Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

June 18th 2007
Magnetic meanderings

The new Horseshoe Bay Wastewater recycling plant Greetings Birdlovers. ROCKBOC - the Magnetic Island wing of TOWNBOC (Townsville Bird Observers Club) hosted the TOWNBOC visit to the Island for their yearly avian meandering on Sunday the 28th of August 2006. The focus of this year's visit was the completed Horseshoe Bay Sewerage Treatment Plant and Revegetation Park

TOWNBOC member Chris Corbett and local Island environmental identity Charlie McColl represented the avian interests on the Community Reference Group invited to inform the planning, development and management process for the new 'state of the art' Treatment Plant, the surrounding Dry Tropics environmental park and the decommissioning and future use of the old Horseshoe Bay Plant.

The visit included guided tours of the New Plant and Dry Tropics environment by Citywater's Peter Driscoll. Peter is a keen birder and member of the Wader Study Society who has championed the integration of flora, fauna and avian study over time at the new plant. Larry Corbett, local Island botanist and Gary Davies from the Island Nursery who managed plantings were both on hand.

Rosemary Payet, BOCA Lifemember and Environmental Officer for TOWNBOC led the inaugural monthly Bird Survey at the new plant in January 2006 and was impressed with both the progress of the Dry Tropics natives habitat and bird life it was already supporting. Retention of the existing 'old' habitat areas judicious placement of the linking vegetation and the lure of permanent water sources provides great scope for supporting a rich and diverse bird population. This is particularly important in view of the creeping urbanisation of much of the existing Horseshoe Bay habitat.

Charlie McColl directed and informed meanderings of the Old Horseshoe Plant and connected Horseshoe Bay Lagoon system. It was a privilege to share the intimate knowledge of Charlie's 30 year association with maintaining and preserving the integrity of this system - and the birds were fantastic!

Horseshoe Highlights of the day were:
1.Shining Bronze Cuckoo - in the new Treatment Plant
2.Topknot pigeons - over the new Treatment Plant
3.Brown Cuckoo Dove
4.Latham's Snipe - Horshoe Lagoon
5.Grey Goshawk - adjacent to the new Treatment Plant

The aftermath of Cyclone Larry also provided plenty of avian action in and around both Treatment Plants which was reflected later in the Winter Count. Most notable was a flock of 25 + Red Wing Parrots feeding in the flowering trees adjacent to the Plant and the Wompoo Pigeons engaged in turf wars with the fig birds and Olive Back Orioles in and around the Plant. The Redwings are usually solitary secretive birds seen only in 2's or 3's and presented a magnificent sight rising and falling along the base of the rocky slopes adjacent to the plant.

During the cyclone period the protected back of dune system at the Old Treatment Plant provided a haven for a large mixed flock of rarely seen seabirds. Little, Bridled and Lesser Crested Terns cosied up with White Capped Noddies and 20 Lesser Frigate birds circled overhead.

New Horseshoe Bay Treatment Plant Bird List 2006 - 2007

1. Rainbow Bee-eater
2. Sacred Kingfisher
3. Red-backed Kingfisher
4. Forest Kingfisher
5. Laughing Kookaburra
6. White-throated Needltail
7. Barking Owl
8. Pheasant Coucal
9. Channel-billed Cuckoo
10. Shining Bronze-cuckoo
11. Brush Cuckoo
12. Pale-headed Rosella
13. Rainbow Lorikeet
14. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
15. Galah
16. Emerald Dove
17. Bar-shouldered Dove
18. Wompoo Fruit Dove
19. Peaceful Dove
20. Brown Cuckoo-Dove
21. Topknot Pigeon
22. Torresian Imperial Pigeon
23. Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove
24. Masked Lapwing
25. Bush-stone Curlew
26. Purple Swamphen
27. *Red-backed Button-quail*
28. Orange-footed Scrubfowl
29. Brown Quail2 adults + 8 young Horshoe Treatment plant
30. Australian Kestrel
31. Peregrine Falcon
32. Wedge-tailed Eagle
33 White-bellied Sea Eagle
34. Brahiminy Kite
35. Whistling Kite
36.*Grey Goshawk *
37. Brown Goshawk
38. Dollarbird
39. T ree Martin
40. Fairy Martin
41. Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
42. *Cicadabird*
43. Varied Triller
44. Rufous Whistler
45. Little Shrike-thrush
46. Spectacled Monarch
47. Leaden Flycatcher
48. Grey Fantail
49. Noisy Friarbird
50. Brown-backed Honeyeater
51. Dusky Honeyeater
52. Yellow-bellied Sunbird
23. Mistletoebird
54. Olive-backed Oriole
55. Figbird
56. Spangled Drongo
57. White-breasted Woodswallow

Magnetic meanderings
Peter Ormay
October 3rd 2008
Dear Sir/Madam,
I have heard that Indian Mynas have arrived on the Magnetic Island recently. I went to primary school in Nelly Bay as a boy and hate to think that Indian Mynas might get established on 'Maggie'. I am a member of the 'Indiam Myna Action Group' in Canberra. Members of the group have removed over 1600 mynas from Canberra gardens using 'PG' traps designed by a member. Over the last two years Eastern and Crimson Rosellas have returned to nest boxes in my yard for the first time since mynas arrived about 20 years ago.

Do you have access to a successful myna trap? If not and you would like to have access to one, let me know and I will give you the contact for my nephew in Townsville who has 3 'PG' traps. I don't have the OK from my nephew to give you his contact but I will do so if you like.

Peter Ormay

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