Highlights of an afternoon and morning birding in the Lockyer and Brisbane valleys west of Brisbane included Australian Painted Snipe, Red-necked Avocet, Blue-billed Duck, Pink-eared Duck, 48 Cotton Pygmy-Geese, 200 Great Crested Grebes, Banded Lapwing and Black Kite.
I started in the early afternoon at Rosewood Lagoon, where 2 male and 1 female Australian Painted-Snipe were found. The snipe were present at this site last year. The birds were shy and difficult to spot as they crouched in dry grass near the lake shore; I was unable to photograph them. Also present on the lagoon were two Cotton Pygmy-Geese.
The Gatton University Lake (Lake Galletly) was excellent, with nice birds including a single Red-necked Avocet which allowed close approach.
Among the large flock of ducks on the lake were 12 Pink-eared Ducks. It was especially pleasing to watch a pair of Blue-billed Ducks, although the birds were shy. They have evidently been present on the lake for some time.
|Blue-billed Duck female|
|Blue-billed Duck male|
|Blue-billed Duck with Pink-eared Ducks|
|Royal Spoonbill, Pied Stilt, Pied Goose|
After overnighting in a Gatton hotel, it was off to Lake Clarendon where I tried unsuccessfully to find the Blue-winged Kookaburras which had been present in paddocks opposite the school. Of interest there was a single Black Kite. On the lake, no fewer than 200 Great Crested Grebes were seen, with many pairs displaying.
I moved on to Seven-Mile Lagoon but it was full with few birds, though 2 Pink-eared Ducks were seen. Six Banded Lapwings were present in nearby paddocks, which have consistently been a good site for this species over many years.
At Atkinsons Dam, I was surprised to find no fewer than 46 Cotton Pygmy-Geese (bringing the total seen on the trip to 48) on the main dam overflow - on the eastern side of the road between the two camping grounds. I've not seen anything like this many Cotton Pygmy-Goose together previously.
Lorikeets and honeyeaters were in abundance in flowering grevilleas by the lake shore, including some nice Little Lorikeets.
Atkinons Dam, like all the lakes visited, was full to brim, notwithstanding two months without rain, following two exceptionally good west seasons.
Large numbers of Australian Pelicans were present throughout the region, gathering in tightly knit groups to herd fish. Pelicans had been largely absent from south-east Queensland in recent times but they have returned from their nesting grounds in the flooded inland.
Several Wandering Whistling-Ducks were on a lagoon on Kellys Road north of Atkinsons.
It was nice to drop in on Pobblebonk, a property we formerly owned between Esk and Coominya. In eight years, the gully there had been largely dry, but despite the dry weather recently, it was in full flow. The normally dry woodlands were more densely vegetated than I have seen them - another indication of the unusually good weather conditions presently being enjoyed in south-east Queensland.
This Black-fronted Dotterel showed nicely on Somerset Dam on the way home.