Wednesday, 23 March 2016


Jacanas and chicks at Sandy Camp Road


Mike et el
A full bus left Nambour, as predicted, by 5-30 and drove directly to Ipswich for a two night stay.
The plan was to spend a day birding with Ipswich birder, zoologist, botanist and all-round good guy, Mike Mathieson in the Lockyer Valley.

First stop planned was the Purga Nature Reserve; a small reserve some twenty minutes out of Ipswich. Few birds were recorded but it was a nice 600 metre stroll through pretty habitat of remnant melaleuca [ ]. Best ‘bird’ was probably sightings of red-necked Wallaby. Mammals continued with many Eastern Grey Kangaroos between the reserve and the main road.
Fan-tailed Cuckoo

 Before long we stopped at a piece of remnant scrub for some good bush birding. Here Little Lorikeets were heard immediately, Yellow faced Honeyeaters were flying by calling, Fantailed Cuckoo was seen along with a usual suite of birds. Fuscous Honeyeaters were a target here and they responded well to pishing. Speckled Warblers were heard by Mike but refused to play ball.
Enroute to Gatton to our delight we got excellent views [well excellent while driving at our top speed of 90km per hour..] of a dashing Black Falcon!
Blue-billed Duck

Gatton Agricultural College has been a well known stop-over for birders for a few decades at least and it did not disappoint. Within the great numbers of Magpie Geese and Plumed Whistling Ducks, all three egrets, the sundry Pacific Blacks, Hardheads, Maned Ducks and Grey Teals was a solitary Blue Billed Duck – a stunning male providing no doubt to his identity! Soon a second individual was seen. Good stuff. Above the ponds we had a nice sub-adult Spotted Harrier and a sub adult White bellied Sea Eagle.
Spotted Harrier - sub adult

Lunch stop was at the Apex Ponds near Gatton and some good birds kept coming. Over lunch the usual group of waterfowl was seen plus excellent fly-bys of courting Wedge-tailed Eagles, Darter, Dollarbird, Whistling Kites and a Square-tailed Kite.
Whistling Kite

A few more wetland after lunch presented still more birds; both spoonbills, all three ibis, good numbers of shoveller and another Black Falcon flyover!
Black Falcon

Lake Clarendon had us dipping on a Freckled Duck however it did produce more Blue-bills, all three grebes, Brown Quail plus a cockatiel fly by.

Sunday saw us visit two main sites; Oxley Common – which was a nice site with a pleasing variety of birds and then Sandy Camp Road Wetlands which also produced good variety wit ha good view of Little Bittern to finish with.
Little [or Black-backed] Bittern
Rufous Night Heron
Striped Honeyeater

The drive from Nambour to Ipswich, on Friday night produced a Hobby, the drive back to Nambour produced a trio of Baza plus a nice perched Grey Goshawk.
Magpie Geese

All in all a great weekend’s birding!!

A – Lockyer Valley    B – Oxley Common and / or Sandy Camp Road and / or enroute
1. Magpie Goose A
2. Plumed Whistling-Duck A
3. Black Swan A
4. Maned Duck A B
5. Pacific Black Duck AB
6. Australian Shoveler A
7. Gray Teal AB
8. White-eyed Duck A
Royal Spoonbill
9. Blue-billed Duck A – Lake Galletley at Gatton College and Lake Clarendon
10. Brown Quail AB
11. Australasian Grebe AB
12. Hoary-headed Grebe A - Lake Clarendon
13. Great Crested Grebe  A - Lake Clarendon
14. Black-necked Stork A
15. Little Black Cormorant AB
16. Little Pied Cormorant AB
17. Australasian Darter AB
18. Australian Pelican A
19. Black-backed Bittern B – Sandy Camp Road
20. Pacific Heron A
21. Great Egret AB
22. Intermediate Egret AB
Brown Falcon
23. White-faced Heron AB
24. Little Egret AB
25. Cattle Egret AB
26. Rufous Night-Heron B
27. Glossy Ibis A
28. Australian Ibis AB
29. Straw-necked Ibis AB
30. Royal Spoonbill AB
31. Yellow-billed Spoonbill A
32. Black shouldered Kite A
33. Square-tailed Kite A
34. Pacific Baza B
35. Wedge-tailed Eagle A
36. Swamp Harrier A
Common Bronzewing
37. Gray Goshawk B
38. Brown Goshawk A
39. Black Kite AB
40. Whistling Kite AB
41. White-bellied Sea-Eagle A
42. Australasian Swamphen AB
43. Dusky Moorhen AB
44. Eurasian Coot AB
45. Black winged Stilt A
46. Masked Lapwing AB
Sacred Kingfisher
47. Red-capped Dotterel A
48. Black-fronted Dotterel A
49. Comb-crested Jacana B
50. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper A
51. Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) AB
52. Spotted Dove AB
53. Common Bronzewing A
54. Crested Pigeon AB
55. Peaceful Dove A
56. Bar-shouldered Dove AB
57. Fan-tailed Cuckoo A
58. Shining Bronze-Cuckoo B
59. Pacific Koel (Australian) B
60. Pheasant Coucal AB
61. Laughing Kookaburra AB
62. Forest Kingfisher B
63. Sacred Kingfisher AB
64. Rainbow Bee-eater AB
65. Dollarbird A
66. Australian Kestrel A
Rainbow Bee-eaters
67. Brown Falcon A
68. Black Falcon A
69. Australian Hobby [seen Friday enroute to Brisbane]
70. Galah AB
71. Little Corella AB
72. Long-billed Corella [introduced ] A
73. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo AB
74. Australian King-Parrot AB
75. Pale-headed Rosella AB
76. Cockatiel A
77. Little Lorikeet A
78. Rainbow Lorikeet AB
79. Scaly-breasted Lorikeet AB
Striated Pardalote
80. Variegated Fairywren B
81. Red-backed Fairywren AB
82. Superb Blue Fairywren AB
83. Lewin's Honeyeater AB
84. Yellow-faced Honeyeater A
85. Noisy Miner AB
86. Mangrove Honeyeater B
87. Fuscous Honeyeater A
88. Scarlet Myzomela A
89. Brown Honeyeater AB
90. Blue-faced Honeyeater AB
91. White-throated Honeyeater AB
92. Striped Honeyeater A
93. Little Friarbird AB
Fuscous Honeyeaters
94. Noisy Friarbird AB
95. Striated Pardalote AB
96. White-browed Scrubwren B
97. White-throated Gerygone AB
98. Yellow-rumped Thornbill A
99. Eastern Whipbird AB
100. Gray Butcherbird AB
101. Pied Butcherbird AB
102. Australian Magpie AB
103. Pied Currawong AB
104. Black-faced Cuckooshrike AB
105. Varied Triller A
106. Little Shrikethrush B
107. Gray Shrikethrush AB
108. Golden Whistler A
Leaden Flycatcher
109. Rufous Whistler AB
110. Olive-backed Oriole B
111. Australasian Figbird AB
112. Spangled Drongo AB
113. Willie-wagtail AB
114. Rufous Fantail B
115. Gray Fantail B
116. Spectacled Monarch B
117. Magpie-lark AB
118. Leaden Flycatcher B
119. Torresian Crow AB
120. Eastern Yellow Robin A
121. Welcome Swallow AB
122. Fairy Martin B
Golden -headed Cicticola
123. Tree Martin B
124. Australian Reed-Warbler B
125. Tawny Grassbird B
126. Golden-headed Cisticola AB
127. Silvereye B
128. European Starling A
129. Common Myna AB
130. Mistletoebird AB
131. Australasian Pipit A
132. Red-browed Firetail B
133. Double-barred Finch AB
134. Chestnut-breasted Munia B

***** All photos by John Thompson
Soaring Wedge-tailed Eagle and Whistling Kite


  1. What a fantastic weekend! I love Purga Nature Reserve, even though I've never found quality birds there. It's such an unusual woodland type with that rare Melaleuca, and lots of wildlife there is uncommon. I've found tick orchids, a lacewing swarm, beeping froglets, a termite-mound fungus, lots of wallabies and more.

    Was the remnant patch of woodland with the fuscous honeyeaters in Haigslea near Raysource Road? Another top birding site if so and I'm glad that there are places like this left out in they Lockyer countryside.

    Brilliant photos and a terrific bird list, I bet everyone was really happy with that weekend away.

  2. Thanks Christian. I'm sure most of the folks [hopefully all] enjoyed it. Your guess for the fuscous site is correct. The Purga Nature Reserve is an interesting looking woodland and we did enjoy the plants although it was light on for birds. We went there, in part, because a Satin Fkycatcher had been seen there recently.