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, 21 December 2012

Christmas Twitching on the Sunshine Coast

Among the birds seen on a good day out and about on the Sunshine Coast yesterday were Pale-vented Bush-hen, Superb Fruit-Dove, White-eared Monarch, Glossy Ibis and Cotton Pygmy-Goose. South African birder Phil Penlington and I kicked off just after dawn with a visit to Little Yabba Creek (above), searching around Charlie Moreland camping ground, then doing a couple of rounds of the Fig Tree walk.

Paradise Riflebird
Nice birds included a pair of Barred Cuckoo-shrikes, White-eared Monarch at two sites, a female Paradise Riflebird, Pale-yellow Robin, Russet-tailed Thrush, Logrunner, and Dusky Honeyeater, while Noisy Pitta was seen several times.

Pale-vented Bush-hen

We moved on to a site near Kenilworth where I've had Pale-vented Bush-hen and Lewin's Rail in the past. A pair of bush-hens kept under cover but eventually yielded reasonable views. An area of scrub near Imbil had some fresh Black-breasted Buttonquail platelets but no birds were seen during our short visit. We visited Lake Macdonald, seeing 4 Glossy Ibis (a scarce visitor to the Sunshine Coast), 5 Latham's Snipe, several Red-kneed Dotterels and 8 Wandering Whistling-Ducks. On a farm dam near Eumundi, we had a single Cotton Pygmy-Goose.

Wappa and Poona dams had quite a few Great Crested Grebes. We ended the day in lowland rainforest at Cooloolabin, where several Rose-crowned Fruit-Doves were seen (they had been calling commonly all day) along with a single Superb Fruit-Dove. A Pacific Baza also showed nicely here, as well as a few more Dusky Honeyeaters and a Crested Shrike-Tit.

Our last camp-out for the year earlier this month was at Boreen Point, Lake Cootharaba, a lovely setting although the birds were a bit thin on the ground.

Shining Flycatcher

I kayaked around the lake's southern shore but saw little. However, I had a nice pair of Shining Flycatchers on a separate kayaking excursion from Lake Cooroibah to the Noosa North Shore ferry crossing.

Varied Sittella

Varied Sittella

In wallum regrowth at nearby Elanda Point, a short drive from Boreen Point, a highly co-operative group of Varied Sittellas was entertaining.

There were some interesting historical sites in the Elanda Point area. This chimney is all that remains of a dairy farm built in the 1860s. (To put things in perspective, that's a decade before General Custer met his match at the Battle of the Little Big Horn!)

 This is an extract from The Gympie Times, relating in rather graphic detail (by current standards) the outcome of a boiler accident in 1873 (three years before Custer's Last Stand) at the Elanda Point timber mill.


  1. Hi Greg, a question about boreen pt that's been bugging me for a while.... we moved to Boreen Pt about 3 years ago without really knowing much about the place and expected with the lake and bush and settlement here that there'd be loads of birds as it is a similar evironment to other places we've lived which had loads of birds. But there isn't!
    In your experience... has it always been like that or do you think there is a problem here? I have a theory about overfishing....maybe the river should be a marine park?
    merry christmas, and thanks for your great blog,
    Brenda Marshall

  2. Thanks for your comments and Merry Christmas to you also.
    I don't think it's overfishing. My memory is that Lake Cootharaba has always been pretty quiet on the bird front. I'm not sure why that is. Perhaps the depth, tides and salinity levels aren't quite right for birds.