Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Murphys Creek, Queensland, Australia


It seems a long while since I was home. I took these spoonbill shots back in 2014 when birding with Mick Atzeni and Rich Seaton. We stopped just for a couple of minutes for the shots and we took off again. I didn't bother getting out of the car. Such are the riches of Queensland.

These are Australia's two spoonbills. I think we shouldn't take them for granted as they are quite wonderful. 

Royal Spoonbill

Wyreema Wastewater Treatment Plant

Royal Spoonbill and Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Wyreema Wastewater Treatment Plant, Wyreema, Queensland, Australia

In the last few years I have enjoyed some visits to the Wyreema Wastewater Treatment Plant with members of the Toowoomba Bird Observers.

Wyreema is a small town on the south-western outskirts of Toowoomba.

It is a wonderful place to see some extraordinary Australian wildlife. Some highlights include, Royal Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Australian Pelican, Pink-eared Duck, Plumed Whistling-Duck, Black Falcon, and the list goes on. Apart from such large birds there are also tiny masters of beauty such as Zebra Finch and Superb Fairy-wren. During the drought, we even encountered Black Honeyeaters, Black-tailed Native-hens and Freckled Duck. Yellow-throated Miners are on the eastern edge of their range here, and nested nearby. Eastern Grey Kangaroos bound around the facility.

Black Falcon

Pink-eared Ducks and Plumed Whistling-Ducks

Sadly, I have heard the plant is soon closing down and the ponds or lakes could be filled in. I feel this will be a loss to the community as there are no other places such birds would gather in this area. 

It could be a nice opportunity to turn the place into a natural wetlands parkland, don’t you think? Plant a few eucalypts for koalas, make a nice circuit path with wheelchair access, and a couple of seats and where else better for international visitors arriving at the Wellcamp Airport to seek a close encounter with some of Australia’s natural treasures...

If you like the idea, please send a “Like”, to the Toowoomba Bird Observer's Facebook page.

Click here for a pdf of bird species

Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Australasian Darter


Australian Pelican


Zebra Finch

Yellow-throated Miner

Waterfowl on stormwater runoff dam adjacent to the final treatment pond.

Golden-headed Cisticola

Golden-headed Cisticola

Grey Teal, Eurasian Coots, Chestnut Teal

Hardhead (White-eyed Duck)

Australasian Grebes

White-winged Triller

Freckled Duck

Down and Around the Lockyer on the Last Saturday of 2013

Cattle Egret


Queensland University, Gatton Campus, Queensland, Australia

A week late posting this, but enjoyed a big day out with Rod Hobson who kindly took me down and around the Lockyer Valley on Saturday, December 28, 2013. It was overcast to start the day but we quickly commenced our day with a Black Falcon of which we had two sightings. 

Rod was determined that we would find more raptors and we even went up through the Great Divide to Wyreema and Cambooya in hope for a Spotted Harrier but we only saw a couple of kestrels as the skies became quiet once blue, so we turned around and went back down to the valley where we got a Spotted Harrier with our eyes but I failed with the camera near Grantham.

Still, it was a remarkable day with the Lockyer Valley proving it is a special place for birding. 

Thanks, Rod.

(Disappointed that I can only input 200 or less characters for the labels/contents on Blogger so I couldn't list all the species pictured in my contents!)

Royal Spoonbill

Magpie Goose


Superb Fairy-wren


Comb-crested Jacana

Black Falcon

Royal Spoonbill

Magpie Goose (Above and below)

Yellow-billed Spoonbill and Royal Spoonbill

Interesting sight: Glossy Ibis (landing), Australian Shoveler (left) Spoonbills, Australian Wood Duck (centre) etc.

Another view of several birds including Black-winged Stilt and Australian Pelican

Sacred Kingfisher

Freckled Duck is a rarity here (Above and below)

Whistling Kite

Black Kite (Australian)

White Bellied Sea-eagle

Lake Clarendon

Pink-eared Duck (flying behind) and Eurasian Coot (foreground)

The ducks were nervous with the sea-eagle circling overhead

Summer Christmas

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (left and right); Royal Spoonbill (centre)

(There's a small plover bottom left too)

Wyreema Water Treatment Plant, Queensland, Australia

December 22, 2013

Having my first Christmas back home since before the floods and great earthquake of 2011. (I have been back since then but not in summer). Niigata had a maximum of 8 yesterday and I imagine grey skies. Nice and blue here. The sun is strong if you stand under it but in the shade the breeze is cool and dry. Different from the radiant heat of Niigata in summer. The forecast here is for a temperature rise over Christmas however.

On Sunday afternoon I had a nice outing  with Michael Atzeni and Rod Hobson to Wyreema. Many waterbirds about the place and we were looking for avian visitors from the west which would be avoiding the hot dry drought out there. Michael and Rod are highly efficient naturalists and we recorded some exciting records but I was too useless with my camera to get rarities such as Freckled Duck and a possible Black Honeyeater. 

Pink-eared Duck and Plumed Whistling Duck looked so beautiful and unique on ground an in air but even commoners such as Australian White and Straw-necked Ibis were familiar faces that I was so happy to see. I regret now that I didn't spend more time trying to photo a Nankeen Kestrel that was busy going back and forth overhead. 

Had a nice outing the following morning with Kevin Williams and will post some pics in a couple of days. Just two short outings and over six hundred shots taken. 

I hope you are having a nice time this Christmas and I'm looking forward to having more time the next few days to check other blogs. Holidays are a grand time. 

Same spoonbills with an Australian White Ibis (second from the left)

Pink-eared Ducks and Plumed Whistling Ducks

Eastern Grey Kangaroo (above and below)

Looks nice a green east of the draught.

White-necked Heron with blue sky

Straw-necked Ibis

Australian Hobby thumbing a ride roadside