Reserve-based volunteer placements are often a great opportunity for some citizen science. Many of our volunteers contribute excellent photos and incidental records for our species lists and databases as well as making important submissions to other organisations and projects such as Birdlife Australia and the Atlas of Living Australia.
When I ask our volunteer caretakers about the highlights of their posting at Goonderoo Reserve, almost everyone mentions the birdbath.
The fuss and flurry around that one little water bowl is the source of much entertainment and enjoyment for those that visit this charming reserve in the Central Queensland brigalow belt.
Recent caretaker, Margaret Alcorn snapped some fantastic photos and provided this amusing commentary of the birdbath afternoon antics:
Of all the birds who visit the birdbath at Goonderoo the Spotted Bowerbirds are an outstanding example. They're the bossiest, the rudest and enjoy their bath the most. They will hiss at any other birds that try to share and even mimic a Whistling Kite's call if that doesn't scare the offenders off.
However, they can be overwhelmed by a crowd. And lots of birds wait until they are busy elsewhere before enjoying a drink.
Every day in July, after our jobs were done, we cleaned out the birdbath and filled it up with fresh water and then sat back to see what turned up.
What a treat, when a few minutes later the birds would appear as if from nowhere and the fun would begin.
During their stay, Richard and Margaret completed Birdlife surveys at 13 locations on the reserve, as well as weed mapping; pre-feeding, fence and water checks at the Avocet Nailtail nursery; they also presented to visiting University of Queensland students and they also fixed the dunny!
Not a bad way to spend a month?