Having just finished a tour in Papua New Guinea (posts to follow in coming days), I had a welcome day off today (one of only 3 I have had since the end of March). So what better to do than go birding. So I went off after one of the few possible lifers in the "Brisbane" area: Black-breasted Buttonquail just a 3 hour drive away at Inskip Point. I set off with an ex-pat Stuart Pickering one of my old birding mates from London (who now lives in this fantastic birding country). I left with the feeling the site would offer buttonquail or bust, however was surprised when we also bumped into other interesting birds at the site. It started with a delightful family of Variegated Fairywrens that played around us for a while (top photo). Then I went on the prowl for the buttonquail, and found a Noisy Pitta lurking colorfully beneath a palm, a wonderful and most unexpected find. Minutes later I was watching and listening to the bizarre Eastern Whipbird, that posesses one of the most recognisable sounds of the east. Then a short time later my first of 3 male Black-breasted Buttonquails walked slowly but purposefully by-lifebird! An interval for a pair of beefy Beach Thick-Knees loafing on the beach followed (bottom photo). Later Stuart put me onto another couple of male buttonquails busy making "soup bowls" on the edge of the parking lot, by rolling their bodies to kick up prey, and in the process making these distinctive depressions that betray their existence in the area.
1 day ago