Birding Queenstown

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
M&JSurgan
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:50 am

Birding Queenstown

Postby M&JSurgan » Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:05 am

Greetings!

We will be visiting Queensland in October and would appreciate any help in birding the local area.

By way of introduction, we are both retired biologists from the USA (Michael - a science advisor in the office of the New York State Attorney General; Judy - a Biology teacher). We are long-time, enthusiastic, but not hard-core, birders.

We will be in Queensland with a (non-birding) tour group, but have time to break away from the group on Wednesday, October 9. We expect to be staying in the downtown area, close to the lake. Can you suggest any good birding spots accessible from downtown by foot or public transportation? We would appreciate of any tips or suggestions and would welcome contact from anyone who might be willing to join us birding on that day.

Looking forward to hearing back from you at your earliest convenience.

Best wishes & good birding!

Michael & Judy
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zarkov
Posts: 568
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Torbay.

Re: Birding Queenstown

Postby zarkov » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:29 pm

Can we assume you mean the city of Queenstown in New Zealand?

Queensland is a state in Australia.
M&JSurgan
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:50 am

Re: Birding Queenstown

Postby M&JSurgan » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:12 pm

Our apologies for the slip! As stated in the title, we do indeed mean Queenstown, New Zealand.
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zarkov
Posts: 568
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Torbay.

Re: Birding Queenstown

Postby zarkov » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:29 pm

I'm not familiar with the area from a birding point of view.

Mt memory of the head of the lake, and particularly the Greenstone river valley, is that it's a stunning part of the South Island.

https://www.alltrails.com/explore?b_tl_ ... 93359375&a[]=birding

Hopefully someone else can help.
Ian Southey
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Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: Birding Queenstown

Postby Ian Southey » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:15 am

The best places will take a little effort but you really want to get to the end of the Routeburn Track. it's also just a really nice place to be but beware there may be sandflies (blackflies) although not as bad as some places. This is one of the companies that takes trampers between Queenstown and the track but you may find others if you look https://www.infotrack.co.nz/routeburn-track-transport/

Your bus stop is the Routeburn Shelter and the very best birding is right there rather than on the track itself. My experience is a little dated but expect good numbers of Yellowhead, Yellow-crowned Parakeet and good variety of other forest birds especially up the river and on the easy slopes to the left. From the very end of the road you may find an old track you can follow - it used to be a short loop. I expect the track to be still mostly open but stay within your comfort levels - the birds will all come to the roadside, especially right at the carpark, if you are patient. In the other direction there's a very small bridge you will cross just before you arrive. There is a small patch of good flowering shrubs there and it should be easy to find Tui, NZ Pigeon and with luck a Kaka. The best area is small and further down the road the quality of the forest and birds falls off and you start getting into clearings but you might get another few endemics more easily down there - Brown Creeper and Tomtit if you haven't found them already. The whole area is good for falcons, they may even be in Queenstown, watch for them on the road too - but they are falcons and you will be lucky, or not. It helps to know calls especially this one http://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/yellowhead - learn the chatter call - its easy and distinctive.

There's lots of good birding in the area but this one is both really good and really easy. If you want to walk there's the track and the road. Good luck.

Ian
M&JSurgan
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 2:50 am

Re: Birding Queenstown

Postby M&JSurgan » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:46 am

Thanks Ian - that's helpful.

We'll check out Routeburn Track / Shelter on e-Bird and keep them in mind as a possibility. If we're on our own we'd like to stay in town or nearby to the extent possible.

Good Birding!
Mike & Judy

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