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.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Freckled Duck, Musk Duck, Budgerigar: Lake Lenthall-Gunalda

Freckled Duck
Freckled Duck, Musk Duck, Budgerigar and nice close views of White-throated Nightjar were the highlights of a few days camping and birding near Gunalda, north of Gympie, and in the Wongi State Forest - Lake Lenthall area, north of Maryborough.

Freckled Duck
I kayaked around the shores of Lake Lenthall and found a flock of 15 Freckled Ducks in a backwater. The birds allowed me to approach quite close in the kayak.

Freckled Duck
There has been an influx of Freckled Ducks, considered Australia's rarest waterfowl species, from the inland to coastal areas in recent weeks.

Musk Duck
A pair of Musk Duck was present on the lake. This is a rare species in south-east Queensland and this site must be close to the northern limit of its range. Both birds were shy: this is the female, the male would not let me get anywhere near it.

Also of interest on Lake Lenthall was a flock of 18 Cotton Pygmy-Goose.

Australasian Grebe

Comb-crested Jacana

Some other birds on the lake.

Pink-eared Duck
While on a backwater near Maryborough, 3 Pink-eared Ducks were seen.

Wongi State Forest

We camped by a string of pleasant waterholes in open woodland in Wongi State Forest, not far from Lake Lenthall.

Fuscous Honeyeater
One of the commonest birds here was Fuscous Honeyeater, normally a localised and uncommon species in south-east Queensland. Other birds around included:

Jacky Winter

Rufous Night-Heron
White-throated Nightjar
Before going to Wongi we stayed with our friends Abbie Grant-Taylor and Geoff Smith at their property near Gunalda, north of Gympie. We had a most co-operative White-throated Nightjar joining us at dusk. The nightjars were also calling at Wongi along with Australian Owlet-Nightjar and Bush Stone-Curlew.

Geoff, Abbie and friends

A big surprise in the morning as we were relaxing over breakfast was a flock of about 20 Budgerigars which flew past us. These are the first of this species that I've seen in south-east Queensland, although small numbers have been reported recently from elsewhere in the region. Like quite a few other inland species, budgerigars are making their way coastward as conditions inland deteriorate following a couple of bumper breeding seasons. This image was taken a few months ago in western Queensland.

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
 More predictable fare included this cuckoo-shrike.

While at nearby Bauple, these White-winged Choughs were attending a nest.


  1. Great photos, loved the Nightjar image. The Budgies were a great sighting also, they have been seen in different areas across the Darling Downs of recent also.

  2. Thanks. Yes the eastward movement of Budgerigars in recent weeks is interesting

  3. Hi there,
    Might I ask if you have an email contact for Geoff Smith who is an old friend from the Brisbane days in the 60's. I am coming up that way and would like to visit.
    Rgds Bob Brown my email

  4. Bob I've passed your address on to Geoff

  5. Bob I've passed your address on to Geoff