Lockyer Valley 18/9/2003.

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Lockyer Valley 18/9/2003.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2003 19:46:15 +1000
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 Walbridge.
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