• [caption id="attachment_1041" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Tawny Frogmouth in a suburban Brisbane backyard, February 2011"]Tawny Frogmouth in a suburban Brisbane backyard, February 2011
    • lab1
Jan 15: Knee-deep in it

I arrived at Nudgee Beach at 0430 just as light was dawning – the shoreline was beautiful and there were plenty of shorebirds and gulls on the extensive tidal flats. But disappointingly the wind had completely dropped and the weather was fine – displaced seabirds seemed an unlikely proposition. The tide was incoming so I decided to walk the tidal flats first and then scope out into the Bay afterwards. I only had 1.5 hours so needed to move fast. I sorted through flock after flock of shorebirds, but didn’t come across anything new for the year. There were good numbers of Curlew Sandpipers, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Bar-tailed Godwits, Whimbrels, Great Knots and Red-necked Stints. Among the gulls were a few Little Terns. The tide was coming in quickly and I was knee-deep in it by the time I got back onto dry land.

Scoping into the Bay produced five species of tern (Crested, Caspian, Gull-billed, Little and Whiskered), but nothing rare. Still, it was a lovely morning nevertheless. Back home for 0630 and then off to work – no more significant birding during the day, but received a text message from the wonderful Mat Gilfedder, my primary “competition” in this most friendly of Big Year races that he had found and photographed a Red-browed Treecreeper at Lawton’s Road on Mt Glorious. A great bird, with very few records in Brisbane, although perhaps overlooked because most folks go to a known site beyond the Brisbane boundary at Wivenhoe Outlook. While I didn’t need to rush there immediately, I resolved to look for this bird within a week, as finding it could offset the need for time-consuming searches later in the year. With a busy few days at work ahead, I needed to work an early shift tomorrow, so couldn’t go birding in the morning. I was looking to Thursday morning and then the weekend for my next birding sessions. Any rarities, of course, would need to be accommodated…

With no year ticks today, my year list at the end of the day remained 194 species. I spent 1 hour 34 minutes birding, walked 1.773 km and drove 48.2 km.