OUTBACK GRASSWREN TRIP | 16 Day / 15 Nights

TRACKS BIRDING & PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS

Join me on a trip of a lifetime to learn how to find and photograph one of Australia's hardest families, the Australian Grasswrens. We will visit three states and do many thousands of kilometres in search of these outback specialities, we have a chance to see/photograph 10 species and an additional 2 or 3 subspecies, an opportunity not to be missed.

OUTBACK GRASSWREN TRIP | 16 Day / 15 Nights

Tour Begins - Mount Isa, QLD

Tour Finishes -  Alice Springs, NT

ITINERARY:

DAY 1 : Make your own way to Mt Isa in Queensland where the tour begins. Mount Isa is by direct flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane by Qantas, Virgin and Rex. Depending on what time you get into Mount Isa will depend on how much birding / photography will be done but hopefully we will be able to get out and look for our first Grasswren, the Kalkadoon Grasswren (Amytornis ballarae).

Driving Time - 1.0 Hours

Accommodation : Ibis Styles Verona - Mount Isa, QLD (https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-0575-ibis-styles-mt-isa-verona/index.shtml)

Meals included: (L, D).

DAY 2 : Today we have a full day birding / photographing around Mt Isa, we have two Grasswren species to find: Kalkadoon Grasswren (Amytornis ballarae) and Carpentarian Grasswren (Amytornis dorotheae). We have a few sites to explore and depending on how each species behalves will depend on which species we will spend more time looking for, most likely it will be Carpentarian Grasswren as these are usually the toughest Grasswren of all. Other birds around Mount Isa includes the stunning Painted Finch, Spinifex Pigeon, Little Woodswallow, Spinifexbird, Grey-headed & Grey-fronted Honeyeater and Black-tailed Treecreeper.

Driving Time - 2.0 Hours

Accommodation : Ibis Styles Verona - Mount Isa, QLD (https://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-0575-ibis-styles-mt-isa-verona/index.shtml)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

DAY 3 : This morning we will be concentrating on the species of Grasswren who didn't perform yesterday. After a delicious lunch at a local cafe we will then start the drive south-east towards Winton. During the drive to Winton we will be keeping an eye out for some of the harder to see outback species including Ground Cuckoo-shrike and Grey Falcon. We will arrive in Winton in time for dinner and ready for an early start in the morning.

Driving Time - 5.0 Hours

Accommodation : Winton Outback Motel - Winton, QLD (https://wintonoutbackmotel.com/)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

DAY 4 : This morning we have a nice early start to arrive at Lark Quarry or Opalton on sunrise, these are the sites for our 3rd Grasswren, the Rusty Grasswren (Amytornis striatus rowleyi). Other species in the area include Grey Falcon, Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, Hall’s Babbler, Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush and Spinifexbird. The afternoon will be spent exploring Bladensburg National Park where we will be looking for Budgerigars, Pictorella Mannikin, Spinifex Pigeons, Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush and possibly Grey Falcon.

Driving Time - 4.0 Hours

Accommodation : Winton Outback Motel - Winton, QLD (https://wintonoutbackmotel.com/)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

DAY 5 : This morning we have another chance to look for the local specialties including Rusty Grasswren (Amytornis striatus rowleyi), Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, Grey Falcon, Hall’s Babbler and Spinifexbird. After a productive morning we then start our drive towards the remote and outback township of Boulia. The drive there might find up Australian Pratincole, Banded Lapwing and maybe even an Inland Dotterel. We will spend the afternoon birding around the grassy plains around Boulia, hopefully connecting with a Flock Bronzewings around sunset.

Driving Time - 7.0 Hours

Accommodation : Desert Sands Motel - Boulia, QLD (https://desertsandsmotel.com.au/)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

DAY 6 : At sunrise we will head back out onto the grass plains in search of the stunning Flock Bronzewings again, hopefully we can connect with this great bird. After a morning around Boulia it will now be time to head South towards Birdsville. While driving South we will be checking out good looking habitat and any water we find looking for things like Bourke’s Parrot and maybe a Ground Cuckoo-shrike. The afternoon around Birdsville we will be looking for our next Grasswren, Eyrean Grasswrens (Amytornis goyderi), Eyreans live on the red sand dunes in the area.

We will enjoy dinner at the Birdsville Pub before getting a nice rest before an early morning looking for our next target, Grey Grasswren (Amytornis barbatus barbatus)

Driving Time - 5.0 Hours

Accommodation : Birdsville Hotel - Birdsville, QLD (https://birdsvillehotel.com.au/)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

Day 7 : A nice early morning will get us in place to look for our next main target, Grey Grasswren (Amytornis barbatus barbatus). We will be searching the lignum around the Bulloo Overflow for suitable habitat and hopefully connect with this very unique Grasswren. The whole day will be spent in the area and depending how we are going for views will then look for some of the other local birds like Yellow Chat and maybe a Grey Falcon.

Driving Time - 4.0 Hours

Accommodation : Birdsville Hotel - Birdsville, QLD (https://birdsvillehotel.com.au/)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

DAY 8 : Today we have another chance at Grey Grasswren (Amytornis barbatus barbatus). We we'll be heading back to the swamp we were at yesterday morning. If for some reason we did extraordinary well yesterday we can go in search of Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus cowarie) a subspecies only found on the nearby Cowarie Station. We might also come across a Grey Falcon, Crimson Chat, Orange Chat, Red-browed Pardalote, Red-backed Kingfisher, Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Banded Whiteface and if we are lucky a Gibberbird on the surrounding gibber plains. The afternoon we can spend on the sand dunes near our accommodation looking for better views of Eyrean Grasswrens (Amytornis goyderi).

Driving Time - 5.0 Hours

Accommodation : Mungerannie Pub, SA (https://www.mungeranniehotel.com.au/)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

DAY 9 : Depending on what we found yesterday will depend on what we target this morning, we will ether look for better views of yrean Grasswrens (Amytornis goyderi) near the accommodation or head back out onto Cowarie Station in search of better views of Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus cowarie). We will head back to Mungerannie Pub for lunch before packing up and heading South towards Lyndhurst for dinner.

Driving Time - 5 Hours

Accommodation : Lyndhurst Hotel - Lyndhurst,  SA (https://www.gdaypubs.com.au/SA/lyndhurst/51711/lyndhurst-hotel.html)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

DAY 10 : This morning we will be targeting another subspecies of Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus raglessi), other species we will be keeping an eye out for are Chirruping Wedgebill, White-backed Swallow and Rufous Fieldwren. The rest of the day we will be exploring the Strzelecki Track, here will will be looking for Thick-billed Grasswren again if we didn't already connect with them and also our first chance for Chestnut-breasted Whiteface, Inland Dotterel and maybe Gibberbird.

Driving Time - 4.0 Hours

Accommodation : Lyndhurst Hotel - Lyndhurst,  SA (https://www.gdaypubs.com.au/SA/lyndhurst/51711/lyndhurst-hotel.html)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

Day 11 : This morning we are free to follow up and look for anything in the area we have missed, if we have everything nearby there is a usually productive wetland that can hold some great water birds. After taking advantage of the morning light we will start our drive South towards Whyalla, home to our next Grasswren target the Western Grasswren (Amytornis textilis myall) this will be our main target this afternoon, we will also be keeping an eye out for Splendid Fairywren, Redthroat, White-fronted Honeyeaters and maybe a Chirruping Wedgebill.

Driving Time - 4.0 Hours

Accommodation : Sundowner Hotel Motel, Whyalla SA (https://sundownerhotelmotel.com.au/)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

Day 12 : Depending on how we went with the Western Grasswren (Amytornis textilis myall) yesterday will depend on what we do this morning, we can ether head out and look for them again or explore another local area in search of other birds. Lunch will be had in Whyalla before we head North-west toward the Gawler Ranges and our accommodation for the night at Mount Ives Station. This working sheep station is surrounded by spinifex covered hills, home to our next Grasswren the Short-tailed Grasswren (Amytornis merrotsyi pedleri). The afternoon will be spend up on the mountain looking for this sometimes difficult species before heading back to the station for the night.

Driving Time - 3.0 Hours

Accommodation : Mt Ive Station - Mount Ives, SA (https://mtive.com.au/)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

Day 13 : This morning we will head back up onto the mountain to get better views of Short-tailed Grasswren (Amytornis merrotsyi pedleri) before heading off to our next destination, we will enjoy lunch back in Port Augusta before heading back North towards Coober Pedy. Hopefully arriving at a reasonable hour we will explore the surrounding gibber plains for our next target the Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus indulkanna) and maybe a Chestnut-breasted Whiteface.

Driving Time - 7.0 Hours

Accommodation : BIG4 Stuart Range Outback Resort - Coober Pedy, SA (https://www.stuartrangeoutbackresort.com.au)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

Day 14 - The morning we will be spending time looking for the local rave of Thick-billed Grasswren (Amytornis modestus indulkanna) and if we missed it, Chestnut-breasted Whiteface. After a hopefully productive morning we will head North towards the famous Uluru. Hopefully we will get to Uluru in time to head out in search for Sandhill Grasswren (Amytornis striatus oweni) if you don't we will enjoy a nice dinner at our accommodations and head back out in the morning.

Driving Time - 8.0 Hours

Accommodation: Outback Pioneer Hotel - Uluru, NT (https://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/accommodation/outback-pioneer-hotel)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

Day 15 : This morning our main target will be looking for the elusive Sandhill Grasswren (Amytornis striatus oweni), hopefully they perform well and we can then head off in search of some local reptiles on our way back to Alice Springs, reptile targets will be Central Blue-tongue Lizard, Western Blue-tongue Lizard and the amazing Thorny Devil. The afternoon (time permitting) we will go out in search of our last Grasswren species, the Dusky Grasswren (Amytornis purnelli) other birds in the area include Bourke's Parrot, Rufous-crowned Emu-wren and maybe Ground Cuckoo-shrike.

Driving Time - 5.0 Hours

Accommodation: Hilton - Alice Springs, NT (www.hiltonalicesprings)

Meals included: (B, L, D).

Day 16 : This morning we will head back out early in search of Dusky Grasswren (Amytornis purnelli) if we didn't get a chance yesterday as well has visiting the local Botanic Gardens for things like Western Bowerbird and Australian Ringneck Parrot.

The tour wraps up mid afternoon and I am happy to drop you off to your accommodation or flight if booked that afternoon.

Meals included: (B, L).

Cost -  Contact for pricing

Exclusions : Airfare arriving into Mount Isa before the tour & Airfare departing Alice Springs on the last day of tour.

For larger groups please contact me for pricing and numbers etc.

Cost -  Please Contact AUD - All inclusive for two people | Twin or Double Accommodation 

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