Friday, June 26, 2015

Tyto flying high on hotspot listings

Eight of Australia's top 10 birding hotspots are in North Queensland.

Tyto Wetlands sits fourth equal, according to listing site, eBird, sharing with Kingfisher Park, Julatten.

But metre for metre, minute for minute, it appears at present Tyto (90 hectares) offers more birds than any other spot in the land, with 70-80 species possible from an easy morning's walk (say four hours).

Townsville Town Common heads the hotspots, but dry conditions mean much reduced listings lately. Western Treatment Plant, Werrribee, Victoria holds second. It's great area would require a marathon walk or much driving to tally 70-80 birds. Cairns Esplanade sits third, but waves farewell to many of its prize species in April-May. Seasonal variation also cuts in Kingfisher Park counts.

So, Tyto rules, okay?

The bad news? Can't find any Grass Owls or Little Bitterns, and all the White-browed and Spotless Crakes have gone, likely because the Wet didn't happen this year.

Also probable will be depleted fish, frog, reptile and insect cycles, with consequences for all their predators.

The heat's on even the hottest hotspot.

Today's highlight, resident pair of Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus axillaris) on fallen tree over reeds at western end of lagoon. Flight by one (possibly male) drew calls from mate before it too flew off.

2 comments:

Gouldiae said...

Tyto Wetlands = birding hotspot, yes indeed! Thank goodness for that blogger that lives nearby I say.
Regards Tony,
Gouldiae.

Tony Ashton said...

Gee. thanks, G