Black Swan in it's proper country
As it turned out, we were nowhere near our hotel, and had to travel back into the city centre to find it! However, this turned out to be a very happy accident - what was to be the first of many, as we did see 26 species of birds around this lovely little lake!
Little Pied Cormorant
Across the road from our city hotel was a lovely park (parks are abundant in Queensland)
We spent a few happy hours wandering around the beautiful grounds, adding even more species to our list including Rainbow Lorikeet; Australian Magpie; Magpie Lark; Crested Pigeon and Australian Wood Duck (aka Maned Duck) and our first Laughing Kookaburra.
Hardhead (White-eyed) Duck
We then moved on to Dowse Lagoon Reserve where Magpie Goose and Comb-crested Jacana were noted, along with lots of Australian Grebe and Red-necked Avocet, and a Grey Butcherbird. Another great site providing lots more new birds.
After stopping for a late breakfast, we then moved on to Kedron Brook Wetlands and Sandycamp Road Wetlands. This is where we had the best views so far ot Superb Fairy Wren, along with Double-barred Finch - and our first Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. Some other species we saw were Whistling Duck; Australian Figbird; Grey Teal and Striped Honeyeater. Great, Little and Cattle Egret were present at all four sites, looking magnificent in their summer plumage.
We had a brilliant time with Vernon who was very knowledgeable and showed us lots of new birds. Thank-you very much, Vernon - we added another 45 new birds with your help!
Double Barred Finch
Eastern Yellow Robin
After lunch, we continued birdwatching with Alan and had views of King Parrot, Golden Whistler and Eastern Yellow Robin. One of the highlights of the day was listening to Bell Miners calling to each other in the colony. Imagine 20 or 30 small bells tinkling, and you'll have some idea of the lovely sound.
Once again, a great day out with another great guide. Many thanks Alan! Great time!!
Superb Fairy Wren
We also visited the Botanical Gardens wherever we stopped. In Brisbane we saw Hardhead,(aka White-eyed Duck) which is Australia's only diving duck along with Pied Currawong, Scaley-breasted Lorikeet and a large colony of grey-headed Fruit Bats roosting in the trees.
Another place we had been told about and had researched before our trip was O'Reilly's in Lamington NP. It was almost 3 hours drive, but we decided it sounded too good to miss so, on our last day in Brisbane, we set off early to visit it. We were not to be disappointed, although the drive up to the Lamington plateau is on a slow and very winding road, climbing ever upward, with very sheer drops in some places but some amazing views! (The park is at over 1000 metres above sea level in some parts) Our first stop at the park was the restaurant for some much needed breakfast which we had on the veranda. From our table we had flight views of Regent Bowerbird, and also of Topknot Pigeons. After our meal, we walked towards the woodland trails, seeing Crimson Rosella, loads of Red Browed Finch and King Parrots. The birds were in abundance as people could buy food to feed them, which gave fantastic views of them. As we walked the woodland path, we noted Whipbird, White-browed Scrubwren, and a Pademelon, which is a small marsupial, standing only about 60cm tall and weighing 4 or 5 kg. Apparently, we were very lucky to see one according to a local couple, as they are extremely shy and nocturnal! The same couple put us onto an Australian Logrunner - another forest bird which is difficult to find.
Summer plumage Cattle Egret
(a plumage that some birders never get the chance to see in GB)
Wandering Whistling Duck
And finally for Brisbane - the Grey-headed Fruit Bats used to fly by our hotel every evening in their hundreds!
This ends the first leg of our amazing trip to The Land Down-under! The next installment will cover our drive from Brisbane to Cairns, just over 1,000 miles away
As always, hope you enjoyed part one of OZ and thanks for stopping by