Spent the weekend around the Cooloola section of Great Sandy National Park,
staying at Rainbow Beach (3 hours drive north of Brisbane). Highlights
include Grass Owl, Marbled Frogmouth, Southern Emu-wren, Beach Stone-Curlew,
and Black-breasted Button-quail.
Here are the sites and birds that I visited and saw over the weekend.
Cooloola Way: Turn off the Gympie – Rainbow Beach road 17 kms out of Rainbow
Beach onto Cooloola Way. Follow this dirt road for 3km then turn left by the
overhead power lines. Drive for 1.7km and park next to the 'bridge'
(actually a hump over a concrete water drain).
Southern Emu-wren – 1 male seen from the bridge, plus about 5 other males
heard singing in the area.
Grass Owl – 1 spotlighted just after the last embers of light had
disappeared from the horizon (tape lured).
Ground Parrot – 5 males singing at dusk on 24 Sep. None heard or seen at
Singing Bushlark – 1 along track just beyond the 'bridge'.
Other birds: Brush Bronzewing (5 seen, more heard), Horsfields's
Bronze-Cuckoo, Brown Falcon.
At the start of Cooloola Way there was also: Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
(6), Leaden Flycatcher, White-throated, Scarlet, and White-cheeked
Bymien Picnic Area: About 5 km outside Rainbow Beach (going towards Gympie),
take Freshwater Road. It's a 2WD track up to the picnic area which is 3km
along the road.
Marbled Frogmouth – 1 male spotlighted about 50 metres along Dundathu
Circuit (about 150 metres away from the car park).
Southern Boobook – 2 birds calling.
Didn't see or hear any Sooty Owls.
Other birds during the day: (I took the 2.2km track to Poona Lake. The last
downwards hill to the lake was particularly productive.)
Grey Goshawk (2 intermediate birds), Rose-crowned (common) and Wompoo (6+)
Fruit-doves, Spectacled Monarch (5), White-headed Pigeon (1), Rufous Fantail
(10+), Large-billed Scrubwren, Little Shrike-thrush, Green Catbird (4),
Pale-yellow Robin (8), White-eared Monarch (2), Regent Bowerbird (1),
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (2).
Rainbow Shores: North of Rainbow beach, on way to Inskip Point. Park in the
beach-access car park and explore the beach access path and the track that
runs away from the carpark exit.
Birds: Fairy Gerygone, Varied Triller, Regent Bowerbird.
Inskip Point: Park at the end of the road by the turn-around loop.
Beach Stone-curlew – a pair on the beach between the wooded area and the
Fraser Island barge docking area.
Black-breasted Button-Quail – 3 birds, close to the parking area. 1 pair on
the seaward side of the point. Where the 'in' and 'out' part of the
turn-around loop meet, there is a gap in the seaward side of the fence, with
a track running to the beach. Follow this and then take the track to the
right into the bushes about 30 metres before the beach fence. There were
lots of fresh platelets here with a pair of BBBQ feeding about 20 metres
along the track. There was another male on the inland side of the point
between the turn-around and the camp site (I've found this area to be the
best in the past). Look in the leaf litter below the conifers (especially
those with bushy ground cover over the leaf litter).
Other birds in the trees around the point: Emerald Dove (1), Olive-backed
Oriole, Mangrove Honeyeater (common), Varied Triller (male), Leaden
Flycatcher (pair), Forest Kingfisher, Little Shrike-thrush, Rainbow
All the best,
Dr. Graham Etherington
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