The wide open spaces of Palmer Coolum Resort’s championship golf course are a sanctuary for all kinds of wildlife, but in particular a diverse range of our feathered friends.
Course superintendant Dean Henderson has encountered, from a distance at least, most of the different species that call the resort home. But last week he was fortunate to get up close and personal with a pair of Tawny Frogmouths who are roosting between the Activities Green and the 7th Fairway.
Perched on a branch just above head height, the distinctive birds seemed happy to pose for a photograph and have been spotted in the vicinity almost every day since. One of the birds even looked as though he was cracking a smile for the camera!
Male and female Tawny Frogmouths pair permanently and inhabit open forests and woodlands of eucalypts and acacias throughout Australia. They are most active at night, mainly in the hours just after dusk and before dawn. During the day they roost near one another, but they are hard to spot with their camouflaged plumage rendering them almost invisible.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen them in that particular spot and being so low it’s great for golfers to be able to see some of our native birds that close,” Mr Henderson said.
“We do of course urge everyone to be as quiet and careful as possible so the birds aren’t startled, but it’s wonderful to be able to appreciate such amazing Australian wildlife.
“There are so many different bird species here at the resort – it’s a bird watcher’s paradise really. Whistling ducks, wood ducks, magpie geese, cormorants, cranes and common species like parrots, lorikeets, honeyeaters, etc. There are several migratory birds as well – the list goes on and on.
“The golf course and the resort as a whole is the perfect environment for the birds. They have unlimited water, we are enclosed so they remain safe and they have the vegetation and food they need. That’s why the majority of them don’t leave and it makes the golf course and the resort as a whole a wonderfully safe place for our wildlife,” he said.