|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.
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).
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.
I saw a Little Bronze-Cuckoo at Finland Road, and Varied Sittella showed nicely at Moy Pocket.
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.