came closer we had great looks at a family of the striking Major Mitchell´s Cockatoo which has an almost unnatural look.

Major Mitchell´s Cockatoo

As we drove back towards the coast we made a split, Liz took my wife and kids back to Jimboomba while Graham and I drove to the to great national parks, Sundown and Girraween. We spent our (very cold) night camping at Sundown, but as the sun rose, more than the heat from it warmed me up. Birding and wildlife were just great this morning and we saw some very nice birds as well as close encounters to the kangaroos, they were not afraid of us and let us come really close at a few occasions. Not my best picture, but still proof that we saw the local speciality, Turquoise Parrot as well as the more common Eastern Yellow Robin. The plain but handsome Jacky Winter also showed well.

Turquoise Parrot

Eastern Yellow Robin

Jacky winter

Kangaroos, here the Eastern Grey, are such great creatures. They looks cool and relaxed but at the same time full of energy and power. Here some different poses of both young and adults. I especially like the last one as it almost give the same appeal as a resting human.

Eastern Grey kangaroo

Mother and child

Young E. Grey kangaroo


Time to say good bye to Graham and Liz (Thank you so much, you have been so generous both in mind and time) we set of for our last week. First we took the boat to Tangalooma resort on Moreton Island just outside Brisbane. A very nice (but very expensive) place to spend some days. The main attraction is the encounter with wild Bottlenose Dolphins which every evening come into shore to interact with humans as they are given some food. For the kids this is of course an unforgettable memory to stand in the water and have wild dolphins around you. They have all been given names and I think this is Nari, one of the adult females.

Bottlenose Dolphin (Nari)

At the resort itself I saw some good birds as this Forest Kingfisher as well as the common Galah, Pied Cormorant and Crested Tern.

Forest Kingfisher


Pied Cormorant

Crested Tern

As with many resorts, also this place has some feeding, this time with the charming Laughing Kookaburra  

Laughing Kookaburra

The best wildlife experience for this trip was the whale watching tour we made. The weather was excellent and the Humpback Whales at their top mood. They came so close so we actually once got wet when one individual breached just next to the boat. The water was clear and we saw them dive under the boat. When we left they actually waved us good bye with their fins.

Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale

Our last days we spent up in the charming town of Noosa. At the national park here I saw my bird of the trip, the Noisy Pitta though I did´t manage to get a good photo of it. Here we also saw some wild Koalas as well as some stunning scenery and good birds like this Mistletoebird and Brown Cuckoo-Dove.


North Stradbroke Island


Brown Cuckoo-Dove

From Noosa we did a trip to Rainbow Beach, close to Fraser Island where I had the luck to see the tricky Beach Thick-knee as well as the more common Silver Gull, Masked Lapwing, Noisy Miner, Blue-faced Honeyeater and Grey Butcherbird.

Beach Thick-knee

Silver Gull

Masked Lapwing

Noisy Miner

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Grey Butcherbird

This trip was just amazing with all great experiences and good birds. Australia is a fantastic place to visit as the people are so gentle and polite and the nature and wild life just stunning.

Complete list of birds/ mammals seen. The text is in Swedish but as the name of each species is in english as wells the location you will understand.



  1. Emu Relativt vanlig en bit inåt land där små flockar sågs.
  2. Great Crested Grebe. Några ex.
  3. Australasian Grebe. Som ovan.
  4. Australian Pelican Allmän vid lämplig biotop.
  5. Australasian Gannet 3-5 ex vid varje havslokal.
  6. Brown Booby 2-3 ex sedda vid rainbow Beach.
  7. Oriental Darter 2 ex totalt.
  8. Little Pied Cormorant. Ett fåtal ex strax utanför Brisbane.
  9. Pied Cormorant. Relativt vanlig
  10. Great Cormorant. Oräknade.
  11. Little Black Cormorant. Några ex bestämda.
  12. White-faced Heron. Syns både här och var.
  13. Pacific Heron. Enstaka ex.
  14. Great Egret Enstaka ex.
  15. Little Egret Enstaka ex.
  16. Striated Heron 1 ex vid delfinmatningen
  17. Australian Ibis. Relativt vanlig.
  18. Straw-necked Ibis. Inte ovanlig.
  19. Royal Spoonbill. 2 par sedda runt Jimboomba och Brisbane.
  20. Yellow-billed Spoonbill. Vanligare än sin släkting, +30.
  21. Magpie Goose Några flockar på väg mellan Rainbow Beach och Noosa.
  22. Black Swan. Två par.
  23. Pacific Black Duck Allmän.
  24. Grey Teal. Relativt vanlig.
  25. Chestnut Teal. Inte ovanlig.
  26. Pink-eared Duck. Några runt Jimboomba
  27. Hardhead. Några ex på olika platser.
  28. Australian Wood Duck
  29. Musk Duck. En ensam fågel i en damm på väg mot Bowra
  30. Osprey. 2 ex totalt.
  31. Black-shouldered Kite
  32. Black Kite. Några ströex.
  33. Square-tailed Kite. Vi hade turen att se 1 ex på väg mot Bowra.
  34. Black-breasted Buzzard
  35. Brahminy Kite. Någraströex i närheten av vatten.
  36. Whistling Kite. En av de vanligare rovfåglarna.
  37. Collared Sparrowhawk. 1 ex på väg mot bowra.
  38. White-bellied Sea-eagle Enstaka ex längs med kusten.
  39. Wedge-tailed Eagle Totalt ca: 10ex längs med vägen till Bowra.
  40. Swamp Harrier 1 ex strax utanför Jimboomba.
  41. Australian Hobby 1ex Sundown.
  42. Brown Falcon Enstaka ex Bowra.
  43. Australian Kestrel Vanligaste rovfågeln. Som mest 9 ex utanför Jimboomba.
  44. Australian Brush-turkey Vanlig i parker och fåtalig i skog.
  45. Dusky Moorhen Sedd på flera lokaler med enstaka ex.
  46. Eurasian Coot. Inte ovanlig.
  47. Brolga 2 ex höll till nära bostaden Bowra.
  48. Comb-crested Jacana.Ett par söder om Jimboomba.
  49. Bush-Thick-knee 3-4 ex kom fram på kvällen vid Tangalooma resort.
  50. Beach Thick-knee ! ex överraskade vid Inskip Point, Rainbow Beach.
  51. Pied Oystercatcher Enstaka ex Inskip Point.
  52. Masked Lapwing Relativt vanlig.
  53. Banded Lapwing En flock på 7 ex Bowra.
  54. Red-capped Plover 5 ex Inskip Point
  55. Black-fronted plover Enstaka ex på flera lokaler. Föredrar små vattensamlingar.
  56. Black-winged Stilt Relativt vanlig vid vattensamlingar.
  57. Far eastern Curlew 4-5 ex Inskip Point och
  58. Whimbrel 1 ex Inskip Point.
  59. Bar-tailed Godwit Enstaka ex Inskip Point och
  60. Silver Gull Allmän längs med kusten.
  61. Gull-billed Tern 1 ex vid piren där båten till Tangalooma avgick.
  62. Great Crested tern Allmän till havs
  63. Feral pigeon Yes.
  64. Brown Cuckoo-dove 3 ex Rainbow Beach.
  65. Peaceful Dove Enstaka ex på flera lokaler.
  66. Diamond Dove En flock på väg tillbaka från Bowra.
  67. Common Bronzewing 2 ex Bowra samt 1 ex Sundown.
  68. Crested pigeon Allmän.
  69. Squatter Pigeon 6 ex vid stake-out på väg mot Bowra.
  70. Red-tailed Black Cockatoo Två ex flygande strax utanför Rainbow Beach.
  71. Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo 3 ex på väg mellan Sundown och Girrawen samt 2 ex Noosa
  72. Galah Allmän.
  73. Little Corella 2 ex St: George samt ca: 100 ex Bowra.
  74. Major Mitchell´s Cockatoo Flera flockar Bowra samt en stor flock i ett träd St: george. En fantastisk fågel
  75. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Allmän nära kusten.
  76. Rainbow Lorikeet Den vanligaste papegojan. Flockar på 100 ex  var inte ovanligt.
  77. Scaly-breasted Loriket Blandar sig med Rainbow. Var 8:e –10:e fågel i dessa flockar är Scaly-breasted.
  78. Red-winged Parrot 2 ex Bowra precis vid bostaden.
  79. Budgeriar Äntligen fick jag den. 4 ex flygande Bowra.
  80. Crimson Rosella Enstaka ex vid tät skog.
  81. Eastern rosella Enstaka ex på väg vid flera tillfällen.
  82. Pale-headed Rosella Samma som ovan.
  83. Mallee Ringneck 4 ex Bowra.
  84. Red-rumped Parrot Flera flockar på väg.
  85. Mulga Parrot En riktig läckerbit. 3-4 flockar á 3-5 fåglar, Bowra.
  86. Blue Bonnet Enstaka flockar Bowra.
  87. Bourke´s Parrot En Bowraspecialité. 4 ex vid två tillfällen, Bowra.
  88. Turquoise Parrot ”Starbird” i Sundown. Totalt 25 ex..
  89. Southern Boobook 2 ex hade duett vid Tangalooma.
  90. Laughing Kookaburra Enstaka ex, gärna nära mänsklig aktivitet
  91. Forest Kingfisher 3 ex vid Tangalooma.
  92. Red-backed Kingfisher Tillslut hittades 1 ex mellan Bowra och Cunnamulla.
  93. Noisy Pitta Etta på ”vill ha-listan”. 2 ex sågs helt oväntat mycket bra i Noosa N.P.
  94. Albert´s Lyrebird Hannes upptäckte 1 ex som sakta drog sig bort genom jungeln, Mt: Tamborine.
  95. Superb Lyrebird 3 ex hördes spela södra delen av Girrawen. 1 ex kom jag så nära att jag såg buskarna röra sig innan den rackarn smet iväg.
  96. Singing Bushlark1 ex Cunnamulla.
  97. White-backed Swallow 1ex Sundown av denna vackra fågel. Observationen var dock kort.
  98. Welcome Swallow Allmän.
  99. Tree Martin Sedd på flera lämpliga ställen

100.Austalasian Pipit Totalt ca: 20 ex framför allt i outback.

101. Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike 1 ex på väg samt 1 ex Jimboomba.

102.White-bellied Cucko-shrike 1 ex Sundown.

103.White-winged Triller Enstaka ex.

104.Flame Robin 1 ex av en hona vid Sundown. Detta är ovanligt och Rangern kände bara till en tidigare observation här.

105.Scarlet Robin 2 ex Girrawen.

106.Red-capped Robin En riktig färgklick. 2-3 par Bowra.

107.Hooded Robin 2 par Bowra.

108.Eastern Yellow Robin Enstaka ex Sundown, Rainbow Beack och Noosa.


109.Jacky Winter En karaktärsfågel väster on ”rangen”.

110.Golden Whistler Enstaka ex Sundown och Noosa.

111.Little Shrike Thrush 1 ex Noosa N.P.

112.Grey Shrike-thrush Enstaka ex Sundown samt Noosa.

113.Crested Bellbird 2 ex sågs bra samt flera sjungande, Bowra.

114.Leaden Flycatcher 2 ex Tangalooma.

115.Rufous Fantail 1 ex rainbow Beach.

116.Gray Fantail enstaka ex i lämpliga biotoper.

117.Willie Wagtail Allmän, en karaktärsfågel.

118.Eastern Whipbird 1 ex hördes i Noosa N.P.

119.Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush. Mycket vacker. 2+5 ex Bowra.

120.Grey-crowned BabblerDen östligaste av Babblarna och sedd på 3-4 ställen.

121.White-browed babbler Ytterligare en Sundownspecialité. Totalt 15 ex.

122.Hall´s Babbler Bowraspecialité. 4 ex.

123.Chestnut-crowned Babbler En större flock vid bostaden Bowra samt ytterlgare en flock längre ut.

124.Rofous Songlark 1 ex vid bostaden, Bowra.

125.Brown Songlark Totalt 5 ex vid kapplöpningsbanan, Cunnamulla.

126.Superb Fairy-wren Ca.50 ex sedda på olika platser, mest frekvent vid Sundown.

127.Splendid Fairy-wren En pärla. Två olika flockar med sammanlagt 3 hanar.

128.White-winged Fairy-wren En drömfågel som tillslut sågs i utkanten av Bowra. 5 ex varav en utfärgad hane.

129.Red-backed Fairy-wren 1 honfärgad utanför Jimboomba.

130.Large-billed Scruwren 5 ex Noosa N.P.

131.White-browed Scrubwren 1 ex Rainbow Beach samt 4 ex Noosa N.P.

132.Redthroat Tillslut hittade vi en hona bland en flock med ”Splendidar”, Bowra.

133.Speckled warbler 5-6 ex vid campingen, Sundown.

134.Weebill Enstaka ex på flera platser, förmodligen förbisedd.

135.White-throated Gerygone Minst 8 ex Sundown men förmodligen förbisedd.

136.Brown Thornbill 6 ex Sundown.

137.Chestnut-rumped Thornbill En karaktärsfågel vid Bowra.

138.Buff-rumped Thornbill 2 ex vid campingen St: george.

139.Yellow-rumped Thornbill Flera flockar på flera olika platser.

140.Striated Thornbill 1 ex Sundown samt 6 ex Girrawen.

141.Southern Whiteface Totalt 3 ex Bowra.

142.Varied Sitella En flock på 10 ex södra Girrawen samt 1 ex norra.

143.White-throated Treecreeper 3 ex Sundown samt 1 ex Mt: Tamborine.

144.White-browed Treecreeper 2 + 2 ex Bowra.

145.Brown Treecreeper Också en Bowrakrypare men betydligt vanligare, totalt ca: 15 ex.

146.Red Wattlebird 3 ex norra Girrawen.

147.Brush Wattlebird Vanlig runt Noosa.

148.Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater Totalt 7 ex Bowra.

149.Striped Honeyeater Hörd ett par gånger, gäckade mig med bra obsar förra resan också.

150.Noisy Friarbird Vanlig Tangalooma.

151.Blue-faced Honeyeater Tämligen allmän.

152.Noisy Miner Kanske den vanligaste fågeln nära kusten.

153.Yellow-throated Miner Ca: 10 ex första dagen på väg västerut, sedan förbisedd.

154.Lewin´s Honeyeater Enstaka ex i eller i närhet av tät skog.

155.Yellow-faced Honeyeater 1 ex Sundown

156.Singing Honeyeater Totalt 3 ex Bowra.

157.Mangrove Honeyeater Överraskande sågs 2 ex vid

158.White-eared Honeyeater 1 ex södra Girrawen samt 3 ex norra.

159.Yellow-tufted Honeyeater 3 ex norra Girrawen.

160.Fuscous Honeyeater 1ex i första skogen, Sundown.

161.White-plumed Honeyeater Vanlig inåt land, alltid med vatten i närheten.

162.Brown-headed Honeyeater En överraskande syn med 1 ex norra Girrawen.

163.White-naped Honeyeater 4 ex Sundown.

164.Brown Honeyeater Vanlig nära kusten.

165.White-cheeked Honeyeater Relativt vanlig Noosa.

166.Eastern Spinebill 2 ex södra Girrawen samt 1 ex Noosa N.P.

167.Mistletoebird 1 ex Bowra samt 2 ex Noosa N.P.

168.Spotted Pardalote 2 ex Sundown samt 1 ex Noosa N.P.

169.Striated Pardalote 1 ex St: George samt 5 ex Bowra.

170.Sivereye Små flockar här och där.

171.House Sparrow Yes

172.Red-browed Firetail En flock på 20 ex Sundown.

173.Zebra Finch 8 ex St: George.

174.Common Starling Två flockar på väg.

175.Indian Myna Enstaka ex i urban miljö.

176.Olive-backed Oriole 1 ex hörd Jimboomba.

177.Spangled Drongo 1 ex Rainbow Beach samt 1 ex Noosa.

178.Satin Bowerbird 5-6 ex norra Girrawen.

179.Spotted Bowerbird 2 par vid bostadeb Bowra samt 1 ex Cunnamulla.

180.White-winged Chough Ensatka flockar på väg samt 6 ex Sundown.

181.Apostlebird Vanlig, stora flockar längsmed vägen västerut.

182.White-breasted Woodswallow Den vanligaste trädsvalan, ca: 40 ex framförallt i inlandet.

183.Black-faced Woodswallow 2 ex St: george samt 2 ex Bowra.

184.Dusky Woodswallow Ca. 15 ex första kvällen Sundown.

185.Pied Butcherbird Relativt vanlig i parker.

186.Grey Butherbird 2 ex Noosa.

187.Australian Magpie Vanlig

188.Australian Raven 2 ex på väg västerut.

189.Little Crow 2 ex på väg västerut.

190.Torresian Crow Mycket vanlig

191.Pied Currawong 5 ex Jimboomba samt 6 ex Girrawen. Enstaka ex på andra platser.


Eastern Grey Kangaroo      Spridd över hela området vi reste i.

Red Kangaroo                     Några ex in i outback

Common Wallaro               Några enstaka ex runt Sundown nat.park.

Indopacific Dolphin           1 ex klappvänligt nära Rainbow beach

Bottlenosed Dolphin          Flera individer kom för matning på Tangalooma.

Humpback Whale               5-8 ex sågs bra vid valturen från tangalooma.



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