Wednesday, 1 July 2020


Wedge tailed Eagle

My Covid school term finally finished and with that end of term freedom a short-ish Road Trip beckoned.

Everyone loves a road trip and when a road trip is mixed with birds the result is desirable indeed.

So accompanied by my wife, Megan, our daughter, Millie, our daughter’s friend, Chloe, my partner, Steve, my partner’s partner, Winnie, we decided on a little journey to Dalby and onto to the South Burnett region with the Bunya Mountains in between.

Millie and Megan - not birds in the strictest sense but important to me...

The purpose of the trip, certainly for Steve and I, was to do some preparation for a Brisbane Birding Break – a short five day birding trip which we plan to run for clients next year during the week of 10 May, 2021 - Friday 14 May. The trip has been named, in keeping with the alliteration established in Brisbane Birding Breaks, the Bunya and Beyond Birding Break.

This trip travels from Brisbane to Dalby via some birding around Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley. Some Dalby birding, especially in the Lake Broadwater Area and then the Bunya Mountains for a two night stay focussing on the rainforest species there and the final day near Kingaroy.

Travelling from our Sunshine Coast and Morayfield base respectively Steve and I and our respective gang met in Kilcoy; not far from a traditionally wounded Yowie statue and a large flock of Corellas. After a coffee we were off; we travelled south west for a quick look around the Lockyer. Atkinson Dam, despite or perhaps because of lower water levels had heaps of birds; Black necked Stork, Glossy Ibis, three terns, Whiskered, Australian [aka Gull billed] and Caspian among them.

Gatton campus, specifically the wetlands, were sadly only a very slight shadow of what they were once. Much of the wetland has been smothered with weeds and visibility of the remaining birds is poor. Good numbers of Magpie Geese and Plumed Whistling Ducks but the hoped for Pink eared Ducks, once common, were invisible. The birding experience there is further diminished by the smell from a piggery, perched above the wetlands. It is easy to muse that the extra nutrients supplied by this source may have something to do with the explosion of weeds. Does anyone know what the plans are for this once special area?

Cockatiels were in good numbers and we encountered a roosting flock of some fifty birds.
Everybody's fave - Cockatiels

Dalby is a polite little town supporting the western downs and the communities there. Cotton, among a range of other crops, dominate the landscape but here and there small patches of forest remain and perhaps the pick of them is Lake Broadwater – 20 or so kilometres away from Dalby.

Western Gerygone

The birding around the lake within a variety of landscapes is really enjoyable; especially for the Brisbane or Sunshine Coast birder as there are a range of species that are impossible or uncommon further east. Jacky Winters, Weebills, Yellow-rumped, Yellow and Inland Thornbills plus Grey Fantails and a lovely Western Gerygone were among the smaller passerines. Honeyeaters included Brown, White plumed, Black chinned, Brown headed, Singing, Yellow faced, Blue faced, Spiny cheeked and Striped. Painted Button quails were seen as well. Red winged Parrots, Cockatiels, Pale headed Rosellas were there in addition to Galahs, Sulphur crested Cockatoos and abundant Little Corellas. One of Australia’s favourite birds – the Superb Blue Wren is common in this area.

Striped Honeyeater
Yellow rumped Thornbill
Yellow Thornbill
Grey crowned Babbler - common in the picnic area at Lake Broadwater

On the outskirts of Dalby we saw a pair of Greater Blue Bonnets. Sadly, they flew away towards the sunset before we had a chance to photograph them.
Dalby sunset

Back in town both Noisy and Yellow throated Miners hold territories in different areas.

Yellow throated Miner - in the Dalby suburbs

Bunya Mountains is a beautiful place; an upland island of rainforest punctuated by small grassland patches, caused by traditional indigenous burning over thousands of years, known as balds. Part of the area’s beauty are the distant views possible onto the flats of the plains that surround the mountains. Part of the appeal for the visitor is the cooling elevation that allows the setting of a night-time fire – a pleasure only rarely enjoyed in Brisbane houses further east. The appeal for the birder / naturalist is a range of rainforest bird species, especially the Bowerbirds, a Riflebird, Green Catbird which are all relatively easy to be seen here.

Bunya Fungi

Satin Bowerbird at his bower in the Bunya Mountains rainforest

Red necked Wallabies are abundant in the Bunyas; indeed it is impossible for visitors to fail to mention them. Less common but easy enough to see if you know where to look is the Black striped Wallabies.

Black striped Wallaby
Around Kingaroy we added another macropod specie to our list; Whiptail Wallaby. The main site around Kingaroy that we aimed for was Gordonbrook Dam. The Dam's water level was low and the birding was a little disappointing based on earlier visits. Some great birds on the way in though. Chief among them a good group of four Australian Bustards; birds that are always great to see. Zebra Finches were also seen with a small flock of Double barred Finches.

Australian Bustard - seen near Kingaroy
Zebra Finch female - again near Kingaroy

All in all a very good four days birding and touring.


Come birding with us!

  1. Australian Bustard          
  2. Magpie Goose  
  3. Black Swan        
  4. Cotton Pygmy-Goose    
  5. Maned Duck      
  6. Pacific Black Duck            
  7. Grey Teal            
  8. Hardhead           
  9. Australian Brushturkey 
  10. Australasian Grebe        
  11. Great Crested Grebe     
  12. Spotted Dove   
  13. Brown Cuckoo-Dove      
  14. Crested Pigeon
  15. Wonga Pigeon  
  16. Peaceful Dove  
  17. Bar-shouldered Dove    
  18. Pheasant Coucal              
  19. Shining Bronze-Cuckoo
  20. Dusky Moorhen               
  21. Eurasian Coot   
  22. Australasian Swamphen               
  23. Pied Stilt              
  24. Masked Lapwing             
  25. Black-fronted Dotterel  
  26. Painted Buttonquail       
  27. Gull-billed Tern (Australian)        
  28. Caspian Tern     
  29. Whiskered Tern               
  30. Black-necked Stork         
  31. Australasian Darter        
  32. Little Pied Cormorant    
  33. Great Cormorant             
  34. Little Black Cormorant  
  35. Australian Pelican           
  36. Pacific Heron    
  37. Great Egret        
  38. Intermediate Egret (Plumed)     
  39. White-faced Heron        
  40. Little Egret (Australasian)            
  41. Cattle Egret       
  42. Glossy Ibis          
  43. Australian White Ibis     
  44. Straw-necked Ibis           
  45. Royal Spoonbill
  46. Yellow-billed Spoonbill  
  47. Black-shouldered Kite   
  48. Wedge-tailed Eagle        
  49. Black Kite           
  50. Whistling Kite   
  51. White-bellied Sea-Eagle
  52. Laughing Kookaburra    
  53. Rainbow Bee-eater        
  54. Australian Kestrel           
  55. Brown Falcon    
  56. Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo     
  57. Galah   
  58. Little Corella      
  59. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo           
  60. Cockatiel             
  61. Australian King-Parrot   
  62. Red-winged Parrot         
  63. Crimson Rosella
  64. Pale-headed Rosella      
  65. Greater Bluebonnet      
  66. Red-rumped Parrot        
  67. Rainbow Lorikeet            
  68. Scaly-breasted Lorikeet
  69. Green Catbird   
  70. Regent Bowerbird          
  71. Satin Bowerbird               
  72. White-throated Treecreeper     
  73. Superb Fairywren           
  74. Red-backed Fairywren  
  75. Lewin's Honeyeater       
  76. Yellow-faced Honeyeater            
  77. Noisy Miner       
  78. Yellow-throated Miner 
  79. Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater        
  80. Singing Honeyeater       
  81. White-plumed Honeyeater         
  82. Scarlet Myzomela           
  83. Brown Honeyeater         
  84. Blue-faced Honeyeater
  85. White-throated Honeyeater      
  86. Brown-headed Honeyeater        
  87. Black-chinned Honeyeater          
  88. Striped Honeyeater       
  89. Little Friarbird   
  90. Spotted Pardalote          
  91. Striated Pardalote          
  92. White-browed Scrubwren          
  93. Large-billed Scrubwren 
  94. Brown Thornbill
  95. Inland Thornbill
  96. Yellow-rumped Thornbill             
  97. Yellow Thornbill               
  98. Weebill
  99. White-throated Gerygone          
  100. Brown Gerygone             
  101. Western Gerygone        
  102. Grey-crowned Babbler 
  103. Ground Cuckooshrike   
  104. Black-faced Cuckooshrike            
  105. Eastern Whipbird            
  106. Grey Shrikethrush          
  107. Little Shrikethrush          
  108. Golden Whistler              
  109. Rufous Whistler               
  110. Australasian Figbird        
  111. Grey Butcherbird            
  112. Pied Butcherbird             
  113. Australian Magpie          
  114. Pied Currawong               
  115. Willie-wagtail    
  116. Grey Fantail       
  117. Spangled Drongo             
  118. Paradise Riflebird            
  119. Magpie-lark       
  120. Restless Flycatcher         
  121. White-winged Chough  
  122. Apostlebird       
  123. Torresian Crow
  124. Jacky-winter     
  125. Eastern Yellow Robin     
  126. Golden-headed Cisticola              
  127. Australian Reed Warbler              
  128. Tawny Grassbird              
  129. Welcome Swallow          
  130. Tree Martin       
  131. Silvereye            
  132. European Starling            
  133. Common Myna
  134. Mistletoebird   
  135. Red-browed Firetail       
  136. Zebra Finch        
  137. Double-barred Finch      

Eurasian Hare
Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Whiptail Wallaby
Red necked Wallaby
Black striped Wallaby

1 comment:

  1. Wow! So many birds I've either not seen or not heard of. Thanks. I love seeing new (to me) species.