Late last year BQ successfully applied to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) for a research permit to conduct a long-term bird banding project at Bowra. The project aims to determine the survival rate, longevity, site fidelity, movements and annual cycle of a range of birds at Bowra, and is the first such project focused on arid zone birds. The inaugural banding trip started on the afternoon of Good Friday 29 March 2013, ably led by Dr Jon Coleman, Chair of QWSG. In total, 157 individual birds were banded belonging to 32 species. Read more about the project in an article by Richard Noske in the May 2013 newsletter.
David Niland recently visited the Beryl Roberts Park at Coopers Plains mentioned in the July 2011 Newsletter UBD Map Ref 200 E13. He found a lot of flowering trees there and the Lorikeets were going mad - estimated to be about 500 in large and small flocks. Also, there were lots of birds looking for nest sites in the big Red Gums in the forest. He heard and saw a Little Wattlebird - very rare in suburban Brisbane, and heard a Buff-banded Rail and a Bush-hen in the swamp. The site may be a challenge for photographers but it has an amazing variety of birds for such an isolated patch of bush. He also saw Nutmeg Mannikins there on a previous visit, the first around Brisbane for a few years. .There is a birdlist for his visit on Eremaea (http://www.eremaea.com/Lists.aspx?List=100874 )
Many birders will have heard that there is, or was, an Emu on Bribie Island. At last there are images to prove it! BQ member Maggie Overend has sent images of the Emu, l ocally know as Eric, sitting outside the Golf Club.
There were rumours of two birds, but only one seems to have been seen recently. He appears to be well-known by people who live near the Golf Club, and Maggie says he seems to find food, perhaps palm fruit, near there.
|Bribie's Emu © Maggie Overend||Bribie's Emu © Maggie Overend|
Birders tend to walk about looking up and out - searching the trees and sky for birds. Snakes are very active at this time of year, so perhaps we need to look down a little more. We will certainly be doing this in future.
We were at Samsonvale Cemetery at the beginning of October, and saw two large, perhaps 2.5 m, Eastern Brown Snakes not down in the long grass, as you might imagine, but locked in combat among the graves! The Queensland Museum, who identified the snakes for us, said male snakes are actively moving about seeking females at this time of year, and wrestle to establish a dominance hierarchy. The aim, apparently, is to get your head above that of your opponent. This involved lots of sinuous movement, as they twisted their bodies tightly together, and reared their heads at least 80cm high, with lots of thrashing and striking.
A little later, we saw a Common Tree Snake about 1.5 m long disappear into the drain hole in one of the graves. A few weeks ago, we saw a large Red-bellied Black Snake crossing the lawn towards us, between the cemetery and the lake.
Eastern brown snake. Photo: I&J Brown
Eastern brown snake.
Photo: I&J Brown
Common tree snake.
Photo: I&J Brown
The interesting thing is that none of these snakes was hiding in the long grass - all were well out in the open, in the middle of the day. And in all cases we were slightly slow in noticing them, probably because we were relaxed walking about on the lawn. Though never again!
We are not brave - the images were taken from a safe distance using our telephoto lenses!
Ian and Jill Brown