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, 20 November 2012

Black-tailed Native-hen on Sunshine Coast

Black-tailed Native-hen

This morning I found a Black-tailed Native-hen at the southern end of Ewen Maddock Dam on the Sunshine Coast. Following success at this site due to receding water levels during a recent visit (see post here) I returned today.

The native-hen was on an area of exposed mud among reeds. Following the directions in the post referred to above, I could see the bird from land through the scope, albeit somewhat distantly. Later I was able to approach the native-hen more closely in the kayak but it was shy. I am aware of a record of Black-tailed Native-hen from Redcliffe but this species is extremely rare in south-east Queensland.

Black-tailed Native-hen

I photographed the bird in the first image during a trip to western Queensland earlier this year. This unfortunately was as close as I got to the native-hen today. Still, the distinctive tail shape is evident. Later, I ran into local birder Russ Lamb, who also saw the native-hen.

Since my visit two weeks ago, a pair of Australian Painted-Snipe has been seen here, and a dead male painted-snipe was discovered. It is interesting that inland species such as Black-tailed Native-hen, Australian Painted-Snipe and Red-kneed Dotterel are turning up on the southern Queensland coast. There have been two bumper wet seasons in succession in the inland and there is still plenty of water out west, so why the birds are dispersing is something of a mystery.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper & Red-necked Stint

Other birds today included about 20 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and a single Red-necked Stint. Plenty of Red-kneed Dotterels are still on the dam and several Spotless Crakes were heard.

Royal Spoonbill & Australian Pelican

Along with the usual suspects.


  1. interestingly a Red Kneed Dotterel was seen in very unusual habitat on a sandbank in Southport Broadwater on Saturday 17th Nov also.

  2. That is indeed highly unusual Luke