Injune Lagoon, Aug 2021

[A stop on the West Queensland Trip Jul-Aug 2021 trip]

Injune Lagoon is a small waterhole on the eastern side of the small town of Injune in Queensland. You might find yourself passing through Injune on your way to Carnarvon Gorge or Emerald, in which case a short stroll around the lagoon might be a good way to stretch the legs and see some birds.

We weren’t expecting much when we arrived. It was nearly 11 in the morning and pretty windy. But we saw a few (28 species!) of birds.

It is 1.2km to walk right round the waterhole, and the path is paved most of the way around. The water itself is covered in green algae or weed, at least when we were there, and we startled a White-Faced Heron and a Little Pied Cormorant sitting by the water when we approached. Not so a Laughing Kookaburra, which sat smugly for a photo.

A pair of Pale-Headed Rosellas was a nice surprise. As we rounded the north end of the lagoon (walking clockwise, having parked on Railway Parade), a group of Blue-Faced Honeyeaters become apparent, including some juveniles (with the tell-tale yellowish-green face patches).

We also saw what was probably a Torresian Crow, though Ravens are also occasionally seen here according to eBird.

Though we didn’t get any good pictures of them, Little Friarbirds and Peaceful Doves were actually the most numerous birds we saw here. Restless Flycatchers, White-Breasted Woodswallows, Willie Wagtails, Olive-Backed Orioles and Magpie-Larks were all also about. Seems the adage about finding birds near the water is pretty spot on.

Other birds were saw on the eastern side of the lagoon were Spiny-Cheeked Honeyeater, always pretty cool looking, and a White-Winged Triller.

Beyond the lagoon it was pretty dry, with some grasses and mostly open country. We were wondering if finches might be about but didn’t see any; on the small bird front, however, we spotted a few tiny Weebills playing in the trees above the water. (And on the “large bird” front, a mighty Wedge-Tailed Eagle circled far far above…).

The last interesting encounter we had was in the south-east edge of the lagoon, where a quail flushed as we walked past. We waited patiently to see it again and eventually got a look at eight Brown Quail, only just identifiable from blurry photos as they scurried across the track.

Summary

We were amazed at the number and variety of the birds we found in only an hour, in what is really a small and fairly nondescript spot. It’s surely the case of birds in the dry country having to drink somewhere, and maybe there aren’t many other readily available watercourses nearby. Either way, we weren’t complaining.

eBird
Hotspot: Injune Lagoon (94 species)
Checklist for our visit: (28 species)

Pluses and minuses:
+ Surprisingly good variety of birds
+ Makes for a short stretch-the-legs stop for keen birders
– Small area, not much to explore
– Not much to recommend it from a scenery point of view

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