Atherton Tablelands Birdwatchers' Cabin
Birds and Birding

Spectacled Monarch Flycatcher on nest

Victoria's Riflebird

Bridled Honeyeater

Crested Shrike-tits

Emerald Dove

Grey Goshawk

Macleay's Honeyeater

Superb Fruit-dove

Eastern Spinebill

Pied Monarch Flycatcher

              photo by Lorraine Harris

White-naped Honeyeater

Grey-headed Robin

Golden Whistler

Lewin's Honeyeater

Scarlet Honeyeater

Pale-yellow Robin

Plumed Whistling Duck

Yellow-throated Scrubwren  photo by Lorraine Harris

Peaceful Dove

Bridled Honeyeater, sunbaking

Bower's Shrike-thrush 

male Superb Fruit Dove

All photos taken on our property


Birds and Birding

Being situated in the ecotone between tropical rainforest and tall eucalypt forest, we get the best of both worlds.

The Atherton Tablelands are home to more than 320 species of birds, including 13 endemic species.

Of these endemics we have at least 11 on our property (see our bird list below).

Victoria's Riflebirds can be seen all year round, and between August and December males take turns to display/dance on a tree trunk near the cabin.                                                                                                                                                                      Macleay's and Bridled Honeyeaters, Mountain Thornbills and Bower's Shrike-thrushes are also regular visitors.                       Grey-headed Robins and Atherton Scrubwrens can often be seen along our creek.                                                                Cassowaries wander through the forest and along the creeks occasionally, mainly between autumn and spring.                           Victoria's Riflebirds  and Crested Shrike-tits can often be seen foraging for insects amongst lose tree bark.

Pied Monarch Flycatchers spiral around tree trunks like tree-creepers, Grey Fantails are never far away as they opportunistically feed on insects disturbed by the other birds.

Apart from the regular visits by King Parrots, several species of lorikeets are making their presence known with their noisy chatter when trees are flowering.

During those periods, the numbers of resident honeyeaters (about 9 species) increase substantially by an influx of seasonal visitors.

Our forest produces bumper crops of seasonal berries and other juicy fruits, which attract large flocks of Superb Fruit-doves, Topknot Pigeons, Satin Bowerbirds and other frugivores.

Nearby birding hot spots are Mt Hypipamee ("The Crater") National Park for upland rainforest species, Hasties Swamp, with its 2-storey bird hide, for waterbirds, raptors and open forest species, and Bromfield Swamp, where Brolgas and Sarus Cranes fly in to roost in the late afternoon in the winter months (June to November).

We can provide you with additional information on birding and wildlife areas in the Atherton Tablelands and along the coast, and also help with guided tours.

We recommend Alan Gillanders as a tour guide. For tours further north, especially around Cooktown and Cape York, we recommend David Mead

The following list  is not complete, but will give you an idea of what you may see around the Atherton Tablelands Birdwatchers' Cabin:

BIRD SPECIES (observed on our property)

        C:  common               r: resident              O: occasional        ( ): seen nearby          R: rare
Southern Cassowary Casuarius casuarius O, r
Orange-footed Scrubfowl Megapodius reinwardtii C, r
Brush Turkey Alectura lathami C, r
Plumed Whistling- Duck Dendrocygna eytoni R, visited our creek at night
(Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris in Wondecla creek 31/12/2015)
(Little Egret Ardea garzetta O)
Nankeen Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus O, r
(White-faced Heron Ardea novaehollandiae O)
Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis O, r
(Square-tailed Kite Lophoictinia isura O)
Whistling Kite Milvus (Haliastur) sphenurus O, r
Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides R
Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax O, r
Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata C, r
Collared Sparrowhawk Accipiter cirrhocephalus C, r
Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus O, r
Grey Goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae C, r
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrines R
Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa R, knocked on our door at midnight!
(Red-chested Button-quail Turnix pyrrhothorax O)
Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius C, r
Topknot Pigeon Lopholaimus antarcticus O, r, seasonal flocks
Wompoo Fruit-dove Ptilinopus magnificus O, r
Superb Fruit-dove Ptilinopus superbus O, r, seasonal flocks
Rose-crowned Fruit-dove Ptilinopus regina O, r
Emerald Dove Chalcophaps indica C, r
Brown Cuckoo-dove Macropygia amboinensis C, r
Peaceful Dove Geopelia striatus(placida) C, r
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii O, r
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Cacatua galerita C, r
Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus haematodus C, r, seasonal large flocks
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus C, r, seasonal large flocks
Little Lorikeet Glossopsitta pusilla O, r,  seasonal
Australian King Parrot Alisterus scapularis C, r
Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans C, r
Pale-headed Rosella Platycercus adscitus O, r
(Oriental Cuckoo Cuculus saturates O)
(Pallid Cuckoo Cuculus pallidus O)
(Brush Cuckoo Cacomantis variolosus O)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo Cacomantis flabelliformis C,r
(Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx basalis O)
(Shining Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus O)
(Common Koel Eudynamys scolopacea O)
Channel-billed Cuckoo Scythrops novaehollandiae O, seasonal
(Pheasant Coucal Centropus phasianius O, r)
Rufous Owl Ninox rufa C, r
Red Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae O, r
(Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae O, r)
Lesser Sooty Owl Tyto multipunctata C, r, endemic
Tawny Frogmouth Podargus strigoides O, r
Large-tailed Nightjar Caprimulgus macrurus C, r
(Owlet Nightjar Aegotheles cristatus C, r)
(White-rumped Swiftlet Aerodromus spodiopygius O)
Azure Kingfisher Alcedo (now: Ceyx) azurea C, r
Little Kingfisher Alcedo(now: Ceyx) pusilla C, r
Forest Kingfisher Todiramphus macleayii C, r
Sacred Kingfisher Todiramphus sanctus C, r
Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguinea C, r
Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus C,r , seasonal
Dollarbird Eurystomus orientalis O, seasonal
Noisy Pitta Pitta versicolor R, r
White-throated Treecreeper Cormobates leucophaeus C, r
Brown Treecreeper Climacteris picumnus O, r
Red-backed Wren Malurus melanocephalus C, r
Spotted Pardalote Pardalotus punctatus C, r
Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus C, r
Atherton Scrubwren Sericornis keri C, r endemic
Fernwren Oreoscopus gutturalis O, r endemic
Yellow-throated Scrubwren Sericornis citreogularis C, r
White-browed Scrubwren Sericornis frontalis C, r
Brown Gerygone Gerygone mouki C, r
(Fairy Gerygone Gerygone palpebrosa O)
(Yellow Thornbill Acanthiza nana O)
Buff-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza reguloides O, r
Mountain Thornbill Acanthiza katherina C, r endemic
Helmeted Friarbird Philemon buceroides O
Macleay's Honeyeater Xanthotis macleayana C, r endemic
Lewin's Honeyeater Meliphaga lewinii C, r
Bridled Honeyeater Lichenostomus frenatus C, r endemic
Yellow-faced Honeyeater Lichenostomus chrysops C, r
White-cheeked Honeyeater Phylidonyris nigra C, seasonal
White-naped Honeyeater Melithreptus lunatus C, r
Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostrus C, r
Scarlet Honeyeater Myzomela sanguinolenta C, r
Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum O, r
Grey-headed Robin Heteromyias albispecularis C, r endemic
Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis C, r
Pale-yellow Robin Tregellasia capito C, r
Eastern Whipbird Psophodes olivaceus C, r
Varied Sitella Daphoenositta chrysoptera O, r
Crested Shrike-tit Falcunculus frontatus C, r
Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis R C, r
Rufous Whistler Pachycephala rufiventris O, r
Little Shrike-thrush Colluricincla megarhyncha C, r
Bower's Shrike-thrush Colluricincla boweri C, r endemic
Grey Shrike-thrush Colluricincla harmonica C, r
Black-faced Monarch Monarcha melanopsis C, r
Spectacled Monarch Monarcha trivirgatus C, r
Pied Monarch Arses caupi C, r endemic
Yellow-breasted Boatbill Machaerirhynchus flaviventer C, r
Leaden Flycatcher Myiagra rubecula O, r
Rufous Fantail Rhipidura rufifrons C, r
Grey Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa C, r
Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus C, r, seasonal
Varied Triller Lalage leucomela C, r
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike Coracina novaehollandiae C, r
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike Coracina papuensis O, r
Cicadabird Coracina tenuirostris O, r
Olive-backed Oriole Oriolus sagittatus O
(Grey Butcherbird Cracticus torquatus O)
Pied Currawong Strepera graculina C, r
Victoria's Riflebird Ptiloris victoriae C, r endemic
Spotted Catbird Ailuroedus melanotis O, r
Golden Bowerbird Prionodura newtoniana O, r endemic
Satin Bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus violaceus C, r, seasonal flocks
Tooth-billed Bowerbird Scenopoeetes dentirostris O, r endemic
Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis C, r
Silvereye Zosterops lateralis C, r
Bassian Thrush Zoothera lunulata O, r

we can recommend the following websites for useful information on birds and birding:


 male King Parrot    



female King Parrot






     Dance of the Riflebird: 

 and then a female joined him:






Below is a list of birds of the Atherton Tablelands:



 Most of our guests have much better cameras than we do (Canon Powershot), so here are some  photographs taken by our guests during their stay:

King Parrot King Parrot
by Chris Devonport (C.D.)
Eastern Spinebill Eastern Spinebill
Bridled Honeyeater Bridled Honeyeater
Lewin's Honeyeater Lewin's Honeyeater
Macleay's Honeyeater Macleay's Honeyeater