Not far from Brisbane City, there is a water reserve that was man-made barring Enoggera Creek more than 150 years ago. Years later some of the bushland areas near the reserve of water were declared D'Aguilar National Park. Today Enoggera Creek Reservoir and D'Aguilar National Park protect precious flora and fauna. These places are also for people to appreciate nature and its inhabitants, like the birds.
Enoggera Reservoir was built in 1866 to provide water for the growing population in Brisbane. Enoggera Creek was selected because it had a larger water catchment at high altitudes in the D'Aguilar Range. It is the oldest water reservoir in Brisbane. Over the years Enoggera Reservoir has undergone a few changes, but the dam's original structure remains intact and functioning.
Today the reservoir is not used as a drinking water source and it is dedicated to recreational activities, like swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding. During severe droughts, like the 2006 drought, the dam can be recommissioned as a water supply.
The Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre has a small display of Queensland native animals, a small gift shop and rangers are in place to help if you need information. There are free brochures and detailed maps for sale.
In the same building there is also Walkabout Creek Cafe
which features a great sitting area under cover and a menu for brunch and lunch; there are cakes, scones and a daily selection of sandwiches.
Near the lake, there is a small beach where is possible to relax on a beach towel and access the designated swimming area. On weekends you can rent a kayak and a paddleboard. You may spot small turtles and fish in the water.
In the forest around the reservoir are bushwalking and mountain biking trails. The forest is part of the D'Aguilar National Park, which protects subtropical rainforest, eucalypt woodland and more than 200 species of native animals. The forest is home to many species of birds, making birdwatching a very interesting and fulfilling activity.
Birding at Enoggera Reservoir.
Painted button quail. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Enoggera Reservoir is located on the eastern side of the D'Aguilar National Park, not far from Brisbane City. It is the backyard of The Gap, Chapel Hill and Brookside suburbs.
Many birds can be spotted in Enoggera Reservoir, making it one of the top areas in Brisbane for bird watching.
Observers report having photographed the Painted button quail, Crested shrike tit, White-eared monarch, dusky wood swallow and many other birds. More than 200 species of birds have been seen at Enoggera Reservoir, including one of Australia's rarest species, the spectacular Regent Honeyeater.
Marzia Mattioli has been at Enoggera Reservoir a few times and in different seasons. Sometimes she puts her kayak in the water to observe and take photos of birds along the reservoir's shore. Marzia generally follows the Araucaria trail armed with a camera and patience to take photos of different species of birds and wildlife.
Cormorants at Enoggera Reservoir. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, November 2022
Walkabout Creek Centre is a Wedding Venue, it has a Function Room for Hire and a Rainforest Cafe.
Bar shouldered dove at Enoggera Reservoir. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Enoggera Reservoir precinct at the weekend tends to be very busy with families and visitors, especially on beautiful sunny days. People enjoy doing many activities or just having a picnic near the water. Travellers explore the area and have coffee, bushwalkers climb up the steep trails of the D'Aguilar National Park.
Many couples choose Walkabout Creek Centre to celebrate their marriage. There is also a great room dedicated to functions during weekdays and weekends. The dedicated car park gets to capacity quickly.
Parking the car.
There is an ample car park at Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre. Park your car and then start to descend the trail to the lake where the bushwalking trail starts. If the carpark is full there is another car park on the side of Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre.
Start to descend the slope to the beach in front of the lake and follow Araucaria Trail and have your camera ready.
Especially early morning, many little birds in the bushes can be seen looking for food. Also on the shores of the lake, there are ducks, cormorants and White-bellied sea eagles.
Ducks are a common sight at Enoggera Reservoir. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli,
Araucaria Trail is a short easy trail of about 5 km; allow one hour and a half to complete the circuit. It follows the water for about 2km and then it continues taking a distance from the lake.
There are other areas around the lake where it is possible to spot birds. The trail Enoggera Creek Circuit
circumnavigates the lake almost all around until it gets to the dam. It is a more difficult walk, with some steep slopes. It is about 11 km long and it may take about 3 hours to complete the circuit.
The grassy beach in front of the lake. Photo by the Author
Meet the Birds of Enoggera Reservoir.
In the weekend you can rent kayaks and paddle boards. Photo by the Authors
Australia has many well known species of birds, but sometimes it is not easy to identify them. Consider size, colour of the plumage on different parts of the body, shape colour and size of the beak, the call and the habitat.
Many male and female birds of the same species have different colours - sexual dimorphism. Juveniles can also have different plumage colouration and some birds change plumage to duller colour -eclipse - when they are not in breeding season.
Fairywrens are amongst the most celebrated birds in Australia. To identify male and female is important to learn about the plumage. For example, the male of the Variegated fairywren (Malurus lamberti
) changes colours outside the breeding season becoming more similar to the female.
The habitat is also important to identify the species of fairywrens. The male of the Variegated fairywren is different to the male
of Purple - backed fairywren (Malurus assimilis
) because the Variegated fairywren has been found only on the southeast coastal area of Australia.
Scarlet honeyeater. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Golden whistler. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Eastern yellow robin. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Pacific Baza. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Red browed finch. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Striated pardalote. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Forest kingfisher. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Female superb fairywren. Photo courtesy Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Female rose robin. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
Male Variegated fairywren. Photo courtesy of Marzia Mattioli, December 2022.
Male Variegated fairywren eclipse plumage. Photo courtesy Marzia Mattioli, May 2023.
White bellied eagle. Photo by Marzia Mattioli, November 2022.
There are many websites on the Internet which may help with birds identification. You can also join Facebook groups or Birding groups in your area.
There are also many books and guides, generally sold in gift shops of national parks.
Regent honeyeater. Photo fromhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regent_honeyeater#/media/File:Regent_honeyeater.jpg
Enoggera Reservoir is about 25 minutes -20km- west of Brisbane City. It is Brisbane background which offers many opportunities for outdoor activities and to get away from the urban scene.
Address: 60 Mount Nebo Rd, Enoggera Reservoir QLD 4520
On Google map search for Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre.
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