We're Just Wild About Our Waders...

Hot on the heels of our Quail report, comes the latest bird wrap up from the Kingfisher Bay Resort Ranger team.

With summer in full swing, the days are long and the birds are plentiful here on Fraser Island. And, with the impatient sun peaking over the horizon at around 5:30am, it is definitely the very early bird that’s been getting the worm.

January was a month for Waders, and most of the ‘exciting birding’ was happening on Kingfisher Bay’s western beach, overlooking the Great Sandy Strait.

Eastern Curlews are regular visitors to Fraser Island and easily identified by the eerie territorial calls they let out of a night time – “cuur-lee, cuur-lee!” In daylight however, these birds are not at all menacing and live an amazing migratory life - flying thousands of kilometres along the East Asian Australasian Flyway from Russia and China each year to feed on our shores.

Another impressive wader that’s been gracing our shoreline of late is the Beach Stone-Curlew – another species known for its wailing call. This large-beaked wader stands up to 65 centimetres and is a striking presence on Fraser Island’s western shore. The species is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (QLD), so we take extra care when we’re exploring the beautiful beach environment in front of the resort, on our guided walks, not to disturb their habitat.

Other waders sighted this month included the shy and petite Whimbrel, the striking White-faced Heron, slender and graceful Little Egrets and our furtive Striated Herons.

Other environments around the resort also provided some great sightings over the past month.

Red-browed Finches filled the Wallum and main road with their sweet cheeping calls as they spent their mornings foraging on the ground for seeds and insects. These diminutive birds are identified by their steely grey and olive green plumage, with splashes of fiery red on their rump and above their eyes.

The start of a new year also heralds the start of Midyim berry season. Midyim bushes are prolific around the resort and, from January to about April each year, produce an abundance of small and very tasty fruits. Mistletoebirds are big fans of these bushes and this month bird watchers were lucky enough to witness male Mistletoebirds gorging on these fruits. Our Resort Rangers also love to forage for the delicious Midyim during our guided Bush Tucker walks and new faces are most welcome!

What a great start to 2012… let’s see what February brings.
Hooroo from Ranger Kat