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, 24 March 2015

Turquoise Parrot and other Goodies: Old Wallangarra Road

Turquoise Parrot
The Old Wallangarra Road on the NSW-Queensland border near Girraween National Park has long been a top birding spot. I enjoyed 5 encounters with a total of 8-10 Turquoise Parrots there during a visit this week, along with a raft of other goodies including Diamond Firetail, Plum-headed Finch, White-browed Babbler and Southern Whiteface.

Turquoise Parrot

Turquoise Parrot
I saw my first Turquoise Parrot on the Old Wallangarra Road in 1973. It is encouraging that more than four decades on, this rare species is still to be found there. Much of the road is now closed, but the few kilometres south of Wyberba remains open and this stretch is never disappointing. I had 3 hours in an afternoon at this site and 3 hours the next morning, staying overnight at the nearby Ballandean Tavern. This visit was on the way home from a trip to coastal NSW (see next post). Most of the time was occupied around the intersection of the road with Hickley Lane, and along the creek a little to the south of there.

Turquoise Parrot

Turquoise Parrot female
My first encounter was a single male Turquoise Parrot flying up from the roadside in the afternoon. Then a pair flew overhead distantly. Early the next morning I watched a male feeding on the road before it was joined by 2 females. A little later I had stunning views of a single male parrot in a roadside tree which was unusually approachable. A single female was drinking at the creek an hour or so after that.

Quite a few species found reliably along the Old Wallangarra Road are scarce and difficult to see elsewhere in South-East Queensland. It is the best site in the state for Turquoise Parrot, and the eastern extremity of range for White-browed Babbler and Southern Whiteface. And this place is aesthetically something quite special as well.

Diamond Firetail

Diamond Firetail
Diamond Firetail is one of those species that is hard to come across elsewhere in Queensland. In 3 encounters during my visit, I found a single juvenile firetail; a flock of 6-7 adults; and a pair of adults.

Plum-headed Finch
I saw Plum-headed Finch twice: a flock of 6, and a pair. Red-browed Finch and Banded Finch were also about in small numbers.

White-browed Babbler

Habitat about Old Wallangarra Road
I found two parties of White-browed Babblers, another species that has been in residence here in the 40+ years I've known the place.

Southern Whiteface

Yellow-rumped Thornbill
A pair of Southern Whiteface was a treat, as this species is not quite so regular here. Yellow-rumped Thornbills were common.

Brown Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper occurs here alongside White-throated Treecreeper.

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
The road is a mecca for honeyeaters. There were the usual large numbers of Yellow-tufted Honeyeater.

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater
Along with other honeyeaters that are generally scarce in South-East Queensland east of the Great Divide: Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater, Red Wattlebird, White-plumed Honeyeater and Fuscous Honeyeater.     


  1. Those turqs are absolutely gorgeous. Top spot!

  2. Greg .. in 1999 hubby and I were renting an old farm house whilst converting a Silver Eagle coach into a motorhome at Massie (near Warwick). We were there 9 months and in that time we had Turquoise Parrots arriving each afternoon. Was wonderful to see them arrive ... usually in groups of 6 to 10.