Black-breasted Button-quail

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Subject: Black-breasted Button-quail
From: "michael hunter" <>
Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 18:28:06 +1000
   Finding the BBBQ (Black-breasted Button-quail) was , in the vernacular, a
bloody bastard, and, as we drove around beautiful SE Queensland looking for
it, competed to see who could say BBBBBQ the fastest, adding a few
alphabetical variations as the search extended, ended up stuttering just as
GGGGGGympie appeared.
   "Creeping" through the lantana at the Duck Creek Rd. site and listening
for scratching noises, as described by Thomas & Thomas, was impractical and
our search futile, the lantana had completely overgrown. Clearing a few
machete tracks and returning  a few days later might be the go, but
Yellow-throated Scrubwrens provided the only scratching noises, and we
didn't see a platelet.
   Duck Creek Rd. was however a great alternative escape route from
O'Reilly's, ending up at Beaudesert , which is an hour from Brisbane, after
a pleasant and productive drive, sealed from the bottom of the hill, but 4wd
going back up if wet.
   Notable birds along the way were Bassian and Russet-tailed Thrushes,
Noisy Pitta and numerous Eastern Yellow Robins (the yellow rumped race), at
the top, early morning. Glossy Black Cockatoos feeding in the roadside
Allocasuarinas and a Topknot Pigeon perched out in the open lower down the
road, Pale-headed Rosellas and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets in the valley at the
bottom. Along with the possible BBBQ and ditto Eastern Bristlebird sites
(see Thomas & Thomas) Duck Creek Rd. is worth a good look if you're in the
    We picked up good views of Albert's Lyrebirds in the Lamington NP beyond
O'Reillys, but, despite an invigorating 25km walk to Mt Merino and back
along various tracks, didn't get the better view desired of the Rufous
Scrub-bird that we glimpsed last year at Gloucester Tops, not seeing or
hearing it at all in the magnificent Beech forests at Lamington.Wrong time
of year. Regent and Satin Bowerbirds and Wompoo Pigeons are still being
attracted to the handouts at the resort, along with flocks of Crimson
Rosellas and King Parrots, Brush Turkeys all over the place.

      Inskip Point a few days later was the next BBBQ site, accessable from
our Conference site on the Sunshine Coast, and 85km of good sealed road from
GGGympie, including 7km from Rainbow Beach. Only the last hundred metres or
so is unsealed sand. The site is scrub on the left of the unsealed section,
with coarse grass, lantana clumps, small trees and shrubs. A broad walking
track runs parallel to the road, covered in pine-bark and pitted with fresh
     A walking lady with binoculars, who camps nearby every year,and has
seen 90 spp.over the years at Inskip Point, said she'd never seen a
Button-Quail, but routinely saw a family of Stubble Quail scratching around
on the track on her daily walks, particularly under a tree where we had
found numerous fresh platelets. With some difficulty she eventually accepted
that the habitat, behavior, and presence of platelets were more consistent
with BBBQs, and we extended our search but to no avail. Platelets were also
over the road, and probably through the scrub back toward Rainbow Beach.

    Yarraman on our last day was our last chance, but we were not sanguine
about the prospects. Neugma State Forest is a Hoop Pine Plantation one km
along the Yarraman-Torong Rd from its turnoff 2km south of Yarraman on the
New England Highway. Somehow a strip of remnant "dry rainforest" has been
left next to the plantation proper, extending  right and left from the Y-T
Rd. a couple of hundred metres from the end of the bitumen and the "No
Unauthorised Vehicles" type sign going into the plantation.
       We followed the remnant strip about three the left, there were
platelets all through it. The T&T sites are intersects along that part of
the strip.
         The BBBQ put in a wecome appearance in the remnant between the T&T
"BQ" site and the Y-T Rd. A male walked across in front, joined by the
female. They were probably headed for the lantana covering the floor of the
adjacent Hoop Pine area where they would disappear, but gave us a good look
before they did.
          We had barbequed quail in a Brisbane restaurant  that night.
           I'm still shaking.


                                          Michael & PennyHunter
                                           Mulgoa Valley
                                           50km west of Sydney Harbour

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