Peregrine Bird Tours
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Peregrine Bird Tours

Iron Range, Cape York Peninsula Birdwatching Tour

Iron Range, Cape Yorki Peninsula Birdwatching Tour
When: Tues 16 Jan - Mon 22 Jan 2018
Leader: Chris Doughty
Iron Range, Cape York Peninsula Birdwatching Tour
Cairns to Cairns (7 days) $3,990
Single Room Supplement $350
At last - a birding tour to the legendary Iron Range National Park on Cape York Peninsula at the right time of year, when all the summer migrants from New Guinea will have arrived. All this with the added bonus of good-quality, comfortable accommodation, at the recently established Iron Range Cabins. The cape was named by Captain James Cook in 1770 in honour of Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of York, who was a brother of King George III. He died of an illness in 1767, at only 20 years of age. Cape York Peninsula is a large peninsula located in far North Queensland, encompassing some of the last remaining wilderness areas on earth. Its relatively undisturbed tropical rainforests and savannas are now recognised for their global environmental significance. A nomination for World Natural Heritage is currently being considered by the Queensland and Australian Federal governments. The Great Dividing Range snakes its way up the eastern side of the Cape. To the west, a vast area of flat eucalypt woodland and open grassy plains, stretch far away to the horizon. The eastern slope of the ranges intercepts the moisture-laden trade winds, causing them to shed their water, creating ancient rainforested slopes, from the mountaintops to the tropical sea. No other rainforested area on the whole of the Cape can compare with the Claudie River at Iron Range. It protects the largest area of lowland tropical rainforest in Australia. It is a complex mosaic of intact tropical rainforest, eucalypt and paperbark forests and heath-shrouded hills, which provide a backdrop to long sweeping beaches, rocky outcrops and mangrove forests. It is, without doubt, a tropical wonderland; the very name conjures up images of dense tropical rainforest, giant trees festooned with creeping vines and aerial orchids. Nowhere else in Australia is there found such an overwhelming density or diverse range of bird species. Almost 300 species of birds have been observed in the Iron Range National Park. A large number of these birds also occur in Papua New Guinea, but there are eighteen species of birds whose Australian distribution is restricted to Cape York. We will spend six nights here, giving us ample opportunity to search out the area's many special birds, including such exciting species as Palm Cockatoo, Eclectus and Red-cheeked Parrots, Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher, Yellow-billed Kingfisher, Red-bellied Pitta, Lovely Fairywren, Tropical Scrubwren, White-faced Robin, Northern Scrub-robin, Yellow-legged Flycatcher, Black-winged and Frilled Monarchs, Green-backed, White-streaked and Tawny-breasted Honeyeaters and Fawn-breasted Bowerbird, plus two species of birds-of paradise - the Trumpet Manucode and the Magnificent Riflebird. One evening we will do a little spotlighting, searching for such exciting species as Rufous and Barking Owls, Papuan and Marbled Frogmouths and Large-tailed Nightjar.

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