Discover where shorebirds live

Shorebird Identification Guide (photographs and descriptions)

  1. Identify our shorebirds  
  2. Discover where they live 
  3. Understand their needs
  4. Help them to survive
  5. Back to Pumicestone Passage Shorebirds

Pumicestone Passage Map

Shorebirds may be seen almost anywhere in Pumicestone Passage, especially where there is exposed sand or mud. There are some sites with easy access that often have an excellent selection of birds to be seen, and these are described in detail on the next page.

Note that visiting other sites may be difficult, if not impossible, and some may only be accessible by boat. Tourist cruises can also provide opportunities to view shorebirds in Pumicestone Passage.

Site 1 – Toorbul

The Toorbul shorebird roost comprises several separate roosts, all visible from the Esplanade, that regularly attract as large a selection of species as anywhere in the passage. The roost at the extreme southern end, which has recently been enhanced, has an information board nearby. Adjacent mudflats also provide a good selection of shorebirds, especially on a rising tide as they move closer.

Site 2 – Buckley’s Hole Conservation Park

The sandbanks of Buckley’s Hole Conservation Park attract many shorebirds, especially the sandbank adjacent to the lagoon. As the tide rises, shorebirds gather, moving to the southern end as the sandbank becomes inundated. Unfortunately, this site is particularly prone to disturbance from dogs, vehicles, boats, jet skis and people walking or fishing. The lagoon itself holds roosting shorebirds when the water level is low, and is accessible from the Boulevard, Bongaree. There is a hide overlooking the lagoon.

Site 3 – Kakadu Beach

Shorebirds roosting
Shorebirds roosting
Image: J Dening

Kakadu Beach, an artificial roost at the southern end of Solander Esplanade, Banksia Beach, is the result of an award-winning partnership between the Queensland Wader Study Group, and developers of the Pacific Harbour Residential Estate. There are two hides, one at each end of the roost, and an information board at the northern end. At low tide, when few birds are present, shorebirds can sometimes be found feeding further north along the passage at Wright’s Creek.

Site 4 – Caloundra

Caloundra, at the northern end of Pumicestone Passage, attracts shorebirds that gather on the sandbanks on a rising tide. They are best viewed from the Esplanade at Golden Beach, and a telescope is essential to appreciate them fully. Shorebirds which prefer rocky shorelines, rather than mudflats and sandy beaches, may be found along the headland of Caloundra between Kings Beach and Shelley Beach.

Shorebird Habitat Mapping Project

In 2009, the Queensland Wader Study Group and Jill Denning, a local shorebird consultant, completed mapping of high tide shorebird roost boundaries and characteristics to inform Council's planning processes.  

24 shorebird high tide roosts were identified.  The results show that roosts used by shorebirds on the higher tides are limited to only 19 of the roosts within the Moreton Bay region, and five of these roosts can be considered critical king tide roosts.

The approach to the Shorebird Habitat Mapping Project was a collaborative one, recognising existing expertise and data already gathered by the Queensland Wader Study Group and community experts over the last 15 years.

Download the Council's Shorebird Mapping Project.

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