I got a phone called from mum asking me if I wanted to check out Anakie Gorge. The restrictions had recently eased and we had all been going a bit stir crazy.
It seemed that many others had a similar feeling. The car park was busier than I had ever seen it. Fortunately people were respecting social distancing. We didn’t manage to walk more than 1km as Seth got distracted by all the rocks nearby.
Definitely would love to do some of the hikes in the area and look for evidence of mining. I love the geology of the region.
Yesterday I visited Anakie Gorge with my parents and the little dude. Both mum and Sethy had celebrated a birthday in the previous week and this was their celebratory adventure. Mum loves the area and we used to go there heaps growing up.
We ended up walking from the gorge to the Stony Creek picnic area. It is fantastic, especially for kids that love rocks. I’ve done a separate post about the walk. You can read it here.
What I really loved however was the birdlife. I hadn’t really fallen for the Brisbane Ranges until this past visit. I was intrigued, definitely, but it was just another place. Woodland birds didn’t interest me. I have now visited enough times to find consistent patterns and I must say, I was intrigued.
One of the first things we noticed as soon as we got there was these two kookaburras sitting in the tree. They quickly started laughing. I was disappointed that we didn’t see them pooping as Seth and I both learned that kookaburras always poo when they laugh. There was a third further on.
We also saw a couple of eastern yellow robins at the start of the track, which was lovely. No scarlet robins, like we’ve seen at other locations. I was hoping to get a flame today but I may have to wait until next year for that.
We were still in the picnic area when I saw this bird and tried hard to get a photo. I was so hopeful it was a crested shrike tit, as a large sign in the area had one pictured. I double checked just in case and alas, just a golden whistler. It wasn’t all for naught though – Sethy managed to pick up TWO more lifers on this day!
We were very fortunate to see this yellow faced honeyeater. I’ve been trying to boost Sethys honeyeater numbers but it is hard, as all the fun ones seem to be at places that are hard to get to via public transport. We didn’t get good lucks but he was happy.
He was more happy though to see the yellow tufted honeyeaters. There was so many around and their call is quite distinctive. Their markings are so beautiful. If you want guaranteed photos, just wait around at the Stony Creek Picnic Ground.
The picnic ground made it so easy to just see them up close. We could see them feeding, interacting and just hanging out.
Look at the yellow marking near his ear? It has now made me determined to see all of the subspecies.
I believe this one was eating at the time. There was a number of wattlebirds around chasing them off, which made it hard to get photographs.
There was a solid number of white naped honeyeaters around. They were so small when flying that I did wonder if they were a finch. It was only when I looked closely that I realized they were a honeyeater. I still think they are rather boring.
This bird really pissed me off. I can never remember the call so I would follow it and follow it to no avail. It would fly off, hiding deeper in the bushes. Then I finally found it and realized it was *this.* Butthead.
I’ve since learned these are spitfires. Sethy was pretty stoked to see them.
I’ve learned that I probably will have some difficulty combining birdwatching and walking. After doing reading, I’m very intrigued at what other birds and animals I can find in the area. I’m not sure just how much I will be exploring this area but I must say. I’m starting to get hooked.
For the most part, I don’t know the names of any of these plants. I know roughly the groups of some of them. (greenhood orchids, fungi. etc.) Carolyn did point out stuff to me but it is a new area with unfamiliar flora. Which is awesome, as I suspect I can really fall in love with this place. I don’t know how I’m going to have time to get to know it better I haven’t fallen in love with the ranges yet. I’m not sure if I will, but Anakie in particular is lovely.
I’m going to the Gold Coast in two days for work. It’ll be two days of travel, two days at a conference with maybe 1-3 hours of sneaky birding. As usual, I’ve been feeling pretty anxious about it. At least I was on the weekend. I couldn’t slow my heart beat nor get much down.
Fortunately, the fabulous Carolyn offered to take me adventuring for the day. I would have planned to go somewhere myself but the weather forecast was meant to be bad. I thought it would be handy to have a car there just in case it suddenly poured down.
We were lucky. We had great weather. We went to the Brisbane Ranges. It was a rough day in terms of anxiety management but ultimately, very therapeutic.
Our first stop was a walk along orchid and tea tree tracks. I think. The birding was more difficult then I’m used to but it was still pretty awesome
Scarlet Robin. There were a number of these floating about which gave me a chance to practice my sphotography. I was so hoping to see a flame. Alas, I missed. I’m not sure if I’ve missed my chance to see them – or double banded plovers elsewhere – but I’ll try when I get back.
Grey Strike Thrush. The call may have confused me – again!
The above is a white eared honeyeater. I’ve seen them before, it was nice to see them again. I don’t know why I like them more then the white naped honeyeater. Perhaps the red eye annoys me? They were pretty tricky to photograph, they flew very quickly
Blurry wedge tailed eagle. I don’t see them that often and it was flying very low. I was so stabby that the camera wouldn’t focus in time.
Eastern Spinebill. These guys were here in pretty decent numbers. Further away then the ones at the botanic gardens. It was interesting, seeing as I know nothing about their behaviour and what type of habitat they like. I didn’t think the ranges was wet enough. But the plants they liked at the botanical gardens were more for the food they provided.
I love the accidental learning. I so have to learn more about photographing these guys.
I was playing around with creative auto (to get nice backgrounds) when this guy flew off. I think the setting could be useful in rushed situations. Hoping to experiment with it more.
Brown thornbill? A couple of types were seen here, I’m just in no rush to ID them.
Another robin, or probably the same one I’ve photographed earlier.
This is quite likely a lifer. Carolyn did say she saw a grey headed (or grey?) honeyeater but I couldn’t see quick enough. I’m not even annoyed I couldn’t see it, I only get annoyed later when I missed the potential flame robin. Even then, I was just cranky at the camera.< img class=" aligncenter" src="https://farm1.staticflickr.com/422/20423457246_6b4aa3a709_z.jpg" alt="IMG_7406" width="640" height="427" />
Treecreeper. I could photograph these guys all day.
Not sure what this is. Probably something common. Maybe a pardalote?
Boar gully Camp Ground
We didn’t have much luck with birds in this area. I took photos of all the signs so I’d remember to read up on it when I got home. I did notice it was the start/end of the Burchell track. I’d given up any hopes of walking it because it isn’t really accessible and involves more hills then other walks I’m interested in. However, I may be able to pay friends for a lift there. I’d need to improve fitness and figure out how to work around my selective eating. I’d given up most thoughts about multi day hiking with all the stress of the past year. I’m pretty excited about all the potential nature adventures I can go on. So many, so little time!
It was a really good trip. It definitely lessened the anxiety. I’m finding I’m feel better in general now I’ve moved.