Point Halloran Conservation Area, Oct 2020

Summary: Reasonable spot for birds but not many trails for finding them

Date of visit: 13 Oct, 2020

Point Halloran Conservation Area, a large bushland that is part of Victoria Point, was officially opened in 1995 and is listed in eBird as the #4 hotspot in Redland, with 165 species recorded (not bad considering there’s only 203 checklists). It’s a bit of a weird spot in that there’s not many usable trails, as you can see from the map.

I parked at the end of Orana Street, which is the best access point for (on street) car parking, and made my way into what I’ve called the “Loop trail”. Only a hundred or so metres in began an auspicious start to birding with an Olive-Backed Oriole, and both Little and Noisy Friarbird sightings. Then it was the honeyeater-and-parrot show: White-Throated and Brown Honeyeaters, and Rainbow and Scaly-Breasted Lorikeets. The Scaly-Breasted Lorikeets kept me the most entertained, clambering and foraging around the flowering gum trees.

Deeper in I saw a Rufous Whistler female and male pair, though the male was only seen from a distance. A couple of tracks that looked like vehicle tracks led out into the grassy area, but I didn’t feel like too much traipsing about in boggy or marshy terrain, so kept to the loop track, where I then saw a Sacred Kingfisher.

On the actual “loop” part of the Loop Trail there was a Mistletoebird in the casuarinas but not too much else except Noisy Miners. This section is reminiscent of Boondall Wetlands and maybe Pimpana Conservation Area – pretty soft and grassy underfoot, and tidal salt pan style habitat further in which has no official tracks. Also, midges…

I made my way back to the street and spotted a White-Browed Treecreeper on the way. Then I headed south on the “Side trail”, which turned out to be a quite pleasant concrete/boardwalk type of path. There were a few cyclists and foot commuters around, but that didn’t stop me spotting a surprising number of birds on either side of the path: a Variegated Fairywren family in a section of reeds, Striated Pardalotes above, and a fearless Brown Honeyeater. Not bad considering how close this path is to the suburban houses. When I got to the “Pond” at the south end of the path this showed up some Chestnut Teals, Pacific Black Duck, Royal Spoonbill and a Dusky Moorhen adult/baby combo.

Nearby this rather muddy little pond were quite a few birds: a Figbird, Spotted Dove, Blue-Faced Honeyeater, Grey Shrikethrush and a Spangled Drongo all close enough for decent-ish photos, and I heard a Whipbird quite close too (and even got the briefest glimpse). It made it a little frustrating that there weren’t more trails to explore this part of the Conservation Area.

I found Point Halloran to be a reasonable area for birding; I picked up 33 species. I probably wouldn’t go there for it alone – on my visit I combined it with a second trip to Eprapah Creek which is very nearby (almost in walking distance). There’s no facilities much except for a little sheltered bench seat at the start of the “Loop” part of the Loop Trail… it is a conservation area, after all. But there’s definitely birds there, and that’s what matters!

Checklist for this visit (33 species)
Hotspot: Point Halloran Conservation Area (165 species)
Nearby: Eprapah Creek via Sewage Treatment Plant (127 species), Point Halloran–NE corner mudflats (120 species)

Pluses and minuses:
+ Decent selection of birds
+ Boardwalk/concrete path yields surprisingly good birds
– No facilities (except a wooden bench seat…)
– Midges and other bugs
– Only a small amount of the conservation area can be explored by the provided trails

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