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13 Jul: Moggill-o-mania

I started early this morning in the western suburbs, again looking for Barking Owl. I tried Pinjarra Rd, reasoning that the habitat is mixed, with some nice remnant dry woodland and more open paddocks, and David Niland had one last March in the adjacent UQ site. No luck with Barker, but a few Southern Boobooks calling. I’ll try to do some survey work inside the UQ site to see if I can turn anything up in there.

As dawn approached, I arrived at the National Parks and Wildlife Office at Moggill, where a small group of birders had assembled hoping for Red Wattlebird. Before they arrived I had a pair of Musk Lorikeets fly over, which was nice. Steve Murray later got pics. The search was long and slow, and in the end, Louis Backstrom, Rick Franks, Felicia Chan and I all missed out by leaving too early, but Steve Murray, Ged Tranter and Rod Gardner connected with not one, not two, but THREE birds!

Staff at the office have kindly put in place the following access arrangements for next week, noting that there is STRICTLY NO PUBLIC ACCESS to the site over the weekend, during which time birders will be restricted to looking and listening from the public areas outside the compound fence. It’s critically important that birders don’t create an OH&S incident by trespassing, and this will cause all access to cease. There is every chance of seeing or at least hearing the birds from outside the small compound, if you put enough time in, as the birds are mobile and call every few hours or so. Although you can walk along the edge of the main compound fence at the southern end of the site, note that there is no access to the rear of the compound (i.e. don’t proceed beyond the small wire fence).

During office hours next week, birders wishing to visit can telephone the supervising staff member (email me for contact details at r.fuller@uq.edu.au) and advise him of the approximate time you wish to visit. If he is on site at that time (he’s currently planning to be there in office hours all next week), you’ll be able to come into the compound, sign in at reception noting him as the contact, and then spend time inside the compound area looking for the birds.

After I left the site this morning I headed to Moggill Wetlands, which really is a lovely site. There was a cracking Yellow-billed Spoonbill feeding alongside a Glossy Ibis on the big pool to the east of the road. This pool looks brilliant for Painted Snipe… I ventured up Aitcheson Street toward the Brisbane River, and realised that the area is in fact a Brisbane City Council parkland called, unimaginatively, Aitcheson Street Park. I set up a hotspot, as it looks worth visiting every now and then, and it is distinct habitat from the nearby Moggill Wetlands. There were a few raptors around – a Black Kite, two Brown Falcons and a Black-shouldered Kite.

With no year ticks today, my year list remained on 289 species. I spent 4 hours 32 minutes birding, walked 1.671 km and drove 86.8 km. My chronological year list is here.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill was a nice find at Moggill Wetlands – on the big pool east of the road.