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”

Rowes Bay, Town Common and the Palm Islands from Castle Hill

Rowes Bay
Rowes Bay – the view from Castle Hill through the gap between Cape Pallarenda and the West Point of Magnetic Island

When I visited Castle Hill for photos of the Cleveland Bay hinterland (previous post) I naturally walked around the other peak for views to the North and North-west. Continue reading “Rowes Bay, Town Common and the Palm Islands from Castle Hill”

Cromarty Wetlands

view across lake
Cromarty Wetlands, with black duck, pelicans and others

The last thing I did before heading for Cape Hillsborough at the end of September was to join Wildlife Queensland members on their guided tour of Wongaloo, a section of the world-famous (among bird-lovers and conservationists, at least) Cromarty Wetlands.

The wetlands lie between Mount Elliot, the Haughton River and the coast, and have an average elevation (according to Mark Stoneman, our guide) of about half a metre. They are a haven for birds and other wildlife, especially in the dry season … but there’s a good write-up of the excursion on the WQ blog (here, under the very appropriate heading “Wetland Wonders”) so there’s no need for me say more.

cattle and birds
Cattle Egrets flying over weed-control cattle