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, 14 April 2013

Freckled Duck, Hoary-headed Grebe and other Goodies in the Lockyer Valley

Freckled Duck (with Grey Teal, Mudlark)
Following a spate of sightings of Freckled Duck and Hoary-headed Grebe in the Lockyer Valley recently I headed out that way. Both are very rare visitors to south-east Queensland normally. I visited (in order) Lake Galletly, Pechey's Lagoon (Lower Tenthill, near Gatton), Karasch's Lagoon  (Placid Hills, near Gatton), Jahnke's Lagoon, Lake Clarendon, Seven-Mile lagoon and Lake Atkinson.

Freckled Duck
Six Freckled ducks were on Pechey's Lagoon. They were generally associating with Grey Teal and feeding in shallow water.
Freckled Duck
These birds, along with quite a few other waterbird species, have dispersed to coastal areas following good breeding seasons inland.

Hoary-headed Grebe
In similar vein, Hoary-headed Grebes have moved coastward from their usual haunts further inland.

Hoary-headed Grebe

Hoary-headed Grebe
I saw an estimated 220 Hoary-headed Grebes on Seven-Mile Lagoon - an extraordinary number for this species in south-east Queensland; Hoary-headed Grebes outnumbered Australasian Grebes on the lagoon. I also saw 10 Hoary-headed Grebes on Karasch's Lagoon and another 5 on Jahnke's Lagoon.

Great Crested Grebe
About 60 Great Crested Grebes were on Lake Atkinson and 30 on Lake Clarendon.

Australasian Shoveler
The Lockyer Valley was seething with ducks. I saw 20 Australasian Shovelers at Pechey's Lagoon. This is another species that is normally rare in south-east Queensland.

Australasian Shoveler
 I saw about 130 Australasian Shovelers on Seven-Mile Lagoon, again a very large number for this species in the region.

Pink-eared Duck
Pink-eared Duck was the commonest duck in the valley, although this also is normally a scarce species in south-east Queensland. There were several thousand Pink-eared Ducks on Seven-Mile Lagoon and smaller numbers on Jahnke's Lagoon and Lake Galletly. Also on Seven-Mile Lagoon was a pair of Blue-billed Duck.

Cotton Pygmy-Goose
I saw 2 Cotton Pygmy-Geese on Lake Atkinson and on the way home, 18 on a small dam on the Kilcoy-Woodford Road, at the Mary Smokes Road junction.

Black Kite
Black Kite was the commonest raptor about, although this species too is normally scarce in south-east Queensland. Other raptors seen included 2 Spotted Harriers and 1 Swamp Harrier.

A few Cockatiels were in the Lake Clarendon area.

Plum-headed Finch
Not far from Pechey's Lagoon, along Cross Road, I found a party of 8 Plum-headed Finches.

Grey-crowned Babbler
At lake Clarendon, a Grey-crowned Babbler found my Subaru Forester to its liking.

Red-rumped Parrot
About 30 Red-rumped Parrots were feeding by the road near Lake Galletly.

Brisbane River Turtle
A few Brisbane River Turtles (Emydura signata) were on Lake Galletly.

Superb Fairy-wren
Superb Fairy-wrens were around the Lake Galletly hide.

Yellow-billed & Royal Spoonbills
A Yellow-billed Spoonbill and Royal Spoonbill were together on Karasch's Lagoon. 


  1. Great report with some nice pictures. Great to see water birds are fairing well after years of drought. I visited the same areas a few weeks ago and am fortunate enough to have the places you mentioned in my mind's eye.

  2. Thanks Russell. I don't think I've ever seen so many ducks out there.

  3. Wow Greg, I'm going to have to head out there myself soon. Great sightings!

  4. beautiful photos and a great range of sightings. I particularly liked the Pink Eared Duck Image, they are beautiful, and the turtles were great also posing in an awkward looking spot.