Trip Report - Lamington, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Inskip Point

To: <>
Subject: Trip Report - Lamington, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Inskip Point
From: "Paul G Dodd" <>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 08:12:39 +1000
Hi Birders,


I forgot to mention one good bird in my trip report. When we were looking
for Bush-hen around Gold Creek Reservoir, we headed up Savages Road to the
end, as there had been some previous sightings of Bush-hen there. As we
approached the end of the road a Grey Goshawk took off from a roadside tree
and flew to a tree a few metres back from the road. Whilst not a life tick
for Ruth and me (until such time as it is split by IOC - just kidding!) it
was the first time that we'd seen the grey-morph flavour of this species as
down south we only get the white-morph. We had a good look at the bird
before it flew off out of sight. No wonder there were no Bush-hens around J


Paul Dodd

Docklands, Victoria


From: Paul G Dodd  
Sent: Tuesday, 12 June 2012 10:39 PM
Subject: Trip Report - Lamington, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Inskip Point


Hi Birders,


Last week I posted that Ruth and I were taking a spontaneous trip to
South-eastern Queensland to look for:



Wandering Tattler

Red-backed Button-quail

Black-breasted Button-quail

Grass Owl

Rufous Scrub-bird

Squatter Pigeon

And a better view of an Albert's Lyrebird for Ruth


Following are the results of our visit.


We flew into Coolangatta on Friday evening, arriving around 11pm. We
arranged with the rental car company (Hertz) to pick up the car late, which
I was happy with. Unfortunately it was raining very heavily on arrival so we
got soaked trying to load the luggage into the car. We stayed the night at
Surfers Paradise with the intention of driving to Binna Burra early in the
morning and attempting to look for the Rufous Scrub-bird. As it happened, we
arrived at Binna Burra around 9am (I thought that we might be too late -
given we had a 5km hike). From the Binna Burra carpark we hiked along Border
Track and then the Coomera Circuit track towards the falls. The directions
provided indicated that we needed to look for dense long grass that looked a
little like the tops of "Black Boys" (Xanthorrhoea spp) near a lookout on a
rocky outcrop about 5km from the carpark. We certainly passed this sort of
grass in two locations, and we thought that we had the rocky outcrop, but
just to be sure we kept walking to the falls lookout so that we could be
sure that this was not where we should be looking. Once we'd established
that we'd walked a bit far, we backtracked to the rocky outcrop to look for
the scrub-birds. After waiting at this point for about an hour and a half we
finally had a bird calling - and slowly getting closer! Eventually I reckon
that the bird was within 1-2m of us, when all of a sudden a large group of
people came by - of the eight people in this group, seven of them asked us
how far they were from the falls. Needless to say the bird stopped calling
and despite waiting at least another hour and a half we couldn't get back
onto it. Somewhat disappointingly we decided to head back as by now we were
quite wet from the rain and cold from the wind (good old Queensland!)


As we headed back along the path we stopped at the first patch of grass that
we'd encountered (several hundred metres closer to the carpark). At this
spot we almost immediately heard a scrub-bird calling, and then a second
bird started responding - not from the grassy area, but from the wooded area
adjacent. It took about another hour of waiting and searching, but
ultimately we were rewarded with a five-second view of a Rufous Scrub-bird!
Yahoo! That was Australian bird number 599 using C&B taxonomy for us!
Despite lugging kilograms worth of camera gear for a 12km round-trip our
tally was birds seen: 1, birds heard: 3, photos of birds: 0!


The consensus from people replying to my RFI was that Red-backed
Button-quail are not present around Brisbane during winter, so not worth
trying for. Also, the nearest Squatter Pigeons are about a 2.5 hour drive
west - however, the latest information we had was that a recent visit had
yielded none. Based on this, we decided to try for the Bush-hen on Sunday,
followed by a trip to Witches Falls on Mount Tamborine to look for Albert's


We spent Sunday with Carl Billingham and concentrated our efforts for the
Bush-hen at the Gold Creek Reservoir overflow and the various creek
crossings, long-grassed paddocks and other suitable habitat along Gold Creek
Road and Savages Road. Unfortunately, despite spending a good four hours
looking, we had no joy at all, and decided to abandon our search and head to
Mount Tamborine. After lunch (Belvedere's, North Tamborine - highly
recommended) we headed to Witches Falls track. About halfway around the loop
we heard an Albert's Lyrebird calling reasonably closely to the track (but
not visible from the track) - so we slowly crept about 10m into the
rainforest from the track and were eventually rewarded with  good views of
the lyrebird! Not a tick, but satisfying for Ruth who had only caught a
glimpse the last time we saw one.


We decided to try for the Grass Owl at Kedron Wetlands (near Brisbane
Airport) that evening before heading up to Noosa so that we could make an
early start for Inskip Point in the morning. We arrived at Kedron around
4:30pm and started heading into the "middle" of the grassland in preparation
(hopefully) for the owls flying over. The tracks through the grassland were
pretty muddy in spots but we managed to avoid most of the mud and puddles.
We waited in the middle of the grassland until well after dark, but failed
to see (or hear) any owls. We *did* see fruit-bats flying over, but
definitely no owls.


The following morning (Monday) we headed up from Noosa to Inskip Point to
look for Black-breasted Button-quail. We parked in the carpark just before
the track turns into sand for the ferry to Fraser Island. We walked into the
scrub between the carpark and the beach and found two button-quail within
about two minutes! We had good views for about five minutes or so, as the
birds foraged nearby before they headed off further into the scrub. We
wandered on to the beach, then back into the scrub after about 15 minutes
but didn't manage to find any further birds. Never mind, Black-breasted
Button-quail is our 600th Australian species!


>From Inskip Point we headed south to Mooloolaba to look for Wandering
Tattlers at Alexandra Headland. I am almost embarrassed to say that we found
one almost immediately as soon as we climbed down the stairs from the
carpark above the headland. So Wandering Tattler is our 601st Australian


Thanks to everyone that offered advice, suggestions and hints for looking
for our target species - and at least we've left some birds to look for the
next time!


Paul Dodd

Docklands, Victoria



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