This weekend

Subject: This weekend
From: REID Colin <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2002 17:24:18 +1000
Hi all
        Having just returned from a 5 week family trip to Ireland and
England with little birding (Puffins in the west of Ireland and a
Rose-coloured Starling in Dublin being the only highlights) I was keen to
get back out into SE Qld again. 
        Headed up Mt Glorious (NW of Brisbane) at dawn on Saturday morning
Shivering in the Suzuki to walk at Manorina. Beautiful crisp, clear, morning
resulting in a Red Browed Treecreeper, Noisy Pitta and  1 new 'tick' in the
shape of White-naped Honeyeater.
        Sunday taking off again a little later (the birds didn't seem too
active till the sun came up so felt I should follow their example!) arriving
at Atkinson's Dam in the Lockyer Valley (70 kms west of Brisbane) at 7.15.
        Usual species at Atkinson's so drove slowly along Boyce's rd towards
7 mile Lagoon (dry, of course, but a great area to cruise slowly thru)
Spectacular view of a Brown Falcon (tick) on the wires, sitting patiently
above the car. I could almost see what he was thinking! One Ground Cuckoo
Shrike in a tree while about 20 Black-faced played at being Grounds in the
fields at the top of the rise! Past 7 mile, seeing little, checking every
damp dam, wondering what the horses and birds live on out here. 
        A flicker caught my eye as I passed a gate with sign declaring the
occupants of the property were "wildlife friendly" - WoW - from nothing to 2
Jacky winters (tick), 1 Speckled Warbler (tick), about 10 Yellow-rumped
Thornbills, 2 Rufous Whistlers and a pair of Striated Pardalotes nesting in
the gate post! Two Grey-crowned Babblers flew down the tree line and then
off across the fields as I returned to the car.
        Drove on, counting Kestrels, to another stop - Blue-winged
Kookaburra (tick) where Tom said it would be, but hadn't been on my previous
2 trips here. Again great views. Eager for a cup of coffee now - headed
almost directly to Lake Clarendon and, after the life sustaining brew,
walked down to the remains of the lake. 
        Doesn't everything happen at once?
        While scanning through the Red-knecked Avocets and Black winged
Stilts for the rare visting Banded Stilt, and wondering was it still here, a
bird flushed from in front and landed some distance away - mmmm definitely
not a Richard's Pipit, yep - Brown Songlark (tick) and what's that noise?
Black cockatoo being mobbed by Magpies? Strange call - 2 Red-tailed Blacks -
(tick) right up on the trees near the road. Yahoo!! - now which one to go
after. Leave the cockatoos -they are near the road - chase the Songlark, but
keep an eye out for the Stilt.... Oh you mean THAT Banded Stilt (tick) on
the other side of the pond? Another quick view of the Songlark (never
thought they would be that big or fly like a small dove!) then trudge round
through the mud to a GREAT view of the visitor at about 50 metres.
        Having walked this far may as well walk all around the lake - mmmmm
nice call - like a penny being dropped - now where are those finches stirred
up by the Black-shouldered Kite overhead - ah yes, Plum Headed Finches
(tick) about 30 sitting in the dry reeds. Very pretty and confiding.
        Walked back to car very pleased with myself. Met another well known
Brisbane birder who had the grace to listen to my explanation of where I had
seen the Banded Stilt, then another coffee before heading off to Apex Lagoon
in Gatton (Cockatoos long gone from the road)
        Hoping for Cotton Pygmy Geese I was to be disappointed - but
instead, overhead, strange looking Swallow - Ahhhh - White backed (tick),
very nice. With 37 Pink-eared Duck, 14 Red-kneed and 10 Black-fronted
Dotterels and, sadly, a dead Pelican, the pond was quiet and seemingly
deserted with the egret colony empty at this time of year.
        Still hoping for the Pygmy Geese called into Lake Dyer (nee Bill
Gunn Dam) on the way home - no luck, but there's always next weekend! 
        It's good to be back birding!

Colin Reid

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