South-East Queenslander birders who visit the
Toorbul roost might get a bit of a shock at the changes; I thought it wise to
forewarn you, as the informative signage has been delayed. The Toorbul roost is
located at the southern end of the village of Toorbul, on the Pumicestone
Passage a couple of kms north of the bridge from the mainland to Bribie Island.
It's a little to the north of Brisbane, for those who are still
This is an undertaking of the Pumicestone Shorebird
Management Group, funded by the federal goverment and matched by private
enterprise contributions. Our roost enhancement project has been underway for
some long time, but the earthworks have only taken place during July. Unless the
plantings and placement of bollards have been done in the past few days, they
are still to be completed. All works were to have been completed by July, but
delays have meant we are still dealing with on-ground matters.
You might recall that a few years ago we built an
artificial roost, now known as the Kakadu Beach Wader Roost, on Bribie Island,
as compensatory habitat for the loss of the critical Dux Creek roost. At the
time I believed that Kakadu would accommodate fewer waders than the old roost,
and Toorbul was always my next project.Toorbul lies about 4km across the Passage
from Kakadu Beach, and lies within a network of roosts.
The problem was that waders had to leave the
Toorbul roost when the tide reached a certain threshold. In the old days they
used to go from Toorbul to Dux Creek. Our aim was to extend the Toorbul roost so
as to enable the waders to remain roosting at Toorbul on almost all tides - thus
adding to the available roosting space in the southern Pumicestone
It took forever to gain all of the permits. We are
all busy people, and once lodged, permits took time to be assessed. The most
difficult was the permit to remove mangroves, but we got it eventually. The old
roost has not been interfered with; we have cut the mangroves behind it to
root level, taken the top off the grassy esplanade behind the mangroves, and
moulded it into a gradient suitable for roosting, and surrounded by a mound to
deter potential disturbers.
The achievement to date is a monument to
compromise. It is too small, too steep, not enough mangroves were removed. The
concerns of residents had to be satisfied. We had to work with what was
possible, and forget dreaming about the perfect roost. But I believe it is
viable, and hope that it will be used by waders when the summer high tides come.
We did our best.
07 5494 0994