• lab10
Jan 10: Year listing vs birding

I had a couple of hours this morning before taking Tom to daycare. From a birding perspective I was keen to go up to Mount Glorious to search for rainforest species. Yet from a yearlisting perspective I knew these species would be available all year and that really I should search for seasonal species. One particularly tricky summer visitor is Australian Little Bittern, which visit from northern Australia / New Guinea to breed. They are rare and irregular in Brisbane, possibly not even breeding every year, and certainly not easy to connect with. I decided on Metroplex wetlands, close to my house, and where breeding probably occurred in 2013/14, although no records since. I thoroughly searched the southern lagoon, but was only rewarded with year-ticking Buff-banded Rail for my efforts.

I had a quick look for the Peregrines on the Gateway Bridge, but the perch was empty.

In the afternoon, Chris Sanderson texted me the news that Chris Attewell had relocated the Common Blackbird at Mount Glorious, first detected on 16th December 2017 when it was recorded by a resident. Common Blackbird is spreading northwards in Australia, and is already fairly common in Stanthorpe. It seems likely to eventually colonise the upper slopes of the Brisbane Forest Park, yet for now it remains very rare in Brisbane – there was an amazing record by Elliot Leach in Moorhen Flats in the city in September 2016. Looking carefully at the maps, I realised Chris Attewell’s bird was actually about 100m outside the Brisbane LGA boundary. For the bird to count for my year list I would need to hear it from within Brisbane LGA. I therefore decided to go for the bird in the morning, when traffic noise would be minimal and the wind would be calm. Blackbirds normally start singing very early, so I was hopeful it would sing before the dawn chorus made it hard to hear from some distance away. I wanted to try for nocturnal species before the blackbird, and the site being an hour’s drive from home I would need an early start, so I set the alarm for 0230.

My year list at the end of the day was 171 species. I spent 1 hour 43 minutes birding, walked 2.89 km and drove 19 km.