Birding on the Town Common

On Saturday I was lucky enough to visit the Town Common with a small group which included two keen, knowledgeable birders. Thanks to them, we ended up with a list of more than 50 species from Red-backed Wrens and Spice Finches (10 cm) to Jabirus and Brolgas  (130 cm). We were happy that we spotted so many in just a couple of hours but I should note, just for context, that about 280 have been recorded on the Common.

We drove in past the golf club, visiting Payet’s Tower and the two nominated viewing points on the way to Freshwater bird hide, with a few unscheduled stops as one or another of us spotted birds from the vehicle. There is still a fair bit of open water on the Common and we saw substantial numbers of Magpie Geese, including about 150 in a single flock near the Pandanus viewing point. We briefly visited the Pallarenda Conservation Park, too, adding the Orange-footed Scrub Fowl, Scrub Turkey and others to our list.

Here are some of my photographs from the morning.

Crimson Finch
Crimson Finch, Neochmia phaeton, female

Continue reading “Birding on the Town Common”

Birds in the ‘burbs – Mundingburra and Kelso

A few years ago I began compiling a list of all the birds I have seen at home in Mundingburra, posting it to the blog as a separate page and keeping it up to date as I saw new species. Ian Walters has been maintaining a similar list in Kelso, about three kilometres from the river and four from the Ross Dam wall, a long way up-river from me and a little further from the river, and I thought it would be interesting to compare observations.

In the table below I have listed each family group in the sequence [only Mundingburra] – [both] – [only Kelso]. If you want to see photos, links in the species column will take you to my photos (mostly here on the blog) but you will need to visit Ian’s page at speciesorchids.com/LocalFriends to see his.

What does the comparison show us?

A very quick look reveals that there are more species from Kelso than from Mundingburra – about 75:50 – but that we do have a lot in common.

Ian has far more finches and parrots than I have, as we might have expected because he is closer to open grassland (food source for both families) and has more mature tress which provide nesting hollows for the parrots. He also has more water-birds, partly because he is relatively close to the dam but also because he has a small creek running (after rain, at least) across the back of his property. Continue reading “Birds in the ‘burbs – Mundingburra and Kelso”

Tawny Frogmouth

A couple of Tawny Frogmouths (Podargus strigoides) have been spending their days resting in the backyard banana patch of a friend of a friend in Kelso, and we were invited to see them and take photos last weekend. Life here has been busier than usual and it has taken me nearly a week to upload the results but here they are.

Tawny Frogmouth
Our first sight of each other
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Festival 2018 Townsville

Festival 2018 seemed to come to us from nowhere and in retrospect we’re still not sure whether that was because we weren’t paying attention or because it was poorly publicised. In any case, it was a week of concerts, dance performances and public art in Queen’s Gardens and Strand Park, complementing the Townsville segment of the Commonwealth Games.

The concerts – some free, some not; some in the Spiegeltent, some in the open air – included The Idea of North (last here in 2006), the Grigoryan brothers, Archie Roach, local youth dance and circus groups, Townsville Guitar Orchestra and many more.

The Queens Gardens site was decorated with hundreds of hanging stars, very pretty at night, but the street art at Strand Park made better photos:

street art festival 2018 townsville Continue reading “Festival 2018 Townsville”

Wildlife Carers’ open day

North Queensland Wildlife Care Inc. are having an Open Day in Aitkenvale on Saturday 29 September.

  • Meet their dedicated and experienced carers
  • Find out more about our local native wildlife
  • Learn first aid for injured wildlife
  • Learn about what it takes to care for injured or orphaned wildlife through to release

All proceeds for the day go towards feeding and rehabilitating wildlife.

I don’t know the group, although I suspect some of its members have ended up caring for injured animals we have rescued from time to time, but this sounds like an interesting and worthwhile event. For more information, visit their website http://www.nqwildlife.org.au/ or download a flyer (pdf).