|Eastern Grass Owl near Yandina Creek Wetlands - Picture by Hendrik Ferreira|
A highly productive one-and-a-half days and an evening of birding around the Sunshine Coast with Hendrik Ferreira and Anton Booysen yielded a veritable spray of goodies including Eastern Grass Owl, Sooty Owl, Large-tailed Nightjar, Marbled Frogmouth, Australian Little Bittern, Eastern Ground Parrot, King Quail, Beach Stone-Curlew, Wandering Tattler, Cotton Pygmy-Goose, Black-necked Stork, Barred Cuckoo-shrike, White-eared Monarch, Dusky Honeyeater, Crested Shrike-tit, Fairy Gerygone, Paradise Riflebird, Noisy Pitta, Russet-tailed Thrush, Little Bronze Cuckoo, Crested Shrike-tit, Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Little Grassbird and Spotless Crake.
We kicked off at dawn on Day One at Little Yabba Creek, Charlie Moreland Park, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. We soon had a pair of White-eared Monarchs flitting about us side-by-side with Spectacled Monarchs and Black-faced Monarchs.
A small party of Dusky Honeyeaters foraged on the rainforest edge and a male Paradise Riflebird checked us out. Russet-tailed Thrush, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, White-headed Pigeon, Topknot Pigeon and Australian Logrunner were among other birds present. A Noisy Pitta performed well along a nearby rainforest circuit track. Crested Shrike-tit and Pale-yellow Robin were also here.
We moved on to open eucalypt forest and vine scrub at Moy Pocket, nestled in a loop in the picturesque Mary River. A pair of Barred Cuckoo-shrikes were co-operative and Fairy Gerygone – a species recorded from the hinterland only in relatively recent times - was vocal and easy to track down. Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos entertained as they tore into the flowers of a Silky Oak.
Another patch of vine scrub near Imbil was our next destination. Here we found plenty of evidence of Black-breasted Buttonquail including fresh platelets but no birds were seen in the time we had available. While having lunch at Imbil, we were startled when a large vehicle came rolling down a hill, crossing the road and knocking down two wooded rail barriers before smashing into a tree a few metres from us, just before it would have otherwise plunged into Yabba Creek. It had been left in neutral with no hand brake on - an unusual diversion from birding.
|Runaway Vehicle at Imbil|
We headed east to the coast to Alexandra Headland where we found a nice pair of Wandering Tattlers on the sea edge along with a Pacific Reef-Egret. We continued to the mouth of the Maroochy River, spotting a Beach Stone-Curlew feeding on crabs on the seaward side of Goat Island.
Large numbers of Chesnut Teal were at the Maroochydore sewage treatment plant. At Bli Bli Wetlands, a Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove put on a fine show in the afternoon light while we took time out to photograph more common species such as Leaden Flycatcher.
|Eastern Grass Owl - Picture by Hendrik Ferreira|
|Birding wallum heath near Noosa|