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.

Friday, 6 January 2017

Out and About Oakey, Eastern Darling Downs

Brown Songlark
 Following some productive birding this time last year in the Oakey-Jondaryan area of the eastern Darling Downs, it seemed like a good idea to revisit the place. Nice birds encountered included good numbers of Painted Honeyeaters, Black Falcon, Plum-headed Finch, White-winged Fairy-wren, numerous Brown Songlarks and Horsfield's Bushlarks, and Black-faced Woodswallow. This area is the eastern range limit of quite a few wide-ranging, predominantly western-central species.

Brown Songlark
Conditions were much drier this visit, although heavy rain had fallen the day before our arrival. There was no sign of the Black-eared Cuckoos seen last year. Nor were Red-chested Buttonquail or Stubble Quail heard or seen, despite looking at night as well as during the day.

Painted Honeyeater
Painted Honeyeater was in fine form. At least 8 birds including 2 juveniles were seen during two visits to Doctor's Creek Reserve, on both sides of the highway. Another Painted Honeyeater was seen just east of Jondaryan, and 4 more, including another 2 juveniles, were 2km east of the town along the Jondaryan-Sabine Road. This species appears to be a regular summer breeding visitor to this area.

Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo
The dry scrub along the Jondaryan-Sabine Road was quite productive, with a Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo and a pair of Speckled Warblers on offer.

Speckled Warbler

Black-faced Woodswallow
 A Black-faced Woodswallow was perched on a wire in the same spot in the township of Jondaryan as a pair was seen last year.

Plum-headed Finch adult & juvenile
Also in the town centre was a lively flock of about 20 Plum-headed Finches feeding in a small area of heavily seeded grass, including many juveniles. The birds were not present at Doctor's Creek where they have been seen previously.

Red-rumped Parrot female
Red-rumped Parrots were feeding with the finches.

Pallid Cuckoo juvenile
A juvenile Pallid Cuckoo was on the wire near the Jondaryan Woolshed.

Horsfield's Bushlark
Brown Songlarks and Horsfield's Bushlarks were numerous along Devon Park Boundary Road, Bowenville-Norman Road and elsewhere in the area.

Black Falcon chasing Torresian Crow

Black Falcon alighting on cow

Black Falcon
A few White-winged Fairy-wrens were also present along Devon Park Boundary Road, where a Black Falcon was the bird of the trip. The falcon was watched as it unsuccessfully pursued a starling and landed briefly on a cow before chasing a Torresian Crow. Devon Park Road list can be found here.

Australian Hobby
 Nearby, an Australian Hobby performed nicely.

Australian Pelicans
A flock of 200 Australian Pelicans was flying high above the vast agricultural plains heading west to inland wetlands replenished by good rainfall in recent months..

Yellow-throated Miner
Other birds seen included Yellow-throated Miner, living here side-by-side with Noisy Miner.

Striped Honeyeater
Striped Honeyeater was common throughout the area.

Southern Boobook
A Southern Boobook was mobbed by other birds in the Doctor's Creek Reserve (see here for bird list for the reserve).

Zebra Finch pair
Small groups of Zebra Finch were scattered throughout the grasslands.

Wedge-tailed Eagle
On the way home a pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles soared overhead.

Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby
 We stopped at Perseverance Dam near Toowoomba (we overnighted here after 2 nights in an Oakey motel) where 5 Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies were basking in the early morning sunlight.

Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby

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