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, 15 July 2012

Barking Owl at Lake Broadwater

A lively pair of Barking Owls was the highlight of a three-day camping trip to Lake Broadwater Conservation Reserve near Dalby, on Queensland's Darling Downs. The reserve is a 1200-hectare island of woodland in a sea of agriculture. The 350-hectare natural lake is often dry but was full during our visit following two years of heavy rain.

The Barking Owls tended to roost in a patch of dense brigalow and could be found readily by night (female, first image) or by day (male, above).

Australian Pelicans have had a huge nesting event in the inland due to two years of flooding rains and are only now just returning to coastal areas in numbers. This large flock was at Lake Broadwater.

Yellow-billed Spoonbills were plentiful around the lake shore. These and other waterbirds were feeding on good numbers of fish. As the lake had until recently been bone dry for many years, and the gullies feeding it are ephemeral, I'm not sure how fish return when these lakes fill.

Black Swan as around in good numbers.

The most interesting bird in the surrounding woodland was Inland Thornbill, here at the eastern extremity of its arid zone distribution.

Restless Flycatcher was common about the lake edge.

As were cockatoos, including Little Corella and Galah.

And Cockatiels.

Speckled Warbler was present in the denser brigalow patches.

Along with the "orangë-winged" race of Varied Sittella.

White-winged Chough was ever present.

While Grey-crowned Babbler was in scattered groups.

Striped Honeyeater was common, with other inland honeyeaters including White-plumed and Spiny-cheeked.

Eastern Grey Kangaroo was abundant with lush vegetation in every direction.

Our new Jayco camper trailer, which we picked up at Cecil Plains on the way up. Very nice and comfortable, but a little more complicated to get it organised than I had hoped, and heavier to tow and maneuvre than the smaller trailer we've now dispensed with.


  1. Wonderful collection of birds but I'm especially excited about the Barking Owl. It must be a great find in the wild. I've been to lake Broadwater back in the days of drought and it was great for birds back then so it must be alive after the rains. Wish to go back there.

  2. Yes I had not been there for many years Russell... it's all very lush and green and full of birds

  3. Hi Greg,
    Some great birds. I will probably be in that area in the near future. Yet to see a Barking Owl. Are they around the camping area at Lake Broadwater?

  4. John, They can be heard from the camping area - the bush camping ground, not the lakeside one (there are two camping grounds). They roost between the bush camping ground and the lake

  5. Thanks Greg,
    Will check it out if we decide to travel through Dalby and let you know the outcome.

  6. Fantastic to see the Barking Owl at Lake Broadwater, this lake has been on our "to do list" for some time.. I havent heard of Barking Owls around these parts, so a fantastic find. Looks like a great spot.

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