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Birds of Queensland - #1 - Brisbane Region (23 July 2014)
contributed by cougar15
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We are now on what has become an annual journey north to escape the wintry conditions of our beloved Phillip Island. And while the island offers a lot of interest throughout the colder months, with its spectacular ever-changing seascapes, it does take second place to the sunny skies and general warmth of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast this time of year.
The first stop on our journey north was to stay with friends from Phillip Island who recently built a holiday home in Moama, NSW.
Whilst we were wandering around the historic precinct of nearby Echuca, I was staggered to come across a flock of Helmeted Guinea-fowl almost in main street. There must have been two dozen fowl in this flock and their constant chattering amused a large number of the public standing nearby. I was also taken by the fact that this flock remained close together on a fairly small piece of tufty lawn on which they were grazing with seeming no intention of venturing elsewhere.
Following overnight stops at Gilgandra and Goondiwindi we reached the home of our daughter in the Brisbane suburb of Mitchelton.
After a good night’s sleep, the girls headed off into Brisbane’s CBD and I visited the two birding sites I had targeted following some useful research on the internet, namely –
Sherwood Arboretum Park, Jolimont Street, Sherwood; and Oxley Creek Common, Sherwood Road, Rocklea.
These sites are fairly close to each other and are equally highly recommended for serious birding or for just getting out in the fresh air with family and friends.
At Sherwood Arboretum Park I was pleasantly surprised to see the extent and quality of the park’s layout, the size of its wetland area and the number of different species of birds it hosts. It provided me with close-hand opportunities to photograph – Purple Swamphen, Dusky Moorhen, Australian Raven, Australian White Ibis, Australasian Grebe, Hardhead, Pacific Black Duck, Australian Wood Duck, Masked Lapwing, Noisy Miner, Little Black and Little Pied Cormorants, Australian Pelican, Grey Teal, Pied Butcherbird, Striated Pardalote, Grey Fantail, Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Australian Magpie, Magpie-lark and Magpie Goose. There is also a number of Red-backed Fairy-wren living amongst the wetland island’s vegetation who were far too active for me to photograph.
I spent several very pleasant hours walking around that park and alongside the adjacent Brisbane River. I have no doubt I will try to return whenever I am in Brisbane and the weather is as welcoming as it was that day.
Although the other site, the Oxley Creek Common, was equally productive (from a birding viewpoint) it offers a different landscape with a wide aggregate path between the creek and some open farming / grazing paddocks. In other words, it is more of a bushland track than a formal parkland.
Indeed, the two sites provide a good contrast in landscape and vegetation with differing birdlife as a consequence.
Along the Common’s track I came across – Straw-necked Ibis, Australian Raven, Australian Magpie, Magpie-lark, Spangled Drongo, Grey Fantail, Brown and Scarlet Honeyeaters, Noisy Miner, Spotted Turtle-dove, Green Figbird, Golden and Rufous Whistlers, and (for me, the most exciting of all) a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo.
It really was a great day’s birding and so close to the suburban development of Brisbane. The creation / preservation of these two wonderful sites is a very big plus for both sets of town planners.
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