Bush Stone Curlews Hibiscus Coast N of Mackay

Subject: Bush Stone Curlews Hibiscus Coast N of Mackay
From: "desley williams" <>
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2001 04:57:07 -0000

From Desley Williams.

For birders who are planning a trip north this winter and who are interested in seeing large numbers of Bush S/Curlews.    I have just returned from 24 hours at Halliday Bay, 45 km north of Mackay, after hearing from locals that there were dozens and dozens of Bush Curlews around this small resort, having increased in numbers after further development due to the lights from houses and cabins, also reports of BSC running into the Beer Garden on Friday/Saturday nights when the restaurant serves meals.   I stayed at the southern end of the Bay at  Halliday Hideaway hidden amongst bush, with mature trees  and separated by a headland from Ball Bay; the owner having donated this headland to National Parks.  I searched the area at night and found about 20 BSC but could not gain access to all the cabins, and being a Wednesday night the birds weren't at the restaurant.    I also visited the adjoining Ball Bay, which has not been developed, has no shops; the residents being mostly retirees; and saw 15 BSC but it was raining.   I spoke to residents who told me that the best time to see the Curlews is at dusk, that they come into residents properties, attracted to lights,  and are not afraid of people.     They also told me that a pair of Beach Stone Curlews had recently raised a chick at the southern end of Ball Bay; however I had never been able to find Beach Curlews at Ball Bay; but regularly see a pair at Smalleys Beach National Park on the other side of Ball Bay Creek.   I visited Smalleys Beach and saw one Beach S/Curlew along the beach front and the pair about 400m away at their usual spot on the Smalleys Beach side of Ball Bay Creek.    I saw the Ranger and he told me that there are Bush S/Curlews further south at Cape Hillsborough.  There is also good population at Seaforth; a residental and camping/caravan resort north of Halliday Bay.  There are Great Bower Birds at Seaforth which has a  bower in resident's garden which can be viewed from the roadside. The HIbiscus Coast has a range of accommoation: cabins at Halliday Bay & Cape Hillsborough; and camping at Halliday Bay, Smalleys Beach NP, Seaforth and Cape Hillsborough.    Halliday Hideaway also  welcomes pets on a lead. The Hibiscus Coast is very busy in the winter months with hundreds of tourists from the southern states escaping the winter; some spending 6 months here.   The Coast is an excellent birding area with a variety of habitats: coastal rainforest, woodlands, eucalypts and wetlands.

Regards,  Desley Williams

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