Spent Saturday birding the Lockyer valley, west of Brisbane.
On our way we (Robert D & I) noted approx 100 Cockatiels on the wires
along the highway before the turn off to Laidley.
We went to Boyce's Rd (turn right beside the small dam just before
Atkinson's Dam). Lots of Double-barred Finches along the road and at the
(dry) creek crossing watched a Red-browed finch 'dance' (bob up and
down) with a length of grass in his (?) bill - seemed to attract the
attention of a Double-barred. A single Channel-billed Cuckoo flew
overhead, 2 Black-shouldered Kites, Pheasant Coucal, Drongo,
White-throated Gerygone, Rufous Whistler, White-throated & Blue-faced
Honeyeaters, Grey-crowned Babblers and Little Friarbird. A single
White-throated Needletail headed west against a clear blue sky.
On to Atkinson's Dam - or what's left of it. The water is extremely low.
However we had Black-winged Stilts, Red-necked Avocets, Grey Teal, Aust
Shoveler, 17 Black-tailed Godwits, 6 Marsh and 3 Sharp-tailed Sands, a
few Gull-billed Terns (but no Whiskered), and about 30 Silver Gulls as
well as the usual less notable species.
Back to the 'other' end of Boyce's Rd and over to Seven Mile -
completely dry of course and nothing worth mentioning.
On, without stopping much, to 'Lake' Clarendon - still completely dry of
course. We walked down to the water filled hollows, but apart from a
number of White-faced Herons, nothing of particular note here either. On
the way to Gatton we spotted a spoonbill in a paddock and stopped to
check it out - Yellow-billed and 4 Glossy Ibis. We also watched a
grasshopper hunting Hobby swooping low over the grass then return to a
dead tree to eat.
We stopped for lunch at the Apex lakes in Gatton - plenty of water here.
Coots, Hardhead, Brown falcon circling overhead. Plumed Whistling Duck,
Royal Spoonbill, Pink-eared Duck resting on the bank, both Black-fronted
and Red-kneed Dotterels and, unusually (?) a single Silver Gull. We met
a local birder here who pointed us in the direction of the Gatton sewage
farm with the possibility of White-backed Swallow - unfortunately they
were not in evidence, but we did have good views of Yellow-rumped
Thornbill along the fence line while holding our breath against the wind
Heading home we stopped off, firstly, at Gatton Uni and managed to get
some shots of both Dotterels ( see above) and Sharp-tailed Sand (2) from
the newly erected hides. The usual hundreds of Plumed Whistle-ducks and
Magpie Geese, a lone Reed Warbler and dozens of Pink-eared Ducks and
Second stop - Lake Dyer. Boat activity had either scared off most of the
birds or they had secreted themselves out of sight - 3 Great Crested
Grebes (2 adults and a juv) were the only birds added to the day list.
All in all a good day, although nothing new. 92 species in all and some
nice photos of Grey Butcherbird, both Dotterels and the Godwits, Stilts
So many birds, so little time......
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