• lab3
Sep 7: The Day of the Jacky
 

After an early morning work session and taking my son to the playground and story time at the library, I drove into town, and met Louis Backstrom at Roma St bus station. We headed out to Shelley Road Park, where we had decided to put in some birding over the middle of the day to look for woodswallows. There have been a few decent size mixed flocks of White-browed and Masked Woodswallows west and north of Brisbane in recent days, although none yet within the LGA. We were not to be lucky at Shelley Road Park (eBird list here), and eventually after nearly two hours we gave up.

Perusing the map, we decided to head north-west and try to see if any of the tracks leading up the western flank of Mount Glorious were accessible from Lake Manchester Road. We drove a short way up Sheppards Road until we had just re-entered Brisbane LGA from Somerset LGA, although further progress was thwarted by a private sign. We stopped and did a 10-min stationary eBird list since we were in a part of Brisbane scarcely birded before. We then tried the next track to the west, which appeared to be public. About 100m in we reached a small dam, and parked up, to do another short stationary eBird list. A few minutes in, a small slim passerine hopped up onto a wire – a magnificent Jacky Winter! Buoyed by this success, we drove a little further up the track until we reached a gate with a private sign. We stopped before the gate to conduct one last eBird list, concluding that much of this area is unfortunately covered with private land, and to birdwatch on it we would one day need to ask landowner permission. Amazingly, we heard another two Jacky Winters singing – clearly this was the time and place for them!

A farmer came along and politely let us know the track was in fact private, so we retreated back to the main road. We did another stationary eBird list at the Cabbage Tree Creek / Lake Manchester Road crossing, but apart from a vociferous New Holland Honeyeater, there wasn’t much of interest. Next we tried the corner of Kholo Rd and Lake Manchester Rd, where we listened for King Quail (without success), but then watched one of the long-staying Jacky Winters singing its heart out – truly one of the most beautiful songs of any Australian bird. I managed a recording, which is the first sound record of this species captured in Brisbane. We stopped a little further south, where Creek crosses Kholo Road, and Louis found a magnificent platypus, which was swimming around on the west side of the road in full view for several minutes – brilliant! The first one of these I’ve seen within Brisbane LGA, and a brilliant sighting. I’ve put the record on iNAturalist, where I am gradually entering all of my non-bird records.

On the way back to the city, we stopped along Stumers Road where a Shining Bronze-cuckoo was furtively following a Brown Thornbill around, perhaps ready to lay an egg.

With no year ticks today, my year list remained on 296 species. I spent 3 hours 2 minutes birding, walked 2.8 km and drove 111.5 km. My chronological year list is here.

Jacky Winter at Sheppards Break this afternoon, one of four birds that we saw today, only one of which was previously known about. Three of the birds were singing, so a good time to go and hear this species in action!

 

Platypus!