Lockyer Uplands Private Property #4

Leaden Flycatcher – Myiagra rubecula – Photo: Mitchell Roberts

Our fourth joint activity in 2023 with Toowoomba Bird Observers club, for the bird survey of private properties of members of Lockyer Uplands Catchments Inc., was planned for an early start in case of hot weather. As it turned out, we had overcast conditions all day with low cloud, mist and periods of light rain!

However, the birds at our host’s Iredale property remained active and the ten observers (in two teams) generated a large list, 80 species, adding about 17 to the list from two previous LUCI surveys. (The landowner and other observers have recorded additional species, over about two decades.) Part of the reason for the rich bird fauna is thought to be the diversity of habitats on this large, relatively flat property: grassland, woodland, thickets, scrub, open-forest, two spring-fed creeks, and small farm wetlands. Today our survey included 14 species of waterbird, nine honeyeaters and five cuckoos.

Double-barred Finch – Stizoptera bichenovii – Photo: Mitchell Roberts

Among the presumed resident species were three small parties of Grey-crowned Babbler and two pairs of Speckled Warbler; both are focal species in BirdLife’s conservation action plan for woodland birds, due to widespread decline in southern states. Also, three fairy-wrens—Red-backed (19 individuals), Variegated and Superb. Brown Goshawk was suspected to be breeding locally. Horsfield’s Bushlarks were singing at the grassland edge. After evidence of their presence in the earlier surveys, today a pair of Painted Button-quail was sighted, albeit briefly, in woodland dominated by silver-leaved ironbark—with fresh feeding scrapes some distance away.

Brown Goshawk – Accipiter fasciatus – Photo: Mitchell Roberts

North-south migratory species recorded on this survey included Dollarbird, Cicadabird, Brush Cuckoo and Koel. Two bronze-cuckoos were encountered: Little and Horsfield’s. The latter seems to be mainly a spring visitor in our region; likewise White-winged Triller, with three recorded as well as Varied Triller.

Although the wetlands on this valley property are quite small, a substantial number of waterbird species has gradually been documented. On this occasion, a party of Plumed Whistling-Ducks—perhaps thinking about nesting when the grassland melon holes get wetter—and one or more Royal Spoonbills were listed.

Australasian FigbirdSphecotheres vieilloti
Australasian GrebeTachybaptus novaehollandiae
Australian MagpieGymnorhina tibicen
Australian White IbisThreskiornis moluccus
Australian Wood DuckChenonetta jubata
Bar-shouldered DoveGeopelia humeralis
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikeCoracina novaehollandiae
Black-fronted DotterelElseyornis melanops
Brown GoshawkAccipiter fasciatus
Brown HoneyeaterLichmera indistincta
Brown QuailSynoicus ypsilophorus
Brush CuckooCacomantis variolosus
Cattle EgretBubulcus ibis
Common BronzewingPhaps chalcoptera
Common CicadabirdEdolisoma tenuirostre
Common MynaAcridotheres tristis
Crested PigeonOcyphaps lophotes
Double-barred FinchTaeniopygia bichenovii
Eastern KoelEudynamys orientalis
Eastern WhipbirdPsophodes olivaceus
Eastern Yellow RobinEopsaltria australis
GalahEolophus roseicapilla
Golden-headed CisticolaCisticola exilis
Great EgretArdea alba
Grey ButcherbirdCracticus torquatus
Grey FantailRhipidura albiscapa
Grey TealAnas gracilis
Grey-crowned BabblerPomatostomus temporalis
Horsfield’s Bronze-CuckooChalcites basalis
Horsfield’s BushlarkMirafra javanica
Laughing KookaburraDacelo novaeguineae
Leaden FlycatcherMyiagra rubecula
Lewin’s HoneyeaterMeliphaga lewinii
Little Black CormorantPhalacrocorax sulcirostris
Little Bronze-CuckooChalcites minutillus
Little FriarbirdPhilemon citreogularis
Magpie-larkGrallina cyanoleuca
Masked LapwingVanellus miles
MistletoebirdDicaeum hirundinaceum
Noisy FriarbirdPhilemon corniculatus
Noisy MinerManorina melanocephala
Olive-backed OrioleOriolus sagittatus
Oriental DollarbirdEurystomus orientalis
Pacific Black DuckAnas superciliosa
Painted Button-quailTurnix varius
Pale-headed RosellaPlatycercus adscitus
Peaceful DoveGeopelia placida
Pheasant CoucalCentropus phasianinus
Pied ButcherbirdCracticus nigrogularis
Pied StiltHimantopus leucocephalus
Plumed Whistling-DuckDendrocygna eytoni
Rainbow Bee-eaterMerops ornatus
Rainbow LorikeetTrichoglossus moluccanus
Red-backed Fairy-wrenMalurus melanocephalus
Red-browed FinchNeochmia temporalis
Restless FlycatcherMyiagra inquieta
Royal SpoonbillPlatalea regia
Rufous WhistlerPachycephala rufiventris
Sacred KingfisherTodiramphus sanctus
Scaly-breasted LorikeetTrichoglossus chlorolepidotus
Scarlet HoneyeaterMyzomela sanguinolenta
SilvereyeZosterops lateralis
Speckled WarblerPyrrholaemus sagittatus
Striated PardalotePardalotus striatus
Striped HoneyeaterPlectorhyncha lanceolata
Sulphur-crested CockatooCacatua galerita
Superb Fairy-wrenMalurus cyaneus
Torresian CrowCorvus orru
Varied TrillerLalage leucomela
Variegated Fairy-wrenMalurus lamberti
WeebillSmicrornis brevirostris
Welcome SwallowHirundo neoxena
White-browed ScrubwrenSericornis frontalis
White-faced HeronEgretta novaehollandiae
White-throated GerygoneGerygone olivacea
White-throated HoneyeaterMelithreptus albogularis
White-winged TrillerLalage tricolor
Willie WagtailRhipidura leucophrys
Yellow-faced HoneyeaterCaligavis chrysops
Yellow-rumped ThornbillAcanthiza chrysorrhoa
The full bird list for the day

The LUCI bird survey project has been running for three years with 20 properties visited, most of them two to three times and in both cool and warm parts of the year. Significant differences between hill properties and valley properties in the bird fauna are emerging and may be explored further in a report on the project results to date, due out early in the new year.