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.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater colony threatened on Sunshine Coast

Palmview Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters

The only colony of the highly localised Yellow-tufted Honeyeater on the Sunshine Coast is under assault from a combination of a massive new real estate development and extensive roadworks. Thanks to Sarah Beavis and Rob Kernot for alerting me to the presence of the honeyeater colony in the Palmview Conservation Park.

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
The reserve, directly opposite the historic Ettamogah Pub, has been hacked into by the Queensland Department of Main Roads and Transport as part of the $1 billion upgrade of the Bruce Highway. There is no point in creating national parks and other reserves if their boundaries can be altered at the stroke of a pen. Palmview is one of several conservation reserves to be carved up to make way for the highway upgrade.

Palmview Conservation Park - carved up for highway upgrade
At the same time, the huge $3 billion Harmony estate is being developed on an extensive area of low-lying land abutting the northern end of Palmview Conservation Park. The development will eventually deliver 4,800 homes for 12,000 residents on 100ha of land, spectacularly extending the urban sprawl of the southern Sunshine Coast. See here for more on the rampant destruction of rainforest and other native vegetation underway in the region. Activist Ted Fensom has been leading the way in highlighting this environmental onslaught.

Activist Ted Fensom outside Harmony real estate development
Palmview is set to become like most of the region's reserves - an island in a sea of suburbia. That's all the more reason to ensure such places are not chopped up for roadworks and other infrastructure. The colony of Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters (I saw 12-15 birds) favours thicker vegetation in the reserve at its northern end - an area that will be fronted by a sea of houses in the not too distant future. 

Palmview Conservation Park
Other birds in the reserve included this Fantailed Cuckoo (elist).

Fantailed Cuckoo
In other birdy news, I had Stubble Quail, Brown Quail and King Quail together on a cane farm near Bli Bli (ebird); Stubble Quail was a new bird for the Sunshine Coast when it turned up here in January. Good numbers of White-throated Needletail were also present here.

White-throated Needletail
  I saw a Little Bronze-Cuckoo at Finland Road, and Varied Sittella showed nicely at Moy Pocket. 

Little Bronze-Cuckoo
Varied Sittella
Quite a few Arctic Jaegers were harassing the large flocks of Common Terns and Crested Terns present at Noosa North Shore, where a White-bellied Sea-Eagle also found cause to annoy a tern. We had a pleasurable three nights camping at the caravan park there (elist

Arctic Jaeger chasing Crested Tern
White-bellied Sea-Eagle & Common Tern
This Comb-crested Jacana in flight at Wappa Dam was nice.

Comb-crested Jacana


  1. Thanks for highlighting this. It's such a shame that this forest is being destroyed parcel by parcel. It seems that the decision makers will always find a reason good enough to ignore conservation if need be – in this case, it's an off ramp. On a related note, I sought clarification from the SCC on numerous occasions regarding the Palmview Forest development behind the pub. One of my main concerns was not being able to find a fauna assessment in the publicly available submissions. One would think that if a large area of threatened native remnant subtropical rainforest was being cleared, a fauna assessment should be carried out. The SCC's response was that the approval was granted before the laws changed, so the assessment didn't have to be carried out. I can only imagine the amount of life that was wiped out.

    1. Sadly the wildlife conservation laws both federal and state are a joke. Worthless.

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