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, 5 January 2016

Little Bittern, Spotless Crake at Coolum Industrial Estate

Magpie Goose
Australian Little Bittern and Spotless Crake have been seen in the recently created wetlands on the Eco Industrial Park near Coolum on the Sunshine Coast. Two small wetlands in the industrial estate deserve to be on the map of local birders. In the absence of any decent freshwater wetland reserves in the region, these artificial wetlands in industrial and residential estates are playing an important role in providing habitat for waterbirds.

Australian Little Bittern
I saw a male Australian Little Bittern today at the best of the two wetlands, located on the corner of Research Place and Quanda Road. The second wetland is about 1km away, on the right at the end of Quanda Road. The bird could not be photographed; this image was taken last year at Parklakes.

Coolum Eco Industrial Estate Wetland
The wetlands are a nice combination of lily ponds and reed beds, surrounded by wide paths. Even concrete seating is provided. Full list of birds here.

Plumed Whistling-Duck
Also at the Research Place wetland were 1 Spotless Crake, 3 Latham's Snipe, 1 Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoo and both Wandering and Plumed Whistling-Ducks, along with several Magpie Geese.

Parklakes Wetland
On the subject of Parklakes, this wetland today is a pale shadow of its former glory. This time last year, Australian Little Bitterns were nesting there (including the bird in the image above); Spotless and Baillon's Crakes were everywhere. Now, most of the once extensive reed bed has been destroyed because the Sunshine Coast Council instructed the Parklakes residential estate developers that the wetland had to be "renovated". The developers believe the final result will be a better wetland; whether the waterbirds agree remains to be seen. During a visit this week, about 200 Plumed Whistling-Ducks were present but nothing of interest.

Varied Triller pair (female left, male right)
On the home front, a pair of Varied Trillers have been about the house while a recently fledged Pacific Baza is being fed by its parents.

Juvenile Pacific Baza
Other babies about included a Pink-tongue Skink, the first for the garden.

Pink-tongue Skink juv
Another addition to the garden reptile list was Eastern Water-Dragon at the bedroom window.

Eastern Water-Dragon
Plenty of Wall Skinks about.

Wall Skink 
While elsewhere, a Saw-shelled Turtle was sunning itself above Wappa Dam.

Saw-shelled Turtle

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