Cooby Dam (Groomsville end)

Our sharp-eyed group of nine observers enjoyed a visit to the far north-east part of the Cooby Dam reserve, on a very warm Saturday 26 November. With filling of the dam over the past year or so, interesting waterways and reedy swamps were a feature of this location, as well as the perennial eucalypt-dominated woodland and patchy grassland.

At the Groomsville end of Cooby Dam. Photo: Scot McPhie

Satellite image of the area

Starting near the Cooby Creek bridge and eventually working on both sides, we accumulated 54 bird species within a 500 metre radius.

All our survey data can be seen here on Birdata.

Birdata entry

On this occasion we tried the ‘embedded survey’ method, including a 2-hectare, 20-minute site at a shared centrepoint, which yielded nine species.

Photo: Scot McPhie

The full list of species seen is as follows

Australasian DarterAnhinga novaehollandiae
Australian MagpieGymnorhina tibicen
Australian PelicanPelecanus conspicillatus
Australian Reed-WarblerAcrocephalus australis
Australian White IbisThreskiornis moluccus
Bar-shouldered DoveGeopelia humeralis
Black SwanCygnus atratus
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikeCoracina novaehollandiae
Brown GoshawkAccipiter fasciatus
Brown QuailSynoicus ypsilophora
Brown ThornbillAcanthiza pusilla
DollarbirdEurystomus orientalis
Double-barred FinchTaeniopygia bichenovii
Dusky MoorhenGallinula tenebrosa
Eastern KoelEudynamys orientalis
GalahEolophus roseicapilla
Golden-headed CisticolaCisticola exilis
Great CormorantPhalacrocorax carbo
Great Crested GrebePodiceps cristatus
Great EgretArdea alba
Grey ButcherbirdCracticus torquatus
Grey TealAnas gracilis
Grey-crowned BabblerPomatostomus temporalis
HardheadAythya australis
Laughing KookaburraDacelo novaeguineae
Leaden FlycatcherMyiagra rubecula
Little Black CormorantPhalacrocorax sulcirostris
Little FriarbirdPhilemon citreogularis
MistletoebirdDicaeum hirundinaceum
Noisy FriarbirdPhilemon corniculatus
Noisy MinerManorina melanocephala
Olive-backed OrioleOriolus sagittatus
Pacific Black DuckAnas superciliosa
Pale-headed RosellaPlatycercus adscitus
Pheasant CoucalCentropus phasianinus
Pied CurrawongStrepera graculina
Red-browed FinchNeochmia temporalis
Rufous WhistlerPachycephala rufiventris
Sacred KingfisherTodiramphus sanctus
Scaly-breasted LorikeetTrichoglossus chlorolepidotus
SilvereyeZosterops lateralis
Spangled DrongoDicrurus bracteatus
Spotted DoveStreptopelia chinensis
Striated PardalotePardalotus striatus
Striped HoneyeaterPlectorhyncha lanceolata
Superb Fairy-wrenMalurus cyaneus
Tawny GrassbirdCincloramphus timoriensis
Variegated Fairy-wrenMalurus lamberti
WeebillSmicrornis brevirostris
Welcome SwallowHirundo neoxena
White-throated GerygoneGerygone olivacea
White-throated HoneyeaterMelithreptus albogularis
Willie WagtailRhipidura leucophrys
Yellow-faced HoneyeaterCaligavis chrysops

Photo: Scot McPhie

A highlight today was breeding activity by seven species. In the drowned creek waterway, Great Crested Grebes were seen with one small young and Grey Teal with a brood of seven.

Bush-birds with nests or young were Superb Fairy-wren, Noisy Friarbird, Willie Wagtail, Red-browed Finch and White-throated Gerygone. We were surprised that the tiny gerygones were building their nest so high in a large, rough-barked Angophora tree but perhaps that would keep it safe from predatory goanas?

Other birds of interest were several Great Cormorants—very much a reservoir species in our region—three Dollarbirds and a group of Grey-crowned Babblers. The relatively scarcity of waterbirds was thought to be explainable by the abundance of wetland habitat both in our region at present and across inland eastern Australia (other local wetlands also have few waterbirds). It seems that waterbirds, like humans, enjoy a change of scenery even when the grass is green at home.

The area also featured many turtle nests where the young had long since hatched, and two koalas!

Old turtle nest Photo: Scot McPhie

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