" Birding Report November – December 2016 | O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat
CALL NOW 07 5502 4911
was successfully added to your cart.


Birding Report November – December 2016

2nd-Barry Davies got an unexpected first sighting of Olive Whistler in Lamington. It took  35 years of guiding here and on the Booyong Walk down low of all places. This is totally unexpected with this being maybe the only report I’ve heard of Olives anywhere in the park maybe over 3-4 years. This would be an unusual location 3 miles out of range (but not far for flight anyway) and different habitat, possibly also a first for down around O’Reilly’s. Good pictures were taken by his guests. Boobooks reported near the Lost World Spa garden on dusk.

4th-Pair of Red Backed Fairy Wrens at Maries Gate by guests and MarkW

6th-Guests reported a pair of Lyrebirds just above the Morans Falls Lookout

12thCrested Shrike Tit at the Top of the Wishing Tree Track

Birdweek 2017 highlights

Well on starting out on Monday 14th Mark Watson saved the best for first by {somehow} coming along the Wishing Tree Track and he noticed a Sooty Owl day roosting in a darkish part of a figtree cavity right down the bottom of the track and it remained there all day for the viewing. Attempts on other days to see it weren’t to be and it was not seen again all week as it had moved. This was a real chance encounter. For daytime sightings I can’t recall more than 2 other ones reported in Lamington (ever) so it’s a major catch and the best sighting of the week. Mark Culleton found a roadkill Diamond Dove at Pine Mtn which is way outta range but several other ones reported lately coastal of their range (like at Manilla) but this one would be the most easterly so far, by far. Guests Reported Lyrebird at the bottom of the Wishing Tree track as well as on Villa Track

Tuesday 15th-Glens group on the Kerry bus had a Collared Sparrowhawk nesting down the end of the Duck Creek road near the Kerry road intersection where they nested in previous years. They found the Speckled Warblers in 2 lake locations around the valley. Both Whistling Ducks were at Sanders lake which is very handy. Glen and I had some Needletail Swifts cross over at the Guesthouse after sunset, heading towards the Morans Valley. Not many sightings this week though. Guests reported displaying Riflebird on Python Rock track. Boobook Owl seen at entrance to Python Rock Track.

Stockyard Creek walkers were treated to a swathe of great birds; White Eared Monarch, Noisy Pitta, Glossy Black Cockatoos, Wompoos, Brown Falcons, Barred Cuckoo Shrikes, Pale Yellow Robin, Grey and Brown Goshawk. What a day. A possible highlight was the flushing of the White Throated Nightjars down in the Spotted Gum section right where they have been in past years but not for 7-8 years has a sighting been made-anywhere on that walk so great news. Cat even managed to get a decent flight shot.

Luke managed to see a Barn Owl 7km back at Pine Mtn, not many sightings of these typically anywhere. Nice it happened in birdweek.

16th-Eagleby eastern lagoons found Magpie Geese at Coomera with some young on a Water Lilly lake and nowhere else which made it quite lucky we stopped there. Eagleby was a tad quiet and dry for waterbirds but it was fine for bushbirds with Grassbird and Cisticola easily seen various times along with Chestnut Breasted Mannikins which were in most places we went. Black kite was a highlight. Little bronze cuckoo is a bonus but not a stranger to here but we didn’t get a sighting. Sea Eagle, Wedge tails, Whitling Kite, Osprey, Brown Goss added up our raptor tally. Near the sand ponds there was a very distant Intermediate Egret we had to stop for Diane for making a lifer there but possibly the only Int Egret for birdweek. Around on Eagleby road our Reed Warbler despair was diffused with at least 3 about and water on the lake with 2 Latham Snipe, 4 Marsh Sandpipers and plenty happening. This may have been the only Striped Honeyeater sighting for the week as well. Stopping at Tamborine toilets the rumours of long billed Corella about were soon fact, with 2 circuiting for ages and more to come.

17th– Coastal waders went well with Mangrove Honeyeaters found nesting. Waders were only limited to the usual Curlew, Whimberel, Godwit crowd and it is wonderful they make it back each year but we always hope for extras. Beach and Bushstone curlews were there. No Red cap plovers found but also no Gull Billed tern, extraordinary! What was found for the 2nd time in birdweek was Sooty Oystercatcher in a not so typical place. Several Grey tailed tattlers were found in a display mode that was well photographed. Amazingly a Rose Crowned Fruit Dove was seen down here as far as one can get from the mountain rainforests as well as a White Winged Triller.

18th– Scrub birds were found in a couple places where they gave a dash across the track which as anyone knows is pretty amazing during any trip up to the Beech forests. Olive whistlers were said to be heard, maybe, by some near the crest of the range and also on the Booyong walk.

Luke had Glossy Black Cockatoos driving up around Plum pudding  and Glen also found them at times driving up,  like in the Cainbable hairpins nearby. A guest travelling to Canungra also had them. Guests had Noisy Pitta along Python Rock Track.

19th Pittas were found on the Python Rock Track. On the birdwalk a Pitta hopped across the track. Russet Tailed thrush sighted on Morans falls track. Luke had 3 Yellow tailed black cockatoos at Laheys memorial, main road. Mark Culleton reported hearing Powerful Owl in the Gilston area, his first time in living there for 5 years

20th-Clean up crew, Canungra and Beaudesert had us find some Great Egrets-possibly the first few for the week. Koel wasn’t to be found in Canungra after months of calling there. Snipes at Bucholz park and the FIRST Australian Kestrel of the week was on this trip as well as few more around Beaudesert. Brayfield Dam had us thinking we had heard Black Chinned Honeyeater but it’s possible it was mimicked by another honeyeater.  We managed to score Grey Crowned Babblers at the Golf Course-only two as they poured out of the trees roadside on the return drive. Some very Cockatiel Looking Birds also did a flyby in the outskirts of town but it was too hard to get a confirming view to complete the clean sweep of Parrots for birdweek. They sure had the size, shape and flight style for cockatiel. Around on the Boonah road we scored quite a good wetland with Great Egret, White Faced Heron, Grey Teals, Stilts and general activity,  Brown Quail calling but not seen and in the attempt some Plum Headed Finches lifted out of the weeds and did a circuit around and then back which is fabulous. More Whistling Ducks here too. No Banded Lapwings near the turf farms. Sea Eagles, Whistling Kite, Black Shouldered Kites and Brown Falcons were about. Two young Black Shouldered Kites were in a tree supervised by their two Parents (4 Kites)

Grey Goshawk Morans creek scoped up near flying fox, no sound whatsover from Lewins rail seemed to coincide with vegetation removal along stream, roadworks along red road as well as garden green waste dumped roadside making rail habitat uninhabitable it seems and though rarely seen they may have left the area. Last sighting was earlier in year. We spotted a lovelly Spectacled Monarch on the nest up on the Wishing tree track. Right as we got out of the buses and went inside for breakfast signing off for another birdweek a raptor appeared in my vision coming up along the ridgetop-a mild, urgent panic for identifying this non goshawk looking raptor went a few seconds and the call Pacific Baza was made. We were looking for it and seems it was looking for us, circling about for a good 5 minutes, delightful, as word spread and breakfast goers came out it headed towards Worendo, maybe the 3rd-ish sighting for Baza on the mountain this year? Paula got a fantastic shot by being ready to go at short notice.

Later in the day Barred Cuckoo Shrike at Charlies again, Rainbow and Little Lorikeets. A young Pitta called here, Leaden flycatcher joined in and Bell miners came over late in the day


Summary-a statistical perspective on Birdweek 2016


Brown quails heard only (at least), Owlet nightjar still difficult but was heard too but missed sighting both for the 4th time ever in birdweek.

Hardheads/ white eyed ducks were missed for the second time in history as a real sign of the times. Glossy ibis went with them somewhere being the  4th miss since 2000. Also out there somewhere is a Red Cap plover at the second miss since 1991! Missing Gull Billed Tern shows you can’t really take anything for granted.

But wait!-Koel was missed for the 1st time in birdweek along with Fairy Martins! What next!  Koel was heard in many places but not seen in the bins.

No White Throated Heron is also quite bizarre.


Black kite once again showed it’s where ya look with 4th sighting ever

The Sooty Oystercatcher was a nice change with the 2nd sighting ever

Barn owl the 5th time ever

White Throated Nightjar the 2nd time seen in past 9 years

Plum head finch was a great find and  6th time round for birdweek and is often missed

Last count had us on 196 seen and 4 heard rounding our survey out to 200 birds being around the area. Whilst it has been said many things were missed, others were also found as in most years and the average of all birdweeks was at 197 so pretty much an average scoop for the tally. No doubt the watered northern, western and southern Australia areas has tempted many birds away from the coast. They will be back soon but it is unusual how we have missed some typical species.

See you all next year for the big 40th birdweek!


22nd-Dead Tawny Frogmouths near Canungra got skittled. Glossy Black Cockatoos down the bottom of the mountain just about past the Brushbox bends with 2 adults and a begging young one great to see. Further up the road another sighting roadside in the Cainbable Hairpins again and obvious to see as the easy days continue with the widescale fruiting all around helping much. Riflebird at Flying Fox. Young Boobook Owl feather at flying fox. Swarm of Needletails over Morans Valley in convectional clouds. Boobook owl in Morans valley. Kaye saw the Glossies half way up mountain road.

24thRiflebird spotted by Craig near Slaughterhouse. Guests had Pitta on the Box Forest Circuit. Wedge Tailed eagles over Python Rock as well as Brown Goss later on. Yellow Robin on nest half way along Python Track.

25th-Luke reported a 40-50 strong swarm of Needletail swifts and a female Lyrebird around the animal sheds the past few days

26 -Luke reported a male Lyrebird near the Border track entrance on the birdwalk. 15 Topknot Pigeons being more conspicuous lately . Mark J saw Glossy Black Cockatoos on the main road near the cutting with young which is fabulous.

27thBronzewing near Canungra. Uneventful drive till the Alpaca bends where a black and white flying creature caught my eye as it landed in some vines at eye level not far out. Turns out not to be a butterfly but a White Eared Monarch. Well another first for me and maybe by anyone to see this while driving, this is a sure change from the quiet months ending a few weeks back for this species. Luke got a Rose Crowned Dove finally turning up in higher places, on the Birdwalk-good to hear they’re back, Yellow Tailed Black Cockies down border track. Rose Robin still nesting around the treetop walk, unlikely to be successful, don’t think it ever has been here. Glen T says Catbirds and Grey Shrike Thrush is why.

28thRainbow Lorikeets in the parrot feeding area including in/on the birdfeeding bowls-most feeders not realising this is unusual. Riflebird on the birdwalk, distant lyrebird sightings. Spangled Drongo at the helipad. Noisy pitta and Varied Triller at flying fox. Needletail Swifts and a very Baza looking hawk along the ridgeline late arve.

29th-Private guiding with Luke had female lyrebird, a young Wedge Tail Eagle with a full crop and 4 Glossy Black Cockatoos back down the main road. Wedge Tailed Eagle landing on at Dusk down near Coomera/ Oxenford Turnoff outside Nerang.


2ndWompoo Pigeons at start of Python Rock Track. Spectacled Monarch still on nest at Stinging Tree, Wishing Tree Track. Grey Goshawk down main road a few hundred metres at sunset. Topknot Pigeon with display flight.

3rdWedge Tailed Eagles Mt Cainbable. Bronzewing Low down main road between 2nd and 3rd cattlegrids, near rolled it. Another Bronzewing at first fig trees, bottom of main road, also Scaly Breasted Loris here staying cool.

Leave a Reply