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, 22 September 2013

Eidsvold: Squatter Pigeon, Ground Cuckoo-Shrike, Emu, Herbert's Rock-Wallaby

Squatter Pigeon
After visiting Cania Gorge and Kalpowar, we moved on to Tolderodden Conservation Park just west of Eidsvold for three nights, completing our visit to the North Burnett region.

Squatter Pigeon
 Of interest here were repeated sightings of Squatter Pigeon, a very rare species in south-east Queensland becoming more common (though still quite scarce) further north. I had up to five birds coming in regularly to a waterhole near our camp and saw them also on the outskirts of Eidsvold.

Squatter Pigeon

Squatter Pigeon
The camp at Tolderodden is by the Burnett River, which snakes its way through dry eucalypt woodland and the rich cattle pastures of the Upper Burnett. Large numbers of fallen trees by the river are testimony to the force of flooding in the river in recent summers, especially 2010.

Burnett River

The view from our camp at Tolderodden (above).

It was nice to encounter Emu a few times near the camp.

Australian Pelican, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Royal Spoonbill, Straw-necked Ibis

Cotton Pygmy-Goose
Waterbirds on a dam nearby included Cotton Pygmy-Goose and a few others.

Eastern Brown Snake
 This Eastern Brown Snake was found freshly road-killed. The Eastern Brown is one of the world's deadliest snakes, a cautionary reminder of the need to tread carefully when birding the woodlands.

Termite mound
Plenty of old termite mounds were about, a reminder that this was the heart of the distribution of the now extinct Paradise Parrot, which nested in the mounds. The last confirmed sightings of Paradise Parrot were not far from Eidsvold - see here for report.

Brown Falcon
While wandering this area I encountered Ground Cuckoo-Shrikes on three occasions but the birds flew off each time before I had a chance to photograph them. The species has a bad habit of disappearing into the distance for no apparent reason. This falcon, which was mobbed by one of the cuckoo-shrikes, was more obliging.

White-winged Triller
Plenty of White-winged Trillers about.

Wedge-tailed Eagle
A pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles maintained a roadside vigil as they fed on a road-killed kangaroo.

Herbert's Rock-Wallaby

Herbert's Rock-Wallaby
It was nice to find plenty of Herbert's Rock-Wallabies in the area. They were easy to see early in the morning sunning themselves on rocks near the camp.

Pretty-face Wallaby
Other macropods included Pretty-face, Red-necked and Swamp Wallabies, and Eastern Grey Kangaroo.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle
On the way home, near Gympie, this White-bellied Sea-Eagle was attending two large young in a nest by a small dam.


  1. Some very nice sightings there, and good to see the photographs of the Squatter Pigeons especially.

  2. Hi Greg, very nice counts and pics of Squatters. Just looking at the snake, could this be an Eastern Brown? It appears to have a pale iris, dark flecking on the body, and a head colour that is not obviously paler than the rest of the body. Did you note any other features that were good for a Tai?

  3. Nigel I thought the head shape and eye impression were good for Taipan but I'll look further into it

  4. Nigel, yes I agree now it was an Eastern Brown - I think the pale iris is the clincher. I've made the necessary adjustments.