The Town Common in the Dry Season

lagoon, reed bed, mountain
Looking from the Pandanus viewing point towards Many Peaks Range

The Town Common Conservation Park is very close to Townsville and I try to get down there every few months (some previous visits are documented here). It is renowned, nationally and even internationally, for the bird life it attracts in the dry season so I seized an opportunity for an early-morning visit on Friday. It only took me half an hour to get to the Freshwater Lagoon bird hide and the morning was still too dim for successful photography when I arrived, not that that stopped me from trying, but it soon brightened up. The lagoon and reed-beds in front of the hide were thronged with birds, mostly Magpie Geese but some individuals of other species, and the air was filled with their continual gentle honking.

After a while I walked from the hide along the track (400 metres or so) to the Jacana hide and a little further into a drier area of the Common. By the time I had driven back out of the park, via short stops at the Pandanus and Payet’s Tower viewing points, I had been there three hours. I might have stayed even longer if I hadn’t run out of coffee.

In that time I had photographed two species of duck, three species of egret, stilts, two species of spoonbill, ibis, pelican, Little Pied Cormorant, Darter, Rainbow Bee-eater, Peaceful Doves, Sunbird (I think) and Koel (perhaps) and seen or heard several more. Oh, and thousands of Magpie Geese, not just the small group in the lagoon shown above. Thumbnails below link to larger images, all with scientific names and some with further description, on my Flickr photostream.

Magpie Geese 5585

Magpie Geese and others 5597

Assorted waders 5525

Royal Spoonbill 5522   
Hardhead 5517

Little Egret 5590

Eastern Great Egret 5533

Little Pied Cormorant 5482 Tree with Magpie Geese 5466

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