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.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Hervey Bay: Wood Sandpiper, Shining Flycatcher, Brown Songlark & Bats Galore

Sooty Oystercatcher
Wood Sandpiper, Brown Songlark, Shining Flycatcher, Black Bittern and a huge colony of Little Red Flying-Foxws were the highlights of a 4-day campout at Hervey Bay. We camped at the nicely positioned Pialba Beachfront Tourist Park in windy but fine conditions.

Garnett's Lagoon and John Knight
I hooked up with John Knight to visit Garnett's Lagoon near River Head, just south of Hervey Bay. This wetland is on private property and access is available only through John, a mate of the property owner.
Wood Sandpiper
Garnett's has an impressive list of birds and I had long been keen to visit this spot. Among the 50 or so Sharp-tailed Sandpipers on the two lagoons was a single Wood Sandpiper.

Marsh Sandpiper
Several Marsh Sandpipers were also about.

Brown Songlark
On the paddocks nearby a sole male Brown Songlark was performing flight displays.

Shining Flycatcher
I was surprised to find a pair of Shining Flycatcher it what looked like suboptimal habitat - some scrappy-looking mangroves fringing a tidal rivulet that was a tributary of the nearby Susan River.

Black Flying-Fox
Near the camping ground at Pialba was a large colony of Black Flying-Foxes on the waterfront. The local council does a fine job of protecting this colony, in the midst of which I found a small knot of Little Red Flying-Foxes. The bats were not quite so endearing in the evenings as they fed on figs in trees overhanging our camper trailer.

Little Red Flying-Fox
Just a few kilometres away in the Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens, a massive colony of Little Red Flying-Foxes was in residence, with many tens of thousands of animals present. In both colonies I could spot a total of just a handful of Grey-headed Flying-Foxes.

Australasian Darter family

Dusky Moorhen family
Near the Botanic Gardens, on one of the Anembo Lakes, I flushed a Black Bittern along with a Nankeen Night-Heron and a Striated Heron. I found a family of Dusky Moorhens with tiny chicks in tow and a pair of boisterous young Australasian Darters were being fed by a parent. Other birds in the area included several Channel-billed Cuckoos.

Channel-billed Cuckoo

Krefft's River Turtle
Unusually tame Krefft's River Turtles were clearly used to being fed at the Botanic Gardens and Anembo Lakes.

Wonga Pigeon
I visited Mungomery's Vine Forest Reserve at Dundowran Beach but could find no sign of the Black-breasted Buttonquail reported from there, although Wonga Pigeon and Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove were common.
Nankeen Night-Heron
At the Arkarra Lagoons nearby I saw a Nankeen Night-Heron, Little Bronze Cuckoo and a pair of Magpie Geese on a nest.

Dundowran Beach

A fine Osprey was standing sentry along Dundowran Beach.

Greater Sand-Plover
Along the coast around Pt Vernon and Gatakers Bay, a few waders were around including several Greater Sand-Plovers on the sandflats, and Sooty Oystercatchers on the rocky outcrops.

Caspian Tern

Little Tern
Birds along the waterfront at Urangan included many Little and Caspian Terns.

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