Trevor Quested Memorial Twitch 2018

TQMT 2018 Final List


185 species

Australian Brush Turkey
Brown Quail
Plumed Whistling Duck
Black Swan
Australian Wood Duck
Magpie Goose
Cotton pygmy Goose
Pacific Black Duck
Grey Teal
Chestnut Teal
Australasian Grebe
Spotted Dove *
Rock Dove *
Diamond Dove
Peaceful Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove
Brown Cuckoo-Dove
White-headed Pigeon
Common Bronzewing
Wonga Pigeon
Crested Pigeon
Tawny Frogmouth
White-throated Nightjar
Large-tailed Nightjar
Brown Booby
Australasian Darter
Great Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Pied Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
Australian Pelican
White-necked Heron
White-faced Heron
Cattle Egret
Little Egret
Eastern Great Egret
Intermediate Egret
Nankeen Night Heron
Striated Heron
Glossy Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis
Australian White Ibis
Royal Spoonbill
Black-shouldered Kite
Pacific Baza
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Collared Sparrowhawk
Brown Goshawk
Grey Goshawk
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Brahminy Kite
Eastern Osprey
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Nankeen Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Buff-banded Rail
Dusky Moorhen
Purple Swamphen
Eurasian Coot
Australian Bustard
Australian Pied oystercatcher
Pied Stilt
Pacific Golden Plover
Red-capped Plover
Red-kneed Dotterel
Black-fronted Dotterel
Masked Lapwing
Comb-crested Jacana
Latham’s Snipe
Bar-tailed Godwit
Eastern Curlew
Marsh Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Terek Sandpiper
Grey-tailed Tattler
Red-necked Stint
Curlew Sandpiper
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Black Noddy
Little Tern
Caspian Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Crested Tern
Whiskered Tern
Silver Gull
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Little Corella
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Rainbow Lorikeet
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
Australian King-Parrot
Red-winged Parrot
Pale-headed Rosella
Eastern Rosella
Eastern Koel
Channel-billed Cuckoo
Pheasant Coucal
Pallid Cuckoo
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Brush Cuckoo
Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
Little Bronze-Cuckoo
Barking Owl
Azure Kingfisher
Laughing Kookaburra
Forest Kingfisher
Sacred Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher
Rainbow Bee-eater
White-throated Treecreeper
Brown Treecreeper
Variegated Fairy-Wren
Red-backed Fairy-Wren
White-browed Scrubwren
Mangrove Gerygone
Fairy Gerygone
White-throated Gerygone
Brown Thornbill
Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Striated Pardalote
Lewin’s Honeyeater
Yellow-faced Honeyeater
Mangrove Honeyeater
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
Scarlet Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater
Black-chinned Honeyeater
White-throated Honeyeater
Striped Honeyeater
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Little Wattlebird
Little Friarbird
Noisy Friarbird
Noisy Miner
Grey-crowned Babbler
Eastern Whipbird
Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike
White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike
White-winged Triller
Varied Triller
Rufous Whistler
Grey Shrike-Thrush
Little Shrike-Thrush
Olive-backed Oriole
Australasian Figbird
White-breasted Woodswallow
Black-faced Woodswallow
Grey Butcherbird
Pied Butcherbird
Australian Magpie
Pied Currawong
Torresian Crow
Willie Wagtail
Grey Fantail
Leaden Flycatcher
Restless Flycatcher
White-winged Chough
Spangled Drongo
Jacky Winter
Eastern Yellow Robin
Australasian Pipit
Golden-headed Cisticola
Australian Reed-Warbler
Tawny Grassbird
Welcome Swallow
Tree Martin
Fairy Martin
Common Myna *
Double-barred Finch
Red-browed Finch
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
Nutmeg Mannikin *
House Sparrow *
Posted in Bird Lists | Comments Off on Trevor Quested Memorial Twitch 2018

BirdLife Bundaberg Area Sightings 2018

A list of birds seen in the Birdlife Bundaberg area 2018

  1. Brown Quail
  2. King Quail
  3. Wandering Whistling Duck
  4. Plumed Whistling Duck
  5. Black Swan
  6. Australian Wood Duck
  7. Magpie Goose
  8. Cotton Pygmy-Goose
  9. Hardhead
  10. Pacific Black Duck
  11. Grey Teal
  12. Chestnut Teal
  13. Australasian Grebe
  14. Spotted Dove *
  15. Rock Dove *
  16. Peaceful Dove
  17. Bar-shouldered Dove
  18. Brown Cuckoo-Dove
  19. Common Bronzewing
  20. Wonga Pigeon – H
  21. Crested Pigeon
  22. Squatter Pigeon
  23. Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove
  24. Wompoo Fruit-Dove – H
  25. Emerald Dove
  26. White-throated Needletail
  27. Brown Booby
  28. Australasian Darter
  29. Great Cormorant
  30. Little Black Cormorant
  31. Pied Cormorant
  32. Little Pied Cormorant
  33. Black-necked Stork
  34. Australian Pelican
  35. White-necked Heron
  36. White-faced Heron
  37. Cattle Egret
  38. Little Egret
  39. Eastern Great Egret
  40. Intermediate Egret
  41. Striated Heron
  42. Black Bittern
  43. Glossy Ibis
  44. Straw-necked Ibis
  45. Australian White Ibis
  46. Royal Spoonbill
  47. Black-shouldered Kite
  48. Black Kite
  49. Whistling Kite
  50. Collared Sparrowhawk
  51. Brown Goshawk
  52. Brahminy Kite
  53. Eastern Osprey
  54. White-bellied Sea-Eagle
  55. Wedge-tailed Eagle
  56. Swamp Harrier
  57. Brown Falcon
  58. Nankeen Kestrel
  59. Australian Hobby
  60. Brolga
  61. Buff-banded Rail
  62. Dusky Moorhen
  63. Purple Swamphen
  64. Eurasian Coot
  65. Australian Bustard
  66. Australian Pied Oystercatcher
  67. Sooty Oystercatcher
  68. Australian Pied Stilt
  69. Pacific Golden Plover
  70. Red-capped Plover
  71. Lesser Sand Plover
  72. Greater Sand Plover
  73. Red-kneed Dotterel
  74. Black-fronted Dotterel
  75. Masked Lapwing
  76. Comb-crested Jacana
  77. Latham’s Snipe
  78. Bar-tailed Godwit
  79. Black-tailed Godwit
  80. Eastern Curlew
  81. Whimbrel
  82. Marsh Sandpiper
  83. Common Greenshank
  84. Terek Sandpiper
  85. Grey-tailed Tattler
  86. Wandering Tattler
  87. Red-necked Stint
  88. Curlew Sandpiper
  89. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
  90. Red-backed Button-Quail
  91. Little Tern
  92. Caspian Tern
  93. Gull-billed Tern
  94. Crested Tern
  95. Whiskered Tern
  96. Silver Gull
  97. Glossy Black-Cockatoo
  98. Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo
  99. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
  100. Galah
  101. Little Corella
  102. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  103. Rainbow Lorikeet
  104. Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
  105. Little Lorikeet
  106. Australian King-Parrot
  107. Red-winged Parrot
  108. Cockatiel
  109. Pale-headed Rosella
  110. Eastern Koel
  111. Channel-billed Cuckoo
  112. Pheasant Coucal
  113. Pallid Cuckoo
  114. Fan-tailed Cuckoo
  115. Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo – H
  116. Little Bronze-Cuckoo
  117. Barking Owl – H
  118. Southern Boobook – H
  119. Azure Kingfisher
  120. Laughing Kookaburra
  121. Blue-winged Kookaburra
  122. Forest Kingfisher
  123. Sacred Kingfisher
  124. Torresian Kingfisher
  125. Rainbow Bee-eater
  126. Dollarbird
  127. Noisy Pitta – H
  128. White-throated Treecreeper
  129. Brown Treecreeper
  130. Satin Bowerbird
  131. Superb Fairy-Wren
  132. Variegated Fairy-Wren
  133. Red-backed Fairy-Wren
  134. White-browed Srub-Wren
  135. Large-billed Scrub-Wren
  136. Brown Gerygone
  137. Mangrove Gerygone
  138. Fairy Gerygone
  139. White-throated Gerygone
  140. Brown Thornbill
  141. Buff-rumped Thornbill
  142. Yellow-rumped Thornbill
  143. Weebill
  144. Spotted Pardalote – H
  145. Striated Pardalote
  146. Eastern Spinebill
  147. Lewin’s Honeyeater
  148. Yellow-faced Honeyeater
  149. Mangrove Honeyeater
  150. Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
  151. Scarlet Honeyeater
  152. Brown Honeyeater
  153. Black-chinned Honeyeater
  154. White-throated Honeyeater
  155. Striped Honeyeater
  156. Blue-faced Honeyeater
  157. Little Friarbird
  158. Noisy Friarbird
  159. Noisy Miner
  160. Grey-crowned Babbler
  161. Eastern Whipbird
  162. Varied Sitella
  163. Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike
  164. Cicadabird
  165. Varied Triller
  166. Golden Whistler
  167. Rufous Whistler
  168. Grey Shrike-Thrush
  169. Little Shrike-Thrush
  170. Olive-backed Oriole
  171. Australasian Figbird
  172. White-breasted Woodswallow
  173. White-browed Woodswallow
  174. Grey Butcherbird
  175. Pied Butcherbird
  176. Australian Magpie
  177. Pied Currawong
  178. Torresian Crow
  179. Rufous Fantail
  180. Willie Wagtail
  181. Grey Fantail
  182. Leaden Flycatcher
  183. Shining Flycatcher
  184. Restless Flycatcatcher
  185. White-eared Monarch – H
  186. Black-faced Monarch
  187. Magpie-Lark
  188. Apostlebird
  189. White-winged Chough
  190. Spangled Drongo
  191. Paradise Riflebird
  192. Jacky Winter
  193. Eastern Yellow Robin
  194. Australasian Pipit
  195. Horsfield’s Bushlark
  196. Golden-headed Cisticola
  197. Australian Reed-Warbler
  198. Tawny Grassbird
  199. Silvereye
  200. Welcome Swallow
  201. Tree Martin
  202. Fairy Martin
  203. Common Myna *
  204. Mistletoebird
  205. Double-barred Finch
  206. Red-browed Finch
  207. Plum-headed Finch
  208. Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
  209. Nutmeg Mannikin *
  210. House Sparrow *
Posted in Bird Lists | Comments Off on BirdLife Bundaberg Area Sightings 2018

BirdLife Bundaberg Outings Bird List 2018

List of birds seen on Birdlife Bundaberg outings 2018

  1. Brown Quail
  2. Wandering Whistling Duck
  3. Plumed Whistling Duck
  4. Black Swan
  5. Australian Wood Duck
  6. Cotton Pygmy-Goose
  7. Magpie Goose
  8. Hardhead
  9. Pacific Black Duck
  10. Grey Teal
  11. Chestnut Teal
  12. Great Crested Grebe
  13. Australasian Grebe
  14. Spotted Dove *
  15. Rock Dove *
  16. Peaceful Dove
  17. Bar-shouldered Dove
  18. Brown Cuckoo-Dove
  19. Wonga Pigeon – H
  20. Crested Pigeon
  21. Squatter Pigeon
  22. Common Bronzewing
  23. Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove
  24. Wompoo Fruit-Dove – H
  25. Brown Booby
  26. Australasian Darter
  27. Little Black Cormorant
  28. Pied Cormorant
  29. Little Pied Cormorant
  30. Black-necked Stork
  31. Australian Pelican
  32. White-necked Heron
  33. White-faced Heron
  34. Cattle Egret
  35. Little Egret
  36. Eastern Great Egret
  37. Intermediate Egret
  38. Striated Heron
  39. Glossy Ibis
  40. Straw-necked Ibis
  41. Australian White Ibis
  42. Royal Spoonbill
  43. Black-shouldered Kite
  44. Black Kite
  45. Whistling Kite
  46. Brown Goshawk
  47. Brahminy Kite
  48. Pacific Baza
  49. Eastern Osprey
  50. White-bellied Sea-Eagle
  51. Wedge-tailed Eagle
  52. Swamp Harrier
  53. Spotted Harrier
  54. Brown Falcon
  55. Nankeen Kestrel
  56. Australian Hobby
  57. Peregrine Facon
  58. Buff-banded Rail
  59. Dusky Moorhen
  60. Purple Swamphen
  61. Eurasian Coot
  62. Comb-crested Jacana
  63. Australian Bustard
  64. Australian Pied Oystercatcher
  65. Sooty Oystercatcher
  66. Australian Pied Stilt
  67. Pacific Golden Plover
  68. Red-capped Plover
  69. Lesser Sand Plover
  70. Greater Sand Plover
  71. Red-kneed Dotterel
  72. Black-fronted Dotterel
  73. Masked Lapwing
  74. Latham’s Snipe
  75. Bar-tailed Godwit
  76. Black-tailed Godwit
  77. Eastern Curlew
  78. Whimbrel
  79. Marsh Sandpiper
  80. Common Greenshank
  81. Terek Sandpiper
  82. Grey-tailed Tattler
  83. Wandering Tattler
  84. Red-necked Stint
  85. Curlew Sandpiper
  86. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
  87. Little Tern
  88. Caspian Tern
  89. Gull-billed Tern
  90. Crested Tern
  91. Whiskered Tern
  92. Silver Gull
  93. Glossy Black-Cockatoo
  94. Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo
  95. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo
  96. Galah
  97. Sulhur-crested Cockatoo
  98. Rainbow Lorikeet
  99. Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
  100. Little Lorikeet
  101. Australian King-Parrot
  102. Cockatiel
  103. Pale-headed Rosella
  104. Eastern Koel
  105. Channel-billed Cuckoo
  106. Pheasant Coucal
  107. Brush Cuckoo
  108. Fan-tailed Cuckoo
  109. Horsfield’s Bronze-Cuckoo – H
  110. Little Bronze-Cuckoo
  111. Barking Owl – H
  112. Southern Boobook
  113. Azure Kingfisher
  114. Laughing Kookaburra
  115. Blue-winged Kookaburra
  116. Forest Kingfisher
  117. Sacred Kingfisher
  118. Torresian Kingfisher
  119. Rainbow Bee-eater
  120. Dollarbird
  121. Noisy Pitta – H
  122. White-throated Treecreeper
  123. Brown Treecreeper
  124. Satin Bowerbird
  125. Superb Fairy-Wren
  126. Variegated Fairy-Wren
  127. Red-backed Fairy-Wren
  128. White-browed Srub-Wren
  129. Large-billed Scrub-Wren
  130. Brown Gerygone
  131. Mangrove Gerygone
  132. White-throated Gerygone
  133. Fairy Gerygone
  134. Speckled Warbler
  135. Brown Thornbill
  136. Buff-rumped Thornbill
  137. Yellow-rumped Thornbill
  138. Weebill
  139. Spotted Pardalote – H
  140. Striated Pardalote
  141. Eastern Spinebill
  142. Lewin’s Honeyeater
  143. Yellow-faced Honeyeater
  144. Mangrove Honeyeater
  145. Scarlet Honeyeater
  146. Dusky Honeyeater
  147. Brown Honeyeater
  148. White-throated Honeyeater
  149. Striped Honeyeater
  150. Blue-faced Honeyeater
  151. Little Friarbird
  152. Noisy Friarbird
  153. Noisy Miner
  154. Grey-crowned Babbler
  155. Eastern Whipbird
  156. Varied Sitella
  157. Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike
  158. White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike
  159. Cicadabird
  160. Varied Triller
  161. Golden Whistler
  162. Rufous Whistler
  163. Grey Shrike-Thrush
  164. Little Shrike-Thrush
  165. Olive-backed Oriole
  166. Australasian Figbird
  167. White-breasted Woodswallow
  168. Grey Butcherbird
  169. Pied Butcherbird
  170. Australian Magpie
  171. Pied Currawong
  172. Torresian Crow
  173. Rufous Fantail
  174. Willie Wagtail
  175. Grey Fantail
  176. Leaden Flycatcher
  177. White-eared Monarch – H
  178. Black-faced Monarch
  179. Magpie-Lark
  180. Apostlebird
  181. White-winged Chough
  182. Spangled Drongo
  183. Paradise Riflebird
  184. Eastern Yellow Robin
  185. Jacky Winter
  186. Australasian Pipit
  187. Golden-headed Cisticola
  188. Australian Reed-Warbler
  189. Tawny Grassbird
  190. Silvereye
  191. Welcome Swallow
  192. Tree Martin
  193. Fairy Martin
  194. Common Myna *
  195. Mistletoebird
  196. Double-barred Finch
  197. Red-browed Finch
  198. Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
  199. Nutmeg Mannikin *
  200. House Sparrow *
  201. Common Starling*
Posted in Bird Lists | Comments Off on BirdLife Bundaberg Outings Bird List 2018

Nth QLD Trip & Campout 2016

Birdlife Bundaberg’s major outing for 2016 was a trip to Nth Qld’s Atherton Tableland with some interesting stops on the way up and back.

8 people travelled up and most came home with a number of “lifers”.

FRI – 7th Oct.

We left Bundaberg at 7am to travel to Eungella in search of Platypus & Eungella Honeyeaters. Raptors were numerous along the way with 1 inquisitive Square-tailed Kite cruising level with the vehicle. Brolgas were also a nice sighting along the way.

We reached camp at Broken River campgrounds and set up by 4pm.

First order of business was strolling down to the bridge to enjoy views of 4 Platypus playing. Walks along the river produced lots of birds, and we enjoyed these until darkness forced us back to camp.

SAT – 8th Oct.

Up nice and early and off to Diggings Rd to pick up Peter & Trudy. Had a quick search at junction of Broken River Rd and Diggings Rd and after enjoying a feeding and preening flock of Topknot Pigeons it was off to Chelmans Rd.

Pulling up at the end of Chelmans Rd we were greeted by very noisy and very obvious Eungella Honeyeaters. We spent the rest of the morning enjoying these endangered birds and plenty of others in the State Forest. We eventually dragged ourselves away and meandered back to camp for a lazy afternoon.

A short search was launched for the endemic Eungella Darner with no luck.

Sat night was a short spotlighting outing that didnt turn up much, and we all turned in early ready for the next days long haul to Yungaburra.

SUN – 9th Oct.

Sunday was spent mainly driving with short stops for stretching legs. Lunch was had at Mt Gordon rest area just short of Bowen. Most tables had a scavenging Blue-faced Honeyeater and a pair of Whistling Kites rested in a nearby tree. Out the back was a path through the dunes to to a tidal mudflat and this turned up quite a haul of shorebirds.

Yungaburra was reached about 7pm and we set up at Lake Eacham Tourist Park. Nice grounds, close to everywhere and reasonable rates.

MON – 10th Oct.

Early morning breakfast and off to Lake Eacham. 4 1/2 hrs to stroll around the 3km circuit produced a host of tableland birds. Pied Monarchs, Atherton Scrubwrens, Grey-headed Robins, Metallic Starlings and Orange-footed Scrubfowl were very common. We found the Pale-yellow Robin very common here also. A Tooth-billed Bowerbird was enjoyed showing off his seemingly full routine to a very interested female; so interested they flew off together at the end of the performance. Double-eyed Fig-parrots were enjoyed here at a consequent visit. Bassian Thrush was another shy bird spotted.

After lunch we visited Malanda Falls and enjoyed the walk here. The Curtain Fig was visited on the way back to camp.

After dinner spotlighting was done at Lake Barrine but not a lot to report. In fact, we were very disappointed in all our spotlighting outings.

TUES – 11th OCT.

Dawn found us at the magnificent Cathedral Fig. The dawn chorus here was simply amazing; a continuous wall of sound. Fun was had trying to identify all the birds calling whilst not being able to see them. As the light strengthened, it was easier to identify the birds and by full light the sound had dropped away to the occasional call.

We headed off to Lake Barrine to have breakfast and enjoy the host of honeyeaters, Victoria’s Riflebirds and Chowchillas that entertained us.

After breakfast a couple of us went to visit Yungaburra local Alan Gillanders who had a serious medical incident the night before. Some went shopping and the others enjoyed the birdlife at our campgrounds.

The afternoon was spent cruising Topaz Rd and strolling around Mount Wooranooran NP.

Spotlighting was at Mt Hypipamee.

WED – 12th Oct.

After setting off nice and early, we pulled up at at Bromfelds Crater for a “quick” stop to enjoy the views of more than a dozen Sarus Cranes. Spotting what first appeared to be a dead bat on the barbed wire fence, it was quickly noted the “bat” was alive. A Little Red Flying-fox was caught on the barbs. A quick call to the nearby Tolga Bat Hospital and we were asked to wait 15 mins for a rescuer to arrive. After she arrived she quickly untangled the bat and commenced feeding it. We were then invited to tour the hospital that afternoon free of charge.

After waving bye to the bat and her carer, we headed off to Mt Hypipamee. The Golden Bowerbird here was fleetingly enjoyed, spoiled by the arrival of a Spanish camerman and accompanying guides. The falls and crater views were enjoyed as were the walks and the birds, with a couple treated to quick views of a Fernwren. Note to self; DO NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS!

After Mt Hypipamee, it was off to Hasties Swamp. Thousands of Plumed Whistling-ducks, a couple of Wandering Whistling-ducks, 3 very hungry Little Eagles feasting on duck, a shy Swamp Harrier and a pair of obliging Satin Flycatchers. Next was lunch at Atherton lookout then off to Wongabel SF. Just the usual suspects here plus 2 busloads of American & Canadian birders. So this was cut short and we headed off to Carrington to bird around the area of the Bat Hospital. We were rewarded by loads of honeyeaters, Banded Honeyeater being the standout for most. The grounds of the Bat Hospital abound in Victorias Riflebirds and honeyeaters that enjoy the food left out for the free ranging Bats.

The “free” visit to the hospital turned out very expensive for most as t-shirts, pins, cards and donations gobbled up quite an amount. But it was more than worth it to be shown around this remarkable facility. Caring for bats from a day old upwards, most of the bats here were Spectacled Flying-foxes which are endangered. The number of micro bats was quite numerous and very entertaining.

THURS – 13th Oct.

Thursday we set off to Lake Mitchell and Big Mitchell Ck.

Lake Mitchell is an enormous body of water and has a corresponding amount of birds. Cormorants, egrets, ducks, geese, swans and grebes was just for starters. 3 grebe species in one place is always nice viewing. Yellow honeyeaters kept the photographers entertained chasing shots as they darted all over the place. An Australian Hobby put on quite a display over the water continuously putting even much larger birds to flight. An unidentified crake proved elusive and therefore annoying.

Big Mitchell Ck was dry, as it mostly is. It didnt disappoint with an abundance of honeyeaters and finches.

Lunch was held at Mareeba and we then travelled back to spend the afternoon birding around the Lake Eacham area.

FRI – 14th Oct.

Friday, we split up. 4 of us to head homewards and the other 4 to spend more time on the tablelands and then a much slower trip home.

The homebound crew stopped in at Etty Bay for morning tea as a nice surprise for Jann who has long had a yearning to see Cassowary in the wild. Not sure if Etty Bay counts as in the wild, but it took her less than 5 minutes walk to head back big-eyed and calling for cameras.

After morning tea, we headed off stopping again at Mt Gordon rest area to stretch legs. The tide wasnt in my favour this time and there very few shorebirds. After a quick stop, it was off to Ingham and the world famous Tyto Wetlands. First, we had a look around the Parklands here, then off to Palm Tree Caravan Park to camp for the night. Once we were set up, it was back to Tyto and stayed at the wetlands till dusk. No Grass-owls, but plenty of nice birds. White-browed Crakes, White-browed Robins, White-gaped Honeyeaters and dozens of nesting Crimson Finches were the highlights.

That night was the first rain of the trip, so no spotlighting.

SAT – 15th Oct.


Woke up to very heavy rain and the news saying the weather was clear north and south of Ingham. Yay. So, it was pack up in the rain and sure enough, as we pulled out the rain stopped.

The drive to St. Lawrence was pretty uneventful, but weather although looking threatening at times was perfectly clear by the time we got to St. Lawrence.

We set up with a nice gentle breeze and bright sun drying all our gear out for us. Dinner was put on hold and covered up as the local Magpie Goose colony decided that straight over our tent was the perfect flight-path for their nightly foray.

Spotlighting around the wetlands turned up several interesting frogs and hundreds of sleeping Eastern Billabongflies. A group of Bush Stone-curlews serenaded us during the night.

SUN – 16th Oct.

Camped as we were within sight of the wetlands, breakfast was continuously interrupted with sightings of raptors, egrets, ducks, geese, lorikeets, finches and honeyeaters. A stroll around the wetlands added pygmy-geese, shorebirds, Bustards, Black-necked Storks to the tally.

As enjoyable as it all was, it was time to pack up and head for home.

Lunch was at the Gardens in Rockhampton and a nice quiet drive home ensued.

Our other 4 campers visited most remaining spots on the Tableland and added quite a collection of birds to our overall tally.

Posted in Outings | Comments Off on Nth QLD Trip & Campout 2016

Byfield Camp Oct 2014


Present: Brandon Hewitt, Pamela De Zilva, Graham Castles, Nev Capell, Deane Lewis, Nerida Silke, Trevor Hewitt, Edwin Faint, Peter Tierney

Three determined birders, Pamela, Graham and I, travelled from Bundaberg and surrounds to Calliope River campground on Thursday Oct 7 and arrived at midday, Peter arriving not long later. The camper trailer was soon abandoned and we made tracks to Twelve Mile Creek and Port Alma for the Yellow Chat. As well as countless Black Kites and Whistling Kites, a couple of Brown Goshawks were seen along the way. Twelve Mile Creek was lined with Little Black Cormorants, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Dusky Moorhen, Pacific Black Duck and Grey Teal. Once at the site, birds sighted immediately include Great Egret and Brown Honeyeater. Upon walking up and down the creek for an hour, keeping eyes and ears peeled for any small yellow birds, no chats were sighted and all cisticolas appeared to be Golden-headed. Other birds present there and in the bush behind include Black-necked Stork, Brown Songlark, Little Grassbird, Nankeen Kestrel, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, White-throated Honeyeater and Olive-backed Oriole. No chats here, it seemed, so it was off to the saltworks to try or luck there. Again, no chats showed themselves nor did the Zitting Cisticola. There were, however, plenty of Silver Gulls and Pied Stilts in the delta on the south side as well as some Common Greenshanks, Red-capped Plover and a lone Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. We then headed back to camp… Striated Heron and Brahminy Kite were seen from the causeway, heard Bush Stone-curlew calling after dinner, and Southern Boobook called distantly through the night.

Friday 3 October

In the early morning a pair of Barking Owls made their presence known and we were able to locate them close to the tents. With no luck seeking the chats on Thursday, we headed off early for another shot at the chat sites before going to Rockhampton. Twelve Mile Creek produced no chats yet again but Brown Falcon and Spangled Drongo was added to the list. Between the saltworks and Twelve Mile Creek were two Squatter Pigeons on the road. At the saltworks a Zitting Cisticola was heard and a small honeyeater-like bird shot past me, however despite high spirits both birds were not located. A young boy also after the chat claimed a Zitting Cisticola at Eight Mile Creek, so off we went… all cisticolas sighted were Golden-headed. Apart from that, Australian Reed-warbler was seen. Other surprising birds here were Pallid Cuckoo, Buff-banded Rail, Nankeen Night-Heron and Black Falcon. It was then time to meet Nev and Deane joining us at Rockhampton. From there it was to Emu Park, taking the scenic drive up the coast and meeting Edwin near Kinka Beach who recorded Blue-winged Kookaburra and numerous other birds while he waited. We stopped at a wader count site where Gull-billed Tern, Whimbrel and Eastern Curlew were seen. Next was Double Headland Point which provided spectacular views of nearby islands and Rosslyn Bay. New birds here were Sacred Kingfisher and Grey Shrike-thrush. After, it was straight to Byfield to set up camp… the rest of the evening was spent enjoying the Pied Currawongs, Pheasant Coucal and Noisy Friarbirds calling around the campsite. Azure Kingfishers also resided in the adjacent creek. Nerida and Trevor arrived later that evening, and while most went to bed Nev and Deane spotlighted a Squirrel Glider.

Saturday 4 October

Left camp at 0615 for a full day of activities. It was intended that we go to Corbett’s Landing, but upon turning the wrong way I improvised and pretended that I meant to go to Kelly’s Landing… luckily no one questioned about it. The first stop at a creek crossing was a good one with Spectacled Monarch, Little Shrike-thrush, Yellow-faced Honeyeater and Leaden Flycatcher being seen. Various roadside lagoons provided some waterfoul as well as Royal Spoonbill, Great Egret and Brown Quail. Stopping at the northern part of Iwasaki, scoping from the gate produced Brolga, Black-necked Stork, Glossy Ibis and Black-fronted Dotterel. After encountering some unappealing fishermen at Kelly’s Landing, we decided no birds were here and headed back down to an attractive lagoon for morning tea. Here, Bar-breasted Honeyeater was seen in the melaleuca. From there we travelled to Waterpark Creek where we were overwhelmed by the numbers of Rose-crowned Fruit-Doves. And amongst those were Emerald Dove, Topknot Pigeon and Large-billed Scrubwren. Burgers for lunch were enjoyed at the Byfield General Store all the while watching Olive-backed Sunbirds frolicking around the café. Corbett’s Landing produced no new birds so we headed back to camp before heading back to Waterpark Creek for a BBQ dinner, followed by spotlighting. Some people went back to camp while others continued to an area on Corbett’s Landing Road with plenty of hollows. Spotlighting produced a Bullrout in the creek, Eastern Dwarf Tree-frog, an unidentified gecko and a Tawny Frogmouth.

Sunday 5 October

We were to meet Birdlife Capricornia members at 0700. From there, the day commenced along Fishing Creek Road then onto Iwasaki Wetlands. At the viewing tower Rainbow Bee-eaters filled the air and almost every dead perch available. Also at the tower Magpie Geese, Cotton Pygmy-geese, Comb-crested Jacana, Caspian Tern and Whiskered Tern were observed. Also as we drove around the wetlands, Wandering Whistling-Ducks and Radjah Shelduck rested on the jetty. The freshwater and saltwater wetlands were divided by the track and in the mangroves were Mangrove Honeyeater, surprisingly enough! At the northern lagoon in the property, Tawny Grassbird was heard, all three ibis fed together and everyone was delighted by a pair of Brolgas dancing rather close. Then it was off to Sandy Point for lunch. Unfortunately, low tide meant people fishing and driving on the flats so birds here were scarce. New birds were Bar-tailed Godwit and Crested Tern. We visited Boyde’s Plain on the way back and produced Red-kneed Dotterel, Plumed Whistling-Duck and Yellow-billed Spoonbill. The day was concluded at Nursery Lagoon with afternoon tea hosted by Jenny. Back at camp, a lazy afternoon was had while I continued to search hopelessly for a Black Bittern along the creek. Bandicoots foraged around the campground at night and Bush Stone-curlews called from the other side of the creek. Spotlighting saw eels, freshwater turtles and a Wilcox’s Frog.

Monday 6 October

We casually headed off after packing up camp to Kinka Wetlands. Immediately after arriving Pied Oystercatcher was seen on the track and Brush Cuckoo was heard. White-necked Heron was in the freshwater marsh and Pale-headed Rosella inspected a hollow in the distance. We were promised waders by the Capricornia members but only added Red-necked Stint and Marsh Sandpiper… However, we were delighted by a female Red-capped Plover attending to her nest on the gravel track. Also tending to a nest were White-breasted Woodswallows. There were also up to eight Brolgas and a Black-necked Stork here also. A Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo made itself known and were able to get good views. Most people headed home after that and were going to check the saltworks again on the way. Trevor and I didn’t leave the Rockhampton until 1600 and stopped at the saltworks in the late afternoon and stayed for the sunset over the delta. Again, I managed to sight a cisticola but never re-sighted it nor did we see the Yellow Chat. We headed Home.


Brandon Hewitt


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Hervey Bay outing June ’13

A Weekend at Hervey Bay – 8th, 9th and 10th June, 2013.

Birdwatchers from Woodgate: John and Megan, Bundaberg: Jeff, Helen and Brandon, and the Gold Coast: Pamela, all stayed at Point Vernon, at a small Caravan Park just near Gatakers Bay, where our birdwatching activities for the weekend were based.

On Saturday morning we went for a local walk and viewed an Osprey’s nest being attended by 2 birds, quite low in the tree.  From here they were joined by several other birders from Maryborough, Brisbane, Toogoom, Hervey Bay and even Spain (!)  to head off to Mungomery’s Vine Forest Reserve, at Dundowran.  No sightings of BBBQ (plenty of fresh platelets!), but Pamela spotted a pair of Tawny Frogmouths, blending in with the hanging Spanish Moss.  After a good morning here, the group had a couple of hours at Arkarra Lagoons, where we had morning tea, getting great close-up views, of, among other beaut birds, a Grey Goshawk, which was spotted by Brandon. After lunch, we met again at Dolphin Waters, near Burrum Heads.  Here, we were lucky enough to find Beach Stone Curlew, Shining Flycatcher, Tawny Frogmouth and many other interesting birds.  The weather was fine, and a good day was had by all. Eduardo, our Spanish visitor, who had come along to get information for his studies, and a complete birdwatching novice, was completely taken in with this weird hobby, and I think he’s hooked for life.

We met again on Sunday morning, at Garnet’s Lagoon, where John Knight kindly let us in the gate, and led our wonderful day.  A few light showers at the beginning, which soon cleared off.  There, among thousands of great birds, were Double-banded Plover, Brolga, Pink-eared Duck, Freckled Duck (18!) and a lonely Sharp-tailed Sandpiper. On to Matheison’s Hide.  Plenty to look at here – many Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel & Eastern Curlew.

Then, an hour or two at  Woodland Park and then, to finish off the day, John led us right to a young Pacific Gull, on the beach at Urangan. A very photogenic bird, who behaved itself beautifully while being snapped.  It was kept company by Silver Gull, one of which, poor thing, had a fishing hook and line hanging from it’s mouth.

Most folk left to go home that afternoon, but a few stayers (Pamela, from the Gold Coast, Kay, Christine and Nerida went to Beverly Park on Monday morning, to finish off their weekend. We added another half dozen sp. to the list, and viewed a few different sp. of waders, which we didn’t identify.

Pamela had good views of a Noisy Pitta at Mungomeries later in the day.

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Meadowvale Outing Sun 26 May


Fourteen members enjoyed Birdlife Bundaberg’s outing to Meadowvale Nature Park and Burnett Downs on Sunday 26th May 2013.   The day was perfect for birding, with 71 species seen.   M.N.P. looks lush after this year’s flooding rains, and I can’t understand why bird numbers could not be greater in this habitat.  A couple of Fantail Cuckoos were calling.   Small numbers of juvenile Variegated, and Red-backed Fairywrens were seen.   A lone Black-shouldered Kite warmed itself on an exposed branch.  A Spangled Drongo mimicked the call of a White-throated Treecreeper which we saw at a hot-spot along the track.   Burnett Downs proved to be more prolific in bird numbers than M.N.P.   We decided to go there, once we found out that Sharon Gorge was closed, probably from damage to the track during the recent floods.   There’s a large lagoon in B.D., where grebes, ducks and other waterbirds were quite plentiful.   The very well-kept track that led to the Burnett River gave us a large number of birds, giving us in all 71 species.
Australian Brush Turkey, Australasian Darter, Pied Cormorant, Little Black Cormorant, Australasian Grebe, Hardhead,
Pacific Black Duck, Australian Wood Duck, Dusky Moorhen, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Cattle Egret,
Straw-necked Ibis, Australian White Ibis, Comb-crested Jacana, Masked Lapwing, Caspian Tern, Black-shouldered Kite,
Black Kite, Whistling Kite, Brahminy Kite, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Spotted Turtle-Dove, Peaceful Dove, Galah,
Bar-shouldered Dove, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo(H), Rainbow Lorikeet, Fan-tailed Cuckoo,
Scaly-breasted Lorikeet, Pale-headed Rosella, Laughing Kookaburra, Forest Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher,
Rainbow Bee-eater, White-throated Tree-creeper, Variegated Fairywren, Red-backed Fairywren, Striated Pardalote,
White-browed Scrubwren, White-throated Gerygone(H), Fairy Gerygone, Blue-faced Honeyeater, Lewin’s Honeyeater,
Noisy Miner, White-throated Honeyeater, Brown Honeyeater, Dusky Honeyeater, Grey-crowned Babbler,
Eastern Yellow Robin (H), Little Shrike-Thrush (H), Grey Shrike-Thrush, Rufous Whistler, Grey Fantail, Willie Wagtail,
Leaden Flycatcher, Magpie-Lark, Spangled Drongo, Olive-backed Oriole(H), Australasian Figbird, Australasian Pipit,
Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike, White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrike, White-breasted Woodswallow, Australasian Magpie,
Grey Butcherbird, Pied Butcherbird,  Torresian Crow, Welcome Swallow, Fairy Martin.
                                                                                                                            Tina Dotto – Leader.


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Bowra Station Trip Report 2013

Bowra Station Trip Report; 7th-13th of April, 2013

Present: Jack Moorhead, Chris Barnes, Nev Capell, Jann Capell, Kay Humphrey, Nerida Silke, Jane Hall, Brandon Hewitt, Edwin Faint, Pamela De Zilva, Tania Ponniah, Judyann Auld, Deane Lewis, Lee Mason, Trevor Hewitt, Peter Tierney.

Weather: Temperatures throughout the camp ranged from about 10oC at night to just over 30oC during the day. There was no rain throughout our stay, with it being sunny almost the whole trip.

The group generally left camp between 6-6:30am and drove to a certain birding area. We usually returned around 11am, with free time for a few hours. We then went out again at around 3pm and returned on dusk or later. Conditions on the property were very dry, with bird numbers being down on previous years. AWC has recently acquired the property and has drained most artificial water sources, resulting in what some believe a loss of birdlife. There were still large amounts of feral animals on the property with goats, sheep and cattle being seen daily. Spotlighting was generally quiet with low sightings of most species except frogs.

Sunday 7th of April

Most of the group arrived in the late afternoon of the Sunday 7th of April. Birds around the campsite on the bore included; Hoary-headed Grebe, Black-tailed Native-hen, White-headed Stilt, Black-fronted Dotterel and of course the much talked about vagrant Black Swan. The campsite group of Chestnut-crowned Babbler was seen by most along with other more common western species; Spotted Bowerbird (two bowers being built), Splendid Fairy-wren, White-plumed Honeyeater, Yellow-throated Miner, Red-winged Parrot and Brown Treecreeper.

After lunch the group headed along the main road into mulga habitat in search of Bowra specialties. We were not disappointed with sightings of Hall’s Babbler, a species only described in 1964. Parrots were prolific with Bluebonnet, Australian Ringneck, Budgerigar, Cockatiel and Red-rumped Parrots all being seen. Other good birds seen included; Hooded Robin, Red-capped Robin, Little Woodswallow, Southern Whiteface, Yellow Thornbill, Inland Thornbill and Chestnut-rumped Thornbill. On the drive back to camp 4 Chestnut-breasted Quail-thrush ran across the track and were seen feeding by the side of the road by all group members. Unfortunately this species was never seen again despite extensive efforts for those who arrived later. A pair of Brolga flew into the camp at dusk. After a long couple of days travelling we decided for just a small spotlight around the bore. Frogs included; Litoria rubella, Limnodynastes fletcheri, Litoria latopalmata and a possible Water Holding Frog (all frog identifications have not been verified yet).

Monday 8th of April

We were there pre-dawn start this morning to get to the Sawpits at a good time. After this we drove around the property until just past midday. In the afternoon we did similar birding travelling around the property. The best birds for the day where; Little Eagle, White-winged Fairy-wren, Grey-headed Honeyeater, Varied Sittella, Australian Hobby, Red-kneed Dotterel, Mulga Parrot and many others. For spotlighting we drove around the property with sightings limited to a couple of geckos (yet to be identified).


Tuesday 9th of April

This morning was a slightly later start driving around the property once again. We returned for lunch and went out again ending up at dusk at Gumholes north in search of Spotted Nightjars. Throughout the day highlights included; Black-breasted Buzzard, Hall’s Babbler, Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo, Bourke’s Parrot, Horsefield’s Bronze Cuckoo, White-browed Treecreeper, Variegated Fairywren and Ground Cuckoo-shrike. During the middle of the day Peter found a single Australian (Spotted) Crake which unfortunately only stayed for a couple of hours. At the waterhole at dusk no nightjars were sighted but other species included; Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Royal Spoonbill, Red-kneed Dotterel and Nankeen Night-heron. After dinner a few of us went to a bore drain where Chris caught an Eastern Snake-necked Turtle and a Bush Stone-curlew was seen.

Wednesday 10th of April

The group completed the usual routine today with few new birds seen. Much of the day was spent searching in vain for the quail-thrush. While doing this a ground roosting Spotted Nightjar was found . Red-backed Kingfisher and Brown-headed Honeyeater were other good birds seen.

Thursday 11th of April

Today we decided on a change of scenery and headed off to Eulo Bore, about 60km west of Bowra. We left at 5:30am and got to Eulo at a good time. Unfortunately the Bore itself was dry with a small drip being the only water. At dawn we were treated to the sight of a wheeling flock of Budgerigar and a few White-browed Woodswallows. After a quick walk we decided to head 2km east in search of an old sight for Grey Honeyeater. Bourke’s Parrots were seen but nothing too exciting. Returning back to Eulo produced White-browed Treecreeper but few other birds were seen. In the afternoon we went in search of quail-thrush again, but after Nev reported a Black-eared Cuckoo we headed there. Unfortunately we could not relocate the bird.

Friday 12th of April

In the morning we went in search of the cuckoo again and were treated by a flyover of Grey Falcon. Other birding was quiet. In the afternoon we got onto a couple of Wedge-tailed Eagles and 72 Crested Pigeons (everyone else was much more excited about this at bird call than the falcon!). Spotlighting produced a Planigale (unidentified of course).

Saturday 13th of April

Most people had headed off back towards at home by this stage. The remaining few us went out again and were treated to good views of the Black-eared Cuckoo. Everyone then headed home.


Thank you all for coming.


Jack Moorhead

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Paradise Parrot photography

Mike Goebel from the Gayndah Historical Society passed on this account by Mr Cyril Jerrard photographing the Paradise Parrot.

“Whit! Whit!” The piercing but not unmusical notes caught my ear with the interest that for me always attaches to a strange bird call. I drew rein and followed with my eyes the two pretty little long tailed and low flying birds — parrots unmistakably — that after uttering their preliminary whistle of alarm, rose at my approach and flew from the roadside, where they had been feeding, to a tree not far off Their appearance, like their note, was unfamiliar and prompted further scrutiny, so although my inner man was saying, “Bother the birds! It’s dinner time and we’ve miles to go”, I turned my unwilling horse off the road and for half an hour quietly followed the little strangers as they moved from place to place, feeding on the ground or resting in the trees. They manifested no great fear of me, so that I was able to note their principal markings and to observe that one — the male evidently — was exceedingly beautiful, the other —pretty but more modest of garb, and both very graceful in their shape and movements.

The male’s plumage was a combination of delicate grey, black, crimson, scarlet, emerald and blue. In the female the brighter hues were subdued or lacking and protective green predominated. One feature both possessed in common, a shoulder patch — scarlet in the male, brick red in the female — which twinkled with the rapid movements of their wings in flight. I observed these particulars with growing excitement, for I was recalling phrases from a newspaper paragraph dealing with a “lost parrot”. “A long tailed and very pretty parrot….. known to settlers as the ground parrot” was the description which I mentally fitted to the birds before me. The paragraph had been marked in a paper and sent me two or three years before by a friend who knew of my interest in birds, and I had preserved it, more for the sender’s sake than from any hope or likelihood of succeeding where the leading ornithologists had failed. The writer of the paragraph was one of the latter fraternity — the R.A.O.U. State Secretary in fact — who had initiated a hunt for possible survivors of the lost species “Psephotus pulcherrimus” — the ground, ant-hill or Paradise Parrot. Both in the newspapers and in private letters to bird enthusiasts in the country, he lamented the loss of Queensland’s loveliest parrot [which, he stated, had been written off as extinct in the latest bird books] but which he hoped might not be so utterly lost as these authorities assumed. His well directed enquiries set many a bushman to watching the parrot tribe in the hope of achieving the honour of being the first to report the existence of ground parrots in his locality. Among the amateur bird-men thus enlisted was myself and so it came to pass that, when I had noted down all observable details of the little stranger’s appearance, I rode homeward with an appetite for ornithological fame that was even keener than the desire for overdue dinner.

Suspicion became conviction when I turned up the description of “Psephotus pulcherrimus” in the “Birds of Australia” [Le-Souef]. I wrote to Mr. Chisholm immediately of my discovery and received in reply the congratulations of the great man [as an R.A.O.U. Secretary to so humble a bird student as myself] and his advice to follow up my discovery by ascertaining if the pair was breeding in the locality. The latter question was speedily decided, for at my second visit to the spot on December 15th, [four days after my discovery], I had the satisfaction of seeing not only the adult pair, but also five or six young ones with them. The fact that the parents had been alone on December 11th indicated that in the interval, their brood had emerged from a nest somewhere in the vicinity. The young were easily distinguished as such by their plumage, which differed from that of either parent, though it rather resembled that of the female. All were busily feeding on the grass by the roadside. The young, for the most part, fed themselves; only once or twice did I notice the parents feeding them. Their manner of obtaining the grass seeds was both intelligent and pretty. Seizing the stalks at the butt, they bent them down and ran their bills along to the seed-head. Stouter stalks were climbed.

Parents and young continued and remained near the same place for a fortnight longer. My absence from home during this period prevented further study of them, and when I returned at the end of December, they had all disappeared. My next observation was made on March 25th, when the adult pair again graced the spot to which they seemed so attached. The young had no doubt dispersed to seek fresh woods and pastures new in the limitless bush about them. For a month the lonely little pair frequented, with remarkable constancy, the spot where they had first appeared, then as winter approached they again vanished.

I looked forward to their return in the spring and was not disappointed, for on October 16th the sharp little whistle and the twinkling scarlet epaulettes announced the presence of Adam and Eve, the dainty pair, at a new spot a mile from their former habitat. Here, as it proved, they had come to stay for the summer. From this time I watched them closely, determined, if they were breeding, to discover their nest. It happened conveniently that I had occasion, during the succeeding months, to pass the bird’s habitat almost every week, while their predilection for feeding on the roadside further assisted me. Fortunately for them it was a little used road, far remote from tourists, or they would have had little chance of escaping the fate that feathered rarities usually meet at the hands of some wanton pot-shooter or bird trapper.

The predilection just referred to is, I think, worthy of comment. If a characteristic of the species, as it certainly was of my pair, it may have proved a factor in its destruction. It is a sad thing to say, but for birds whose superlative beauty rendered them attractive to men who can only appreciate God’s loveliest creatures when they are confined in a cage, or form part of a stuffed collection, best safety lies in fear, in shunning rather than seeking the ways of men. The Paradise Parrot, so far as I have known it, neglects this precaution, and rather courts notice by feeding and nesting in places [thoroughfares and gardens] that are particularly open to observation by man. It is perhaps going too far to attribute vanity to these beauty-birds; probably they are as unconscious of the admiration they excite as of the danger they incur, and some special quality of the grass food they find in the places referred to really accounts for their being there so frequently. The habitat too contrasts with the caution manifested, as I shall describe later, in their actual nesting operations.

My search for a nest was destined to be a long one and success after all was largely due to the birds’ choice of site. I had examined, again and again, scores of anthill mounds scattered over a fairly extensive scope of country surrounding the spot where I so frequently saw the birds. The nesting season, according to the scanty information available, was early spring. But summer was well on the way before my pair made any preparation for raising a family. My hope that they would do so that season was fast waning when, on December 10th, I noticed, from the road, a tiny round hole in the side of a small anthill about fifty yards off

It was only two inches deep and the little pile of dust beneath it showed that it had been freshly made. My enthusiasm revived but was dampened again when, after the lapse of a few days, it was plain that the excavators were not proceeding with their work. This was hard luck! The birds surely had not taken offence at my inspection, for I had been most careful not to touch their little hole. December, and with it the year 1921, closed and January was half way through before the welcome indication of fresh detritus beneath the hole gave token that work had been resumed. After this, it proceeded unchecked and in less than a fortnight the tunnel had been carried in to the centre of the mound. The birds never worked while I was near their nest, so that I was unable to study their methods. This shyness was unexpected, as at other times they were rather tame. A two hour wait on January 21st only resulted in my seeing one visit of the male bird to the ant mound. He alighted beside the nest hole, but refused to enter. The female was still more cautious. She sat in a neighbouring tree during her mate’s inspection and flew off with him afterwards.

While this nest making was in progress, a second pair of Paradise Parrots [an almost forgotten name that Mr. Chisholm had happily revived] appeared in the locality. I saw the two pairs together once but the second couple, I think, usually frequented a spot rather more than a mile from the nest of the first. This contiguity of habitat rendered it difficult to distinguish the two pairs apart, but the existence of old nests at both places points to the conclusion that two pairs were resident in the area and that both hens bred there. They were probably closely related [parents and children]. This would account for their choice of adjacent breeding sites and nests etc. The fact of the presence of two pairs, at least occasionally and perhaps regularly, in the area where I conducted my observations, should be borne in mind when reading these notes. This point may be reserved till I come to record later observations. All the time I could give the birds was for the present devoted to the nest whose history I hoped to record in notes and photographs.

I devoted much thought to my plan of campaign. The shyness the birds had already manifested in regard to their nest was likely to make my study difficult, and more serious still, might spell failure to their breeding for the year. I resolved to defer the attempt to obtain photos until the young were hatched, for all birds are much less likely to desert a nest at that time, than at a previous stage when it contains only eggs. Moreover, human interference during incubation often results in spoiled eggs. In the case of this nest, of course, progress could only be guessed at. The tiny tunnel made investigation impossible. However, I gave five weeks for egg laying and incubation – the excavation having apparently been finished at the end of January. During the last week in February, the hen was sitting close, as I proved by visiting the nest several times. Each time she flew out after I had waited for 10 or 15 minutes. The male apparently took no share in the incubation. A week later when I put my ear to the hole, I heard a faint chirp within. This I took to indicate the presence of young and decided at once to make my attempt to photograph the parents at the entrance.

Accordingly, on March 7th, I pitched my camp before the little clay fortress and leveled my “gun” at the tiny entrance. This is a sufficiently literal description of my methods. The tent was a small cubical affair about 3 ft. 6 ins in each of its three dimensions and made of old weather-beaten bagging. I had sewn it together at home so that its erection entailed only the cutting of four short stakes, pointing them and driving them into the ground at positions corresponding to the comers of the tent, which was then slipped over them from the top. A small aperture in front formed a loophole through which the photographic “gun” was “aimed” to the correct range [about 6 ft]. These preparations for bloodless “shooting” were made about noon. Then the new ornament to the landscape was left for a couple of hours in order that the parrots might familiarize themselves with it while I adjourned for lunch to a homestead not far away.

When I came back there was still no sign of the nest-holders and I went into hiding with a mixture of hope and dubiety. It was a hot afternoon and my place of confinement was small and ill-ventilated, and in consequence, it t was not long before I was “larding the lean ground” [like Falstaff] with moisture from my person. Ere an hour had passed, however, there came a magical sound that banished all sensations of discomfort and made me hastily draw the shutter of my camera and grasp the release, while simultaneously I peered through the interstices of my shelter.

The vivifying sound was the well-known “qui-vive” note of the male Paradise Parrot. He was in a tree close to me, but I could not see him till, after a few minutes of breathless waiting on my part, he dropped to the fence just behind the nest and, after another challenging note or two, alighted in all his glory on the nest mound itself It was one of the supreme moments of my life. I pressed the release, and at the slight click he hopped back on to the fence. But he was not really alarmed, and I had barely time to change the plate before he was back on the mound. I waited. The female had now come into view on the fence. The male approached the nest hole, just where I wished him to pose, uttered a sweet inviting chirp to his mate and peered into the hole. In answer, as it seemed, to her lord’s reassuring word, the female alighted on the summit of the mound. Oh kind Fortune! I “fired” again, both birds posing for just the instant required. I felt sure I had them clear and sharp, and so it proved when the plate was developed. The only fault the picture had was caused by the shadow of my tent falling across the mound, but fortunately not obscuring either of the birds.

This time the click of the “gun” only made the male sit up and look hard at the loophole in my tent. The female looked very “nervy”, but her mate’s attitude towards the mystery seemed to give her courage. Not daring to attempt plate-changing at that moment, I watched them, thrilled with the beautiful spectacle they presented. The female, suspicious as she was, was plainly under an urgent summons to attend to her duties within the nest and she hesitatingly moved to the entrance and then “ducked” quickly into the dark tunnel, which barely allowed the passage of her slim body. No sooner was she safely inside than her mate flew away, no doubt feeling that all’s well that ends well.

I wanted a photo of the female at the nest-hole before I left that day, so I waited patiently for her to emerge. After some considerable time a sharp whistle announced that the male had returned. He chirped once or twice in a softer tone and in a minute or two his dutiful mate emerged as hurriedly as she had entered and flew off with him. I missed altogether this time, so doggedly resolved to wait till the nest-keeper returned. She did so after a spell but was as disinclined to linger on her doorstep, so that although I attempted a shot, it resulted in a hopelessly blurred image on the negative. This timidity as compared with her mate’s boldness at the nest was rather unexpected, because contrary to rule, a female bird, particularly when she is plainer than her mate, usually shows less fear than he about approaching the nest when men are about it. But as I shall show later, I think there is a special significance in the male Paradise Parrot’s action at the nest.

At sundown I packed up my camera, leaving the ungainly tent in position for future use, and went home feeling as triumphant as a general who has won a campaign. It was indeed gratifying that my ruse had so quickly and completely “taken in” these cunning and wary birds. Here I may pause to remark on the great advantage which the bird student has over the naturalist who essays closely to observe or photograph the habits of wild animals. It is the sense of smell, totally lacking it seems in birds, that makes all the difference. Using this same disreputable-looking bag for cover on other occasions, I have had wild birds of various species posing for me at a yard’s distance without showing the least fear or suspicion, when an old milking cow has approached with every symptom of distrust and apprehension, “nosing” the human presence that was concealed from her sight.

I occupied the tent again on March 24th and 27th, securing several good photos of the male bird and registering several unsuccessful tries for the female. She never quite overcame her suspicion of the camera lens [which of course only filled the loophole when I was in hiding] and the click of the shutter always synchronized with a start on her part that spoiled the picture. I was also noting the birds’ behaviour and coming to the unwelcome conclusion that something had gone wrong within the nest. The first point to make itself clear was that I had antedated the hatching. The birds were not carrying food to the nest, the female alone entered, and her stay inside was always of considerable duration. For instance, on March 11th, two hours after I entered the tent, “Adam” arrived, put his eye to the small doorway and chirped softly once or twice. A faint chirp from the interior answered, and Adam flew off satisfied. Half an hour later he came back and repeated his sweet inviting notes, which this time received their answer in the emergence of Eve from the nest. She had evidently been inside all the time I had been there.

The male, it was clear, took no part in the work of incubation. I never saw him enter the nest, though he almost invariably attended his mate both at her entry and emergence. I believe that this contributes to the safety of his wife and future family in no small degree. His courage in facing the camera I have already noticed, and the listening glance into the nest-hole before it is entered by his mate doubtless aims at the detection of a possible lier-in-wait within – a snake for example, which might have entered during the birds’ absence. Again, his presence when the female is due to emerge after a spell of nest-duty averts a real danger to her. Should a cat or other predaceous animal have marked her entry and be ready to pounce on her as she comes out, the capture would be easy and certain were she to emerge alone. But with admirable caution, she waits for the all-clear signal softly given outside by her faithful spouse. We may be sure that a very different message would be conveyed to her if peril threatened.

I have dwelt at some length on the above pretty episode, the most striking point in connection with the nesting behaviour of the Paradise Parrots that my observations have revealed, because I regard it as a very important factor in nature’s protection of the species and because it presents such an interesting contrast to the behaviour of the brightly coloured male birds generally. Having just remarked on the expressive notes of the male to his mate in the dark nest hollow, I may appropriately follow with some remarks on the various calls or notes of this parrot. Like its appearance and habits, they are very characteristic. Once heard, the sharp, alert little warning note that commences this article is always recognized afterwards. The female utters it as often as the male. The brisk alarm-note by which the birds so often call attention to their presence by a roadside I have described above. Male and female often utter it in quick succession as they take wing; the same brisk note generally apprised me of the arrival of my subjects when I was waiting in concealment at the nest. It then had an added sharpness that was easily translatable into a challenge to the half suspected human skulking foe to show himself I meanly endured the disparagement and mentally thanked the challenger for the timely warning to draw my shutter and grasp the bulb.

In addition to the common call-notes, a real musical performance is produced by the male under the stirring impulses of springtime. I listened to this delightful love-song early in October and admired both the musical excellence and the fine spirit of the little singer. Whilst sprightly and harmonious notes issued from his throat, his long tail vibrated with the intensity of his effort. There was a colour in the song to match the garb of the singer. Gordon! Here is another “bright bird” slandered by your too-famous line.

On March 271h, the fact that things had gone wrong in the nest was plainly apparent in the behaviour of the birds, its owners. Both came to the nest but the female, instead of entering as usual, sat quite dejectedly at the top of the mound for some time, while her husband peered with a bewildered air at once comical and pathetic, into the tunnel, emitting at the same time little questioning chirps. His disappointment and perplexity were unmistakable, while his wife evidently suffered much chagrin in the imputation of maternal incapability. They both left the nest without having entered it, and I waited in vain for their return that day. When I next visited the spot, the nest had been deserted altogether. I waited till April 24th, and then opened the mound. I felt that it was a very important investigation and exercised great care not to disturb the interior arrangements in digging through the outer crust of the anthill. The eggs, five in number, lay undisturbed. Before touching them, I photographed them in situ. Then I made the following notes:-

One of the shells was perforated, apparently by decay, and empty;

The others were “bad”, containing only stinking fluid, with no sign of embryos; One or two I broke;

The others I sent to Mr. Chisholm.

The reason why the clutch had failed to hatch was not apparent. Previous to this investigation, I had felt that my operations might possibly have interfered with the later stages of incubation, but the condition of the eggs as just noted seemed to exculpate me. Incubation, if it had started at all, should have been well forward when I fixed my tent at the nest. Moreover, the birds showed so little fear from the start that the eggs could hardly have been left long enough to enough to get cold. The hen may have been off them for a few hours in the middle of the day on March 7th, but the mound was exposed to a hot sun and the interior must have been as warm as an incubator. No other explanation of the failure suggests itself to me except that of infertility in the eggs, and an antecedent probability for this, to my mind, exists in the close inbreeding which necessity forces upon the survivors of an almost extinct species. After being decimated by muses unknown, this beautiful species, it seems, is being forcibly wiped out by the operation of one of nature’s remorseless laws of destruction.

Considerable mystery attaches to the disappearance of this once common parrot from the landscapes that it once so adorned. Old bushmen who, in their youth, knew the lovely little denizens of the “anthills”, shake their heads when invited to account for its absence now. One doubtfully mentions foxes, another “goannas” and another wild cats, but though each of these suggestions has some feasibility, neither separately nor together do they constitute a satisfactory explanation.

The one undisguisable fact, however, is that the advent of the white man has spelled destruction to one of the loveliest of the native birds of this country. Directly by our avarice and thoughtlessness, and indirectly by our disturbance of the balance so nicely preserved by nature, we are undoubtedly accountable for the tragedy of this bird. Its superlative beauty, combined with a trustful disposition and the accessibility of the nest, rendered it an eagerly sought and easily obtained prize to collectors. It became famous in foreign aviaries at the time it was being depleted in its native home. Still it would doubtless have survived in the wilder tracts of bush but for the change that was gradually taking place everywhere in the wake of man’s settlement. Foxes and European cats, deadly foes to ground birds, were increasing faster than nature could arm their prey with the instinct to defeat these new foes. The predatory lizard [goannas], inveterate nest robbers, always were increasing too, because the black man, whose “meat” they had been, had either vanished or was subsisting on the white man’s diet. The most fatal change of all for the grass seed eating Paradise Parrot, was that the more nutritious of the native cereals, like the Oat or Kangaroo grasses, were dying out under overstocking by sheep and cattle. What still remained were not allowed to produce their seed. Droughts accentuated their food scarcity to the point of starvation and in particular, it has been definitely recorded that the 1902 drought absolutely wiped the “ground parrot” out in some districts.

When all the above factors are taken into account, it must be admitted that the extermination of Psephotus pulcherrimus does not provide a very difficult problem. It is a relief to turn to the brighter consideration that, with all their handicaps, my birds have been able to survive from year to year, and that failure has not always attended their nesting attempts to breed. Though I have not found a second nest nor personally seen young birds since the occasions mentioned above, I believe that one or two broods have been reared since by one or other of the two pairs in the locality. During March and April 1923, I, and others, frequently saw a pair close to an old nest site. Then, near this nest early in May, nine birds [described by the observer as all females except one] were seen feeding on a millet field from which hay had just been harvested. Most of the supposed females were probably young in their immature plumage and the presence of the whole family in the seed-strewn field is an interesting circumstance, showing that they are not slow to avail themselves of a new food supply provided by man.

A peculiarity of the nesting habits I have noted during my study of Psephotus pulcherrimus is worth recording. They sometimes commence to excavate a nest, then leave it after tunnelling a few inches. I have already referred to the delay that occurred at this stage in the case of the nest I photographed. The same year [1922] in October, my hopes were raised as a rather curious illustration of the absence of reasoning power in birds commonly described as “intelligent”, emerged in the course of my observations. In October 1922 I noticed that the parrots were commencing to excavate a nest hole in a large anthill that had contained an old nest that I had previously opened up. In doing so, I had broken away a large part of one side of the mound and completely exposed the interior. It was thus an impossible site for a second nest. The birds, however, made the strange mistake of starting to tunnel on the uninjured side of the mound and worked to a depth of three inches before abandoning it. It was noticeable, however, that they [apparently] perceived their foolish mistake a little later and stopped before actually carrying their tunnel to the point where it would have mocked them by meeting the gaping breach. In another old nest mound that I opened, there were two tunnels a few inches apart, which led to one interior cavity. Whether this indicated that the nest had been used twice or whether the birds sometimes have a fancy to have two doors to their home, I am unable to decide.

At the beginning of the present year [ 1924] my hope of adding to my knowledge of the nesting habits of these deeply interesting birds revived strongly, for on January 16th, after many a fruitless hunt, I discovered a freshly excavated, but still shallow hole, which was unmistakably the work of the Paradise Parrots that had been frequenting the spot for some -lime. A few days afterwards and before my next visit, a hail storm of unusual severity passed across the place, and as he nest hole made no further progress, and I and others saw the male bird alone several times afterwards, we feared hat his little mate – inseparable from him before – had fallen a victim to the violence of the hail. Happily the reappearance of the lady with her lord on May 23rd proved either that the supposed tragedy had not occurred or, if it  had, that the widower had taken to himself a second wife. In any case, nothing came of the hoped for nest. My hopes were disappointed, for the nest was not proceeded with and the full history of a successful nesting attempt by Psephotus pulcherrimus still remains to be written.

This is the first winter the birds have remained. The Paradise Parrots have not, as in previous winters, left their breeding ground in May. The rule that their summer habitat knew them not between the end of April and beginning of, September has hitherto been invariable, but this year they have been seen in June and July and were seen together on July 8th. It may be more than a coincidence that their stay synchronizes with the non-departure of several other winter migrants, e.g. the cuckoo and the white-throated warbler. In both cases, some abnormality in the season may be accountable.

A short description of the natural features of the habitat may conclude this record. It is a ridgy area of granitic formation. The timber is open forest [mainly ironbark] with ring barked areas. The ground is stony or sandy and provides suitable material for the labours of mound building termites, whose nests [white or red according to the colour of the soil] plentifully dot the landscape. The mounds chosen by the birds to nest in seem always to be old ones deserted by their builders, and may be either white or red in colour. The grasses are the varieties usually found on such country – spear and wire grasses being much in evidence. There is a fair admixture of wild Oat or Kangaroo grass and a little of the Burnett Blue grass with Couch here and there. There is no herbage of value. The limits within which the birds have been seen by me or any of my informants are roughly a mile and a half by a mile. Within this area, I have found one nest in use, three or four old, and one or two unfinished nests.


I have called this record a postscript, but the title is apt only if the little community, whose history for four years I have imperfectly but faithfully recorded in the foregoing notes, are destined to follow their once numerous race into extinction – then a postscript. But why should not a new history be made for them? Is there no escape from such a melancholy close to the history of our most beautiful bird? Why should not a new history of Psephotus pulcherrimus someday be written – a history that shall commence with the discovery of these survivors and relate that Australians have atoned for their former neglect by giving the birds a protection that is effective, negatively, by treating them and their nests inviolable, and positively, by placing them in proper sanctuaries secure from natural enemies and most importantly perhaps, providing for the mating of unrelated parents. Then it may be that their name of Paradise, originally given in allusion to their beauty – and well may be such birds have dwelt  in that ancient garden of delight – shall attain a new significance. For, like the inhabitants of that happy garden, they may go forth to re-populate from the seclusion of their present refuge to replenish and adorn the spaces they so love.



The foregoing article on the Paradise Parrot was prepared in draft form by the late Cyril H.H. Jenard in 1924, but as far is can be ascertained, was never forwarded to any “authority”.

The draft came into the possession of a nephew, Graham Jerrard, in 1982, and because of the level of interest in this species the draft has been reproduced as faithfully as the reading of the handwriting will allow.

First Discovery: 11-DEC-1920

Seen frequently until:Mid APR-1921 [then disappeared for winter]

Next sighting:16-OCT-1921

Noticed nest started: 10 December 1921

Birds photographed at the nest March 1922

Opened nest 24th April 1922

Birds frequently seen March & April 1923

Places birds seen:  1) On the road near gate “Manar” Often seen here.

2) Old sheep station in “Boynedale”

3) On the road in “Manar” about ¾ mile on Boondooma of gate in 1. Above

4) Lower road crossing of W.A. gully

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Wattles around Bundaberg

This gallery contains 14 photos.

In the forests around Bundaberg there are many species of wattle. Here are just a few.

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