Some recent sightings from the Ross River, Townsville:
The past week has seen the unusual occurrence of up to 11 Glossy Ibis
feeding on the manicured lawns in front of a new housing development that fronts
onto the river near the Ross River Bush Garden (end of Thompson St,
Mundingburra), joined by flocks of up to 72 Straw-necked Ibis - the drought must
really be biting hard.
The Black-fronted Dotterels nearby have just hatched their third clutch for
the season, but I doubt the two tiny chicks will survive - so many off leash
dogs passing through. Also breeding are Masked Lapwings, making birding in some
spots rather difficult. Down towards Gleeson's Weir a pair of Darters have
constructed a nest & a pair of Cotton-Pygmy Geese was seen prospecting for a
likely spot to put theirs. A small Australian White Ibis colony is also underway
just upstream from the Nathan St bridge.
I have had several unconfirmed sightings of both Little Bittern &
Bush-hen around the reeds & grass near Aplin's Weir. Leaden Flycatchers have
been unseasonally common - I've had 12 sightings this summer from all around the
Townsville region, including Ross River, where they built a nest. An
Oriental Cuckoo is still present at the Palmetum & sometimes there is also
one at the Bush Garden. At least 2 Red-kneed Dotterels have been resident on the
marshy grassland below Aplin's Weir for a couple of weeks now.