Looking for waterbirds in the Lockyer Valley [SEQ]

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Looking for waterbirds in the Lockyer Valley [SEQ]
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 11:03:11 +1000
I ventured into Brisbane's food bowl yesterday to see if all the rain had resulted in any inflows to the local dams. There was some heavy showers on the drive out, the roads were covered in water, the farm dams had water ... but the creeks were full of grass and both Lake Atkinson and Lake Clarendon were bone dry. Perhaps it's because the farmers have pumped out so much groundwater that there is no water in the creeks.

I drove on to Lake Dyer - a more reliable dam. A few optimists were fishing, but there were relatively few "fishing birds" there - the odd Darter, a lone Sea Eagle, a pair of Caspian Terns and a couple of silent Kites. I didn't see or hear any grebes. There were relatively few ducks - Hardheads, Aus Teal (one pair had 10 chicks) and Pacific Blacks, as well as a couple of Magpie Geese. Waders were also thin on the fringe. Other than the Black-winged Stilts scattered round the dam, there was a flock of twenty Marsh Sandpipers near a little island at the dam wall end, a lone Black-fronted Dotterel and four Snipe - three flew high and erratically while the fourth tended to fly low and more directly to its next roost. There were the usual hordes of e-chipping Cistacolas, Grassbirds, Fairywrens and Finches [CBM and PF] in the fringing vegetation. Interestingly, there were a number of turtle skeletons on a little sand bar - perhaps they like to haul themselves out of the water before they expire. There were also quite a few live ones - I could see their noses moving around like water-boatmen.

I moved on to the Apex Lakes in Gatton - guaranteed to have plenty of water from the town's stormwater runoff. Indeed the lakes were full, but with relatively few waterfowl. There were, however, many hundreds of Cattle Egrets nesting in the trees on a couple of islands.

Regards, Laurie.


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