Fascinating Mix

To: "Bob & Sadhana Cook" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Fascinating Mix
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2002 09:25:30 +1000
Sorry Bob & Sadhana!

Sorry we missed you. It sounds like you had a typically great day in the

Eileen and I spent the weekend in Brisbane! Very rare for us. We went down
on Friday for a cultural fix and only got your phone message on Sunday.

I think I know which dam you saw the Freckled Ducks on - there have been a
few at various lakes in the valley over the last several weeks. By the way,
hereabouts, the Wandering Whistlers are harder to find than Cotton

I don't think it was Seven Mile Lagoon, as Andrew Stafford suggested. He's
right of course about what a great spot it is in suitable conditions, but it
has been so dry for so long now that it's currently just a grazed paddock.
But, this is a regular event, and it'll come back and will be duly inundated
with birds when it does.

So, for us a rare non-birding weekend. That's the trouble with this feast of
life - there's so much on the menu that whatever dish you select at a given
meal means forgoing some other delicacy. Now, city-sated, we're hungry for
our more regular diet of home-grown country tucker.

But en-route we did get a good look at a Spotted Harrier hunting close by
the highway - I guess that's sort of eating between meals?

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

Visit our website at

Ph: (+61) 7 4697 6111  Fax: (+61) 7 4697 6056

-----Original Message-----
 Behalf Of Bob & Sadhana
Sent: Sunday, 26 May 2002 8:57 PM
To: Birding-aus
Subject: Fascinating Mix

We have spent the weekend with Russ Lamb and Maria Dam in the Lockyer
Valley.  Tried to contact Bill Jolly to get some advice or share some time,
but he wasn't home!! Where are you Bill???

The whole area is very dry and several wetlands are totally dry and dams and
lakes are very, very low.  This has meant that birds are concentrated in the
areas that do have water.  Most interesting was at a smallish dam on private
property just opposite Atkinsons Lagoon (S27.24.50 E152.26.52).  This dam is
only about 150 metres by 100 metres and contained, amongst others, 4
Freckled Duck, 3 Wandering Whistling Duck and 2 Cotton Pygmy-goose.  This
seemed an amazing combination for one dam and we would love to hear other
comments on this combination.  Others on this dam included (Russ has the
full list) several hundred Pacific Black Duck, Hardhead, Wood Duck, Coot,
Moorhen, Swamphen, Jacana, Great Egret, Black Swan, Aust Grebe, Black-winged
Stilt, Little Black, Great and Little Pied Cormorant, Whistling Kite,
Black-fronted and Red-kneed Dotterel.

AT Atkinsons Lagoon itself, the water is so low that the bottom of the boat
ramp is about 50 metres short of the water!  Here also was teeming with
birds.  Hundreds of Straw-necked Ibis, White Ibis, a single Glossy Ibis,
Black Swan, White-faced Heron, Black-winged Stilts, Red-necked Avocets,
Pelican, Aust Grebe, Black Duck, Teal, Hardhead, Wood Duck, all four
Cormorants, both Spoonbills, Silver Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Several
Whistling Kites, a pair of Sea Eagles, Aust Kestrel, and more!

The earlier part of the day we spent in the State Forest North and East of
Helidon.  (One atlas point S27.31.30  E152.9.15).  Highlights included Rose
Robins at three spots, a pair of Glossy Black Cockatoos, Fan-tailed Cuckoo,
Golden and Rufous Whistlers, Red-backed Fairy Wren, Lewin's and White-naped
Honeyeaters and Yellow Thornbills.  Dominant were Yellow-faced Honeyeaters.
I always find it interesting that one or other Honeyeater will dominate in
any one area, even while others may share that area.  I have seen the
dominant species being White-plumed, New Holland, Yellow-plumed, Fuscous,
Tawny-crowned, Yellow-faced or Red Wattlebirds.  Of course, where Noisy
Miners are dominant there are unlikely to be any other Honeyeaters

Having a great trip.

Bob and Sadhana Cook

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