Several weeks ago, feeling spontaneous and adventurous, I took myself off to the Boondall Wetlands – all 1500 hectares of it. Fifteen kilometres from Brisbane’s Central Business District the Wetlands consist of tidal flats, mangroves, grasslands, bushland and saltmarshes – if you’re flying in or out of Brisbane airport look out your window and you’ll probably see it.
Little did I realise I was also about to step into bird watching territory.
The problem was I wasn’t wearing silent, bird watching type boots.
The walk through the Wetlands is on both a wooden boardwalk and dirt pathway. The issue was walking on wood…instead of the sound of silence or birds, CLOMP! CLOMP! CLOMP! went the beat of my boots. Because I didn’t want wet and muddy boots, squelching through the spongy grass wasn’t an option. So I clomped and tiptoed my way around said boardwalk with as much stealth as I could muster.
Wish I’d glued carpet on my heels.
Loud boots didn’t do much for bird spotting but I did see this little fellow hiding in the grass (not sure why it wasn’t in a tree. Isn’t that where they live?)
As luck would have it, halfway around the track I discovered a birdhide overlooking a creek.
A solitary bird enthusiast greeted me as I entered the hut and in hushed tones told me that few birds were out today.
Well! Having walked around the Wetlands feeling awful about my choice of footwear I was beside myself with selfish, silent joy when told it wasn’t a bird watching kind of day.
My ‘Eureka I see birds’ moment came when peering out the low narrow window I spotted five pelicans up the creek! Being a casual bird watcher only, the kind that watches birds from windows or by looking up a tree, it was a fine moment.
The Boondall Wetlands are stunning and recommend a visit if you’re in the area – just make sure you wear quiet shoes, the birds appreciate them and the enthusiasts will greet you with a smile not a chin-touching frown 😉