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.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Birding and Camping in the Lockyer Valley

Freckled Duck & Pink-eared Duck - Kilcoy

A three-night campout on the shore of Atkinson Dam in the Lockyer Valley. There remain plenty of good birds in the area. On the way I stopped at the wetlands in Winya Road, Kilcoy. Eight Freckled Ducks were present along with Pink-eared Duck (6) and Australasian Shoveler (10). Nearby, at the Mary Stokes Creek roadside dam, Cotton Pygmy-Goose (8) was present.

Hoary-headed Grebe
An afternoon drive along Banool Road behind Atkinson Dam turned up Hoary-headed Grebe (2) on a small roadside dam. Interestingly, this species was not encountered later among hundreds of Australasian Grebes on Atkinson Dam.

Red-necked Avocet
Plenty of Red-necked Avocets (200+) were present on Seven Mile Lagoon, with other nice birds including Australasian Shoveler (40) and Hoary-headed Grebe (4) again.

Atkinson Dam proved a lovely setting for camping.

I set off in my kayak in the early morning to explore the 15km or so of dam shore.

Cotton Pygmy-Goose
The dam was full of birds with Cotton Pygmy-Goose (16) present in small flocks.

Pied Cormorant, Great Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Black Swan, Australian Pelican

Clearly there were plenty of fish about as pelicans, cormorants (all 4 species) and darters were in large numbers.

Great Crested Grebe
Great Crested Grebe (50+) was plentiful with some birds close to shore.

Whiskered Tern, Caspian Tern
 Good numbers of Caspian Terns were about along with a few Gull-billed Terns and Whiskered Terns in non-breeding plumage.
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
White-bellied Sea-Eagles were surprisingly common - about 8 were seen.

Pink-eared Duck
Of particular interest on the dam was a huge (3000+) gathering of Pink-eared Duck at its southern end.

Black Flying-Fox

Sunset over Atkinson Dam
A small colony of Black Flying-Fox with a few Little Red Flying-Fox among them was roosting near the dam.

Freckled Duck - Peach's Lagoon
 A circuit of other wetlands in the region began with a stop at Peach's Lagoon, Lower Tenthill, where Freckled Duck (4) was present. These birds have been here for several months.

At nearby Karrasch's Dam, Placid Hills, a single Black-tailed Native-hen was foraging along the shore.

Australasian Shoveler - Karrasch's Dam
 Other birds at Karrasch's included Australasian Shoveler (10).

Red-tailed Black Cockatoo
A surprise was a party of Red-tailed Black Cockatoo (5) feeding roadside between the lagoon and the main road.
Blue-billed Duck & Freckled Duck - Lake Galletly

Blue-billed Duck females

After finding a pair of nesting Black Falcon on private land near Lake Clarendon (see post following) a visit to Lake Galletly near Gatton turned up Blue-billed Duck (2 male, 2 female), Pink-eared Duck (50) and Freckled Duck (3).


  1. you picked up a great variety of birdlife on this excursion Greg; I'd love getting out on the kayak there, it's a great exercise and so peaceful, and affords differing photographic opportunities

  2. Thanks Carole yes it was really pleasant out there in the kayak

  3. 3000+ Pink-eared ducks must have been awesome to see. Hubby and I are hopefully heading out Cullamulla way in Sept so will keep these dams in mind.

  4. Wow!! You really had a great time birding out there. From the pictures i can guess there was lot more then this. I would like to go to this place sometime.