Long weekend birding in SE Queensland

Subject: Long weekend birding in SE Queensland
From: "Daniel Mantle" <>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 06:40:44 +0000

  Hi All

  Last weekend I spent a couple of days birding around south-east
  Queensland with Michael Wood and Shane Farrell. We put in a lot of
  effort searching for owl, quail, and button-quail which meant late
  nights and early mornings but we were duly rewarded.

  Thursday, 18/1/07

  Michael and I started our birding along Corcorans Lane near Bryden
  (just west of Lake Wivenhoe) in the late afternoon/early evening. We
  were specifically searching for Red-backed Button-quail. I had great
  views of a female RBBQ about 10 days previously after being alerted to
  their presence by Gavin Goodyear. Again the place was alive with
  Singing Bushlark and Brown Songlark but we had nearly covered the
  entire length of the lane (only a few hundred metres) before we
  flushed our first RBBQ. Not great flight views but certainly enough
  features to positively id the bird. The return along the lane was much
  more rewarding, we saw and heard several Brown Quail, and then flushed
  another 4 RBBQ and 2 Stubble Quail (another pretty good bird for SE

  We were off to a great start and were certainly in high spirits
  heading up the ranges to Brisbane Forest Park for an evenings
  spotlighting. We stopped at Manorina (just north of Mount Nebo) for a
  quick dinner and rest. Here we heard the first Marbled Frogmouth and
  Sooty Owls of the night but both were distant and refused to show. A
  single Tawny Frogmouth in the carpark was the first night bird seen.

  Driving north towards Mount Glorious we saw some movement off to our
  left and quickly stopped the car for a look. Michael spotted a
  Frogmouth that I assumed was going to be a Tawny. It was showing far
  too well for a Marbled Frogmouth and was in schlerophyll woodlands not
  rainforest. However the rainforest is very close by at this point so
  nothing could be ruled out. A first look at the bird revealed itself
  to be very long-tailed, brown in coloration, with glowing orange eyes
  (although spotlights make this a difficult feature to use). Michael
  and I both started to think this could have been a Marbled Frogmouth.
  However the dark streaking on the crown and breast suggested otherwise
  (for anyone interested I posted a picture of this bird on the
  Identification Q&A section of [1] in response to
  a thread started by Tom Tarrant).

  After this brief stop we continued on to Browns Road (Maiala) where we
  immediately started to hear Sooty Owls. After a reasonable wait these
  birds then went on to give amazing eye level views just off the road
  itself as they continued to voice their full repertoire of calls. We
  were getting a little tired so decided to head down to our camping
  spot near Samsonvale where we heard King Quail and Australian
  Owlet-nightjar whilst setting up our camp.

  Friday, 19/1/07

  This morning we were woken a little before dawn as it had started to
  rain. Not really a problem for me in my tent but a bit of a bugger for
  Michael in his swag. We packed up our camp and headed for Samsonvale
  cemetery for another spot of quailing. Rather than traipsing through
  the now soaking head-high grasslands covering the dry lake bed (at
  least this part of the reservoir) we headed off along the mown path
  that leads from the cemetery towards postmans track. We figured the
  conditions (wet grass, first light, overcast conditions) could still
  be good for quail along the edges of the tracks. We werent to be
  disappointed and in an hours walking we saw numerous Brown Quail,
  approx. 10 King Quail, an unid. Button-quail, and further fleeting
  views of quail or button-quail that were either back lit, too brief,
  or just too hard to id. A Swamp Harrier lifting off from the
  grasslands, 9 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo and a calling Horsfields
  Bronze-cuckoo at the cemetery were the other highlights of the early
  morning walk.

  After a few more birding stops in the Samford/Dayboro area we headed
  on to meet Shane Farrell at the Inskip Point camp grounds near Rainbow
  Beach. 2 Beach Stone-curlew at Inskip Point were easy to photograph
  and obviously use to people in this popular camping area. After
  lazying around the camp ground for a few hours we drove to northern
  end of Cooloola way to search for Ground Parrots. A species I had only
  ever heard before at Barren Grounds. The heathlands in this section of
  Great Sandy National Park are clearly an excellent place to find these
  birds as no sooner than we arrived at the well known stake out we
  started to flush birds from the side of the track. At one stage we
  even got prolonged but distant views of 3 birds together on the grass
  tracks. As the sun sank below the horizon the Ground Parrots started
  their beautiful but slightly humorous evening song. It was difficult
  to judge how many birds were involved but it was easily double
  figures. I think we briefly heard a Lewins Rail here before a Grass
  Owl ghosted overhead to provide another stunning highlight.

  A few quick stops around Bymien Picnic Ground provided no views of
  birds but we did hear another calling Marbled Frogmouth and Sooty Owl

  Saturday, 20/1/07

  Another early start saw us exploring the scrub and woodlands around
  Inskip Point. I was lucky enough to get great views of a female
  Black-breasted Button-quail crossing the track and then feeding in
  full view for a minute or so before disappearing into the undergrowth.
  Fairy Gerygones were another nice bird to see in this patch of

  From Inskip we headed towards Kenilworth and set up our tents at
  Bouloumba Creek (campsite 3). We tried to catch a bit of sleep that
  afternoon but the Bellbirds were having none of it so we headed off on
  a short walk along the dry creek bed. We found several fruiting fig
  trees and recorded Regent and Satin Bowerbirds, Green Catbird,
  Paradise Riflebirds and the usual pigeons and doves (Wompoo, Brown
  Cuckoo-dove, Rose-crowned Fruit-dove, White-headed Pigeon, and
  Emerald Dove). Collard Sparrowhawk, Pacific Baza, and Wedge-tailed
  Eagles were also seen in or near to the camp.

  Saturday night was to be a long night of spotlighting near Bouloumba
  Creek, along the Kenilworth-Conondale road, East Mary River road, and
  up to Charlie Moorland campgrounds. We were hoping for Masked Owl but
  this was not to be our night. I guess we had used up all our luck at
  this stage. Two Barn Owls, calling Sooty Owls (our fourth of the trip)
  and Marbled Frogmouths, and numerous Boobooks and Owlet-nightjars
  provided plenty of compensation.

  Sunday Morning, 21/1/07

  A final short walk and bird at Little Yabba Creek provided another
  couple of Regents Bowerbirds and a frustratingly brief view of a
  White-eared Monarch. Michael and I then left Shane to chase up the
  Button-quail at Bryden and set off on the drive back to Brisbane.

  Another excellent few days birding in SE Queensland. This email has
  been long enough without going into explicit instructions in how to
  get to any of the sites involved. Most have been mentioned many times
  on birding-aus but if anyone wants more info please let me know.

  Cheers Dan

  Looking for a baby-sitter? [2]Find one FAST with MSN Search!



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