An unusually warm winters day, after a cold start, and lovely clear skies after recent rain made for a perfect morning’s birding at Cranley Bushland Reserve.
Cranley Escarpment Park is almost 45 hecatres on Toowoomba’s north western side. The park is composed of mainly ironbark eucalypt forest with extensive infestation of lantana and prickly pear trees. Note in the case of lantana this is not necessarily a bad thing per se, as the lantana provides great coverage for small birds, which were abundant on the day we visited. (The trick when removing lantana is to replace it with a native alternative, so as to maintain the ecological role that it was providing.)
A group of 10 set out and completed one 500m radius survey, and two 2 Ha/20 minute surveys. The route for these two surveys were recorded and will be used again in future visits. The park has a series of wide grassed walking tracks, more akin to a firebreak, and has a gentle gradient with a slight rise at one end.
In total 44 species were sighted. The individual surveys can be seen on birdata – and the total list is as follows:
|Australian Wood Duck
|Brown Goshawk/Collared Sparrowhawk spp
|Eastern Yellow Robin
|Little Pied Cormorant
The highlight of the day was a pair of Pacific baza being mobbed by Noisy miners (despite being no threat to them), and a large groups of Silvereyes – many of which would be winter visitors to the area.
With the TMR recently announcing plans to develop a new connection road between Geham and the western side of Toowoomba, this whole area could be under threat and is one thing we will be watching very carefully.