Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Birding, Camping and Kayaking around Byfield

After our visit to Eurimbula, we moved on for a four-day stay in the Byfield area north of Yeppoon on the central Queensland coast. From here, I kayaked the lower reaches of beautiful Water Park Creek (above) which empties into Corio Bay; I was dropped off at Corbett's Landing and picked up at Kellys Landing downstream after paddling the mangrove edges of the bay's north-western sector. It was here that I saw Broad-billed Flycatcher and Mangrove Golden Whistler and Little Kingfisher at the southerly end of their Australian distribution.
I was told by the rangers that a large Estuarine Crocodile was resident in this stretch of river, so it was with a little trepidation that I took to the water. Like the three bird species referred to above, the crocodile is at the southern end of its distributional range in Australia here.
On another day, I paddled the upper reaches of Water Park Creek (above) from the causeway at the campground. While we were staying at Yeppoon after our Byfield visit, I returned for a second kayaking on Corio Bay; I was dropped off at the end of Fishing Creek Road and picked up at Sandy Point.
Also at the southern end of its range here is the Olive-backed Sunbird. It was nice to find several in vegetation along Water Park Creek as well as in the mangroves of Corio Bay.
 Ospreys were plentiful in Corio Bay. This one unsuccessfully tried to catch a fish a couple of metres from my kayak.
Most waders had gone, but this pair of Bar-tailed Godwits and a pair of Great Knots were still about.
We camped at Water Park Creek - one of three camping grounds available in Byfield State Forest - in an area of lowland rainforest and pine plantation.
Birds here included Wompoo Fruit-Dove, easily visible around the picnic areas.
Along with loads of Topknot Pigeons.
Other birds included White-eared Monarch, Fairy Gerygone, and Little Bronze Cuckoo, possibly the race russatus which reaches the southern limit of its range here. I thought that's what this bird (without red eyes) was initially but the consensus is that this is a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo.
Black-striped Wallabies emerged from vine thickets late in the day to nibble on grass.
 I saw several Krefft's River Turtles while kayaking the upper reaches of Water Park Creek.
Extensive freshwater wetlands are encountered along Kelly's Landing Road, with good numbers of waterbirds including this pair of Brolgas with a Black Swan.
 And a couple of Black-necked Storks.


  1. Hi Greg,
    This looks like an image of a Shining Bronze-cuckoo. The southern race of Little should have a red eye-ring in both sexes, or if juvenile have a dark eye.
    Cheers, Steve

  2. I considered this at the time Steve but found it hard to get around the fact that the bird was calling. I subsequently discovered that Byfield is the southern-most distributional limit of the northern race of Little.