Survey trip

Prince Henry Drive

Wrapped around the edge of the escarpment Prince Henry Drive has a reputation as one of the best birding spots in Toowoomba, and certainly lived up to that when we visited.

Regent bowerbird (male) – Sericulus chrysocephalus Photo: Mike Ford
Prince Henry Heights and Prince Henry Drive

Following rain and storms on the preceding few days, the Darling Downs group met at Katoomba Lookout on 2 October 2021 for a walk on Prince Henry Drive on a delightful fine morning.

Starting out Photo: Scot McPhie
View near the start of Prince Henry’s Photo: Scot McPhie

We undertook standardised surveys (2ha, 20 minute), with some training, at four sites along the road, realising 37 species collectively.

Nine White-headed Pigeons hidden in dense foliage of a vine-scrub tree, a rather brown Tawny Frogmouth roosting remarkably low to the ground in privet/celtis thicket, and six Regent Bowerbirds feeding among the fruiting stems of a leafy weed were species of particular interest.

White-headed pigeon – Columba leucomela Photo:Tony Bond
Tawny frogmouth – Podargus strigoides Photo: Tony Bond

On the way back, our youngest participant (Alex) drew our attention to a passing Black Falcon and a Rufous Fantail, missed earlier, flitted across the road.

Here’s the full species list for the morning:

Australasian FigbirdSphecotheres vieilloti
Australian Brush-turkeyAlectura lathami
Australian White IbisThreskiornis moluccus
Bar-shouldered DoveGeopelia humeralis
Black FalconFalco subniger
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikeCoracina novaehollandiae
Brown Cuckoo-DoveMacropygia phasianella
Brown HoneyeaterLichmera indistincta
Double-barred FinchTaeniopygia bichenovii
Eastern WhipbirdPsophodes olivaceus
Fan-tailed CuckooCacomantis flabelliformis
Golden WhistlerPachycephala pectoralis
Grey Shrike-thrushColluricincla harmonica
Laughing KookaburraDacelo novaeguineae
Leaden FlycatcherMyiagra rubecula
Lewin’s HoneyeaterMeliphaga lewinii
MistletoebirdDicaeum hirundinaceum
Noisy MinerManorina melanocephala
Olive-backed OrioleOriolus sagittatus
Pied ButcherbirdCracticus nigrogularis
Pied CurrawongStrepera graculina
Rainbow LorikeetTrichoglossus moluccanus
Red-backed Fairy-wrenMalurus melanocephalus
Red-browed FinchNeochmia temporalis
Regent BowerbirdSericulus chrysocephalus
Rufous FantailRhipidura rufifrons
Scarlet HoneyeaterMyzomela sanguinolenta
SilvereyeZosterops lateralis
Spotted DoveStreptopelia chinensis
Spotted PardalotePardalotus punctatus
Striated PardalotePardalotus striatus
Tawny FrogmouthPodargus strigoides
Torresian CrowCorvus orru
Variegated Fairy-wrenMalurus lamberti
White-browed ScrubwrenSericornis frontalis
White-headed PigeonColumba leucomela
Yellow-faced HoneyeaterCaligavis chrysops
Table Top seen from Prince Henry Drive Photo: Scot McPhie
Regent Bowerbird (female) – Sericulus chrysocephalus Photo: Tony Bond
Grey shrike-thrush – Colluricincla harmonica Photo: Mike Ford
Leaden flycatcher (female) – Myiagra rubecula Photo: Tony Bond
Red-backed fairywren(male) – Malurus melanocephalus Photo: Tony Bond
Striated pardalote – Pardalotus striatus Photo: Tony Bond


And three days later Roger spotted a Rose-crowned fruit dove in the same tree we saw the White-headed pigeons in.

Rose-crowned fruit dove Ptilinopus regina Photo: Roger Jaensch