Bunya Mountains

The Bunya Mountains is 371 km2 of rainforest, eucalypt forests and woodlands, located less than 200km from the eastern coast. At an average height of 975m the forests are cool and verdant and support a huge amount of flora and fauna.

The Bunya Mountains are also one of the world’s Key Biodiversity Areas and we conducted surveys over two days as part of Birdlife’s KBA programme. It was great to contribute to this international programme, and a wonderful way to end the year for our group.

Paradise rifle bird – Ptiloris paradiseus Photo: Mike Ford
Even the trip up is picturesque. Photo: Scot McPhie

12 people from our group travelled up for two nights and three days, staying in two cabins.

Photo: Scot McPhie

The evening of Friday the 2nd of December, when most people arrived, was cool and windy and we started a fire in our cabin. The weather abated the next morning and it made for a glorious start to the programme of surveys.

Photo: Scot McPhie

The surveys were organised by Roger and covered a number of forest types and areas.

On Friday afternoon (for those present) the lower end of Rainforest road was surveyed. Then on Saturday morning Westcott south

Photo: Scot McPhie

followed by Paradise (north east)

Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie

Then on Saturday afternoon Burtons to Kiangarow trail.

Getting ready for the afternoon walk. Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie
Enjoying the view at Mt Kiangarow. Photo: Scot McPhie
Mt Kiangarow panorama. Photo: Scot McPhie

After a nice barbecue that night

It was then time on Sunday morning to visit Cherry Plain West, which had been sadly drought effected in the prior years

Photo: Scot McPhie

Many eucalypts had died off in this area. Photo: Scot McPhie

and Dandabah to Tim Shea Falls.

Map of the areas covered

All our survey data can be seen here on Birdata.

Across all the surveys 47 species were sighted

Australian Brush-turkeyAlectura lathami
Australian King-ParrotAlisterus scapularis
Australian RavenCorvus coronoides
Black-breasted Button-quailTurnix melanogaster
Black-faced MonarchMonarcha melanopsis
Brown Cuckoo-DoveMacropygia phasianella
Brown GerygoneGerygone mouki
Brown QuailSynoicus ypsilophora
Brown ThornbillAcanthiza pusilla
CicadabirdEdolisoma tenuirostris
Crimson RosellaPlatycercus elegans
Eastern SpinebillAcanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Eastern WhipbirdPsophodes olivaceus
Eastern Yellow RobinEopsaltria australis
Fan-tailed CuckooCacomantis flabelliformis
Golden WhistlerPachycephala pectoralis
Green CatbirdAiluroedus crassirostris
Grey FantailRhipidura fuliginosa
Grey GoshawkAccipiter novaehollandiae
Grey Shrike-thrushColluricincla harmonica
Large-billed ScrubwrenSericornis magnirostra
Laughing KookaburraDacelo novaeguineae
Lewin’s HoneyeaterMeliphaga lewinii
Noisy PittaPitta versicolor
Paradise RiflebirdLophorina paradiseus
Pied CurrawongStrepera graculina
Red-backed Fairy-wrenMalurus melanocephalus
Regent BowerbirdSericulus chrysocephalus
Rose RobinPetroica rosea
Rufous FantailRhipidura rufifrons
Satin BowerbirdPtilonorhynchus violaceus
Scarlet HoneyeaterMyzomela sanguinolenta
Shining Bronze-CuckooChalcites lucidus
SilvereyeZosterops lateralis
Spotted PardalotePardalotus punctatus
Superb Fairy-wrenMalurus cyaneus
Tawny FrogmouthPodargus strigoides
Tawny GrassbirdCincloramphus timoriensis
Topknot PigeonLopholaimus antarcticus
Torresian CrowCorvus orru
Wedge-tailed EagleAquila audax
White-browed ScrubwrenSericornis frontalis
White-headed PigeonColumba leucomela
White-throated TreecreeperCormobates leucophaea
Wonga PigeonLeucosarcia melanoleuca
Yellow-faced HoneyeaterCaligavis chrysops
Yellow-throated ScrubwrenSericornis citreogularis

There were quite a few highlights – but in particular this male Paradise riflebird that told us where to go in no uncertain terms!

Paradise rifle bird – Ptiloris paradiseus Photo: Ann Alcock
Paradise rifle bird – Ptiloris paradiseus Photo: Sue McIlwraith

And this pair of Black-breasted button quail, that Scot just managed to get a quick bit of footage of.

With a number of keen photographers in our group we were blessed with the amount of imagery we got. Some highlights follow:

Eastern spinebill – Acanthorynchus tenuirostris Photo: Mike Ford
Pied currawong – Strepera graculina Photo: Mike Ford
Regent bowerbird – Sericulus chrysocephalus – Photo Ann Alcock
Adult male Satin bowerbird – Ptilonorhynchus violaceus Photos: Sue McIlwraith
Juvenile male Satin bowerbird – Ptilonorhynchus violaceus Photos: Sue McIlwraith
Green catbird – Ailuroedus crassirostris Photo: Sue McIlwraith

Green catbird – Ailuroedus crassirostris Photo: Ann Alcock
Female Golden whistler – Pachycephala pectoralis Photo: Ann Alcock
Male Golden whistler – Pachycephala pectoralis Photo: Ann Alcock
Sulphur crested cockatoo – Cacatua galerita Photo: Mike Ford
Crimson rosellas – Platycerus elegans Photo: Sue McIlwraith
Male King parrot – Alisterus scapularis Phots: Sue Mcilwraith
Wonga pigeon – Leucosarcia melanoleuca Photo:Sue McIlwraith
Top knot pigeon – Lopholaimus antarcticus Video still: Scot McPhie
White headed pigeon – Columba leucomela Photo: Sue McIlwraith
Eastern yellow robin – Eopsaltria australis Photo: Ann Alcock
Eastern yellow robin – Eopsaltria australis Photo: Sue McIlwraith
Eastern yellow robin nest, found on the track
Yellow-throated scrubwren – Sericornis citrogularis Photo: Ann Alcock

The Bunya mountains are facing a serious threat from Phytophthora fungus, which is killing Bunya pines, and it’s great to see many precautions are now in place to help with this.

Photo: Scot McPhie
Cleaning stations like this are a common sight throughout the mountains. Photo: Scot McPhie

And finally – there was a dingo!

Photo: Scot McPhie

Thanks everyone who attended and helped organise thre trip, and everyone who submitted media for this blog entry – what a great time we all had 🙂 (Probably could have done without the ticks though – but who cares LOL!)

One reply on “Bunya Mountains”

What a wonderful weekend you shared, resulting in an impressive list of bird sightings, chief of which were the Black-breasted Button-Quails, well done. An interesting sighting of the dingo too!

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