I'm glad you had a fine time Angus.
You make a good point about conservation achievements in southeast
Queensland. We worry with good cause about what lies ahead but we shouldn't
forget the successes that have been notched up. In this part of the world,
these have been substantial. Logging and forest-clearing in the Conondale,
Blackall and D'Aigular Ranges are unpleasant memories. Just recently, a
national park of over 10,000ha was declared over the Blackall Range, a short
distance from the tourist mecca of the Sunshine Coast.
In similar vein, the heathlands of the Noosa Plain with their Ground Parrots
and other goodies were saved, and now the Great Sandy World Heritage Area
extends from the tip of Fraser Island south almost to Noosa. Mining and
logging in Cooloola and on Fraser Island will never again be contemplated.
Not all is gloom.
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 22:39:28 +0000
From: Angus Innes <>
To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Sunshine Coast (Qld) .Birding and conservation
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
The two coldest and sunniest days in London so far this winter, and my
emergence from a mountain of backlogged work e-mails, have prompted me to
remember a wonderful December (2011) on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Apart from the delight of a new grandchild,I enjoyed one of my best ever
day's birding. I had lined up Greg Roberts before I returned and had asked
for a day of getting my eye (and one good ear)back in to local birds, with
an emphasis on variety more than rarity chasing, without despising the
latter, and a good sample of the northern SunshineCoast's ecosystem
diversity. That's exactly what I got.
By 6am we were in the Conondale Ranges watching 40 plus Topknot Pigeons
manning the cross-trees of a magnificent Bunya Pine to our front, and
RegentBowerbirds and Paradise Riflebird in a Fig to our left and White-eared
and Black-faced Monarchs in a tangle beside us - with Bell Miners providing
the chorus. What a start!
The ecosystems covered included rainforest, rainforest stream, open forest,
wet sclerophyll forest, freshwater wetlands, sewage farm, lake and lagoons,
wallumheath on Noosa North Shore, mangroves and the tidal Noosa River (a few
days later I canoed Lake Cootharaba, the Everglades and the Upper Noosa
River with my son-in-law ).
Although the whole day was a high, being the centre of a 360 degree,
circumnavigation, by a magnificent Black-breasted Buttonquail at a constant
distance of 15 metres inthe forest at Imbil was the single highlight.
Baillon's Crake and Spotless Crake at the Cooroy Sewage Farm, Shining
Flycatcher in the Noosa River mangroves and Rose-crowned Fruit-dove and
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike immediately overhead in a clearing in the wet
sclerophyll forest also provide memorable images. 120 species forthe day. I
highly recommend the birding and ecological delights of the area.
On a slightly different note, we reflected on the fact that we first met a
few decades ago when Greg was a student campaigner for a Conondale Ranges
National Park, now a reality -and that other notable conservation successes
had occurred in the region in the subsequent years, including the Noosa
National Park (with its'extensions to the south) and NoosaNorth
Shore/Cooloola/Fraser Island - the Great Sandy National Park. The obvious
and apparently relentless expansion of residential development tends to mask
that real wins that have been achieved for the natural environment in the
I did manage a few more hours birding here and there including a trip to
Buckley's Hole on Bribie Island where I had the pleasure, in the hide there,
of receiving Trevor Ford's two excellent local ID Guides from one of its'
major photographic contributors, Robert Inglis.
All that, a Koala from the verandah of a friend's unit at Noosa and a few
kilograms of local prawns, made for one heck of a December.
Back to the pleasures of wintering wildfowl refugees from the Arctic and
volunteer guiding at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust's London Wetland Centre
- a bit cooler and not quite as diverse.
Angus Innes, London, UK.
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