Brisbane/Inverell Trip

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Brisbane/Inverell Trip
From: "Lynn" <>
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 19:14:40 +1000
Hi all
Firstly thanks to all those that provided information for my recent trip. Due to a computer crash I have lost all my e-mail addresses, so a general thanks will have to do.
As it was mainly a visiting family trip not much birding was done but still managed 155 species for the week we were away. A lot of these seen whilst driving.
A 5 minute stop at Stroud Road just east of Dungog to look for the Southern Emu Wrens I saw recently draw a blank for them but there was a Brush Cuckoo here, don't often see them in our area. There was a distinct lack of Nankeen Kestrels on the way up, the first not being seen until just east of Warwick in Queensland where we saw 12 in the space of 25kms to Cunningham's Gap. Black shouldered Kites were seen regularly all the way up including this stretch of road.
Whilst in Brisbane I spent 2 hours at Tinchi Tamba Wetlands at Bracken Ridge (  northern suburb of Brisbane ). This is a great spot to go birding , thanks to Roy Sonenberg (spelling ? ) for directing me to this area and yes I finally ticked off the Mangrove Honeyeater.
There is a couple of small lakes on the main road before you get to Tinchi Tamba and a quick stop here revealed an Australian Hobby sitting on the power lines in the same spot I saw one here in September last year. It did move so it wasn't stuffed ! Amongst the common water birds here were some Magpie Geese and a pair of Wandering Whistling Ducks.
On to Tinchi Tamba and cruising the South Pine River was a White- bellied Sea-eagle , a Whistling Kite and two Brahminy Kites. Caspian and Crested Terns plus a Darter and Pied and Great Cormorants were also present. Chestnut Teal on the water. Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets were common in the flowering gums as were Noisy Miners, Scarlet , and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Noisy Friarbirds. A Spangled Drongo was dazzling in the early morning sun and several White-breasted Woodswallows hawked over the river. A Rufous Whistler and Shining Bronze Cuckoo were in good voice. Red-backed Fairywrens were common as were the  Variegated. A Striated Heron sat motionless at the edge of the mangroves opposite the bird hide. I also sighted a Mangrove Gerygone. Sacred Kingfishers were seen but no Collareds. Four Mangrove Honeyeaters were seen.
The next leg of the journey saw us off to Inverell via Warwick and Texas. Just west of Warwick we started to see our first Cockatiels and a Ground Cuckooshrike flew across in front of the car. A quick petrol stop just before heading south to Texas was productive with several flowering White Box . Little Lorikeets, White-plumed, Brown-headed and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were present. A Jacky Winter hawked for insects. On the road to Texas 4 Emus, the only ones of the trip were seen close to the roadside.
A stop at a riverside crossing just north of Inverell added White-bellied Cuckooshrike and Zebra and Double-barred Finches to the list. Around Inverell were lots of Musk and Little Lorikeets. The next morning just after breakfast a Spotted Harrier cruised past the house , a couple of metres above ground level. Always a great sight to see one of these magnificent Raptors.
The next morning I went out with a local couple ( thanks Jill Denning ) and we birded for about 4 hours on the Eastern side of Copeton Dam just south of Inverell. It was one of those perfect mornings, sunny and clear and heaps  of White Box flowering so the bush was alive with birds. All up we saw around 70 species for the morning with several highlights , not least of which was a new bird for me , Turquoise Parrot ( with a distinct orange patch on the belly ) .
Some of the birds seen :
Black chinned Honeyeater
Fuscous               "
White naped         "
White plumed        "
White eared            "
Spiny cheeked       "
Yellow faced           "
Yellow tufted           "
Diamond Firetail
Red-browed Finches
Double-barred Finches
Speckled Warbler
Brown and White throated Treecreepers
Grey Crowned Babblers
Golden Whistler
Crested Shriketit
Restless Flycatcher
Mistletoe Birds
Rufous Songlark
Fan tailed Cuckoo
At Lake Inverell the next morning I saw an Osprey , as mentioned in an earlier e-mail.
On our way home we visited friends between Grafton and Wooli on the coast south of Grafton. Three Varied Trillers was a nice addition to the trip list but the highlight was spotlighting a Powerful Owl .
Two Ospreys were seen at Wooli the next day as well as around 100 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos wheeling over the Coastal Banksia's. A lone Eastern Curlew and a couple of Grey-tailed Tattlers along with 3 Marsh Sandpipers were the only waders seen along the mudflats here.         
Back home , awaiting the next trip in 2 weeks , Broome and the Canning Stock Route. More later
Dick Jenkin
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