Southern Queensland BirdingAuthor: Carl from Pahrump (More Trip Reviews by Carl from Pahrump)
Date of Trip: December 2006
Our hosts were John and Mary from England. They have transformed it from a bare field into a literal Garden of Eden with flowers and fruit trees everywhere.
In the late afternoon we walked around the property. Our best bird was a pair of Wonga Pigeons walking over to the birdbath to get a drink.
On Dec 6 we were awakened by Sulphur-crested Cockatoos squawking overhead. During Br four Wallabies hopped around the cottage.
After Br we drove up the steep road to Mt Glorious NP (27.333S 152.774E ) on the Dividing Range. We hiked thru dark Rainforest all morning. We spotted ground birds digging in the leaf litter including an uncommon Spotted Quail-thrush, several Logrunners, and heaps of Eastern Whipbirds.
About an hour into the hike we had to backtrack for a bathroom break. It worked out good since we got our best sighting of a Paradise Riflebird on the way back.
As we started over on the hike we saw stacks of Gray and Rufous Fantails trying to scare out bugs by flashing their brilliant tail feathers. We heard numerous bomb drops by the Sotty Owl. I thought I heard the double "Whoo-Whoo" of a Powerful Owl, but were not sure.
We could see three Australian King Parrots chasing each other thru trees searching for red berries all morning. Green Catbirds seemed to follow us everywhere. There were Crimson Lorikeets, Black-faced Monarchs, and Topknot Pigeons as well.
We walked down to Green Falls. They obviously went to great expense to build the boardwalk to the falls, but there was no water today. We only saw pools with water beetles. There were some spectacular butterflies today. We walked 5 Km in 6 hours. The Rainforest is always amazing - tall trees, huge fallen trees, Strangler Figs where trees used to be, fruit trees, and vines twining around anything they can grasp. What Rainforests don't have is flowers.
On Dec 7 we left at 8:30am to exchange the rental car. We had planned to go to Barbie Island after returning the car, but it started sprinkling, so we drove back to the cottage.
We had sandwiches at the cottage for Lunch with Lamington Bars for dessert. Lamingtons are white cake coated on all sides with chocolate and sprinkled with coconut flakes. Lamington cakes originated in Toowoomba when the Gov.'s cook was unable to make his favorite snowball cake for teatime and improvised. When the guest were so delighted with the cake and asked what it was called, the cook blurted out Lamington Cake, and now it's an Aussie tradition.
We spent the afternoon birdwatching from the veranda. We discovered that a Lewin's Honeyeater had its nest in a tree close to the veranda. We have never seen such vibrant yellow Half-Moons and huge yellow gape on a Lewis Honeyeater before. We heard the SOS call of the Crested Bellbird. Fork-tailed Swifts and White-throated Needletails buzzed and chattered around the cottage harvesting mossy-quail in mid-air, while pairs of Willie-Wagtails and White-browed Scrubwrens were courting on the birdbath.
On Dec 8 we arrived at Mt Nebo NP (27.399S 152.806E) around 7am. We stopped at the Westrange Lookover. It had a short boardwalk with a grand view of the Valley. We saw heaps of Brush Box Plants and Tree Grasses with a 15 ft spike coming out of the center. Some of the Eucalyptus Trees had shed their bark -- the bark lay in a pile at the base of the tree.
Down the road were walking tracks. The parking lot was a beehive of birds -- Rainbow Lorikeets, King Parrots and Cockatoos predominated the choir, but we liked the Red-browed Finches and Variegated Fairywrens best. Down the track the Gray Fantail was trying to chase the Striated Thornbills away. Our best bird was the White-throated Gerygone.
On Dec 9 we were back at Mt Nebo at 7am. There were so many Bellbirds calling along the road we could hear them with the windows rolled-up.
We walked some bush tracks this morning. We saw Elkhorn Ferns and Strangler Fig Trees. Our best bird was the Black-faced Monarch.
Later we did a loop walk. There were many interesting shelves growing on the trees -- some looked like Shitake Mushrooms. At one point we came on a pair of courting Eastern Whipbirds. Usually they run when they get sight of people. Today they could care less. They were dashing thru the shrubs flashing their tails like Fantails. The male did the whip-crack. The female answered with a loud and sharp tchew-tchew. Later we saw a Golden Whistler, Gray Shrike-Thrush, Pale-yellow Robin, female Regent Bowerbird, and a beautiful pair of Yellow-throated Scrubwrens.
We spent the afternoon birding around the cottage and saw some Brown Honeyeaters, Satin Flycatchers, Willie-Wagtails, Pale-headed Rosellas, Eastern Yellow Robins, White-browed Scrubwrens, and Wonga Pigeons.
On Dec 10 we drove to the Headquarters of the Brisbane Forest Parks and went on part of the Auracaria Walk around a sprawling lake. We saw heaps of grebes, ducks, coots and Dusky Moorhens. We teased out of the grass a Black Bittern and Latham's Snipe.
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