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Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:00

Tyto Wetlands

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If travelling to North Queensland the120 hectareTyto Wetlands should be on your list of must visit places as it offers so much for nature photography.

Location

Tyto Wetlands is just off the Bruce Highway on the southern side of Ingham. It is well sign posted, with theTyto Wetlands Information Centre prominently located at the turn off. The information centre does not just offer information on the wetlands, but also tourist information for the Hinchinbrook area.

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Tyto Wetlands Map

History

These once degraded wetlands were restored as a result of the vision of John Young, the well known cinematographer and naturalist. The name is derived from the scientific name of the endangered Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto Capensis).

           

   

The actual entrance to the wetlands is about 250 metres down Copper Street.  Before going too far it is worth checking the bottlebrushes next to the carpark as several species of honeyeater can often be found here. The first part of the track into the wetlands proper skirts around the Rugby League Club through an open grassy paddock. This is a good spot to get close to Crimson finch and Chestnut breasted Mannikin. After another 300 metres or so you reach the first of the ponds. During my visit there were very few waterbirds present, probably due to the drought breaking rains out west. The scattered pockets of trees and shrubs provided the widest variety of bird species during my visit. The denser wooded areas proved to be a reliable location for White-browed Robin. The wetlands also proved be an excellent site for finding Red-backed Fairy-wrens. 

There have been approximately 230 species of birds recorded at Tyto Wetlands.  A bird list can be foundhere.

Birds seen during my rain interrupted brief visiit were:

 Crimson Finch                                              Yellow Honeyeater                                            Brown-backed Honeyeater                                
 Spangled Drongo Bush-stone Curlew Olive-backed Sunbird
 Shining Flycatcher Comb-crested Jacana White-browed Robin
 Red-backed Fairy-wren Australian Fig Bird Green Pygmy-goose
 Australasian Grebe Forest Kingfisher Brown Honeyeater
 Willie Wagtail Masked Lapwing Australian Darter
 Australian Koel Rainbow Bee-eater Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
 Red-browed Finch

 If you want up to date information on which birds can be seen in the wetlands then there is no better place to viist thanTyto Tony Blog.

Photographic Considerations

There are a couple of hides that provide limited opportunity for photography due to their location a couple of metres above the water level. They do however provide an opportunity to observe/photograph some of the more shy species that venture out into the open. This location suits the use of a portable or bag hide. 

Useful Links

The Official Home of the Tyto Wetlands

Tyto Wetlands

John Young's Tyto Wetands Web page