Prince Henry Drive Park

Red-backed Fairy-wren – Malurus melanocephalus Photo: Mitchell Roberts

Not deterred by overcast skies and forecast showers, an intrepid team of five members of BSQDD and/or TBO undertook the first systematic group surveys of birds in the lower section of Prince Henry Drive Park on 11 May 2024.

This extension to the pre-existing park (small parcels along Prince Henry Drive), was acquired by Toowoomba Regional Council within the last few years and is poorly known in terms of its biodiversity.

Habitats range from open forest and woodland dominated by ironbarks and gums, mostly over a dense shrub layer to semi-evergreen vine thicket,

Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie

With some massive fig trees, on volcanic scree slopes below the three lookouts.

Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie

There is also riparian forest/scrub along several creek lines although some is infested with woody weeds and creepers.

Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie
Photo: Scot McPhie

The team completed three of the standardised 2ha-20minute area searches, listing 17, 14 and 11 bird species as it progressed up slope. Although lack of sunlight may have suppressed some bird activity, nevertheless these are reasonable tallies for plots in broad areas of forest in late autumn.

Looking for a Fairy gerygone Photo: Scot McPhie

Perhaps a surprising record, one warm-season migrant, a single Black-faced Monarch (nationally listed as migratory) was encountered in the creek-side scrub.

Black-faced Monarch – Monarcha melanopsis Photo: Mitchell Roberts

Of the anticipated cool-season visitors and passage migrants, only three Yellow-faced Honeyeaters were encountered but nine Grey Fantails, six Golden Whistlers, two Rose Robins and an Eastern Spinebill were recorded.

Eastern Spinebill – Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris Photo: Mitchell Roberts
Rose Robin – Petroica rosea Photo: Scot McPhie

Some Brown Goshawks are considered to migrate north on the east coast in autumn and one bird was seen soaring during the surveys.

Other species of some note included Regent Bowerbirds (7) feeding in fruiting trees, a White-eared Monarch calling, and seven Little Lorikeets. They rounded out the total list of 37 bird species.

Regent Bowerbird – Sericulus chrysocephalus Photo: Mitchell Roberts
Red-backed Fairy-wren – Malurus melanocephalus Photo: Mitchell Roberts
Red-backed Fairy-wren – Malurus melanocephalus Photo: Mitchell Roberts
Red-backed Fairy-wren – Malurus melanocephalus Photo: Mick Atzeni
Red-backed Fairy-wren – Malurus melanocephalus Photo: Scot McPhie

Combined species list for all the surveys conducted:

Bar-shouldered DoveGeopelia humeralis
Black-faced MonarchMonarcha melanopsis
Brown Cuckoo-DoveMacropygia phasianella
Brown GoshawkAccipiter fasciatus
Brown ThornbillAcanthiza pusilla
Double-barred FinchTaeniopygia bichenovii
Eastern SpinebillAcanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Eastern WhipbirdPsophodes olivaceus
Eastern Yellow RobinEopsaltria australis
Fan-tailed CuckooCacomantis flabelliformis
Golden WhistlerPachycephala pectoralis
Grey FantailRhipidura albiscapa
Grey Shrike-thrushColluricincla harmonica
Laughing KookaburraDacelo novaeguineae
Lewin’s HoneyeaterMeliphaga lewinii
Little LorikeetGlossopsitta pusilla
MistletoebirdDicaeum hirundinaceum
Olive-backed OrioleOriolus sagittatus
Pied ButcherbirdCracticus nigrogularis
Pied CurrawongStrepera graculina
Red-backed Fairy-wrenMalurus melanocephalus
Red-browed FinchNeochmia temporalis
Regent BowerbirdSericulus chrysocephalus
Rose RobinPetroica rosea
Scarlet HoneyeaterMyzomela sanguinolenta
Shining Bronze-CuckooChalcites lucidus
SilvereyeZosterops lateralis
Spotted PardalotePardalotus punctatus
Striated PardalotePardalotus striatus
Torresian CrowCorvus orru
Varied TrillerLalage leucomela
Variegated Fairy-wrenMalurus lamberti
Welcome SwallowHirundo neoxena
White-browed ScrubwrenSericornis frontalis
White-eared MonarchCarterornis leucotis
White-throated TreecreeperCormobates leucophaea
Yellow-faced HoneyeaterCaligavis chrysops

We look forward to completing two more visits to the park this year.

Eroding basalt scree slope detail Photo: Scot McPhie
Hay’s Flat-coiled Snail, Pedinogyra hayii Photo: Scot McPhie
Unidentified bird egg shell Photo: Scot McPhie

On the scree slope
Bird nest TBA Photo: Scot McPhie