The Traprock country and back at Abberton

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: The Traprock country and back at Abberton
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 15:58:50 +1000
The Traprock country is sandwiched between the Darling Downs and the Granite
Belt in southern Queensland. It lies on top of the Great Dividing Range,
more or less in a rectangle between Inglewood in the nw, Warwick in the ne,
Texas in the sw and Stanthorpe in the se. Sundown National Park lies at its
southern edge.

I tend to bird a bit in the northern section of this dry inland area, only
about an hour-and-a-half away from home. As I said in a recent posting, the
geology has led to a different flora from the alluvial Lockyer Valley where
I live, and that in turn to a significantly different fauna.

My son Owen has been up from Brisbane for a few days, and we spent an
afternoon in the Traprock area yesterday, to see what we could see. Not an
expedition, just a visit to a couple of favourite locations. No counting or
listing involved. But we had a great trip and came home very satisfied with
what we had seen in what to us is our nearest bit of 'outback'.

Just a few of the birds...

Up on top of some of the dry hills, we found a lot of White-browed
Woodswallows, also several Dusky and just one Masked. We met up with eight
parrot spp, including the brilliant Red-winged Parrot, and both Eastern and
Pale-headed Rosellas in their overlap region. A similar number of
honeyeaters, Yellow-tufted are always glorious birds to see, and
Black-chinned Honeyeater in a new location.

Around 5 in the afternoon, we happened to be alongside a small pond when
Plum-headed Finches began dropping into the reeds in small groups of ten or
twenty at a time. Over about thirty minutes at least a couple of hundred
must have come in to roost - all chattering loudly as they settled low down
in the reeds, while Diamond Firetails were coming to the waters edge to

Pallid Cuckoos were seen and heard in several locations, Restless
Flycatchers, Rufous Whistlers everywhere.

Back at Abberton, Channel-billed Cuckoos are around every day now, their
noisy calling just a daily feature as if they had never been away. They are
pursued here not by Currawongs (which we almost never see in the Lockyer
Valley, except for a few in winter), but by Torresian Crows. Horsfield's
Bronze Cuckoo, Pallid Cuckoos and Brush Cuckoos are calling, and the
Pheasant Coucal has resumed his wonderful tropical-sounding 'womping' after
a few months of silence.

I really enjoyed David Geering's posting hailing the return of the Koel.
Its call has an infectious exuberance, which just rounds off the return of
spring for us. The cuckoos and the kingfishers and the bee-eaters have given
me that familiar new-season lift - but I'm really hanging out for the sound
of the Koel and the sight of a Dollarbird swimming through the sky to keep
me up there for the next six months.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

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