Cairns to Normanton – Birdwatching
The diversity of habitats, seasonal weather patterns and location of migratory routes makes the Gulf Savannah region a world class birdwatching region.
Many travellers who have never been interested in birds before find the abundance of different birds fascinating and a real highlight of their journey on The Savannah Way. A bird book and pair of binoculars will add a new dimension to your appreciation of the natural environment here.
The best time to see birds is late in the dry season (September to December) when many migratory birds arrive and the reduced water concentrates animals around rivers and waterholes, although there are plenty to be seen all year round. Early morning or late afternoon is generally the best time of day.
Some of the birdwatching hot spots include:
- Mareeba Wetlands – Pygmy Geese, Ducks, Grebes, Brolga and many more
- Bromfield Swamp – Brolga and Sarus Crane
- Hasties Swamp – Magpie Goose
- Wongabel State Forest – rainforest birds
- Mount Hypipamee National Park – Golden Bower Bird, Fernwren and Mountain Thornbill
- Millstream Falls National Park – forest birds, parrots and honeyeaters
- Wurruma Swamp (near Mt Garnet) – Black Swan
- Cumberland Chimney – Comb Crested Jacana, ducks
- Croydon – Corellas, Galahs, Gouldian Finch,
- Lake Belmore – Pigeons, Doves and Budgerigars
- Karumba – Wading birds, Osprey, Great Billed Heron, mangrove species
The following Bird Lists will help you identify some of the species in key regions:
Image Courtesy Wildlife Conservancy of Tropical Queensland – Mareeba Wetlands