Last week a relative told me that they had been regularly seeing a family of black swans at their local park, so last Sunday we went for a short drive to take a look. Little did I know that Pacific Pines Central Park is teeming with birdlife! It was a great afternoon outing and we spotted quite a number of different birds, including 3 birds we had never seen before.
This is the Black Swan family that we came to the park to see. We were told that this pair originally had 8 cygnets but now there are only 4. The family seemed very at ease in this environment, and we were able to watch them swimming around, feeding, and then preening and snoozing in the afternoon sun on the edge of the lake.
We saw a few of these birds called a Eurasian Coot and it was interesting watching them feed as they swam around the lake.
There were a number of Dusky Moorhens at the park, including this one who seems to have rebuilt a nest after a bad storm the day before.
We saw this solitary Australasian Grebe.
There was a single Magpielark (also known as a Peewee) feeding around the lake’s edge.
We also saw a Willie Wagtail.
Some noise high up in the gum trees drew our attention to a small flock of Long Billed Corellas. Interestingly, these birds are feral here on the Gold Coast. The numbers have built up over the years due to people releasing captive birds into the wild.
And of course, there are the obligatory Pacific Black Ducks wherever there is a waterway.
We noticed quite a few Welcome Swallows at the park. They are incredible to watch as they zip around low over the water feeding on the fly. They are so fast it can be quite challenging getting a good photo of them.
This is one of the birds we had never seen before. It’s a Figbird. There were 3 of them perched in a tree and I was able to get a short video of one calling. This tree was close to the edge of the park by the road so apologies for the traffic noise.
In the very next tree was another bird we had not seen before – a Striped Honeyeater. This little bird was oblivious to us and was completely focussed on preening. These were the best photos I could get because he moved around so much.
And then just a few trees away, we saw our third bird that was new to us – a Grey Fantail. We spent some time watching this little bird only to realise that as we kept walking these birds were suddenly everywhere in the trees! They are quite small and move very quickly so it was difficult to get decent photos, but I did manage to get a short video of one flitting around on a tree branch.
And as expected, we saw a White Ibis (behind the swans).
This elegant bird is a Great Egret, a very tall distinctive bird, easy to identify and hard to miss.
This bird is a Little Egret, much smaller than the one above and with a darker bill.
Further along, the environment changes and we came across some more common backyard birds.
This one is a male Superb Fairy Wren or commonly called Blue Wren.
This was the only Magpie at the park and he came up to me to have his photo taken.
There were plenty of these Indian Mynas (also known as Common Mynas) at the park. We saw at least half a dozen on the ground and heard plenty more in the trees. These birds are an introduced species and are a bit of a pest.
There were also quite a number of Torresian Crows, most were walking around but some were flying between the trees and cawing.
And we spied a pair of Wood Ducks looking for food.
As you can see, Pacific Pines Central Park is well worth a visit. We saw all these birds in only an hour of walking around the edge of the lake. It’s a big park and has a few playgrounds for the kids and a sporting area as well as a section of gym equipment for public use. There’s something here for the whole family. The park is easy to find, opposite the Pacific Pines High School and you can find out more about the park here.