Cannon Hill Bushland Reserve, Oct 2020

Summary: Messy patch of bush near golf course construction with mediocre birding

Date of visit: Oct 25, 2020

Cannon Hill Bushland Reserve is a rough, rather tucked-away section of bushland adjoining Minnippi Parklands, about 10km east of Brisbane CBD.

Parking is a little sketchy; on my visit I parked in the Murarrie Recreation Reserve car park and walked back across Wynnum Rd, though you could conceivably park in the Caltex petrol station car park, I suppose, or access the area via some other entrance than by the petrol station.

A grassy path that parallels the edge of the petrol station leads into a playground clearing, from which there’s a narrow trail into the bush.

A Figbird called from a powerline and my birding friend and I spotted a Sacred Kingfisher and a Scaly-Breasted Lorikeet, before we found our path getting a tad dicey.

We plunged on, not quite sure where we were, following a glimpses of a raptor which had landed in a tree. When it took off again we got good views of it, recognising a Brown Goshawk.

We also saw Red-Backed Fairywren in this area. Still a bit lost, we recognised our half-trail crossing a tiny creek tributary and followed that, ending up basically on a dirt road that sort-of follows the creek. Possibly we shouldn’t have gone that way, I don’t know… there’s no signs anywhere (except for one for the local bushcare group), and no indication of the bushland boundary or anything, so it seemed fair game to explore a little.

We followed this road in one direction and generally only saw sparser country birds like Magpie and Kookaburra, though we also had views of another Sacred Kingfisher and a Spangled Drongo. In the other direction we came across some felled bush, this is where they’re building the new golf course (yes, really).

A couple of Dollarbirds here provided the most interest but honestly we were a little sickened at coming face-to-face with the evidence of “development” (many felled trees, for example). And this is supposedly where the largest population of Brisbane’s squirrel gliders live.

We had no real choice but to cross back over the creek tributary, and trying to follow the barely-there trails back to Wynnum Road. A brushturkey and calls of Olive-Backed Oriole and Crows were evident, but the main excitement was actually a sighting of a Channel-Billed Cuckoo, looking huge and demonic as they do, in the upper canopy.

This is a weird location. Being a bushland reserve it’s not conducive to birding unless you like getting disoriented or pushing your way through dense undergrowth and water-bogged track. We didn’t see anything particularly interesting bird-wise there, and the golf course development going on really does impoverish the experience.

Checklist for this visit (24 species)
Hotspot: Cannon Hill Bushland Reserve (129 species)
Nearby: Minnippi Parklands (191 species), Seven Hills Bushland Reserve (101 species)

Pluses and minuses:
+ Untamed dense native bush not far from centre of Brisbane
+ Some okay birds to be found
– Few proper trails or paths
– Bushland reserve, so no facilities at all
– Ongoing golf course construction

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