Friday, July 5, 2013


One comes to learn not to expect too much from birding in June.  It’s end of semester time; report cards, parent-teacher interviews and the collation of data for the Education Authorities.  
Following the 2011 Census, Fay and I were randomly selected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to be tracked on a monthly basis for the next eight months.  When informed that I was paid for a 25-hour week [six hours over five days] the statistician giggled, pointing out that this was the number of working hours the Bureau allocated to the “barely employed.”  Her giggle turned to a gasp as each month I rattled off  the weekly hours I’d actually spent in school or engaged on school work.   During June those hours increased by a significant margin.

As an old wag once quipped, “Teachers!  Buggers only work from nine to three, get ten weeks paid holiday a year and do little more than hand out worksheets and yell at the kids.  And most of the males are rampant paedophiles to boot!  Visions of Pink Floyd’s Brick in the Wall.

Make what you will of the above tirade,
We managed our first birding, beyond noting the local Allen Road birds and those recorded at school, on 9 June – and that was merely casual observations from the car as we returned home following a night out at the BOLSHOI BALLET and dinner with our son, ADAM.

On 10 June we finalised the first of two new birding circuits for the month, to add to the three designed in May:
Exit Burnett Highway at Booie Road.  Follow until Booie Road makes a sharp right-hand turn while the road directly ahead becomes Smith Road.  Follow this to its T-junction with the Hodsleigh North Road.  Turn left into this and follow until it meets the D'Aguilar Highway,

Strictly speaking of course this is not a complete circuit as we usually exit at Parsons Road and return home via the Nanango-Brooklands Road [into Major and Allen Roads] rather than continue through to Nanango itself and the start of the Burnett Highway.
We created the second of our new birding circuits five days later [15 June]; well more a “Q” than a true circuit:

Drive along the Mount Stanley Road and turn left into the East Nanango-Grindstone Road.  Follow this until its T-junction with the Grindstone School Road [signposted simple as School Road].  Follow this until its T-junction with Runnymede Road and then the latter's T-junction with the Burnett Highway.  Follow this until a left turn into Lanigan Road which junctions with the East Nanango-Grindstone Road [the tail of the Q].
The engaging views of three [3] Shining Bronze-Cuckoos Chalcites lucidus seemingly displaying to each other was a bonus in itself but of the 21 species recorded on this outing, the Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus has to be the sighting of the day.  As we negotiated a slight bend the bird suddenly materialised on the right-hand edge of the road [the tail of the circuit], flew along ahead of us and perched in tree a few metres away before disappearing again.  All too fast for my slow camera work!

Other than those two occasions we managed only a brief sojourn to the Nanango Fauna Sanctuary and an even briefer trip along Neumgna Road on a very overcast, grey day.
Our final entry was during the return trip from Chinchilla when we tallied twelve [12] species between the Western Downs and South Burnett border back to Allen Road.  The Black-shouldered Kite Elanus axillaris was worth a mention in despatches.
It was just June!