I started off the weekend by heading to Woorim on Bribie Island Saturday morning to see if any Fluttering Shearwaters were present. They can often be viewed from here during the winter months but none were sighted during the time I was there. Common birds for the site were recorded including Pied Cormorant, Crested and Caspian Terns, Silver Gull and a couple of Australasian Gannets. The Gannets are also regular winter visitors to our area. While there, I was entertained by a pod of about 10-12 Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins which are regularly recorded from here (Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins are also recorded from here but I didn’t see any this morning).
Leaving here I headed to Buckleys Hole Conservation Park on the south-west coast of Bribie. Among a couple of highlights here was a single Beach Stone-curlew which was nice to see as I haven’t seen one at this site for a while although I am sure they are usually present, maybe further along the beach or sheltering in the coastal scrub or mangal. There is a pair that is regularly observed at the Kakadu Beach wader roost a little further up the west coast at Banksia Beach. Flying over was a flock of eight Musk Lorikeets. This species has been reported from various places in Brisbane over the last few weeks. They are irregular visitors to the coast around Brisbane being more often recorded around the Great Dividing Range and slopes in South-east Qld. In some years large numbers turn up and stay for quite a while. A Black-backed Bittern was heard calling while I was in the hide – presumably a female by the call. A non-avian highlight was a small school of Longtail Tuna boiling briefly just off the beach.
Moving on from Bribie, Sheep Station Creek Conservation Park was the next stop. Nothing out of the ordinary here but always an enjoyable visit. Noisy Miner was recorded nest building, a single Lace Monitor was out and about and good views were had of one of the dark phase White-bellied Cuckoo Shrikes which are regular here (there are often a couple present).
An afternoon visit was made to Wallaroo Circuit, North Lakes. The waterhole here has had a relatively co-operative pair of Black-backed Bitterns since at least March. Today when I pulled up, the male showed well briefly. Also of note were a group of five Yellow-rumped Thornbills, one of which was collecting nest material and taking it to a small planted Hoop Pine. Although generally common throughout most of their range in suitable habitat, they are fairly limited around the north side of Brisbane. I have observed them at Bald Hills and Lawnton areas, and there were old reports from Gold Scrub Lane, Samsonvale (pers.comm. T Tarrant). Also nice to see this time of year was a Spotless Crake which aren’t as showy now as they are over the summer months.
Sunday morning started with another visit to Sheep Station Creek Conservation Park. A Black-striped Wallaby posing briefly on the trail was a nice start to the morning as this species is more often heard or glimpsed through the undergrowth as they move away at speed. Other interesting sightings included Black-chinned Honeyeater giving full renditions of its song which hopefully means they are close to nesting, Noisy Miner nest building and nice views of Crested Shrike-tit.
After a pleasant couple of hours, I headed out to Winya Road dams near the Kilcoy abbatoir. Nothing out of the ordinary here but it was nice to see a few species of butterflies about on a winters day including Monarch, Lesser Wanderer, Blue Tiger and Meadow Argus.