BirdLife Capricornia count birds on Coonabar cattle property
BirdLife Capricornia visited a cattle property called Coonabar which is not far from Carnavon Gorge in Central Queensland. Secretary Allan Briggs sent us this report:
We were invited to do a bird survey on the property as the owners, the Gibson family, were keen to find out what bird species are visiting the property. They run the property using strip farming principles where the whole property is divided into 40-50 metre wide strips of grass bordered by native species of Brigalow, Box and Eucalypt trees. They also have 160 by 25 hectare paddocks and cattle are rotated around each paddock on a daily basis using cell grazing principles. This ensures that the grass is never grazed down to the stubble and grows quickly after rain. Each group of eight paddocks is provided with a central watering point and even when there is no stock in the paddock the trough is kept full for birds and animals.
Their management practices not only provide them with a good living but maintains native vegetation for wildlife to fulfil their motto of ‘building a sustainable, diverse ecosystem’.
Our survey resulted in 76 species over a two day period with species ranging from Double-barred Finch and Weebill to Black-necked Stork. All of our survey results were uploaded onto Birdata.
We hope to return again after the next wet season when there will be good water in wetlands, creeks and dams that should attract a wider range of species.
It was such a pleasure to visit a property that was managed on environmental principles and providing a good example that totally cleared paddocks are not the only, or even the best way, to run a grazing property.
Some members of the family and part of our team with names from left to right, Mick Barker (BirdLife Capricornia), Trey Gibson, Cameron Gibson, Scott Gibson and Andrew Lau (BirdLife Capricornia). Photo by Allan Briggs.
Thanks for the story Allan, so heartening to hear about the Gibson family property, their excellent land management, and their interest in formal bird surveys!