We celebrated National Bird Week (23 – 29 October 2017) with a bird watching visit to the Bush Garden, led by our wonderful guide Michael McMaster from Birdlife Townsville. We had a fantastic turnout with 17 volunteers attended, including Cub Scouts and their parents from Pimlico-Mundingburra, Loam Island and Bluewater Scout troops.
The Bush Garden made for the perfect location to wander through the bush in peace and quiet, listening for any signs of the birds we sought. We had an exciting find from Sue who brought along what we identified to be a honeyeater nest, discarded after the chicks had hatched. The strength in the design and construction of the nest was incredible and it was great to show to the kids.
We discussed the recent installation of an owl box by Birdlife Townsville, which is now actually housing possums. These boxes are designed to provide habitat for large, hollow dwelling birds and have been constructed and installed because of the distinct lack of old trees with good sized hollows in our urban environment.
Jacanas provided a great talking point with kids eagerly watching through binoculars and trying to decide just how a bird could walk on lilypads, consensus seemed to be that their very long toes had something to do with it.
Our walk led us to the end of the Bush Garden at Aplin’s Weir where we came across, what some of us thought, the highlight of the day…a family of Tawny frogmouths! Two adults and two juveniles, of different ages, perched together on a branch. We also found the nest around 10 metres away in a beautiful paperbark overhanging the river.
Thank you to Michael McMaster, Birdlife Townsville and all the volunteers that turned up for a bit of birding and to celebrate our wonderful wildlife. We hope you had an enjoyable morning and that we’ll see you in the bush again sometime soon.