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, 18 November 2014

Broad-billed Sandpiper, Lewin's Rail at Yandina Creek Wetlands

Broad-billed Ssndpiper
The Yandina Creek Wetlands continue to surprise, with Broad-billed Sandpiper and Baillon's Crake added to the growing list of interesting species found here today, and Lewin's Rail showing nicely.

Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper
The Sunshine Coast has little freshwater wetland habitat that is suitable for migratory shorebirds, so it was good to see decent numbers of shorebirds at Yandina Creek. About 120 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers were feeding among reed stubble on exposed mud along with 4 Curlew Sandpipers, 2 Red-necked Stints, 2 Marsh Sandpipers, 10 Japanese Snipe and best of all, a single Broad-billed Sandpiper - a scarce species in south-east Queensland. The Broad-billed was quite distant unfortunately so the images here were the best I could manage.

Marsh Sandpiper
Among other waders, about 70 Red-kneed Dotterels were present. An unusually large number (150+) of this inland species turned up early last year at the eastern extremity of Yandina Creek Wetlands (see here). I thought all but a handful were long gone, but not so.

Red-kneed Dotterel
I staked out a nice-looking piece of mud edge on the fringe of a reed bed. Here I saw 2 Lewin's Rail, with one bird showing well and repeatedly, though typically not allowing itself to be photographed; the image here is from the files.

Lewin's Rail
I also had stunning views of several Spotless Crakes, and saw a single Baillon's Crake - the first record of this species for the wetlands.


Spotless Crake

Buff-banded Rail
Several Buff-banded Rails were patrolling the same stretch of mud.

Little Grassbird
Little Grassbirds were foraging around the reed bed edges.

White-breasted Woodswallow juvenile
A pair of White-breasted Woodswallows were attending two well-developed young.

Site for Lewin's Rail, Buff-banded Rail, Spotless Crake, Baillon's Crake
The Sunshine Coast Regional Council has replied to my submission asking that the privately owned wetlands be acquired and managed as a reserve. The council advised that its reserve acquisition program is being reviewed in the wake of the recent separation from the council of Noosa Shire; the submission would be “kept on file and assessed”. I pointed out that the wetlands are much more extensive and productive than I had previously thought, and suggested that the council survey the area. (Last year, the council rejected submissions that it acquire Lot 2,River Road for a reserve, but we now know that Lot 2 constitutes just the eastern extremity of the wetlands.)


Buff-banded Rail
Full list of bird seen is here.





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