Sunshine Coast (Qld) .Birding and conservation

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Sunshine Coast (Qld) .Birding and conservation
From: Angus Innes <>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2012 22:39:28 +0000
The two coldest and sunniest days in London so far this winter, and my 
emergence from a mountain of backlogged work e-mails, have prompted me to 
remember a wonderful December (2011) on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. Apart 
from the delight of a new grandchild,I enjoyed one of my best ever day's 
birding. I had lined up Greg Roberts before I returned and had asked for a day 
of getting my eye (and one good ear)back in to local birds, with an emphasis on 
variety more than rarity chasing, without despising the latter, and a good 
sample of the northern SunshineCoast's ecosystem diversity. That's exactly what 
I got.
By 6am we were in the Conondale Ranges watching 40 plus Topknot Pigeons manning 
the cross-trees of a magnificent Bunya Pine to our front, and RegentBowerbirds 
and Paradise Riflebird in a Fig to our left and White-eared and Black-faced 
Monarchs in a tangle beside us - with Bell Miners providing the chorus. What a 
The ecosystems covered included rainforest, rainforest stream, open forest, wet 
sclerophyll forest, freshwater wetlands, sewage farm, lake and lagoons, 
wallumheath on Noosa North Shore, mangroves and the tidal Noosa River (a few 
days later I canoed Lake Cootharaba, the Everglades and the Upper Noosa River 
with my son-in-law ).
Although the whole day was a high, being the centre of a 360 degree, 
circumnavigation, by a magnificent Black-breasted Buttonquail at a constant 
distance of 15 metres inthe forest at Imbil was the single highlight. Baillon's 
Crake and Spotless Crake at the Cooroy Sewage Farm, Shining Flycatcher in the 
Noosa River mangroves and Rose-crowned Fruit-dove and White-bellied 
Cuckoo-shrike immediately overhead in a clearing in the wet sclerophyll forest 
also provide memorable images. 120 species forthe day. I highly recommend the 
birding and ecological delights of the area.
On a slightly different note, we reflected on the fact that we first met a few 
decades ago when Greg was a student campaigner for a Conondale Ranges National 
Park, now a reality -and that other notable conservation successes had occurred 
in the region in the subsequent years, including the Noosa National Park (with 
its'extensions to the south) and NoosaNorth Shore/Cooloola/Fraser Island - the 
Great Sandy National Park. The obvious and apparently relentless expansion of 
residential development tends to mask that real wins that have been achieved 
for the natural environment in the area.
I did manage a few more hours birding here and there including a trip to 
Buckley's Hole on Bribie Island where I had the pleasure, in the hide there, of 
receiving Trevor Ford's two excellent local ID Guides from one of its' major 
photographic contributors, Robert Inglis.
All that, a Koala from the verandah of a friend's unit at Noosa and a few 
kilograms of local prawns, made for one heck of a December. 
Back to the pleasures of wintering wildfowl refugees from the Arctic and 
volunteer guiding at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust's London Wetland Centre - a 
bit cooler and not quite as diverse.
Angus Innes, London, UK.

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