To borrow the words attributed to a rugby league commentator, it’s pretty, it’s
tame, it’s there.
I joined a number of other birders (including some Birding Aussers) at the park
on Wallaroo Circuit, most of whom had cameras. The Yellow Bittern was far more
active than the Little Aus Bittern and was happy to be out in the open. It was
unaffected by the twitcher’s attention. It flew around a fair bit - on average
about every 15-20 mins and was often walking out in the open. One time it was
flushed by a toddler chasing a scurvy looking domestic duck, and another time
by a swamp hen when it was sitting on top of the reeds preening. It did just
about everything you would expect a bittern to do, except hide.
The Little Aus Bittern was much shyer in comparison, but did show nicely on
occasion and even flew a distance once. I did manage to get both birds in my
camera viewfinder at the same time (they were about 5 metres apart).
The situation of the wetland is a neighbourhood park. It is a stone’s throw
from houses, and you park beside the lake. One of the locals was spreading
bird seed on the footpath, much to the delight of the waterfowl. There are
also cats prowling the streets.
There is a bush corridor running behind the lake and there was a koala loafing
about 20 metres from one of the viewing spots. There is a concrete path
running around the lake - a bridge at one end and a kiddies play area at the
You can twitch the bird while having a family outing.
As Brendan mentioned, the Yellow Bittern may well have been seen by a local
birder in March and I heard one of the residents? saying that it had been there
for two years. He thought there might be two, but might be referring to the
Little Aus Bittern.
I’m not sure why the comment was made the other day that the bird was off
limits and that birders should stay away. The only place it would be off
limits would be when it is on the golf course. Otherwise, there is no reason
not to go and see the bird.
I suspect the Yellow Bittern will be there for a while, so I would put it in
the “must see” category if you are in Brisbane for any reason. As long as you
don’t deliberately hassle it, you are unlikely to disturb it. It can be seen
easily and at close quarters, so there is no need for silly behaviour to get a
good photograph. The location is easy to get to and about 30 mins drive from
the airport. You could probably get there via public transport.
Time to look at the many pix I took this morning.
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