|Barking Owl - Sheepstation Creek|
BirdLife Australia Sunshine Coast, our local birding group, has for some time been running a game on its Facebook page organised by its leader, Ken Cross. One objective is to encourage people to photograph as many species as possible in a calendar year in the Sunshine Coast region. The area extends north to Inskip Point and Bauple; south to Bribie Island; and west to Kilcoy, the Conondale Range, the Amamoor area and Muna Creek-Miva. An outlier to the south, Sheepstation Creek Conservation Reserve near Burpengary, is also included.
Among recent forays was a visit to Imbil State Forest at Stirling Crossing, not far west of Imbil. Little Lorikeet was added to the list here and it was nice to see Dusky Woodswallow close up.
I moved on to another part of the state forest near Brooloo, where I had a fantastic close encounter with a female Black-breasted Buttonquail. Also of interest here were more Little Lorikeets and a Black-chinned Honeyeater. The honeyeater is a rare winter visitor to the region and I'd seen it just the week before along Amamoor Creek Road.
On another trip I decided to head to the northern sector of the area, where I found a group of White-winged Choughs outside Bauple.
I then had a look at the Muna Creek-Miva area a bit further west, concentrating on the excellent open woodlands along Munna Miva Road. I found Speckled Warbler along here. Nearby along Sexton Road I found two groups of Grey-crowned Babblers.
In more open country I saw a Rufous Songlark, unexpected at this time of year.
We camped for two nights at Charlie Moreland Park, an old favourite. Yellow Thornbill had been seen along the road in by Ian Stargazer and while I didn't expect them to be still around, a party of 6 were in the same area.
In the forest above the park along Sunday Creek Road I tracked down a Sooty Owl. A Russet-tailed Thrush was finally connected with at nearby Booloumba Creek camping ground. This was the first bird I photographed for The Game back in January, but I discarded those lousy images and it was another 6 months before I scored again.
I visited Sheepstation Creek to chase up a Barking Owl which Matt Wright kindly pointed me towards. This was my first sighting of the species in the region. I also found a Square-tailed Kite in the reserve.
A Wedge-tailed Eagle (the third for The Game) was seen at Toorbul.
I thought another trip north was in order. I saw a flock of 20 Red-tailed Black Cockatoos at Scotchy Pocket – not new for The Game because I had them at Amamoor, but nice.
|Red-tailed Black Cockatoo|
I overnighted in the pub at Tiaro, just north of the area for The Game, and was delighted to find a Barking Owl along the Mary River - my second encounter with the species in a few days.
|Barking Owl - Tiaro|
A Gould's Long-eared Bat was hanging on a rafter under the back porch.
Nearby at North Arm,
an Intermediate Egret struggled to kill and swallow a rat of some
|Gould's Long-eared Bat|
|Intermediate Egret with rat|
|Intermediate Egret with rat|