Hi Birding-aussers, ventured out today to the
Lockyer Valley (SEQ) with Andy Whitcomb from the Gold Coast. There was a couple
of birds Andy wanted to see before heading back to the UK for the winter, namely
Australian Pratincole and Ground Cuckoo Shrike.
It was a bit of a late start so quite warm when we
arrived at Atkinson's Lagoon so straight down to the boat ramp where we promptly
located the Pratincoles, eventual count 7. Little in the way of widfowl on the
lagoon but a few Glossy Ibis present plus a few waders, Marsh Sandpiper by far
the most numerous.
Next stop, a location nearby given to me by Bill
Jolly and a place where I've seen Ground Cuckoo Shrikes regularly in the past.
On reaching the area, quickly located 1 bird feeding in a paddock and observed
it for several minutes down to within a few feet - Andy impressed by it's
size, tameness and (for a cuckoo-shrike) striking plumage.
The bird was observed to pick up a downy feather
and promptly fly off to a small tree nearby, whereon another was promptly
seen to fly out and land in the same paddock. Scanning of the tree from a safe
distance revealed one of the pair brooding on a nest. After all this time (33
years in OZ) I'd finally seen nesting Ground Cuckoo Shrikes & so close to
Brisbane. Sorry Brisbanites, I won't be revealing the location, besides the
species can, with a bit of work be located easily enough somewhere in the
Lockyer Valley. It will be interesting over the coming weeks to see how many
young they rear.
A reminder, there is a pelagic trip coming up from
Southport on Oct. 18th with several spots still available. I'll be putting a
full Sept. trip report onto Birding-aus tomorrow. Cheers - Paul
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