Being a great fan of the bird trails concept, over the weekend I road tested
the Bird Places of the Lockyer Valley brochure sponsored by BirdLife Southern
Qld and the Friends of Lake Apex. I'd visited many of the sites over the years
but not all, having succumbed more than once to geographical dislocation. So
this time, better armed, I visited 10 of the 14 listed sites and added one of
my own (Gatton Forest Reserve).On-going road closures and bridge repairs
required some creative navigating, but should be completed soon. In addition I
visited a site out of the valley, back towards Ipswich, Pine Mountain Bush
Reserve, which was new to me.
As you would expect after this summer, all the waterbodies are full, and
water can still be seen flowing through paddocks and swamps. Not a single
muddy-edge bird was to be seen. Plenty of ducks and raptors though, with 15
species of ducks/geese/swan/grebe and 11 species of raptor.
Highlights included a pair of Freckled Duck on the lagoon at Lowe's Road
,Placcid Hills , and just down the road at Karrasch's Dam a single Hoary-headed
Grebe. Two Banded Lapwing were easily seen at the Banool Road site, and five
species of raptor vied for attention at Lake Clarendon (Spotted and Swamp
Harrier, and Peregrine Falcon patrolling the edges and harrassing waterfowl,
Whistling and Black Kites, 5 at one point, higher overhead). Black Kites were
seen at most waterbodies, with Osprey, Kestrel, Black-shouldered Kite,
Wedge-tailed and White-bellied Sea Eagles, and an unidentified accipiter (Brown
or Sparrowhawk) completing the 11.
Little Lorikeet were in good numbers with small (up to 6 birds) flocks flying
over Gatton Forest Reserve every 15 mins. A feeding flock of 20+ Little's were
also seen at Pine Mountain Forest Reserve. The Gatton Forest Reserve also
produced 80+ Tree Martin, small numbers of Weebill and Speckled Warbler, and a
couple of Varied Sitella (this is a good bush birds site and could well be
given its own number and text in future editions).
As the brochure indicates, avoid Lake Dyer and Atkinson's Dam on
weekends, both are full of smelly powerboats and high-energy recreators,
neither of which are conducive to birds or birdwatchers.
I tallied 103 species for the total trip (ie from home and back) with 99
species seen in the Lockyer Valley.Good trip thanks to a good brochure.
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