• MajorMitchellCockatoo (Custom)
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Jan 13: Lazing on a sunny afternoon
 

Big news last night with the reappearance of the wandering Black-necked Stork at Tinchi Tamba – the bird stayed until dusk on 12th Jan, and so I set off this morning with a good sense of anticipation. Black-necked Storks are rare, but highly detectable – I wasn’t especially worried about missing it for the year, but always good to get these sorts of wandering species under the belt. Young birds have been seen in the Brisbane area, but there haven’t been any nailed down spots where birds are reliable as far as I know.

Two other cars were already present when I arrived – Stephen Murray and Felicia Chan / Rick Franks. I quickly checked the lagoon from the bridge, and sure enough the stork was there, and it appeared to be struggling with eating something quite large, possibly a duck. Its ghoulish breakfast out of the way, it continued foraging on the lagoon. But my attention quickly turned to looking for Little Grassbird, a very difficult bird in Brisbane. Stephen pointed out a couple of spots where he had been seeing birds over the past few months, but mentioned they rarely seem to call. I circuited the main lagoon, but couldn’t turn up a Little Grassbird. I did flush three Latham’s Snipe, which was nice. At the culvert along the road running east of the lagoon I briefly heard two Spotless Crakes, and saw one very briefly.

After more than 2 hours I gave up on grassbird, but returned home pretty happy to have the stork safe and sound on the list. I reckoned I would be spending more time at this site looking for Little Grassbird during the year.

It was a hot, sunny day and we lazed around for much of the afternoon. I was watering the plants in the garden with the kids in the late afternoon, when I suddenly heard the harsh chatter of a Little Wattlebird! I looked up and saw two birds perched in a tree. Grabbing the camera I got a couple of shots. This is a very difficult species on mainland Brisbane – much easier on Moreton Island. I moved in to the present house in June 2017, and have so far had Little Wattlebirds on 1 August, 20 September and 9 October. I’m not sure where they are coming from – perhaps there is a local group of breeding birds somewhere nearby. I’ll have to try and track them down one day. This was the third year tick of the day (Black-necked Stork, Spotless Crake, Little Wattlebird).

My year list at the end of the day was 193 species. I spent 2 hours 13 minutes birding, walked 4.216 km and drove 76.2 km.