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.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Mangrove Golden Whistler & Little Kingfisher at Corio Bay, Queensland

Following my posting of photographs of Broad-billed Flycatcher from Corio Bay in central coastal Queensland, I report here sightings last week of Mangrove Golden Whistler and Little Kingfisher from mangroves in that area on the same day. As with the Broad-billed Flycatcher, these records appear to indicate southerly extensions of range for both species.
It was difficult to photograph the whistler but the diagnostic black tail is apparent in the above two images, especially the first. Also evident is the greyer edging to the wing feathers, supposedly another identifying feature. However, two things which struck me about this bird was that it was clearly smaller than Golden Whistler and its voice was quite distinct; I had been watching Golden Whistlers in the mangroves a couple of days earlier.
The Mangrove Golden Whistler was at the western end of Corio Bay, near Yeppoon, not far from the end of Kelly's Landing Road. I reached the area by kayak. It was in a loose flock with Little Shrike-thrushes and Dusky Honeyeaters.
As with the case with the Broad-billed Flycatchers, the whistler was deep inside the extensive areas of mangrove which occur around Corio Bay. The tip of my kayak can be seen here.
In the same general vicinity, I saw a Little Kingfisher very well albeit briefly at close quarters. The bird could not be photographed so thanks to Geoff Jones and Barra Imaging for this image. I saw the kingfisher twice more briefly after the first encounter. It was feeding from the exposed dead roots of tall mangroves on a receding tide.
Mangrove Golden Whistler is reported rarely from Shoalwater Bay, about 50 kilometres north of where my bird was seen. Little Kingfisher is reported further north from the Mackay area as the southerly point of its distribution, though there are unconfirmed reports also from Shoalwater  Bay. As well, there is reportedly a specimen of Little Kingfisher further south still from Eurimbula, but I have been unable to confirm this.

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