This was the first Follow That Birdtour to the Wide Bay area of Queensland. It is an area often overlooked but rich in birdlife. Twelve keen birders plus leader JaneneLuff and local guide Trevor Quested participated.
Forest Kingfisher by Trevor Quested
By 9.40am we had our group from Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide on the coach and ready to go birding. Our first stop was Osprey Park not far from the Fraser Coast airport at Hervey Bay. Soon we were all seeing good birds in the trees around the park. For many the Fairy Gerygone and
Mangrove Honeyeater were lifers.
We next went to Urangan pier and the walk along it produced some good sightings but the highlight had to be a pair of Osprey that zoomed over our heads and landed on the pier light pole in front of us. We had lunch in the park and went to Arkarra Gardens for a walk around the ponds. This took ages, as we had to stop for additional birds continuously. One highlight for me was seeing an Australian Reed Warbler as they are uncommon in the district. Here we also saw our first Scarlet Honeyeater for the trip. Our last stop of the day was Mungomery Vine Forest. This is a tiny remnant of the forests that formed much of Hervey Bay. Little Shrike Thrush and a Varied Triller were pleasing sightings.
Heavy rain ruined our day unfortunately. We drove to Inskip Point and began to search for the Black-breasted Buttonquail. We saw lots of saucer shaped depressions but alas no bird. We did see the
Beach Thick Knee along the beach. In the channel looking across to Fraser Island we saw a flock of White-fronted Terns feeding on baitfish. Much larger fish leapt out to our delight.
We retreated to the shops at Rainbow Beach to be entertained by Spangled Drongos on the wires and Brush Turkeys running about the picnic area. We then drove to Bymein Picnic area in Cooloola NP. Once again heavy rain accompanied our walk along the Freshwater Lake track through superb tall rainforest. Lastly we headed for Seary's Creek boardwalk on the road out of Rainbow Beach. Best bird here was a male Rose Robin a new bird for some. Also here were White-cheeked Honeyeaters.
More heavy rain so we attempted to go inland. Firstly our driver took us to Petrie Park, Tiaro, then to an old wooden railway bridge. Next we headed for lunch at the picnic tables at Mt Walsh National Park. After lunch we had a short walk. Not many birds again but good views of Rainbow Bee-eaters and White-throated Honeyeaters.
We next visited the historic Chowey Bridge near Biggenden.
Coming back we attempted to enter Sandy Creek SF but the wet roads had us turning back.
Rainbow Bee-eater by David Simpson
We headed north again towards Bundaberg. The rain eased a little and south of Childers we stopped at a large farm dam. We saw
Comb-crested Jacanas, Cotton Pygmy Geese, Zebra Finch and Double-barred Finches from the corridor of the cane field. Our next birding spot wasBaldwin Swamp in the centre of Bundaberg.
We hadn't walked far when we came upon a pair of Forest Kingfishers and several egrets and spoonbills. Our journey through the city centre picked up a Peregrine Falcon on the ledge of the tallest building. Lunch was in the River Cruz café beside the Burnett River in the heart of Bundaberg. We all had good views of the resident Collared Kingfisher and more Mangrove Honeyeaters. Our tour continued to the Bundaberg Port. In Strathdee Rd we had very cooperative Red-backed Fairywren and several
Pale-headed Rosellas and some had good views of the Tawny Grassbirdand Golden-headed Cisticolas.
At the Port we saw a Sacred Kingfisher and some immature Australian Gannets, Reef Egret, and more cormorants and terns.
At Burnett Heads we stopped at the Hermann Rd wetland to see many waterfowl. We left at 4pm and coming through town we saw a small flock of Cockatiels fly overhead and many Plumed Whistling Ducks in a field.
Birdwatching continued with the sighting of Brolgas from the bus on the way to the airport on the Sunday.
We saw 132 species in the four days collectively and here is the list. All but Jack Shapiro saw new species but Jack enjoyed the birds he saw.
Beach Stone-curlew by Trevor Quested
Little Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Pacific Black Duck
White-throated Gerygone by Trevor Quested
Noisy MinerBrush Wattlebird
By Trevor Quested guiding for FTB