Architecture Birds Brisbane

August 30, 2014 … nature at its best, close to the city

At home again and Queensland is rapidly receding into memory.

Coochiemudlo Island is a small slice of tropical paradise near Brisbane

Of course, photographs are a wonderful aid to memory, and yesterday I made a lot of images. We went to Coochiemudlo Island at the Southern end of Moreton Bay. It is accessed by a ferry that runs a half-hourly service to and from Victoria Point in Redland. It is just over an hour’s drive from Brisbane through very pleasant country, though the farmland is under pressure from growing suburbia. The first thing you see on the island is a classic tropical island white and beach. Yesterday’s weather was perfect for this.

Brahminy kite nesting in a tree on an inhabited street in Coochiemudlo

The locals seem friendly and offered a lot of helpful, though not always accurate advice about where to find birds. I was looking for the Bush Stone Curlew (of which, more later) but one old gentleman suggested that if I went up this street and along that street until I found the blue house and then looked for a certain tree, we would see a Sea Eagle nesting. We followed the instructions and indeed found a handsome raptor nesting in the tree. However, according to the field guide, this bird is the Brahminy Kite (Haliastur indus). She had a substantial nest and like the osprey from a few days earlier, was defending it from lesser birds.

Black-chinned honey eater on a Pandanus fruit

We resumed our walk around the island in pursuit of the curlews, but I was side-tracked again by the proliferation of honeyeaters of various sorts. The first I saw was a Black-chinned honey eater (Melithreptus gularis) sitting on the fruit of a Pandanus tree.

Blue face
Blue-faced honey eater on garden shrubs

On a nearby suburban street (on this remote tropical island) we next encountered the Blue faced honey eater (Entomyzon cyanotis) extracting honey from the flowers of garden shrubs.

Wetland bush on Coochiemudlo

Soon we found ourselves in the Melaleuca wetlands on the North East corner of the island and the bush there was full of birdsong, though the birds remained cleverly hidden.

A group of Bush Stone-curlew

Around the corner, facing North, there were nice views back in the direction of the city which may have excused me from seeing the very birds I was hoping to meet. Fortunately, David has younger and sharper eyes than mine, and he spotted a group of three. By means a forceful whispers and urgent hand signals, he indicated that he had seen something, so I did my twinkle-toed pink panther imitation back to where he was pointing. Oh great joy, there were three birds. The  mainly nocturnal Bush Stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) is reportedly secretive by day, and hard to find.  And there were three of them in plain sight. Their defense mechanism is to stay perfectly still if they sense danger. This may be the cause of their rarity except in the far North of Australia. I speculate that what we saw was a cock bird guarding two hens on the nest.

These seemed to be sitting on a nest

In the end as we walked the island, we encountered no fewer than seven of them, and as a photographer, I was delighted that their defense mechanism posed them perfectly.

Back to civilization (?) … I was pleased with this shot through the front windscreen of the car.

Sadly, a problem at home meant we had to curtail our walk and head back towards the mainland. Never mind,  what we had seen already was a delight. My last shot of the day was of the Gardens Point vicinity as we came back through the city on our way back to the North side. As you can see, there is no shortage of construction in this city.

And so to bed.



By wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures.

This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.

2 replies on “August 30, 2014 … nature at its best, close to the city”

“No shortage of construction in this city” – do you always feel like Wellington (and by extension NZ) is a sedentary little backwater upon returning from overseas? I know I always do…

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