Change of Species; Change of Season: Goodbye Curlews And Welcome Woodswallows…

Last month the bird watching in and around Fraser Island’s western side was wonderful - with dozens of species being recorded by our Kingfisher Bay Resort ranger team and our guests on our morning guided walks.

As autumn began, we’ve started to experience some changes in the types of birds spotted around the resort.

In March, many Eastern Curlews (see above left) start their long journey back to their breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere. These impressive waders will not grace Fraser Island’s shores again until August, when they make their triumphant return.

As one bird flies the coop, so to speak, another species takes their place… and we’ve spotted White Breasted Woodswallows, which have been migrating up our way, from the southern parts of their range, to experience a milder winter. Dozens of these handsome birds can be seen on autumn and winter mornings perched along tree branches basking together in the warm morning sun.

While migratory birds provide us with seasonal variation, so too do our precious resident species through their feeding and breeding cycles. Red-backed Fairy-wrens were spied nesting amongst a Midyim thicket (an Australian bush tucker plant that produces small, white flower and blue-grey spotted fruit which ripen about now) right next to the resort’s main pool! The vibrant male showed no qualms parading his mating plumage, while the demure female stayed well hidden along with the pair’s well concealed nest.

March saw our resident Rainbow Lorikeets congregating in the freshly flowering Eucalyptus Robusta that fringe our Wallum wetlands. Flocks of these highly decorated and rambunctious parrots are often accompanied by a few of their green headed relatives, the Scaly-breasted Lorikeets.   Next time a flock of screeching ‘Lories’ flies over, keep your eyes peeled for the odd ones out!

Until next month, keep on Twitchin’!