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.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Queensland Road Trip 1: Yandina to Belyando Crossing - Black-breasted Buzzard, Red-backed Kingfisher

Red-backed Kingfisher
The first day of our sojourn to North Queensland was a long drive through the Upper Burnett for an overnight stay in a forgettable caravan park in Biloela, with Emus seen north of Monto. Then westward to Emerald. We had planned to camp on Blackdown Tableland but it was booked out. On the way the first Yellow-throated Miners for the trip were seen.

Red-capped Robin
We stayed for two nights in the Lake Maraboon Holiday Village, a nice setting in brigalow scrub on a dry ridge near the huge artificial lake, 17km south of Emerald. Red-capped Robins were present in the scrub while Torresian Crows and Australian Ravens were there together.

Sunrise at Lake Maraboon
 Plenty of birds around the camping ground including Apostlebirds and Red-winged Parrots.

Red-backed Kingfisher

Red-backed Kingfisher
A Red-backed Kingfisher was looking good a short distance from the caravan park. Waterbirds on the lake included a Great Crested Grebe. Full list of birds for Lake Maraboon can be found here.

Great Crested Grebe
Heading north through Clermont on the Gregory Development Road, a flock of 400+ Brolgas was seen in a field around a small dam, mingling with cattle.

 More Emus were here; they had been not uncommon during the trip.

Blue-winged Kookaburra
We had a night at Belyando Crossing, camped behind a basic hotel-service station set up. Plenty of Blue-winged Kookaburras were about here, to remind us we were well and truly on the way north. A party of 4 Australian Bustards flew over the hotel at sunset.


Early in the morning, a little north of the almost dry Belyando River, I found two parties of Ground Cuckoo-shrike – one of 4 birds and one of 2 birds.

Black-breasted Buzzard

Black-breasted Buzzard

We headed north again and I was chuffed to find a Black-breasted Buzzard over the road about 50km north of Belyando Crossing. Our first Red-tailed Black Cockatoos also made an appearance.

Wedge-tailed Eagle
Quite a few Wedge-tailed Eagles were about. Full list of birds for Belyando Crossing can be found here. 

Australian Bustard
Another Australian Bustard was feeding roadside in the same area.

Ground Cuckoo-shrike

 Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater and Singing Honeyeater were among the birds in the woodland. The change in habitat from dry scrub and woodland to savanna woodland was evident as we headed north.

Ground Cuckoo-shrike


  1. Great collection of birds - love the shot of the brolgas wandering among the cattle! Hope you enjoy your trip away.

  2. Gotta love the northern outbacks of Queensland! love the photographs, and I have always wanted to see a Ground Cuckoo Shrike, so nice work on that one!
    Ollie Scully.