One of the things we’ll really miss about our house in Townsville is the birds.  Amazingly we live pretty much as close to the city as you can get, without living on one of those new awful looking unit complexes.  Luckily they built the CBD close to Castle Hill, so a lot of the wildlife doesn’t have to travel to far to visit our house from their home on the hill.  We’ve blogged previously about Eddy the Echidna, and we’ve also had possums (though not so many since one of the neighbours knocked down a grand old mango tree – I have to admit there were some positives to this, at least now there’s not the deafening noise from the fruit bats during mango season).  The odd goanna has also passed through the property. 

But it’s the birds that help make sitting on our deck such a pleasure.  Mary and I have counted almost 50 species all up over the last 2.5 years!  There are some rules though: only count birds that can been seen from our property or on the vacant block behind us (and naturally we don’t count the indian miners or sparrows). 

1. Magpie Goose – Seen flying over head (uncommon)
2. Pelican – Soaring in the distance
3. Little Egret – Flying overhead
4. Intermediate Egret – Flying overhead
5. White-faced Heron – Flying overhead
6. Australian Ibis – Flying overhead
7. Brahminy Kite – Soaring above the house (rare)
8. Black Kite – Soaring in the distance (common)
9. White-bellied Sea-Eagle – Seen once soaring over Castle Hill
10. Pacific Baza – Came to visit once during spring
11. Brown Goshawk – Landed in the neighbours palm tree one day to say hello (rare)
12. Nankeen Kestrel – Hovering over Castle Hill
13. Masked Lapwing – In the neighbours yard
14. Wompoo Fruit-Dove! – Mary spotted this one. A pretty rare visitor who came down to Townsville after Cyclone Larry (there were quite a few around at the time)
15. Peaceful Dove – Common
16. Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo – Come in and attach our beach almond tree
17. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo – First time a couple of weeks ago in the vacant block
18. Rainbow Lorikeet – Love the bottle brushes and the Illawarra flame tree when its in flower
19. Scaly-breasted Lorikeet – Not as common as the Rainbow Lorikeet
20. Pale-headed Rosella – Common in the region, spotted once in the neighbours tree by Mary
21. Common Koel – Heard and seen pretty regularly in summer in the trees around the house
22. Channel-billed Cuckoo – These guys are loud! Spotted a couple of times briefly checking the trees in the yard
23. Pheasant Coucal – Seen pretty regularly
24. Forest Kingfisher – Likes to hang out in the neighbours Poinciana
25. Blue-winged Kookaburra – Common in the region only spotted once in the yard
26. Rainbow Bee-eater – Common
27. Dollarbird – Mary spotted this one flying right by our deck
28. Helmeted Friarbird – Like the Illawarra flame tree when its flowering
29. Blue-faced Honeyeater – Often seen in the neighbours palm
30. White-gaped Honeyeater – Reasonably regular visitor
31. Yellow Honeyeater – Occasionally seen in the bush in front of the house
32. Brown Honeyeater – Very common, always around the bottle brushes
33. White-throated Honeyeater – Not seen since neighbours chopped down an old gum tree
34. Mistletoebird – Reasonably regular visitor
35. Yellow-bellied Sunbird – My personal favourite! Seen daily
36. Leaden Flycatcher – Stayed for about a week and then not seen again
37. Spangled Drongo – Reasonably regular visitor
38. Magpie-lark – Reasonably regular visitor
39. Varied Triller – Seen a couple of times
40. Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike – Reasonably regular visitor
41. White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike – Reasonably regular visitor (if you look for him)
42. Figbird – Can usually be seen in the neighbours fig tree
43. White-breasted Woodswallow – Common, flying overhead and on the wires
44. Spotted Bowerbird – Reasonably regular visitor
45. Nutmeg Mannikin – In the vacant block grass

You can actually add a couple more to the list if you count birds heard but not officially seen according to the rules: Bush-stone Curlew (most nights), and Brush Cuckoo in the summer. I’m also pretty sure I’ve seen Magpies, Torresian Crows, Pied Imperial Pidgeons, and Willie Wagtails but I’m not 100% certain they’ve been seen from our property. So I’m pretty confident we would have cracked the 50 mark if we’d been here for another year or so.

I recently bought a Canon Powershot S3 IS camera and decided last week that it should be a project to photograph the birds of 10 Jones St.  I’ve left my run a bit late on this, so I’ll be luck to get too many, but here’s a few anyway…

Pheasant Coucal (with grasshopper!)
Pheasant Coucal (with grasshoper! side of house)

Brown Honeyeater (Bottle brush outside kitchen)
Brown Honeyeater (outside kitchen)

Male Figbird
Figbird (neighbours fig tree)

Sulfur-crested Cockatoo
Sulfur-crested Cockatoo (from back deck – neighbours tree)

Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bee-eater

Channel-billed Cuckoo
Channel-billed Cuckoo (neighbours fig tree)


Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

The weekend was reasonably eventful, even though Mary and Harry are in Brisbane! I decided to head down to the Town Common and take some photos (using a nice Canon camera that a very kind colleague lent me). I even got a couple from around our place of the cockatoos demolishing the local vegetation. Check out the rest of the photos here.

Cyclone Larry provided the interest for the rest of the weekend, but didn’t end up affecting Townsville thankfully.