A lover of Brisbane, particularly the Moreton Bay region at Wynnum Manly and the beautiful Scenic Rim. A freelance writer always looking for the new and quirky in my own backyard.
Published September 7th 2014
Twitchers heaven on the Bay
A magical morning in Brisbane, the sun has risen over the bay and the birds are singing to the new dawn. I am celebrating the day with an early morning bike ride along the foreshore to the Wynnum North Reserve Circuit to take in the delights from the Bird Hide.
Hard to believe nearby Elanora Park and the Bayside Parklands was once the site of Wynnum's local 'tip'. It has since been transformed into walking tracks, sports fields, playground, off leash dog area, mangrove walk and nature reserve.
The reserve overlooks a large intertidal wetland surrounded by mangroves with the Port of Brisbane motorway bounding the western edge. The rumble of traffic on its way to and from the port does not appear to disturb this internationally recognised site, renowned as a roosting place for a significant variety of migratory and shore birds.
White faced heron - Image Wikimedia
Because of its tidal nature it attracts a diverse range of wading birds including Grey-tailed Tattlers roosting in the branches of dead mangroves. Peak migration times are between October to March with Sandpipers spotted in early summer, mixed flocks of Godwit throughout summer and Red-knee Dotterel in autumn. Other residents include Chestnut Teal, Red-Necked Avocet, Mangrove Heron, Black Winged Stilt, Whimbrel, White Ibis, Mangrove Honeyeater, Eastern Curlew plus many many more.
Collared Kingfisher - Image Wikimedia
It is recommended to be settled for viewing 2 to 3 hours before or after high tide to catch the wading birds at their best. More common bird varieties are easy to spot any time of day, and remember to be on the lookout for the Collared Kingfisher which lives and breeds nearby. The morning I visited I was graced with a pelican sailing overhead while noisy cockatoo's announced their presence perched high in the nearby gums. A couple of common brown ducks even waddled past without any worry as to my presence.
The Nature Reserve is accessible from the large car park at the northern end of Wynnum North Road. It is a short, paved and well signposted walk through revegetated native plantings to the Viewing Platform and Bird Hide and all is wheelchair accessible.
The Hide itself is a clean simple structure which proudly proclaims to be made out of mainly recycled rubbish including wheelie bins and old car bodies. Two eco-friendly council park benches are positioned to observe the panoramic view through shuttered openings which are camouflaged with high growing grasses. There is also a handy information board to consult on which birds might be sighted.
If you want a longer walk, the circuit will lead you through the mangroves to the newly opened Mangrove Boardwalk and on to the children's playground, foreshore and Wynnum Creek where Pelicans often congregate providing a great photo opportunity. Binoculars are a must to really get up close and personal, as is a camera (preferably with zoom), insect repellent and patience.
If you catch the bird watching bug, it is easy to continue along the esplanade from Wynnum to Manly and Lota, stopping along the way to sight Plover, Heron, Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Egret and Spoonbill that all call the foreshore home. Among the many hungry gulls you may be lucky to sight a Brahminy Kite or Osprey high above.