Red-chested Button-Quails

Sightings anywhere within a 250 km radius of Toowoomba, but excluding the local survey area (see above), for the period 1 Sep - 30 Nov 2010.

Red-chested Button-Quails

Postby Rod Hobson » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:26 am

Folks,

Last Wednesday mid-morning I was driving towards Crows Nest up the Esk-Crows Nest Road when I stopped to inspect a dead lizard on the roadway. It proved to be an adult male Eastern Water Dragon. This was at AGD 94 - S 27.20521 deg. x E 152.10698 deg., +/-10 metres. As I drew up beside the lizard I saw a small brown bird on the roadside about 10 metres ahead. On viewing the animal I was able to clearly discern a male Red-chested Button-quail*. The button-quail foraged around quite unconcernedly whilst I remained in the car but scuttled off quickly into the undergrowth when I started to alight from the vehicle. I had watched it for about three minutes without interruption.

About an hour after this event I had just entered Crows Nest National Park; about 50 metres in from the main entrance. At this point I flushed another button-quail from the trackside just ahead of me. I got good clear views of the bird's russet flanks; a diagnostic feature of the Red-chested Button-quail. Two of these secretive birds within a few hours of each other - not a bad morning's birding!

Crows Nest National Park was alive with animal life on this day. Aside to the button-quail I also recorded Glossy Black Cockatoo* along the Koonin Track. Other birds of interest seen included Australian King Parrot, Buff-rumped Thornbill and Peregrine Falcon. The area around Koonin Lookout is dominated by Grevillea floribunda, which is flowering at present and attracting hoards of honeyeaters. At one stop I counted nine Eastern Spinebills feeding on these blossoms. More were calling in the general area. Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Noisy Friarbirds were also feeding there in large numbers.

The ongoing rain has really livened up the herpetological community of the park, as well. On my walk I saw Copper-tailed Skink (Ctenotus taeniolatus), one of the bar-sided skinks (Eulamprus tenuis) and a sunskink (Lampropholis delicata). Along a flooded gully on the Koonin Track Verreaux's Treefrog (Litoria verreauxii) was setting up a mighty racket and crusty male Large Toadlets (Pseudophryne major) were advertising their availibility from soil cracks and crevices in the surrounding sodden woodland.

Crows Nest National Park is but a stone's throw from Toowoomba and definitely worth the sacrifice of an idle Sunday afternoon. Especially now that the good season is on us.

Regards,
Rod Hobson

* Red-chested Button-quail and Glossy Black Cockatoo new for " Spring Beyond - 2010". Also another species for this list: 2 x Common Bronzewings on Gatton-Esk Road near Lake Clarendon turn-off on this same morning.
Rod Hobson
 
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