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.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Black Bittern, Shoveler, White-winged Tern added to Yandina Creek Wetlands List

Australian Pelican
Black Bittern, Australasian Shoveler and White-winged Tern have been added to an increasingly impressive bird list for the Yandina Creek Wetlands on the Sunshine Coast.

Black-necked Stork
During a visit to the wetlands today with Chris Corben, one of the first birds we saw was an adult Black-necked Stork; later, a male Black-necked Stork was seen flying overhead. The site appears to have this species in residence. Australian Pelican and Royal Spoonbill were in particularly large numbers. An adult Black Bittern was seen at the confluence of Yandina Creek and one of the drainage channels. A flock of 20+ White-winged Terns were feeding over the wetland. A female Australasian Shoveler was seen among the Pacific Black Ducks. A single Lewin's Rail and several Spotless Crakes were heard.

Swamp Tiger
Butterflies were in good numbers, with thousands of Swamp Tigers about.

Map of Yandina Creek Wetlands
Meanwhile, the campaign to secure the protection of the Yandina Creek Wetlands continues. Unfortunately, the landowners of two of three properties covered by the acquisition proposal - see here for details - have refused permission for a comprehensive fauna and flora survey to proceed. Birders have been banned from entering the properties. While I continue to have limited access to the edge of the wetlands through neighbouring properties that I have permission to visit, birders are asked not to attempt to trespass on these properties as there is no public access. I am continuing negotiations with landholders in the hope of progressing the conservation case for protecting this area. Thanks to Wayne Roberts for preparing the above map of the wetlands proposal, which is coloured yellow.

In a positive development, the Sunshine Coast Council has indicated that proposals to redevelop the wetlands for cattle pasture must meet council planning regulations that protect designated wetlands and native vegetation on the properties concerned. More importantly, the office of federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt has informed the landholders of their obligations to ensure that any development does not put at risk the endangered species and migratory shorebirds that occur in the wetlands (see the above-mentioned link for details).

Marbled Frogmouth
Other good birds at the wetlands during another visit recently included an Eastern Grass Owl flying overhead at dusk. Later that same evening, this male Marbled Frogmouth was spotted in the Mapleton National Park in the nearby Blackall Range.

Channel-billed Cuckoo
Elsewhere, this Channel-billed Cuckoo was seen at Little Yabba Creek.

Forest Kingfisher juvenile
On the home front, a pair of Forest Kingfishers has successfully raised two youngsters in our garden at Ninderry, while a pair of Pale-headed Rosellas have become frequent visitors to the feeders.

Pale-headed Rosella

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