Friday, 4 July 2014

July Outing - Park Lakes, Bli Bli

Recently while in East Africa I noticed a sign that stated simply ‘Bird Watching is a good use of Wetlands’.  As a birder living in the driest continent on our planet I could not agree more. And so it was fortuitous that on our first group outing since my return we ventured to Park Lakes near Bli Bli; a relatively recently man made wetland. 
Magpie Goose - an uncommon species on the Sunshine Coast

Now to be clear this is not the Maroochy Wetlands Sanctuary, another very good birding site, which is also situated at Bli Bli albeit a few kilometres away where, according to their website, ‘you can explore wet and dry eucalypt forests, rainforest, melaleuca forest, casuarina woodland, salt marsh and mangroves.’ 

Park Lakes is not a natural site, however it is to the credit of the developers that many species of birds have been fooled. The site features a variety of different habitats, especially freshwater habitats.  The Lakes have been planted around with many species of flowering natives and many honeyeaters are attracted.

Now Park Lakes came to the attention of local birders a while back mostly through the efforts of Greg Roberts who was pleased to find it, in summer at least, a good site for uncommon species such as Baillons and Spotless Crakes, Little Bitterns, Australian Painted Snipe, Little Grassbird and both Whistling Duck species. Through Greg’s website [  ]and through Eremaea [another birding site - ] the site recieved some publicity and achieved some notoriety and many birders dutifully got great views of many of the species listed above.
Australian Reed Warbler

Today, sadly, very few of the species listed above were recorded save some relatively good views of Little Grassbirds. 

Anyway – today’s stats. Thirty five birders made the modest 8am start – the normal winter’s start time and together the group sighted exactly seventy species with an additional one [Eastern Whipbird] heard.

The ‘star’ species apart from the Grassbird were Australian Reed Warbler, calling Olive-backed Oriole, nesting Striated Pardalotes and Eastern Yellow Robins, quite good numbers of Double-barred Finch, at least five Australian Pipits on the sports fields adjacent, Jacana and Buff-banded Rails on the wetlands, Magpie Geese perhaps trying to nest as well and, finally, a flight of 42 Great Cormorants with a lone [and perhaps confused] Pied Cormorant.

All in all a good morning with great attendance and a good bird count.
Pacific Black Duck

Ken Cross

An aerial photo of the Park Laes area from Google Maps showing the forest habitat and the wetland areas to the north with a good cement path circling the entire area.

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