• lab3
2 Jan 2020 – part time patching

Reservoir 54.8% full today. Michael Daley was keen to look for the Stubble Quail and Red-chested Buttonquail at dawn this morning, and I had arranged to meet him there, but that he should carry on without me if I didn’t show up. Horror of horrors, I overslept! The early start and 17km of hiking yesterday had taken their toll and I needed the rest. Anyway, he scored the Stubble Quail, but unfortunately couldn’t re-find the Red-chested Buttonquail.

I decided to go for a wander after lunch, to coincide with high tide, just in case any additional waders might come in to roost. I don’t really know the site very well, so not sure if there’s any tidal connection. The same 11 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers were still there, and still minus the Red-necked Stint that had scarpered before the end of 2019. A stonking Caspian Tern was perhaps a tidal refugee, and I’m not sure how rare they’ll turn out to be at the reservoir. But by far the best bird was a female Australasian Shoveler, a scarce bird at the best of times in Brisbane, and especially rare at this time of year, it being mainly an autumn and winter visitor. I was very pleased with this – the type of bird that I need to keep the list accumulating through the year.

At least one Brown Songlark was still present, but I could find no sign of quails or buttonquails. A nice flock of passerines at the end of the pylon break had a bright juvenile White-throated Gerygone, a couple of Speckled Warblers, Leaden Flycatchers, Grey Fantail, Grey Shrikethrush, a Brown Honeyeater and a bunch of Silvereyes. Nice!

Today’s haul brought the patch year list to 97, having added Australasian Shoveler, Caspian Tern, Brown Honeyeater, Noisy Miner & White-throated Gerygone. Still missing some suprising things, including Willie Wagtail and Australasian Swamphen!

Caspian Tern – not sure how rare this is going to turn out to be. Probably not particularly rare.
White-throated Gerygone – cracking little thing!
Brown Songlark – look at the drumsticks on that! This species is actually usually very rare in Brisbane, but there has been something of an influx this summer.
Australasian Shoveler – best bird (if not best photo) of the day.