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12 Jan 2020 – The tide is high but I’m holdin’ on

Looking at the whopping 2.7 m high tide at 1040 today, I couldn’t resist a trip to the reservoir. And to top this, Michael Daley phoned last night to say he’d seen a Painted Buttonquail at the entrance gate to the JC Trotter trails. He’d seen it at dusk, so I was hopeful it would still be around at dawn. A reasonably civilized 0400 alarm saw me arrive at the entrance to the reserve at 0451. Almost immediately I saw the buttonquail, nonchalantly parading around on the road verge – cracker!! It posed for a few pics, and then I left it to its own devices. Since the high tide was late, I reversed my usual circuit, and started at the southern end of the reservoir, but there was nothing special around. In fact rather fewer birds than usual in that area.

The pylon break was also fairly quiet, although a singing White-throated Gerygone was the first one I’ve actually heard at the site this year. Time was moving on, so I traversed the Forest Peninsula and began checking the exposed mud on the far side. No obvious influx of waders, but it was still short of the high tide time. I could only find one female Australasian Shoveler, and only one Great Crested Grebe – perhaps there has been something of an exodus of wildfowl. Four Latham’s Snipe were in with the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper flock, and as the high tide approached, cormorant numbers began building up. Suddenly, I noticed a Tringa and immediately assumed it was a Marsh Sandpiper, but it’s thick, upturned bill, relatively short tibia, and chew-chew-chew call gave it away as a Common Greenshank – in some ways a rather unexpected species, and a great bonus! Moments later there was a flash of black-and-white as a couple of Black-tailed Godwits landed near the Greenshank. One went straight to sleep and the other was feeding voraciously. Brilliant!

Scanning the Whiskered Terns revealed one bird with an orange leg-flag, which presumably means it was banded in Victoria. I’ll look into this.

With time up, I had to start the trek back, noting a Rufous Fantail along the way, and several nice plants, fungi and dragonflies to ID later. As I was leaving, I had a Straw-necked Ibis and Spotted Dove from the end of Cherbon Street, both patch year ticks – they all count! The water level was 53.8% today, slightly lower than last visit despite some rain yesterday. The addition of Painted Buttonquail, Common Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Straw-necked Ibis and Spotted Dove brings my year list to 121. Just a few bird pics for now. Will update with a bunch of other pics over the next few days.

eBird lists:

JC Trotter2.33 km103 min45
Pylon line1.07 km41 min22
Forest Peninsula2.7 km183 min58
Pylon line0.6 km14 min7
JC Trotter0.77 km11 min10
TOTAL7.47 km5 h 52 min83
True artwork – Painted Buttonquail
A Common Greenshank was a nice surprise
And so were two Black-tailed Godwits. This is a rare species in the southern Brisbane foreshore, with a group of 10-20 birds at Manly foreshore being the only regularly seen birds. There is a big flock of several hundred in the Tinchi Tamba area.