Rare Satin Flycatcher Sighted at Chermside Hills Reserve

Birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts were thrilled by a rare sighting of the stunning Satin Flycatcher at Chermside Hills Reserve.

On the 24th of April 2024, the bird was observed in the Chermside Hills Reserve, a natural haven that provides lush, serene landscapes within the Brisbane region. Spanning an area of diverse vegetation, the reserve is a hotspot for avian diversity, making it a favourite destination for birdwatchers and nature lovers. With its peaceful walking trails and varied landscapes, the reserve creates the ideal conditions for spotting a wide range of native birds.

A special sighting at the reserve, the Satin Flycatcher (Myiagra cyanoleuca) stands out for its glossy black and deep blue feathers. Males boast a striking appearance with glossy plumage, whilst females exhibit a more subdued brownish-grey colouration. The bird’s buff fringed wing coverts and secondary feathers give it a unique look that distinguishes it from other flycatchers. 

Satin Flycatcher
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Historically, sightings of Satin Flycatchers in Brisbane have been infrequent, making each sighting a special event for birdwatchers. Satin Flycatchers are rarely sighted for several reasons:

Elusive Behavior: Satin Flycatchers are known for their elusive nature. They prefer densely forested habitats where they can easily blend in with their surroundings, making them challenging to spot, even in areas where they may be present.

Habitat Preferences: These birds primarily inhabit forests, woodlands, and wetlands, often in remote or less accessible areas. As a result, their preferred habitats may overlap somewhat with areas frequented by humans, reducing the likelihood of encounters.

Migration Patterns: Satin Flycatchers are migratory birds, moving between different regions in response to seasonal changes. During migration, they may pass through specific areas, including Brisbane, but their presence is temporary and may not coincide with peak birdwatching times.

Population Size: Satin Flycatchers have relatively small populations compared to more common bird species. Their limited numbers further contribute to their rarity and the infrequency of sightings.

Conservation Status: While not currently considered threatened, Satin Flycatchers may face habitat loss and degradation, which could impact their population numbers and distribution. Conservation efforts to protect their habitats could also contribute to their rarity in certain areas.

Chermside Hills Reserve is home to more than just the Satin Flycatcher. It hosts various bird species that contribute to the vibrant ecosystem. Visitors may spot Laughing Kookaburras with their distinctive calls, Rainbow Lorikeets that bring splashes of vibrant colour, and the ubiquitous Noisy Miner, known for its loud chatter. The Torresian Crow, a notable local species, also adds to the natural chorus that birdwatchers enjoy.

Satin Flycatcher
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Beyond these, the reserve provides habitats for various honeyeaters, fairywrens, and butcherbirds, each bringing unique beauty and song to the area.

Here are the bird species that have been sighted at Chermside Hills Reserve:

Bird SpeciesNumber ObservedDetails
Little Pied Cormorant1
Whistling Kite1Flew over
Laughing Kookaburra3
Rainbow Bee-eater3
Rainbow Lorikeet6
Variegated Fairywren2
Noisy Miner7
Blue-faced Honeyeater3
Striated Pardalote7
Black-faced Cuckooshrike5
Golden Whistler3
Rufous Whistler3
Gray Butcherbird1Heard
Pied Butcherbird4
Australian Magpie3
Pied Currawong1
Gray Fantail5
Satin Flycatcher1Buff fringed wing coverts and secondaries. Also heard it call.
Torresian Crow5
Welcome Swallow1
Data from Ebird.Org

Published 2-May-2024

Explore Popular Tracks At Chermside Hills & Milne Hill

Escape from the busy city life and take a walk down Chermside Hills and Milne Hill circuit. This 7.1 km two-hour return track will not only refresh your mind, body, and soul, but it will show you wallabies, beautiful wildflowers, and other indigenous flora and fauna.

The Chermside Hills Reserve area is home to the popular Raven Street Reserve, Milne Hill Reserve, & the Chermside Hills Reserve.

Chermside Hills – The Giwadha Track

Photo credit: Aussie Bushwalking

You can access this track via the Chermside Hills Reserve from 420 Trouts Road McDowall. Start at the park entrance and car park.

Explore the open forest with an abundance of wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs. This circuit passes through the thick vegetation use beside the Little Cabbage Tree Creek. If you have a love for birds, you might want to stop by here and do some birdwatching.

Continue on and climb to highest point, which is the Spyder Hill, that will give you sweeping views of Moreton Bay, the city, and the beautiful mountains that surround it.

Milne Hill – Pomax Track

Photo credit: Weekend Notes

An open forest the Milne Hill Reserve goes around the hill. Walk through it and be enclosed in a beauty of wildflowers and shrubberies. During the winter and autumn seasons, you get to see honeyeaters feeding on golden candlestick banksias in flower here.

Before exploring the nature reserves, make sure to prepare and keep safe. Brisbane City Council has put together these important reminders for anyone interested in bushwalking activities::

  • Don’t go alone
  • Always wear a hat, sunscreen, and have water with you at all times
  • Let someone know where you’re going and the time you plan to return
  • Be cautious when on tracks
  • Always take a track map with you
  • Always carry a mobile phone

You can download the track map on the council’s website or you can view it here.