Not quite as exciting as seeing a blue rock thrush, nontheless the Lucinda
(NQ) wader count did have its moments. This month we had a sympathetic
local with tinny who took us around the seaward end of the spit - just as
well as the sand bars and most of the spit were inundated for the duration
of the count. The highlights:
430+ lesser crested terns
280+ little terns
315 great knot
102 large sand plover
34 pacific golden plovers
2 black naped terns (the first time we had seen them on the mainland)
22 black kites and 4 whistling kites lounging around on the beach
Plus the usual assortment of eastern curlew, whimbrel, greenshanks, red
capped plovers, pelicans, gull billed terns, crested terns, a handful of
grey tailed tattlers, caspian terns, red necked stints, pied
oystercatchers, bar tailed godwits and a solitary turnstone.
Total species = 23
total birds = 1355 (give or take a few).
Good views of varied honeyeaters in the adjacent parkland and a nesting
pair of torres strait (I hate 'pied imperial') pigeons.
On our way back through Ingham we made our usual stop at a rather good pie
shop and watched a procession of metallic starlings stripping leaves from
a weeping ti-tree to add to their nests.
8 km south of Ingham, at Toobanna, we detoured along Masters Road to
Pinnacle Hill Road which rejoins the Bruce Highway south of Toobanna. We
found barn swallows last December but none were to be found yesterday. We
did 'twitch' 33 species in about 20 minutes along the drainage channels
and ponds created to remove excess water from the sugar cane farms; plus a
collared sparrowhawk spearing across the road near Big Crystal Creek.
But a blue rock thrush would have topped it off. Sob!