Painted Snipe in the Lockyer Valley, Plum-headed Finches

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Painted Snipe in the Lockyer Valley, Plum-headed Finches
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 21:34:33 +1000
Trevor Ford and Mike & Linda Lewis found a family of Painted Snipe at Lake
Dyer (Bill Gun Dam) yesterday afternoon - adult male, adult female and two

A female Painted Snipe was recorded on several occasions at Lake Dyer around
September/October last year, and not long after this two birds were found
hugging a small puddle close to nearby Forest Hill, but to my knowledge
yesterday's sighting is the first evidence of Lockyer Valley breeding, at
any rate in the last 20 or so years.

We went back there this-morning, a scorcher of a day, and had great views of
everything except Painted Snipe. Not a sign during a couple of hours of
careful hunting and scanning through scopes and binoculars. But, there is a
lot of very suitable vegetation around the fringes of the lake which could
so easily hide any number of elusive birds. So, no photographs - yet.

Our searching did reward us in other ways however, including close up views
of Plum-headed Finches, (which were here at Abberton in Feb and March last
year, so fingers crossed), and several Pink-eared Duck, two of which were so
intent on each other that they virtually ignored us while they swam very
close to shore, lifting their beaks to the sky and uttering a gentle
trumpeting in unison. These, I have photos of, and I'll get them onto the
website in a couple of days, along with some images of a Tawny Frogmouth who
dropped onto our verandah late last evening to sit for several minutes
contemplating the darkness outside, seemingly impervious to me, to the torch
beam which Trevor aimed at the bird (so I could focus the camera on it), to
the occasional flash as I snapped away, and even to me approaching to within
a metre or so - until, when it was good and ready it just launched itself
without a sound into the always mysterious riparian night which surrounds us

We are currently seeing Nankeen Night-herons from the verandah every
evening, but we haven't seen or heard any nightjars here so far this summer.

Bill Jolly

Lockyer Valley, Queensland.

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