The ultimate birdwatcher’s guide to Ipswich birds

Pack your camera or binoculars and head outdoors to spy some of the many bird species Ipswich is home to.
23 Jan 2018
Shane Allwood, Photographer


How many of Ipswich’s 277 birds have you seen?

If you have a love for birds, Ipswich is definitely a place to visit, boasting 277 recorded species, from Willy Wagtails often seen in backyard gardens to majestic raptors soaring high above.


Ipswich birds

Two very special birds live in the Ipswich area. Although not exclusive to Ipswich, these two birds, the cotton pygmy-goose (pictured above) and the speckled warbler are quite uncommon in other areas of SE Queensland.

The cotton pygmy-goose, can be seen swimming around at Spring Lakes – Springfield Lake. You will see them feeding as a pair, they are a small surface-feeding duck with a goose-like bill. The male has a white head, neck and under body, with dark glossy green back. The females are duskier in colour and have a dark stripe through the eye area, with an intriguing white eyebrow.

Ipswich birds

Although the cotton pygmy-goose was once found as far up as North Queensland to the Hunter River in NSW, it is now a rare visitor in Queensland.

The speckled warbler (above) is another rare and uncommon bird that can be seen on occasions at White Rock Conservation Area.

Keep your eye on the ground for these small birds as they prefer to feed on the ground, probing the leaf litter for insects and will also eat seeds. If you are lucky, you can see them in pairs or even small parties up to six in number.

The dark red eye is prominent in the pale face. The back is mottled dark brown but the underparts are cream with bold black streaks.

The best birdwatching places

Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve

Located only two minutes from the city centre, Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve is a great place for a lunch time walk and perfect for seeing the wonderful range of parrots that reside in Ipswich.

There are 54 recorded species of birds at Denmark Hill, including the stunningly beautiful Australian king-parrots, rainbow lorikeets, pale-headed rosellas, scaly-breasted lorikeets and little lorikeets.

Open from 6am – 6pm
800m from Ipswich city centre
Click here to view map


Ipswich Nature Centre

Ipswich birds

The Ipswich Nature Centre is a wonderful place to visit with the children. It is a place where you get to see up close, not only birds, but a broad range of Australian animals, such as quolls, bilbies, tree kangaroos, monitor lizards, non-venomous snakes, oh and a wombat…if she ever wakes up!!  Then there is the walk in the bird aviary which is a haven for the birds and they are well cared for by their providers.
As you walk through the aviary you will see golden whistlers (pictured), emerald doves, bush-stone curlews, wonga pigeons, glossy ibis, tawny frogmouth owls, princess parrots, Australian king-parrots, peacocks, cockatiels, satin bowerbirds, plus a few more species.

Open Tuesday to Sunday – 9.30am – 4pm. Free Entry (although a gold coin donation goes a long way to help look after the animals.)
1.3km from Ipswich city centre.
Click here to view map


Kholo Botanical Gardens

Ipswich birds

Less than a 15 minute drive from Ipswich City the Kholo Gardens is located along the banks of the Brisbane River, with barbecue facilities and lush green lawns for picnics, there are also several ponds that attract many varieties of dragonflies.
This is also a great place to spend the day looking for birds with 151 recorded species here. You should see the rufous fantails (above), eastern yellow robins, Lewin’s honeyeaters, yellow-faced honeyeaters, blue-faced honeyeaters and on a good day you will also see the azure kingfisher (below) and rose robins.

Ipswich birds

Open 6 am – 6pm daily
7.4km from Ipswich city centre

Click here to view map

Colleges Crossing Recreation Reserve


Ipswich birds

If you are looking for water birds and raptors then a trip to Colleges Crossing is the place to go. Set on the banks of the Brisbane River, here you will see the Australian pelicans, great egrets, royal spoonbills, Pacific black ducks, Australian wood ducks, sacred kingfisher, little pied cormorants, little black cormorants and then of course… the raptors… whistling kites, black kites, grey goshawks, Nankeen kestrels and the magnificent white-bellied sea eagle (above).

9.2km from Ipswich city centre

Click here to view map

Pan Pacific Peace Gardens

Ipswich birds

Pan Pacific Peace Garden is a well-kept secret, in a majority of cases you will go there and be by yourself, with only 44 birds recorded here, although it is believed there are a lot yet to be discovered.

Pan Pacific Gardens is another great spot to see water birds. Including ducky moorhens, Australian swamphens (aka purple swamphens), Pacific black ducks, royal spoonbills, intermediate egrets and great egrets (above) all around the ponds area.

Walking further towards the top of the gardens, you will most likely see the scarlet honeyeaters (below), they are normally up quite high in the trees but will come down lower when the bottlebrush flowers are out, looking for the nectar.

You will also see traditional Aussie birds….the Australiana magpies, pied butcherbirds, pied currawongs, willie wagtails and magpie-larks (aka Peewee’s).

Ipswich birds

Open 6am to 6pm
13km from Ipswich city centre

Click here to view map

White Rock Conservation Reserve

Ipswich Birds

This is the premier location to see Ipswich’s most diverse range of bird life.

White Rock Conservation Area has 138 species of birds that can be seen here on a seasonal basis, every time you go there is always something new to see.

Some of the harder to find birds are the spotted pardalotes, rainbow bee-eater, white-throated treecreepers, rose robins, speckled warblers (rarely seen anywhere else in SEQ), mistletoebirds, striped honeyeaters, eastern spinebills, brown quails, rainbow beeaters (above), eastern yellow robins, and scarlet honeyeater.

All three species of fairy-wrens that live in the south-east of Queensland, can be seen here at White Rock, the superb fairy-wren, the red-backed fairy-wren, and the variegated fairy-wren (below).

Ipswich birds Photo: Shane Allwood

Open 6am – 6pm everyday

15.1km from Ipswich city centre
Click here to view map


Spring Lakes – Springfield Lakes

Ipswich birds

Springfield Lakes is the home to the pair of cotton pygmy geese, it is well worth the trip to see these beautiful uncommon birds.

Other special visitors to the lakes are the comb-crested jacanas (above) and royal spoonbills. At times you will see the elegant Australian pelican gliding by on a fishing trip, escorted by the little black cormorants, little pied cormorants, and on occasions, the great cormorant, all hoping to catch a fish or two.

Spring Lakes is also a host to a large number of other ducks and their young, the Australian wood ducks with their young family (below) are a regular sighting. You will also get to see the hardheads (aka white-eye duck).

Always Open
20.3km from Ipswich city centre
Click here to view map

Shane Allwood Photographer
Shane Allwood is a wildlife, social media and events photographer who has spent countless hours capturing Ipswich’s bird life and thus knows a thing or two about the best places to find them.

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