A Tale of Flycatchers, Oystercatchers, Honeyeaters and More!

As we’ve bid farewell to February and the last heady days of summer, we’ve enjoyed some fabulous bird watching on Fraser Island and in and around Kingfisher Bay Resort’s Centre Complex.

A Pandanus tree, alongside the resort’s main swimming pool, is now home to a new family of Blue-faced Honeyeaters (pictured right). The mating pair is regularly spotted – their vivid sky-blue faces in sharp contrast to the green palm-like leaves - on our morning walks as they tend to their chicks.

Did You Know that the Blue-faced Honeyeater is the quintessential early bird and is often heard calling thirty minutes before the sun rises!

Another bird that we spotted nesting around the resort this month is the Leaden Flycatcher, whose nest was spotted high in a beach-side paperbark tree. Male and female Leaden Flycatchers are dimorphic, which means that their colouring and markings are so different that they look like two different species! In this case, males have dark heads and white breasts, whilst females have a blue head and distinctive orange breast feathers.

As they say – one good ‘tern’ deserves another and down on the beach this month, Crested Terns have made way for the Gull-billed Terns. These similarly sized birds are differentiated from each other by beak colour - the Gull-billed terns have a jet black beak and their crested relatives sport a vibrantly yellow beak.

Pied Oystercatchers also made a cameo appearance on the beach this month. These large black and white birds sport bright orange legs and bills. Their bill is extremely strong to allow them to feed on bivalve molluscs like pipis and oysters. They use their strong bills to cut open the muscles that hold the bivalve’s two shell halves together, allowing them to eat the soft body inside. We’ve enjoyed many a morning watching them in action.

This February an old favourite has once again brightened our morning bird walks - Eastern Whipbirds - which failed to make any appearances last month - have returned to Kingfisher Bay’s grounds - their loud whip-cracking calls make them easy to locate in the Wallum undergrowth. This month we watched as a pair busily scratched around in the leaf litter in search of insects and other invertebrates.

The coming of Autumn will no doubt bring about changes in the types of birds we see around Fraser Island - particularly our migratory species so stay tuned!