Sunday, 30 August 2015

September Letter

Hi all,
September’s Saturday walk [Sept 5th] is the Tramway Heritage Walk near Buderim. The walk starts at the corner of Mons Rd & Telco Rd, 2 km west of Buderim town centre. From town, travel west along Burnett St, turn right into William St, and then turn right into Mons Rd. Travel along Mons Rd then turn left into Telco Rd. Car parking is available directly left upon entering Telco Rd. Cross to western side of the road and go down the zig-zag pathway that leads to the track.
WE will meet at 8am and complete the walk. The walk is approx. 2 kilometres in length however we have to walk out the same way [so obviously 4km in total].

There is an opportunity to also check out the Buderim forest Park after our walk where Pittas have been showing well.

I hope to see you on Saturday.

September [and October for that matter] is a big month for Birdlife Australia – especially for SE Queenslander.  The 2015 Queensland Twitchathon has been organised to take place, at your leisure sometime between the dates of 18 September - 28 September 2015. Details can be found at
This year all funds raised will be contributed to a project supporting the conservation of the Carpentarian Grasswren. I encourage all to participate however I would also like to propose that we contribute to the Twitchathon’s efforts in our October outing [Saturday 3rd] by having a dawn to dusk twitch.

My cunning plan involves starting at 7am at the state school in Mapleton. Teams [minimum 2 – maximum of 4] would be decided only then and each team would have to quickly plan and participate in a day long birding programme that would finish at Mapleton [Tavern?] at 6pm. Obviously the plan would involve visiting as many different sites between the range and the coasts as possible. [For your interest high tide at Toorbul is 2pm on the day. Participation fee for the day would be $20 per person with the funds going to the Grasswren project. There will be no prizes for winning our twitch but your name and photo will be immortalised on our blog!! Please email me asap to register your interest in participating.

If you have not signed a petition to help save Yandina Wetlands you can still do so at       or please consider writing to your local Sunshine Coast members.

On another matter I’m beginning to draft the outings for 2016. Please feel free to suggest sites for outings. The mid- week outings have been well attended and the plan is to extend them to every month in 2016 however I will need members to lead them. Please forward your name and local site if you would like to lead a mid-week walk.

Cheers now and thank you for reading this far……………
Ken Cross

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

BirdLife Sunshine Coast mid-week outing, Noosa Botanical Gdns/Lake MacDonald Wed.19th Aug 2015

Buff-banded Rail

Nine Sunshine Coast BirdLife members enjoyed perfect mild winter weather on their mid-week birdwatching outing on the 19th August. We started at the Noosa Botanical Gardens at 8am watching a flock of 15 Topknot Pigeons noiselessly fly over, and then slowly worked our way down to Lake MacDonald. Noisy Miners were seen feeding two young in a nest at eye level beside the track, keeping the photographers happy (although Vince was seen later yet again photographing flowers instead of birds). One each of Caspian and Gull-billed Tern were over the water and a Buff-banded Rail showed nicely on the grassy edge. We scored the usual assortment of resident waterbirds with only two duck species, but a juvenile Comb-crested Jacana was an interesting find. The gardens were very dry and bush birds hard to find, a solitary Green Catbird the best seen. Our two hours  produced 51 species (with two heard only) with not a single raptor, 5 species each  of pigeon and honeyeater.
Fan-tailed Cuckoo

        There was much more waterbird activity at Jabiru Park and Fearnley Hide after morning tea, and we were treated to a pair of Australasian Shovelers, along with Grey Teal, Pacific Black , Hardhead and seven Magpie Geese. Intermediate and Great Egret were present, along with White-faced and White-necked Heron, and 10 Caspian Tern, including some in juvenile plumage. But the highlight of the day was overhead, where in one view 70 Straw-necked Ibis soared effortlessly on high, whilst below  a male and female Brown Goshawk were harassed by a Magpie. To complete the picture, a lone White-bellied Sea-Eagle was seen floating in the distance. At Valda's suggestion we finished the morning with a walk back along the entrance road (Grange Rd.) where we found our only Olive-backed Oriole, Grey Fantail, Forest Kingfisher, Golden Whistler, and White-throated and Scarlet Honeyeaters of the day. A Fan-tailed Cuckoo alighted only metres away as we did our final tally. Another two hours well spent with 57 species (5 heard only).
Grey Fantail

         All-up we counted 76 species (three  heard only) , which we modestly told ourselves was not a bad winter's morning work. We were unable to locate any early spring migrants, but it didn't seem to matter, as we enjoyed relaxed and uncrowded time with our resident Sunshine Coast birds. Mid-week outings appear a worthwhile addition to our yearly itinerary.

Russ Lamb
Grey Butcherbird [All pics by Paul Jensen]

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Kingaroy Birding - Report



 A select group [or should I say self-selected group] left Nambour for the cool of the South Burnet on Friday night the 31 July to see the start of the brand new month. We stayed at the interestingly named Oasis Motel in the town of Kingaroy. Which was a fine, if old, fashioned motel.
Glossy Ibis

Our plan for Saturday was to visit a number of sites and sights around the greater Kingaroy area. Helping us first decide on the sites and then helping us visit them were local Nanango birders, Julian and Fay Bielewicz. And our great thanks go to them.

Spiny -cheeked Honeyeater
First stop was Gordonbrook Dam. This place is a must visit on any ‘Kingaroyish itinerary’. Good numbers of a great range of species. Pelicans to four cormorants, darters, Grey Teal, Black and
Little Black Cormorants
Wood Ducks,  Hardhead before spying a single Shoveller and finally a pair of Pink-eared Ducks. The list also had Yellow-billed Spoonbill, three Egrets, White-faced and White-necked Herons, three Ibis, Jacana. Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Little Corellas and Galahs attempted to drown out the calls of a pair of Cockatiels and Red-rumped Parrots. All of this plus a few passerines as well.


On the way back to the main road I was lucky enough to spot some Zebra finches on the wire. Stopping to take in this bird allowed additional sightings;

Double-barred Finch, Yellow Thornbill, White-throated plus Striped Honeyeaters and Spiny-cheeked as well. A great area and my favourite for the weekend. Apostlebirds also were in attendance.

Zebra Finch
Next stop was Wooroolin Wetlands. The wetlands held common species plus hundreds of Coot and a few Dusky Moorhen [a species surprisingly missing from Gordonbrook.] Yellow-rumped Thornbills were also present as was a nice flock of migratory Silvereyes, both Variegated and
Superb blue Wrens, White-throated Honeyeaters and White throated Gerygones and White throated Treecreepers. Restless Flycatchers and Willie-Wagtails were also recorded.

Last reservoir was  Lake Barambah – the site of the vagrant Franklin’s Gull. Needless to say the
Striped Honeyeater
only gull seen was a Silver. Good numbers of Cormorants and Caspian and Gull-billed Terns were added to our list – which eventually just failed to top 100.

The final stop before our evening pub meal was at a billabong enroute back to Kingaroy. Again common species; Black Swan and other waterfowl, Kookaburra, Lorikeets, Pigeons etc.
Look up in the sky.... pointing out a Yellow Thornbill

After a fast breakfast we began heading home, first stopping near Yarraman. Here were signs, clearly quite recent, of Black-breasted Button-quail. Stopping immediately with the tree cover were the spread of platelets. The Button-quail choose a spot of leaf litter and spinning a full 360 degrees scratch earnestly, leaving a bare earth circle the size of a small plate. Needless to say the quail were non existent however we now know they’re in there……………..  
BBBQ - platelet

Next stop was Emu Creek area. And quite a birdy spot it was too. A good range of common species were seen here with a few nice highlights; the sight of an inquisitive Little Lorikeet peering from a small tree hollow, and a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo doing the same.

All in all an enjoyable weekend with good folks and good birds.