Brolgas on the Town Common

Brolga amongst reeds
Brolga, Grus rubicunda, on Townsville’s Town Common

I went down to the Town Common yesterday, taking advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve been having lately – sunny, with a top of around 24C after an overnight low of 10C.

The Common, a large area of wetlands on the edge of the city, is well known among bird observers (worldwide, I understand) for the large numbers of waterbirds it attracts during our Dry season. There were certainly plenty to see yesterday, and will probably be many more in a month or so, but the highlight of my morning was seeing the brolgas, perhaps ten or fifteen of them in two or three small groups.

Brolga feeding in the swamp
Feeding in the swamp

The Common comprises a variety of habitats – freshwater lagoons, salt and fresh water swamps, salt pans and mud flats and forested areas dominated by mangroves, paperbarks and pandanus. Most of it is flooded at the peak of the Wet. It gradually drains and dries out from April onwards but it still wetter than most of the hinterland. It is managed as a Conservation Park and is therefore well equipped with access roads, walking tracks and bird observing hides.

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