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Australian Birdwatching Guide


The Australian Birdwatching Guide


Below you will find the Australian Birdwatching Guide to the most likely sighting locations and seasons to see the following species of Australian Birds found near Chiltern, the Birdwatching Capital of Victoria.


Best Seasonal Spots

In addition to the suggested bird trails we would make the following seasonal recommendations for bird watching at Chiltern.

Summer (December to May)

A good summer option for lazy bird watching is to find a dam in the National Park and to sit and wait for birds to come in to drink. Depending on what the rains have been like any of the small fire dams in the Park will have many birds coming in. Just grab a deck chair, your binoculars and a drink and see what comes in. The hotter the day the better, with dusk the best time to watch.

Some of the most reliable dams for birds are

Lappins Dam, off Lappins Track, 100m from its junction with Donchi Hill Road in the north west of the park.

Green Hill Dam, next to Green Hills Road, between Pipeline Track and Battery Hill Road in the north east of the park.

Cyanide Dam, off Cyanide Road at the Honeyeater Picnic Ground on the south side of the park.

Autumn Late Winter ( April to August )

Autumn and winter are the key flowering times for the bird attracting eucalypts. Move around the park and look and listen for loud concentrations of honeyeaters and lorikeets at flowering lronbarks (black barked trees) and White Box (one of the grey barked trees).

Flowering is highly patchy and best locations vary from year to year. When you've found a good patch stay around and keep a lookout for Swift Parrot, Regent Honeyeater, and other rarities, as well as often spectacular numbers of more common honeyeaters and lorikeets.

Spring (September to November)

The peak breeding season and the time when the summer migrants arrive. Look for areas with high diversity of species such as areas on the edge of the park where there is some open land. Good spots are Bartley’s Paddock, (see Bird Trail Number 2), Skeleton Hill (see Bird trail Number 1) and the White Box Walk which does a loop out from Honeyeaters Picnic Ground.


Finding Particular Species


Some rarer species are often specifically sought by birdwatchers at Chiltern. The Australian Birdwatching Guide has provided below some details on the most likely locations for the most regularly sought birds.

Regent Honeyeater

Chbird6.JPG (7555 bytes)

Usually arrives in autumn and departs in late spring. Look in or near flowering Ironbarks (the black barked trees) or White Box (one of the grey barked trees). Also often seen coming in to drink at dams. The two spots where the species is most regularly seen are Honeyeater Picnic Ground and Green Hill Dam next to Green Hill Road, between Pipeline Track and Battery Hill Road in the north east of the park.

NB - Australian Birdwatchers- The Regent Honeyeater is now highly endangered. Your sightings may be very important Please note any colour bands on any birds seen and please report any sightings of Regent Honeyeaters as soon as possible to local naturalist Eileen Collins on or phone 0357 261 484.


Turquoise Parrot

ChbirN1.JPG (9598 bytes)

Reasonably common but moves to different areas in the district through the year. Most regular spots are Honeyeater Picnic Ground, Bartley's Paddock and the junction of Donchi Hill Road and Lappins Track in the north west of the park. Often in farmland as well as forest, particularly in autumn.

Swift Parrot

ChbirN2.JPG (6797 bytes)

Autumn to Spring only. Look in or near flowering Ironbarks (the black barked trees) or White Box (one of the grey barked trees). Look for flowering trees with honeyeaters and lorikeets and listen and look carefully for Swifties in the foliage or flying quickly through.

Square TaiIed Kite

ChbirN3.JPG (8954 bytes)

Spring to Autumn only. Mostly on southern side of the Chiltern Park and in the Barambogie Mt. Pilot Ranges. The kites usually cruise quickly just about the canopy. Listen for alarm calls from honeyeaters and look up.

Barking Owl

ChbirN4.JPG (8035 bytes)

The Chiltern and Beechworth districts are one of the few places where Barking Owls are still locally common in Southern Australia. A number of pairs occur in the southern part of the Chiltern Park and the Barambogie Mt. Pilot Ranges to the south. Because of the risk of disturbance to roosting and nesting owls exact locations are not given here. If you sit at dusk on the edge of bushland in these areas you may be lucky and hear some owls woofing to each other.

Powerful Owl

ChbirN5.JPG (8524 bytes)

Several pairs of Powerful Owls occur in the Barambogie Mt. Pilot Ranges. Because of the risk of disturbance to roosting and nesting owls exact locations are not given here. Sitting in the bush at dusk in late autumn may produce some calling birds.

White Throated Nightjar

ChbirN6.JPG (8409 bytes)

A spring and summer migrant. Wait and listen at dusk at Cyanide Dam at the Honeyeater Picnic ground. They can be seen flying over the dam.

Painted Honeyeater

ChbirN7.JPG (7887 bytes)

Spring and Summer only. Most regularly observed in Bartley’s Paddock in spring.

Painted Button Quail

ChbirN8.JPG (10791 bytes)

Reasonably common in Box Forest and Ironbark Forest throughout the Chiltern Park. Try walking quietly along any low ridge in the park in the morning or evening.

Hooded Robyn

ChbirN9.JPG (6786 bytes)

One family group is regularly seen along Donchi Hill Road on the straight stretch to the west of Lappins Track in the north west section of the park.

Grey Crowned Babbler

ChbirN10.JPG (10269 bytes)

A large family group lives along Fishers Lane which runs to the west of the Howlong Road on the far north side of the park.

Diamond Firetail

Chbird31.JPG (7011 bytes)

Moves seasonally around the district. Most regular spots are rough paddocks near corner of Pit Road and Chiltern Valley Road ( Bird Trail No 3 ), Bartley's Paddock ( Bird Trail No 2 ), and the junction of Pipeline track and Green Hill Road in the north east of the park.

Chestnut Rumped Hylacola

ChbirN12.JPG (4058 bytes)

Resident but hard to see. Best spots are healthy areas on Skeleton Hill Track ( Bird Trail 1 ), and Tower Hill Road in the north side of the park.


Bird Parks

As an extention to the Australian Birdwatching Guide, and for the convenience of the avid Australian birdwatcher or the amateur, or for those "ordinary Tourists" wishing to photograph spectacular birds, the Buller's Bird Park located at Bullers Winery, Three Chains Road, Rutherglen, has an amazing array of birdlife on display, including the endangered Bush Stone Curlew and the Scarlet Chested Parrot and the Turquoise Parrot.

The Ettamogah Sanctuary at North Albury, has also a large range of birds on display, featuring the Bush Stone Curlew, the Barking Owl, Emus, Fairy Penguins and many others.



Ettamogah Sanctuary Bullers Bird Park



Preserved Bird Display


As an extention to the Australian Birdwatching Guide, and for the tourist who would love to see the many varieties of birds that thrive in our area, and would like to have a close look at them, without wandering through the forests, the Bourke Museum at Beechworth has over 100 species on display.

These birds were alive 150 years ago, and have been lovingly preserved behind a spectacular glass cabinet, forming a beautiful and everlasting display so that  people will be able to observe these beautiful species forever.


Burke Museum, Beechworth



The Australian Birdwatching Guide, Chiltern

Page 1   Tour 1     Tour 2   Tour 3  
Tour 4  Notes Listing 1 Listing 2



Endangered Australian Birds

Regent Honeyeater Scarlet Chested Parrot
Bush Stone Curlew Square Tailed Kite
Swift Parrot Turquoise Parrot




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