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.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Around Oz Part 40 - Bald Rock National Park & Heading Home: Spotted Quail-thrush, Superb Lyrebird, Red-browed Treecreeper, Glossy Black Cockatoo

Spotted Quail-thrush male
After visiting Kings Plains National Park (see previous post) we decided on a two-night stay in Bald Rock National Park on the NSW-Queensland border as our final stopover before heading home after four months on the road. We called in at Bluff Rock near Tenterfield, where a large number of Aborigines were thrown to their deaths in 1844 by settlers avenging the theft of sheep. Makes you think.

Bluff Rock - Aboriginal massacre site
Bald Rock National Park abuts Girraween National Park in Queensland, the two combining to create a large, excellent reserve of woodland, granite boulders and outcrops, swampy glades and tall forest. In my view, Bald Rock is a better site as it has wide, grassy tracks - ideal for critter-spotting - that grade gently, unlike the steep, narrow and rocky paths of Girraween.

Wonga Pigeon
The camping ground at Bald Rock is also beautifully set out and unclustered. Birds about the camp include Crimson Rosella, Wonga Pigeon and Satin Bowerbird.

Greater Glider
I spotlighted Greater Glider and Common Brushtail at night. Southern Boobook, Tawny Frogmouth and Australian Owlet-Nightjar were about.

Border Track, Bald Rock National Park
I spent a morning doing the 14-km Border Track. With Glenn joining me for the first sector, we spotted a Superb Lyrebird crossing the track. This is the restricted range and notoriously shy race edwardi, which I had seen just once previously. We heard a second bird further along the track.
Soon after I found a small group of Red-browed Treecreepers feeding in the same trees as a pair of White-throated Treecreepers. (White-throated and Brown Treecreepers had been feeding together at Kings Plains.)

Red-browed Treecreeper
Red-browed Treecreeper
I flushed a pair of  Spotted Quail-thrush from the track, managing excellent views of both sexes. Soon after I flushed a third bird which was by itself. So I've seen 4 species of quail-thrush on this trip (the others being Western, Nullabor and Chesnut),
Plenty of honeyeaters were about - Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater, Eastern Spinebill, Noisy Friarbird, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird.

Spotted Quail-thrush female

Spotted Quail-thrush female

Spotted Quail-thrush male
An Australian Little Eagle soared overhead as I continued my walk.

Australian Little Eagle
I checked out the Northern Lookout, which looks out over Girraween and Bald Rock itself - the largest granite monolith in Australia. The boulders around here were festooned with wildflowers, ferns and lichens.

Bald Rock

Boulders - Northern Lookout, Bald Rock
Moving on,  I searched a patch of montane heathland where Southern Emu-wren has been seen, but no sign of the bird. I found an extensive area of fur from a recently deceased Greater Glider - presumably the work of a Powerful Owl.
Then I found a pair of Glossy Black Cockatoos by the track feeding on Allocasuarina cones; I had seen evidence of their feeding the afternoon before. Just 100 metres up the track was a party of Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos. It's not often that these two species can be seen together; it means I saw all five Australian black cockatoo species on this trip. This was an awesome morning of birding - Superb Lyrebird, Red-browed Treecreeper, Spotted Quail-thrush, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Little Eagle and more.

Glossy Black Cockatoo

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo


  1. We have had Bald Rock on our "to visit" list for some time now and after seeing your photos and reading about your visit, it is a definite must do! The Greater Glider was a fabulous sighting. Love the Glossy Black Cockatoos also. Enjoy your time back at home. J

  2. Thanks Judith. You won't be disappointed. Nice part of the world.

  3. Hi Greg. Lovely post and as always great birds and great photos. You are almost home. Was there a bird or birds on your round Oz trip you hoped to see and didn't? Did you keep a record of just how many species you did see? I'm thinking you will be pleased to put the camper away and have a house once again. Jude

    1. Thanks Jude. Yes we're home now and that's great. Cleaning the camper at the moment. I had seen just about all the land birds of Australia so there was little to look for in the way of new things,... Western Ground Parrot was the only dip. Greg