Bullocky Rest to Hartmann Park, Crows Nest

Hartmann Park in Crows Nest has the reputation as one of, if not the most beautiful parks in the Toowoomba region. On a cool May morning the BSQDD group walked from Bullocky Rest, along the creek, and then into Hartmann Park.

Despite the breath-taking beauty of the area, the birding on the other hand was quite a challenge.

Three survey sites were planned in advance, two along the creek and one in Hartmann Park itself. The sites were designed and placed so as to be fully in accordance with the Birdlife guidelines, particularly in relation to the centres being at least 400 metres apart. An incidental list was kept for the whole morning as well, in order to capture any birds seen but not within the survey sites.

All up 33 species were seen – and the full list and survey sites can be seen here in birdata. Although 14 of these species were seen between the survey sites, and added to the incidental list for the whole area.

Here is all the birds we sighted, in one combined list:

Australian King-ParrotAlisterus scapularis
Australian MagpieGymnorhina tibicen
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikeCoracina novaehollandiae
Brown HoneyeaterLichmera indistincta
Brown ThornbillAcanthiza pusilla
Dusky MoorhenGallinula tenebrosa
Eastern SpinebillAcanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Golden WhistlerPachycephala pectoralis
Grey FantailRhipidura fuliginosa
Grey Shrike-thrushColluricincla harmonica
Laughing KookaburraDacelo novaeguineae
Lewin’s HoneyeaterMeliphaga lewinii
Little Pied CormorantMicrocarbo melanoleucos
Magpie-larkGrallina cyanoleuca
Noisy MinerManorina melanocephala
Pale-headed RosellaPlatycercus adscitus
Pied CurrawongStrepera graculina
Rainbow LorikeetTrichoglossus moluccanus
Red-browed FinchNeochmia temporalis
Rose RobinPetroica rosea
Rufous WhistlerPachycephala rufiventris
Scaly-breasted LorikeetTrichoglossus chlorolepidotus
SilvereyeZosterops lateralis
Striated ThornbillAcanthiza lineata
Superb Fairy-wrenMalurus cyaneus
Torresian CrowCorvus orru
White-browed ScrubwrenSericornis frontalis
White-throated HoneyeaterMelithreptus albogularis
White-throated TreecreeperCormobates leucophaea
Willie WagtailRhipidura leucophrys
Yellow ThornbillAcanthiza nana
Yellow-faced HoneyeaterCaligavis chrysops
Yellow-tailed Black-CockatooZanda funereus

The highlight of the day was two Rose robins along the creek side at the end of the second survey site. And it was this area that yielded the most birds, despite much suitable habitat being seen on the whole day.

The darth of birds, especially in Hartmann, is really quite troubling. One on hand it can be seen that a lot of habitat is available and waiting to be exploited, but on the other hand why isn’t it already being exploited? Surely in a large area over a long period of time, all available habitats and niches will be filled? This area has been geologically stable and in its current topography for millions of years. The spasmodic distribution of birds throughout it is quite possibly due to disturbances created by humans, firstly 60,000 years ago approximately and then in the last 250 years. It is a trend that does not show any signs of abating.