Prince Henry Drive

Prince Henry Drive is a much loved birding hotspot in Toowoomba – with great accessibility, a huge range of birds and views off the range it never disappoints.

Bar-shouldered Dove Geopelia humeralis – photo: Tony Bond
View from Katoomba Point towards Table Top Mountain Photo: Scot McPhie

We surveyed four two hectare sites as we went around the drive, and then combined them all into one 500m raidius survey as embedded sites, along with the incidental sightings we recorded between the survey points.

Photo: Scot McPhie

All up 37 species in total were seen. The number of species for each 2ha plot was 10, 13, 11 and 9; so averaging around 11 species per 2 Ha plot.

37 species is a good number for a warm morning. Most abundant were Silvereye, Red-backed Fairy-wren and Lewin’s Honeyeater. Here’s the complete list:

Australasian FigbirdSphecotheres vieilloti
Bar-shouldered DoveGeopelia humeralis
Black KiteMilvus migrans
Blue-faced HoneyeaterEntomyzon cyanotis
Brown GoshawkAccipiter fasciatus
Brown ThornbillAcanthiza pusilla
CicadabirdEdolisoma tenuirostris
Crested PigeonOcyphaps lophotes
Double-barred FinchTaeniopygia bichenovii
Eastern WhipbirdPsophodes olivaceus
Eastern Yellow RobinEopsaltria australis
Grey ButcherbirdCracticus torquatus
Grey FantailRhipidura fuliginosa
Grey GoshawkAccipiter novaehollandiae
Grey Shrike-thrushColluricincla harmonica
Laughing KookaburraDacelo novaeguineae
Lewin’s HoneyeaterMeliphaga lewinii
Little EagleHieraaetus morphnoides
Magpie-larkGrallina cyanoleuca
MistletoebirdDicaeum hirundinaceum
Noisy MinerManorina melanocephala
Olive-backed OrioleOriolus sagittatus
Pale-headed RosellaPlatycercus adscitus
Pied CurrawongStrepera graculina
Red-backed Fairy-wrenMalurus melanocephalus
Red-browed FinchNeochmia temporalis
Rufous FantailRhipidura rufifrons
Sacred KingfisherTodiramphus sanctus
SilvereyeZosterops lateralis
Spangled DrongoDicrurus bracteatus
Spectacled MonarchSymposiarchus trivirgatus
Spotted PardalotePardalotus punctatus
Striated PardalotePardalotus striatus
Topknot PigeonLopholaimus antarcticus
White-browed ScrubwrenSericornis frontalis
Wonga PigeonLeucosarcia melanoleuca
Yellow-faced HoneyeaterCaligavis chrysops
Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus Photo: Tony Bond
Black Kite Milvus migrans Photo: Tony Bond

Four species of raptor, comprising Grey Goshawk (semi-regular around PHD), Brown Goshawks and Black Kites (7 birds in total) catching a thermal, and a Little Eagle. The Little Eagle was the pale morph and was spotted over the southern lookout. This is mainly a seasonal visitor around Toowoomba, most typically in autumn, less than three weeks away.

Photo: Scot McPhie

There were two species listed as migratory under national legislation: Rufous Fantail and Spectacled Monarch. Remarkably, no Regent Bowerbirds were recorded, normally a certainty on PHD, but perhaps they were about earlier in the day. The Spectacled Monarch was hidden deep in a gully of tall privet with some puddles of water; this bird is rarely seen this high up on the escarpment.

This unusual sight of a juvenile Sacred kingfisher missing its tail feathers was seen by Scot, on his way out.

Double-barred Finch Taeniopygia bichenovii Photo: Tony Bond
Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus Photo: Tony Bond
Australasian Figbird Sphecotheres vieilloti Photo: Tony Bond
Red-backed Fairy-wren Malurus melanocephalus Photo: Tony Bond
Silvereye Zosterops lateralis Photo: Tony Bond

One reply on “Prince Henry Drive”

A very profitable outing to Prince Henry Drive recently – haven’t heard of so many raptors being identified in that area for years. Plenty of other interesting sightings too.

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