Double-barred Finch

The Spit – 25 February 2018

The northern end of the Federation Walk at The Spit is one of my favorite places for bird photography on the Gold Coast. You do have to get there early to avoid the walkers, runners and cyclists. Plus you need to be a bit aware of which tracks you go down as the area is used by some other people for other purposes but with its openness and short stubby trees it provides plenty of opportunities for some good shots.

The Rainbow Bee-eater is commonly seen and will pose nicely as it looks for a insect to grab out of the air.

Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bee-eater – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


The Bar-shouldered Dove is also a commonly seen bird.

Bar-shouldered Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


The Pheasant Coucal’s call can be heard echoing across the spit in the morning and with a little searching they can be found. They are an interesting bird and quite spectacular with their large tails but they do like to hid in the bushes a bit so it is not always easy to get a clear uninterrupted shot.

Pheasant Coucal
Pheasant Coucal – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


For me the Spit is the best place to consistently see the Golden-Headed Cisticola with good close views. They are simply everywhere.

Golden-headed Cisticola
Golden-headed Cisticola – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


On this visit there was a bit of water sitting around so a few Pacific Black Ducks where taking advantage of the opportunity.  Unlike the ones commonly seen at parks they were not as used to people and pretty flighty perhaps having spent some time in the southern states they instinctively took off in a panic when I pointed the camera at them.

Pacific Black Duck
Pacific Black Duck – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


There is a couple of families of Brown Quail at the spit but they can be elusive. If I go there looking for them I usually can’t find them.  If I am not looking for them I will come around a corner and see them walking down the path but not be quick enough to get a good shot which was the case on this day as I only managed a couple of pretty poor shots. One day I will get some nice shots of a Brown Quail.

A single Dollarbird was spotted sitting in one of the trees. I waited for ages to try and get a take-off shot to show the distinctive dollar marks under the wings but when it eventually decided to move it turned around first and flew in the opposite direction.

Dollarbird – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


Along with the Golden-headed Cisticola the other small bird you always see at the spit is the Tawny Grassbird.

Tawny Grassbird
Tawny Grassbird – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


I usually find at the Spit that I will hit a little hot spot of activity with a variety of birds to see. Nothing new to add to my list but plenty of really nice views.

Double-barred Finch
Double-barred Finch- Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD
Brown Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD
Tawny Grassbird
Tawny Grassbird – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD
Leaden Flycatcher
Leaden Flycatcher – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


Willie Wagtail
Willie Wagtail – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


A young White-breasted Sea-eagle was doing some laps up high until it was attracted by the activity and came in close for a better look. This shot is almost full frame not needing very much cropping at all.

White-bellied Sea-eagle
White-bellied Sea-eagle – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


And of course the Toressian Crow where in abundance as always.

Torresian Crow
Torresian Crow – Federation Walk, Main Beach, QLD


Nothing new or unusual to see but a nice couple of hours morning walk with some good upgrade shots.


  • World Bird Count:  422
  • Australian Bird Count: 275


Birds Photographed:

  1. Rainbow Bee-eater
  2. Bar-shouldered Dove
  3. Pheasant Coucal
  4. Golden-headed Cisticola
  5. Silvereye
  6. Australasian Figbird
  7. Rock Dove
  8. Pacific Black Duck
  9. Dollarbird
  10. Brown Quail
  11. Tawny Grassbird
  12. Double-barred Finch
  13. Australian Pelican
  14. Brown Honeyeater
  15. Willie Wagtail
  16. Leaden Flycatcher
  17. White-bellied Sea-eagle
  18. Torresian Crow





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