My love of birds - Jim Butler

If you love birds there is always an opportunity to take your passion to a new level!

My love of birds appeared within me, infusing my being, when I was about 10 years old. My parental home was a couple of hundred metres from the shores of Botany Bay and there were parks and bush all around me, with plenty of birds. The safe freedom of my childhood meant I could go bush anytime I was not at school, and I did! Only returning home for food! Neither my parents nor my sister were at all interested in birds. It did not come into me from any outside person. The birds made me theirs.

When you have a passion for something, it’s amazing how much you learn without even trying!  These days I am considered to be a “birder”.  I spend time observing birds locally and on holidays, and I write birding articles for The Local Bulletin and the MCCG website. I also contribute to a citizen science project which involves taking surveys of the amazing diversity of birdlife in Deerhurst St Park.

Anyone can join these types of projects and, if you’d like to get started I’m happy to point you in the right direction!

Where is the site?

Deerhurst St Park (See mudmap below) stretches either side of Gap Creek from Brookfield to Gap Creek Road.  It is a riparian zone, meaning the plants and animals are located beside a river or creek. Deerhurst St Park is a significant animal corridor between the north-eastern section of Brisbane Forest Park (Mt Coot-tha) and the Moggill Creek Catchment forests in the west. The entire public section is about a kilometre long and averages 60m wide. The entry points are from Kookaburra Street and Brookfield Road. There are good walking tracks throughout.

The site has been registered with Australia eBird and Birdata as:  DEERHURST ST PARK: Latitude: -27.4910278 and Longitude: 152.9221111. Bird survey data can be entered at either of these sites as they interchange data. We are encouraged to submit surveys from all visits we make.

Who can visit the site? 

The site is a public park and as such can be visited at any time. As well as birders, people walk their dogs on the tracks, and bike riders ride through the park from Gap Creek Rd to Brookfield Rd. 

What is the site like?

The site is very well vegetated with some gigantic old eucalypts. Many years of revegetation have been carried out by the Moggill Creek Catchment Group and they are still very active in the park. This section of the Gap Creek is rocky with some deep ponds. The amount of water in this Creek section is variable, but the deep, large ponds mean that there is often residual water when the Creek is not flowing.  The Creek Monitoring Project was active in this area and found the water to be of good quality and with plenty of fish and invertebrates. It is a high quality and fun site. The site is quite flat, so that people of all fitness levels can be comfortable. There is no wheelchair access. There are picnic tables at the Brookfield Rd end of the park. There are no toilets in the park. 

What birds are found there?

More than 76 bird species have been observed in this small park. The species count is dominated by riparian zone specialists. There are residents, nomads, summer migrants, winter migrants, and vagrants. It is always interesting, and because of the water that is often there, you would always expect to see a good number of birds.

The full list of birds can be found on the two sites where the site is registered; or by emailing me at [email protected].

Special bird?

The most striking bird that is present in Spring and Summer at this site is the Rose-crowned Fruit-dove. Often when you make a visit to this site as you get out of the car the first call you hear is the mournful call of this spectacular Fruit-dove. Knowing they are there is one thing, but finding them in your binoculars is another! Clearly worth the effort. The photo was taken by Ed Frazer at Brookfield.

Like to learn more?

Send me an email:  [email protected]

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