Sunday, June 8, 2008

Noosa River birding

Last Wednesday I went down to the Noosa river to join a group doing a survey of the birds on the sandbanks at the mouth of the river. The group does both a high tide and low tide survey during the day. In the late afternoon and early evening they count the terns flying in to roost on the sand banks after fishing out at sea during the day. I always enjoy a day down there but more importantly I learn a lot from the others who are all much more experienced birders than I am.

Noosa River from Munna Point

Noosa River looking south over the sand banks

Noosa River sand bank

I see many of the same birds here in the Tin Can Bay inlet and at Inskip Point. However, down on the Noosa River there are so many more boats and people that the birds seem to get used to more disturbances. Of course, too much disturbance is detrimental to the birds and the Noosa council addressed this problem last year by closing the sand banks to 4 wheel drive traffic. The council also stopped all access on some of the islands for the summer season – October to April. This has stopped all disturbances during the time when the local waders are breeding.

The highlite of the trip for me this time was a Black-necked Stork – a Jabiru. However, this bird was watching me even more closely than I could see it and every time I got within camera range it moved off. All I got was some long-distance and rather blurry photos.

At Munna Point where we pick up our boat transport for the day I got some good pictures of White-faced Herons (Ardea novaehollandia). I see this bird quite frequently here in the Tin Can Bay inlet but it will never let me get close enough for really good pictures. At Munna Point where there are people moving around all the times the birds were quite approachable. There were two birds – one without the white face which I assume was a juvenile bird.

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