We didn’t come all the way to Australia to do birding but of course we were hoping to sight birds. With that in mind, M had brought along her P900 and I have a 18mm – 300 mm lens fitted on my camera. The hope was that we were see some birds. And birds we saw, many in facts. Although most of them are common birds of Australia, much like our mynas and heron, still we were very happy at our haul from Brisbane and Sydney (more on Birding in Sydney in a later post).
Not surprisingly the first native birds we saw were at the Australia Zoo. Just like our Singapore Zoo has attracted many wild birds, so does the Australia Zoo. We first saw a Blue-faced Honeyeater and a Raven in the food court. Just like the mynas back in Singapore -hoping to grab some food off our plates! The next common bird was the White Ibis, a species which seems to be all over Brisbane. We saw them almost everywhere, at the Zoo, at the Botanic Garden and at any place with a big open field or near to some water source. Near to one of the many Koala enclosures, we came upon many Scarlet Honeyeater on a clump of flowering trees. At the Kangaroo and Wallaby enclosures, there were many Brush Turkeys. Not too sure whether these are wild or free ranging but they weren’t tagged so I think they must be wild although the number seem too many to be wild. And we saw the first of what was to become many sighting – the famous Australian bird – the Laughing Kookaburra. The star of this place was this beautiful Eastern Yellow Robin perched nicely on a fence.
The next day at one of the street market, we saw more ravens, more White Ibis and Australian Magpie. At Mt Cootha, we came across some Rainbow Lorikeet and Scaly breasted Lorikeet. We also saw the first of what was to become very common, the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo. Down at the base of Mt Cootha, more cockatoo, Kookaburra, Magpie and Noisy Miner, another common Honeyeater.
At the Brisbane Botanic Garden, again the Blue-faced Honeyeater and White Ibis and many water fowl – ranging from the biggest Pacific Black Duck to the Masked Lapwing and the rarer Bush Stone Curlew. Other water birds were the White Eye Duck, the Purple Swamphen and the Eurasian Coot. Also saw more of the White Ibis (what else), Brush Turkey and Honeyeater and a new bird – Crested Pigeon.
Over at Lamington National Park, we heard many but due to the thick vegetation, we didn’t manage to see them. There was a Brush Turkey and that was it until the Birdbell Lookout where we saw a small brown bird. Think it is a White throated Treecreeper. Back at the parking lot, more magpie, brush turkey and raven but we got enough of them though.
We started our trip to North Stradbroke Island with a bird sighting at Toondah Harbour. A Bush Stone Curlew standing forlornly near a fence! While waiting for the ferry, we spotted a White Bellied Sea Eagle. Once on North Stradbroke Island, the very first we saw was naturally a gull. Silver sea gull on the beach. Walking the trail, we came across some small birds, too frisky to take any photos. Then on a open branch and staying perfectly still for us – our first sighting of a Pied Butcherbird. This was followed subsequently by 3 Masked Lapwing and a Noisy Friarbird. Also saw a brown bird. Think it is a Brown Honeyeater. We then saw a Brahminy Kite soaring over the sea and then to our delight, it perched on a tree barely metres away from us and we got this beautiful close up.
Other birds on the island, more Rainbow Lorikeet and Crested Pigeon and of course the Honeyeaters
Back in Brisbane City, other than the White Ibis, myna and sparrow, there wasn’t any interesting bird. We did come across a pair of black bird at the Brisbane River – look like Little Black Cormorants but with only our mobile phone on us, we couldn’t see close enough to id it.
That about sum up the birds we saw at Brisbane. All the photos in the following album.