Friday, January 2, 2015

Green Catbird at The Palms National Park at Cooyar 01/01/15

We have had The Palms National Park on our "to visit list" for a few years now, but after recently reading a wonderful blog article written by Robert Ashdown on the history and current status of the park, we moved it to the top of the list and chose to visit it on New Years Day 2015.

The Palms National Park is rather small in size compared to most national parks, however it does not decrease it's value and content.  The park is an unexpected sight amongst surrounding cleared farm grazing land.  On the day we visited, it was overcast and the sounds of thunder threatened rain, which made for a cooler climate to walk though the park, but lessened the amount of wildlife that we saw.   We were however thrilled to see two newbies for us which were the beautiful Green Catbird and the Spectacled Monarch. There were The Grey-headed flying foxes were entertaining to watch and the walk through the National Park was picturesque with plenty of flora to see.

The Palms National Park, Cooyar 01/01/15

The Palms National Park, formerly known as Boldery Park at Cooyar, 01/01/15

The Palms Circuit walk through the Palms National Park 01/01/15

Palms National Park 01/01/15

Green Catbird at Palms National Park 01/01/15

Green Catbird, making it's characteristic sound, at Palms National Park 01/01/15

Spectacled Monarch

We noticed a few of these tiny nests while walking through the park.

Forest Floor berries at Palms National Park.

Palms National Park 01/01/15

Palms National Park 01/01/15

Palms National Park 01/01/15

Bunya Nuts on the forest floor at Palms National Park 01/01/15

Palms at the Palms National Park 01/01/15

Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) at the Palms National Park 01/01/15

The top of Moreton Bay Fig at Palms National Park

We saw a few of these medium sized skinks at the Palms National Park, but I am not certain on the i.d. Any help from those more knowledgeable would be greatly appreciated. 

While siting at the picnic table, our son spotted this Jumper Ant (Myrmecia nigrocincta) jump from a nearby tree onto the table holding onto a bee that it had caught.

Lewins Honeyeater feeding on flowers of the Lacebark Kurrajong, at Palms National Park 01/01/15
Grey-headed Flying Fox at Palms National Park 01/01/15

Water Spider (Dolomedes sp) at Palms National Park.

Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

New Year's Day Lunch was spent as a family at Swinging Bridge Park, Cooyar.  We enjoyed a picnic lunch at the shaded tables and a walk across the swaying suspension bridge, along with a little bit of birding. Swinging Bridge Park is located in-between Back Creek and Cooyar Creek and is a picturesque little camping and picnic ground.  The long suspension bridge is fairly new, being erected in December 1988 after the previous one washed away in the famous Cooyar floods of the same year.  Many turtles were seen from the suspension bridge and we are told that there is a good chance of seeing a platypus if one visits at the right time of the day.

The Swinging Bridge Park is part of the Crows Nest Bird Trail and although we only visited for a short time over lunch we saw a good range of birds.  The park is also home to some historic farm machinery on the northern side of the bridge and the very sad grave of a little girl named Ethel Tebb who drowned in Back Creek three days after Christmas in 1904 and was then buried at her death site.  The grave has been cared for and fenced nicely with information about her tragic drowning displayed.  It was a very sad and I  found myself saying a prayer for this poor little girl and her grieving family.

Swinging Bridge Park is a hidden gem of Cooyar and could be easily overlooked when driving through.  It is definitely worth a stop over to brave the suspension bridge and take in the views of the beautiful creek below.

Bird list from Swinging Bridge Park today:

  1. Dollarbird
  2. Laughing Kookaburra
  3. Sacred Kingfisher
  4. Pee Wee
  5. Australian Magpie
  6. Toresian Crow
  7. Willie Wagtail
  8. Rainbow Lorikeet
  9. Scaley-breasted Lorikeet
  10. King Parrot
  11. Galah
  12. Little Friarbird
  13. Red-browed Finch
  14. Superb Blue Fairy Wren
  15. Red Backed Fairy Wren
  16. Australian Wood Duck

and a few large turtles.

Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Entrance to Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Views to Cooyar Creek from Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015 

Cooyar Creek, Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Walking across Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Memorial Plaque at Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Superb Blue Fairy Wren at Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Laughing Kookaburra at Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Massive tree hollow (with Dollar birds to the left of the hollow) at Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Lonely grave of  little Ethel Tebb at Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Sad little grave of Ethel Tebb at Swinging Bridge Park at Cooyar 01/01/2015

Toowoomba Chronicle excerpt on the drowning of Ethel Tebb at Back Creek, displayed at Swinging Bridge Park, Cooyar 01/01/2015
Some of the historic farming machinery on the Northern Side of Swinging Bridge Park, Cooyar. 01/01/15