Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane.
Published May 25th 2020
A small but beautiful wildlife habitat on Redlands Coast
Bioretention basins are increasingly important aspects of suburban design across South East Queensland. These wetland, vegetated areas provide natural filtering for stormwater runoff before the water flows downstream to waterways, including local creeks and Moreton Bay.
Bushland and well-maintained pathways are the main features of this bioretention basin
Designed with local, native vegetation, bioretention basins provide beautiful green spaces across the otherwise suburban habitat. They also provide a natural habitat for wildlife that might otherwise have been eliminated from the local area. The bioretention basin below Waterline Boulevard in Thornlands on Redlands Coast, provides such a habitat for a range of native birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles and links in with wildlife corridors across the region.
Bioretention basins provide important habitat for wildlife in urban areas
The bioretention basin can be reached from the Redland City section of the Moreton Bay Cycleway. A map is available here. The easiest access point is across Waterline Boulevard from Bokhara St in Thornlands. The Bioretention basin includes a network of 3 pathways, one paved (and part of the Moreton Bay Cycleway), and two treated with a gravel substrate.
One of the entrances to the Waterline Boulevard Bioretention Basin from the Moreton Bay Cycleway
Exploring these three modest, but beautiful, pathways provides visitors with opportunities to view a wide variety of birdlife in particular. Waterfowl such as Eurasian coots, a variety of ducks, and purple swamphens are often seen on the large lake that forms a part of this basin. The bioretention basin ends at an intertidal zone area of Moreton Bay. Looking up, it is often possible to see white-bellied sea eagles flying above the area in search of their next meal.
Purple swamphens can often be seen in the lake that forms part of the bioretention basin
There are a large number of flowering trees such as paperbarks, and smaller shrubs here that attract a wide variety of honeyeaters.
Flowering trees such as this paperbark attract many birds to the bioretention basin
As visitors move down towards the intertidal zone, striated pardalotescan often be heard. Superb fairy-wrens are almost always present in amongst the smaller shrubs and trees. These delightful little birds rarely sit still but are easily found by their distinctive "trilling" call as they move around in little family groups.
Superb fairywrens are almost always present in this bioretention basin
After the rain, the bioretention basin comes alive with the sound of frogs courting as evening falls. Although frogs should never be picked up, as they absorb all chemicals such as insect repellant and sunscreen that may be on our hands, the well-maintained paths make this a great place to view them when it is wet. Red-necked wallabies call the bioretention basin home, but are best spotted just after sunrise.
Rednecked wallabies and their joeys are often seen around the bioretention basin at sunrise
This bioretention basin is easy to access by car, foot, or bicycle, and the paths are well-formed. The paved paths, in particular, are wheelchair friendly. It is advised that visitors always:
Wear sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellant
Bring their own drinking water
Keep a close eye on children, especially near the edges of the lake
Pathway past the lake at Waterline Boulevard Bioretention Basin
With the cooler weather, we are enjoying at the moment, this really is the perfect time to go outdoors and enjoy the small but delightful Waterline Boulevard Bioretention Basin environment and its wildlife.
The lake and the trees around it provide protected habitat for native wildlife in this suburban area