Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rocky Creek Circuit

Australian Hobby. Image via ozanimals.com

We came across what we now refer to as the Rocky Creek Circuit more by chance and good fortune than by deliberate design. One end of Rocky Creek Road itself exits onto the D’Aguilar Highway, at a point where the highway crosses Rocky Creek, normally a thin trickle of water running along a narrow, but deepish, course. I pass it twice daily during the working week and in the back of my mind had always earmarked it as a potential for future exploration.

However, it wasn’t until we discovered that it’s other end terminates at its junction with Reeve Road, the latter running from Neumgna Road to the D’Aguilar Highway, that we appreciated the potential for a birding circuit.

The easiest way to picture this “circuit” is to imagine a capital Q; the circuit proper takes in Reeve Road, Rocky Creek Road, the D’Aguilar Highway and so back to Reeve Road. The tail of the Q is that part of Reeve Road which sweeps into Neumgna Road [and that leads to Berlin Road].

Our initial exploratory outing was back in January 2010, a trip that produced a mere five species but given that one of the very first birds was the Australian Hobby Falco longipennis it fired the imagination and has become a regular route when we’re short of extended time but feel the need to go a little beyond Allen Road.

On the subsequent visit the tally of birds rocketed to 19 and included crippling view of a pair of Jacky Winters Microeca fascinans [a member of the Petroicidae, robins]. On the previous visit, in November 2010, we had tallied a record 29 species and while the list had included nothing out of the ordinary, other than perhaps a pair of Plumed Whistling-Duck Dendrocygna eytoni, it had shown us that there was much to be had from this circuit.

Jacky Winter Image via aviceda.org

On the first visit for this current year, Sunday 13 March 2011, we tallied only 24 species but it did include good views of Red-rumped Parrot Psephotus haematonotus, strung out along overhead wires along Reeve Road. Unfortunately the morning was overcast, dull and gloomy; not the ideal conditions for photography.

With a little "tweaking" this should the Rocky Road Circuit should become one of the best nearby locales Fay and I have on our South Burnett schedule.

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