Sunday, August 10, 2014

10th August 2014 Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge

Weather Report
The first week had 9mm of rain which fell over three days, the second week had 17mm of rain over six days. Temperatures ranged from a cool low of 16.1ºC up to 23.6ºC which is about average for this time of year. Despite the drizzly rain there were plenty of opportunities to get some good birding in both during the day and night walks.


Last Two Weeks Bird Sightings:-
These can be found on the Eremaea eBird site. 27thJuly - 2nd August and 3rd- 9th August The first week had 94 sightings and the second week 97 .


Morning and Evening Guided Walks:-
Morning walks were very productive with numbers of species seen ranging from 51-55 apart from one day where the rain cut it short and only 43 species were seen. We had some good sightings including three Little Bronze-Cuckoo, Papuan Frogmouth, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot – one female was digging out a nest hollow in a tree, Noisy Pitta, Spotted Catbird, 11 species of honeyeater, Yellow-breasted Boatbill, male Cicadabird, Pied Monarch, Victoria's Riflebird and Lemon-bellied Flycatcher.

Night walks were also very good up to 11 Barn Owl seen as there are at least 3 nests around the Lodge area with juveniles. Other good bird sightings were a Brown Falcon flying over and calling, Barking Owl, Papuan Frogmouth and a pair of Blue-winged Kookaburra – one was calling. 

 
Papuan Frogmouth - female

Mammals seen were Giant White-tailed Rat which is a native tree rat,


Giant White-tailed Rat - male

Fawn-footed Melomys and Tree Mouse (prehensile-tailed Rat) both of whom were feeding in oranges as these two images show – quite amazing! 
 
Fawn-footed Melomys - tail


Tree Mouse

Others seen were Red-legged Pademelon, Striped and Green Ringtail Possum, Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot, plus Spectacled Flying-fox. This one was getting nectar from the blossom of a South American Sapote fruit tree.

 
Spectacled Flying-fox


Frogs seen were Jungguy Frog, White-lipped Tree Frog, Red Tree Frog, Roth's Tree Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog, Cogger's Frog and Cane Toad, plus Platypus. Reptiles seen were Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko, Asian House Gecko and Australian Scrub Python high up in a tree.

Other Birding Highlights:-
A pair of Green Pygmy-goose were along McDougall Road along with White-faced and White-necked Heron. At least two juvenile Black-shouldered Kite were perched near Geraghty Park and a Swamp Harrier was over a paddock behind the nursing home. A Brown Goshawk came swooping into the reception area feeder scattering the Bar-shouldered Dove and Red-browed Finch, but it left empty handed after failing to catch anything. Black and Whistling Kite are mopping up road kills along the Rex Highway and a pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagle have been seen heading for the local fish farm. Red-necked Crake was heard, but not seen; they have not been easy lately. Up to 21 Topknot Pigeon have been seen flying over and landing in the Blue Quandong trees looking for the fruit which is still green and not the bright blue ripe fruit. Lesser Sooty Owl was heard once and Australian Owlet-nightjar was also heard, but neither species were seen. Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeet were both seen nesting in tree hollows. The male Yellow-throated Scrubwren previously reported in still being seen around the Lodge grounds and a brown Black Butcherbird has also been around. A couple of Bower's Shrike-thrush are still in the Lodge grounds along with a male Golden Whistler. Olive-backed Oriole have returned and are calling, not sure where they disappear to. A White-eared Monarch has been calling over the last two week, but was only seen on the 9th August high in a tree beside Bushy Creek at the Platypus viewing area. Pied Monarch and Yellow-breasted Boatbill have both been calling well and being seen. 



Yellow-breasted Boatbill - female

The female and immature male Victoria's Riflebird previously reported are still with us and being seen in various parts of the grounds. A Golden-headed Cisticola was reported by our neighbours and bird guides Carol and Andrew Iles along Bushy Creek, this is a first sighting for many months. Up to five Blue-faced Parrot-Finch have been found near Abattoir Swamp.


Further Afield:-

Banded Honeyeater was reported by Del Richards from Fine Feather Tours on 30th July just north of Mt. Carbine, which is about two months earlier than previous years. A Wedge-tailed Eagle was soaring over Euluma Creek Road in Julatten, not common in our area. Just outside our 1.5km Lodge reporting area on the way to Mt. Molloy a Crested Pigeon was perched on a power line across the Rex Highway, this is the closest to the Lodge that we have seen this species. Mt. Lewis has been performing as usual with all 13 “Wet Tropic” endemics seen including male and female Golden Bowerbird. A trip to the Atherton Tableland allowed us to catch up with a few birds including these two, an Eastern Whipbird and a male Victoria's Riflebird.

 

Eastern Whipbird



Victoria's Riflebird - male

 

Reptiles and Mammals:-

Apart from the mammals reported on the night walks we have recorded Agile Wallaby, Eastern Horseshoe Bat, Large-footed Myotis (fish eating bat), Northern Broad-nosed Bat and Little Bent-wing Bat. Other reptiles seen were Boyd's Forest Dragon after a month long absence, Eastern Water Dragon and Green Tree Snake. 

Thanks to Carol and Andrew Iles for helping to compile the weekly bird lists, contact them if you need any bird guiding. 


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Sunday, July 27, 2014

27th July 2014 Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge

Weather Report
The first week was mainly dry and sunny' but 3.5mm of rain fell over two nights, the second week began dry before we had 4mm of rain which fell over two days. Temperatures ranged from a cool low of 11.5ºC up to 23ºC, very pleasant and great birding weather.

Last Two Weeks Bird Sightings:-
These can be found on the Eremaea eBird site. 13th - 19th July and 20th - 26th July

The first week has 98 sightings and the second week 109. Rainfall was 6.5mm over four days, much of this fell at night or was fine mist during the day. Overall it was great birding over the two weeks.


Birding Highlights:-

A few waterbirds were around in the local lagoons and Barramundi Farm; these included A couple of Green Pygmy-goose, Pacific Black Duck, Australasian Grebe, Little Black and Little Pied Cormorant, a single Australian Pelican, Great, Intermediate and Cattle Egret, White-faced Heron, Australian White and Straw-necked Ibis plus three Royal Spoonbill. Orange-footed Scrubfowl (they should be called orange-legged) have been very noisy calling day and night and chasing each other, they are quite comical to watch as they strut around.


Orange-footed Scrubfowl

 

Raptors were quite good with Black-shouldered Kite, Swamp and Spotted Harrier, Grey Goshawk, Collared Sparrowhawk, Black and Whistling Kite along with White-bellied Sea-Eagle. A Red-necked Crake was calling one evening but not seen. Brown Cuckoo-Dove have been taking advantage of several fruiting trees including Celerywood and a Strangler Fig with up to five seen at one time. Bar-shouldered Dove have been around the Lodge grounds and at the Barramundi Farm, they are a very attractive dove.


Bar-shouldered Dove

 

A single Wompoo Fruit-Dove has been around the Lodge grounds and calling. Not much cuckoo action with only a Fan-tailed Cuckoo heard and a Little Bronze-Cuckoo seen. Barn Owl have been noisy with one pair having three juveniles to feed and another pair with at least two chicks still in a nest. The two Barking Owl which have been around on and off for the last two years continue to be around, but not every night. Australian Owlet-nightjar has been heard on several nights, but not seen. Papuan Frogmouth numbers have increased to five in the immediate area with a male and female taking up residence in our orchard, so hopefully they will stay and breed here, welcome back! This picture shows three Papuan Frogmouth roosting during the day and pretending not to look like birds.

 

Papuan Frogmouth

 

Rainbow Bee-eater are still with us, but only about 12 have been recorded which is a decrease in numbers over the last few weeks. Up to six Double-eyed Fig-Parrot have been coming to a fruiting Cluster Fig to feed on the green fruits. At least two pairs of Spotted Catbird are in the Lodge grounds and our neighbours Carol and Andrew's garden. This one was queuing up for a free feed at their bird feeder.


Spotted Catbird

Our single Noisy Pitta continues to make appearances in our orchard to the delight of our guests. 15 species of honeyeater were recorded including at least two Black-chinned (Golden-backed Form) were are still around. A single male Yellow-throated Scrubwren is still with us after first being sighted a month ago, an altitudinal migrant from the mountains behind us. Yellow-breasted Boatbill have been showing well and coming down to lower levels in the rainforest for good views as have the Pied Monarch. A male Common Cicadabird was seen on a couple of morning walks, which was the first sightings for this year.


Common Cicadabird - male

 

A couple of Bower's Shrike-thrush are still around and showing well. Australasian Figbird have been scarce over the last few weeks, but towards the end of the second week they re-appeared in flocks of 30-40. These males are eating the fruits of an Umbrella Tree in front of our units.

 
Australasian Figbird - male

 

A female Shining Flycatcher flew through our neighbours garden whilst it was cutting a corner on a bend in Bushy Creek; we only see this species occasionally throughout the year. Another occasional visitor was a Tawny Grassbird foraging near the entrance to the Lodge and darting into the adjacent cane paddock. A few Chestnut-breasted Mannikin were also foraging alongside the cane paddock.


Further Afield:-

Numbers of Blue-faced Parrot-Finch near Abattoir Swamp have increased from the two reported last blog to at least five, but they are very difficult to locate. At Abattoir Swamp our neighbour Andrew Iles (bird guide) had Varied Sitella, which is uncommon at that location. Mt. Lewis is still the place to find the 13 “Wet Tropic” endemics with all being seen in the last two weeks – not on the same day though! At least three Lesser Sooty Owl were seen one evening. Just outside our 1.5km Lodge reporting area were five Purple Swamphen foraging alongside the Rex Highway which is not a good idea! Hopefully they will learn the error of their ways and relocate to the nearest wetland. Square-tailed Kite has been reported in Mt. Molloy and further north at Maryfarms. Hasties Swamp, near Atherton, has been turning up some good waterbirds including Freckled Duck and Glossy Ibis. A Brown Goshawk was around Euluma Creek road in Julatten one afternoon, always nice to see this species.

Reptiles and Mammals:-
The last few weeks have been extremely good for our night walks with plenty to see. One of the highlights was a Short-beaked Echidna which was the first we have seen this year. Other species seen were Striped and Green Ringtail Possum, Northern Brown and Long-nosed Bandicoot, Fawn-footed Melomys feeding on the fruit of an orange tree in our orchard, a brief glimpse of a Platypus in Bushy Creek and Several Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko. A few frogs were also spotlighted – Jungguy Frog, White-lipped Tree Frog, Roth's (Laughing) Frog, Desert Tree Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog, Cogger's Frog and one small Cane Toad. Apart from those seen on the night walks we also had Bush Rat, Giant White-tailed Rat, Eastern Horseshoe and Northern Broad-nosed Bat, Spectacled Flying Fox a couple of Australian Scrub Python. A large Carpet Python was over the road in the Geraghty Park hall during a residence meeting.
Thanks to our guests for reporting sightings and to Carol and Andrew Iles our roving bird guides for their input into this weeks blog.If you need bird guiding click on their link and send an email.



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Sunday, July 13, 2014

13th July 2014 Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge

Weather Report
The first week was dry apart from 5mm of rain which fell over two days, the second week was dry and sunny. Temperatures ranged from a cold low of 9ºC up to 22ºC, very pleasant and great birding weather.

Last Two Weeks Bird Sightings:-
These can be found on the Eremaea eBird site. 29th June - 5th July and 6th - 12th July

The first week has 95 sightings and the second week 104.


Birding Highlights:-
McDougall Road lagoons produced a few waterbirds; Wandering Whistling-Duck, Pacific Black Duck, Grey Teal, Hardhead, Australasian Grebe, Little Black and Little-Pied Cormorant plus Intermediate and Great Egret plus Royal Spoonbill. Waterbirds flying over included White-necked and White-faced Heron along with Australian Pelican. One of the best sightings for the week was a Great-billed Heron along Bushy Creek at the Platypus viewing area seen mid-morning whilst a group was on a morning walk. There are some Great-billed Heron nesting along Rifle Creek which is where Bushy Creek flows into. We usually get a few sightings from this time of year through to October/November. Two immature Black-shouldered Kite were in the area and must have nested nearby. A Wedge-tailed Eagle was seen both weeks and must have been drawn in by the large number of road kills we are experiencing at the moment. Our two regular White-bellied Sea-Eagles have been getting excited and are calling a lot and flying around as well as being seen perched together in a dead tree. A Red-necked Crake was heard once but again not seen unlike a Buff-banded Rail which was seen near the Mt. Kooyong Nursing Home. 
 
Buff-banded Rail

The only sighting of Topknot Pigeon was made by our neighbouring bird guide Carol Iles when she saw ten flying over Mt. Kooyong Road and the Lodge. There has been a shortage of this species so far this year. Fan-tailed Cuckoo was around for the first week calling but not heard or seen during the second week. Nightbirds seen have been two Barn Owl who have at least two young in a nest, two Barking Owl who were being chased off by a Spangled Drongo one evening and three Papuan Frogmouth plus a Lesser Sooty Owl called about one o'clock but has not been seen. Little Kingfisher was another highlight over the two weeks when it made at least two visits to the Crake Pool on the edge of the orchard. Since we have managed to get into the orchard to mow the grass, now that it has dried out, a Noisy Pitta has said thank you very much! It has been out everyday hopping around the orchard foraging for everyone to see and photograph. One morning we stood in the orchard and watched the pitta foraging with a Grey-headed Robin on the ground whilst a Spotted Catbird and adult female Victoria's Riflebird were foraging on the fruit of a Spondias. How good was that? 

Spotted Catbird

Fourteen species of honeyeater were seen with three Black-chinned Honeyeater (Golden-backed form) seen on the 8th during a morning walk being the highlight. Macleay's Honeyeater have not been coming to the feeder so often since a South American Sapote tree in our orchard has started to flower and attract them. 
 
Macleay's Honeyeater

Large-billed Scrubwren have been involved in a few feeding party's in the rainforest which have also included Little (Rufous) Shrike-thrush, Grey Whistler, Rufous Fantail and Spectacled Monarch. 
 
Large-billed Scrubwren

At least two Bower's Shrike-thrush were foraging high in the rainforest on the edge of the orchard one morning. This one is a female, note bi-colour bill as mentioned in our blog of a few weeks ago. Not a particularly good image but the bird would not come down, however it does show the bill.

 

Bower's Shrike-thrush

Their  are still a few Spangled Drongo around, one who we think always comes back to our feeder each year, hard to be sure as they all look the same!

Spangled Drongo

Lemon-bellied Flycatcher are still around Geraghty Park adjacent to the Lodge with at least four seen and heard. A surprise whilst on a morning walk was to see two Chestnut-breasted Mannikin perched on the rail around the Geraghty Park oval with five Rainbow Bee-eater.

Further Afield:-

Blue-faced Parrot-finch have been seen irregularly near Abattoir Swamp with only one or two birds. Black-throated Finch have been further north along the Kondaparinga Road towards Hurricane Station. Mt. Lewis has been running hot and cold but is still turning up most of the Wet Tropic endemics including Tooth-billed Bowerbird, female Golden Bowerbird, Fernwren, Atherton Scrubwren, Mountain Thornbill, Bridled Honeyeater, Chowchilla, Bower's Shrike-thrush, Victoria;s Riflebird and Grey-headed Robin. Lower down the mountain Pied Monarch and Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo were seen. A Green-eyed Frog Litoria serrata was also seen by one of our guests, this is one species we don't get on the Lodge grounds.


Reptiles and Mammals:-
Fawn-footed Melomy's, Yellow-footed Antichinus and Bush Rat have been around the Lodge and at the feeder near reception along with two Northern Brown Bandicoot. Two Agile Wallaby were in the orchard one night in place of the Red-legged Pdemelon which had retreated to the rainforest. A Giant White-tailed Rat was seen on a night walk climbing up and down some vines beside Bushy Creek. A few more Northern Brown Bandicoot are being seen with at least four whilst we were on a nightwalk. A Striped Possum was feeding in the orchard along with a second one on the edge of the orchard chewing into a dead tree. The second photo (a male!) shows the elongated 4th finger they use to extract wood boring grubs out of dead wood after they have chewed a hole with their lower incisors; the only other animal species is known to find food like this is the Aye-aye from Madagascar.
 
Striped Possum
 
Striped Possum - showing elongated 4th finger

Frogs have retreated with the dry cooler weather with only Jungguy Frog, White-lipped Tree Frog, Desert (Red/Naked) Tree Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog and Cane Toad. Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko have been found on our nightwalks in several places and our neighbours Carol and Andrew Iles had a large Carpet Python at their place which was one of the few snakes we have seen in a while.

 Insects:-
 This Australian House Centipede Allothereua maculata was found on the rainforest floor and although they are supposed to be common this is the first we have seen in the Lodge grounds. They have 15 pairs of legs and run extremely quickly, this one was put into a container to get a photo before being released.

Australian House Centipede

Thanks to our guests for reporting sightings and to Carol and Andrew Iles our roving bird guides.

For Sale:-
Canon EOS 7D body + EF 100-400mm Lens. All in excellent condition with original boxes, Instruction manual. Great bird photography outfit - have upgraded. Only $1600.00 plus P & P. Email interest

Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge Business and Property For Sale
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Sunday, June 29, 2014

29th June 2014 Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge

Weather Report
The first week was rainy and overcast with 16.5mm of rain over 4 days, but by the end of the week it had improved with the second week being dry and sunny, fantastic weather! At last the Lodge was starting to dry out. Temperatures ranged from a low of 14.8ºC up to 23ºC, very pleasant, perfect birding weather.

Last Two Weeks Bird Sightings:-
The first week we recorded 98 species and the second week 101, these can be found on the Eremaea eBird site. 15th - 21st June and 22nd - 28th June

Birding Highlights:-
Wandering Whistling-Duck, Green Pygmy-goose, Pacific Black Duck, Australasian Grebe, Little Black and Little-Pied Cormorant and Great Egret were reported along McDougall Road in the lagoons. An Australian Pelican was flying over the Lodge one afternoon and a White-necked Heron was in a swampy patch of the adjacent cane paddock, this is an occasional visitor. Black-shouldered Kite, Swamp Harrier, Grey and Brown Goshawk, Black and Whistling Kite, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Nankeen Kestrel and Brown Falcon were the raptors seen. Red-necked Crake were heard, but not seen. Brown Cuckoo-Dove have been calling and feeding on fruiting trees in the rainforest. Fan-tailed Cuckoo have been calling every day along with the Little (Gould's) Bronze-Cuckoo and our bird guide neighbours Carol and Andrew had a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo in their garden, this is a winter visitor. Barn Owl are calling, but not always seen as they have changed their normal routine due to the start of the breeding season. The pair of Barking Owls have been around most nights calling incessantly and waking everyone up! A Lesser Sooty Owl was heard giving a single call on one night and that was all for the two weeks. Again four Papuan Frogmouth have been seen, one was perched over the road to reception whilst on a night walk. Rainbow Bee-eater are still with us, but their numbers appear to be decreasing so they may be moving off. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo have whinging youngsters with them and must be driving the parents crazy as the go all day. Double-eyed Fig-Parrot have only been seen as fly overs and Red-wing Parrot were seen near the Julatten School, just in our 1.5km radius Lodge bird list area. Noisy Pitta is still being seen, usually in the orchard or adjacent rainforest, but are not easy. Spotted Catbird are still coming to the feeder and also seen feeding with Victoria's Riflebird on the fallen fruit of a Spondias tree in the orchard.

Victoria's Riflebird - immature male

14 species of honeyeater were seen over the two weeks, the highlight was a Helmeted Friarbird which normally are common along the coast and up onto the great divide so to see one this far inland was very unusual. Graceful Honeyeater have also been calling and feeding on rainforest flowers as the one below is doing. This bird is stretching itself to get to the nectar and in doing so it is distorting the yellow ear patch so it does not look like the field guides show. The shape of the ear patch is naturally variable in Yellow-spotted and Graceful and the Lewin's Honeyeater this area have an ear patch which is not quite the defined crescent shape of the southern birds, which leads to more confusion in identification. Best bet is to learn the calls before you visit this region. 

Graceful Honeyeater

Graceful Honeyeater - close up of head and ear patch

We had the first sighting for the year of a Yellow-throated Scrubwren (male) in the Lodge grounds on the 27th June. We usually get one or two birds coming off the higher mountains to visit us in the winter months which is good as they can cross the broken corridor between us and the mountain rainforest unlike some other species like Chowchilla. Yellow-breasted Boatbill have again been calling and showing well as have Pied Monarch.

Pied Monarch

A female Bower's Shrike-thrush has been around the Lodge grounds late in the second week, again this is a winter visitor from higher grounds. Female Bower's have a bone bi-colour bill unlike the adult male who have an all dark bill. At least one male Golden Whistler (another winter visitor) is still around the grounds and has been calling well. A Yellow Oriole has been lurking around in the Lodge grounds, whilst they are common on the coast they have only started to appear here in the last 3-4 years.

Yellow Oriole

Willie Wagtail are interesting and a common bird, but not at the Lodge all year around. Whilst they are reported to be resident in many areas of Australia they also migrate out of some parts of Australia. Amazing how little we know about the movements of such a common bird. 

Willie Wagtail

A Tawny Grassbird was around the nearby cane paddock, a species we have not seen since September 2013. Chestnut-breasted Mannikin were foraging around the edge of the adjacent cane paddock one morning along with the regular Red-browed Finch.

Further Afield:-
Black-breasted Buzzard was seen at the Mt. Carbine Cemetery, Collared Sparrowhawk and Satin Flycatcher were at McLeod River north of Mt. Carbine. Pacific Baza was at the Mowbray National Park in Julatten, thanks to Jan England for these sightings. Little Kingfisher are being seen on the Daintree River and Australian Praticole were found on the Atherton Tableland behind the Shalee Strawberry Farm on the Gillies Highway (Yungaburra to Atherton Road) at the junction of Marks Lane. A female Double-eyed Fig-Parrot stunned itself on a window of our house in Julatten and after it was calmed down it was put on a tree branch in the shade where it sat until it recovered and flew away. It was looking rather sad when this photo was taken.


Double-eyed Fig-Parrot - female
Thanks to Carol and Andrew Iles for their sightings contributions. If you need any bird guiding contact Carol and Andrew.

Reptiles and Mammals:-
Top of the list this week goes to the Tree Mouse Pogonomys sp.(previously known as Prehensile-tailed Rat) which was running around on the edge of the rainforest near the reception area one evening. Two other Pogonomys species occur in New Guinea but the Australian one is thought to be an unnamed species as no taxonomic study has shown a definite link with the other two species. The Australian species was first recorded in 1974 at Lake Eacham on the Atherton Tableland when a cat bought one into the Lake Eacham Teahouse. This one stopped in the same position for over 10 minutes whilst it was photographed contrary to published reports that it runs around in a confused manner back and forth along tree branches when spotlighted. 

Tree Mouse

Other mammals seen were Fawn-footed Melomys, Yellow-footed Antichinus, Red-legged Pademelon, Agile Wallaby, Eastern Horseshoe Bat, Northern Tube-nosed Bat, Bush Rat, Giant White-tailed Rat, Striped Possum, Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot plus Spectacled Flying Fox. Once again we found several Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko, several of which were showing different colour variations depending on the tree bark colour they were on, great camouflage

Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko

Frogs were good for the first week when it was wet but only a couple of species ventured out in the second week, we recorded seven species including Striped Marsh Frog, Jungguy Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog and Cogger's Frog. No Boyd's Forest Dragon and only one snake, an Australian Scrub Python, over the two weeks which probably means they have gone into hibernation or are less active in the cooler weather.

Fungi:-
This Bridal Veil fungi Phallus indusiatus popped up along the rainforest track to the orchard. It is pollinated by flies which are attracted to it by the smell, which is like rotting meat. The cap has a brown spore containing slime which is eaten by the flies who then disperse the spores. It is an edible fungus and is used in Chinese cooking as well as in medicines. If you want to find out more about this fungi follow this link.



Bridal Veil Fungi

New Books:-
Two new books were added to our shop this week, Finding Australian birds: a field guide to birding locations by Tim Dolby and Rohan Clarke. Had a quick browse through this book and it looks like the definitive guide to get you onto great birding locations and the birds you want to see. It is over 600 pages with plenty of maps. A bargain at $49.95.



The other book is A Guide To The Cockroaches of Australia by David Rentz who is well known to us as he lives nearby at Kuranda. This book describes comprehensively most of the 550 described species found in Australia, excellent descriptions, photos and maps. It is only when you see this field guide that you can appreciate the diversity of cockroaches in Australia, $49.95. 


 
Well done to Tim, Rohan and David for the work and dedication needed to bring such great books to us.

Finally:-
After months of roadworks along the Mt. Molloy to Mossman road near the Bushy Creek Bridge where we were delayed by traffic lights which took for ever to change, it has been finished. This is what it looks like now. Not sure about the speed limit!

Mt. Molloy to Mossman Road.

For Sale:-
Canon EOS 7D body + EF 100-400mm Lens. All in excellent condition with original boxes, Instruction manual. Great bird photography outfit - have upgraded. Only $1600.00 plus P & P. Email interest.

Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge Business and Property For Sale
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

15th June 2014 Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge

Weather Report
The first week was drizzle and overcast with 8.5mm of rain over 4 days, the other three days were overcast with misty rain which did not even register in the rain gauge. The second week was raining every day with a total of 107.5mm making it very wet and boggy underfoot. Not the sort of weather we expect at this time of year, luckily the sun did appear for a few hours at the end of the second week. So after five weeks of this drizzle and rain we have had enough!

Last Two Weeks Bird Sightings:-
These can be found on the Eremaea eBird site. 1st - 7th June and 8th - 14th June

Birding Highlights:-
Waterfowl have been scarce around the Lodge with only the usual Pacific Black Duck and a few Wandering Whistling-Duck plus a couple of Australasian Grebe. Carol Iles our resident neighbouring bird guide reported two Australian Pelican flying over McDougall Road, which is quite unusual. Other waterbirds included Great, Intermediate and Cattle Egret, White-faced Heron, Australian White and Straw-necked Ibis and Royal Spoonbill. A few raptors have been around in small numbers, those seen were Black-shouldered Kite, Brown Goshawk, Black and Whistling Kite, White-bellied Sea-Eagle and Brown Falcon. 

 
Black Kite

Cuckoos seen were Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Shining Bronze-Cuckoo which was the first around here for the year and Little (Gould's) Bronze-Cuckoo. Night birds seen were Barn Owl, Barking Owl and Papuan Frogmouth. Scaly-breasted Lorikeet numbers increased as the Queensland Blue Gum started to flower and a pair of Double-eyed Fig-Parrot were seen at a nest site, the female doing all the excavations in the tree branch. Spotted Catbird has been a regular at the banana feeder along with Lewin's, Yellow-spotted and Macleay's Honeyeater who have all been finding it hard to find food in the rainy conditions. Other interesting honeyeaters seen in the 14 species recorded were Bridled, Black-chinned and Noisy Friarbird. Large-billed Scrubwren are resident at the Lodge and can be found in small family groups foraging in the rainforests, often hopping up vines. This one was taking advantage of a fallen tree, which had a hollow filled with water in it, to have a bath. 


Large-billed Scrubwren

Yellow-breasted Boatbill have been calling and seen usually high up in the rainforest canopy with occasional sightings lower down. The only Black Butcherbird we saw was a brown immature bird in Geraghty Park foraging on the ground. A few Barred Cuckoo-shrike were around the first week but disappeared in the second, they are very nomadic. Australasian Figbird have been finding plenty to eat around the Lodge grounds with over 100 in the orchard one morning. Northern Fantail have joined the Rufous and Grey Fantails flitting around the Lodge in search of insects. Both Spectacled and Pied Monarch have been active, calling and foraging. A male Leaden Flycatcher seen in Geraghty Park was the only one seen over the two weeks, no sign of any females. The pair of female Victoria's Riflebird reported in the last blog are still getting around the Lodge together and also calling. Lemon-bellied Flycatcher have been foraging in Geraghty Park with three seen on one morning walk, they come and go quite regularly from our area. 

 
Lemon-bellied Flycatcher


Mistletoebird have been very active especially the males, we saw one consuming a mistletoe fruit in Geraghty Park, another foraging near the Lodge entrance and two in our neighbours garden. Australasian Pipit have been foraging around the very wet and soggy cane paddocks.

Further Afield:-
Several Lesser Sootyowl have been seen on Mt. Lewis over the past two weeks. Golden Bowerbird has also been seen here but only juveniles of females, no males sighted. Lake Mitchell between Mt. Molloy and Mareeba has been good for Cotton Pygmy-goose with a few sightings in amongst the Green Pygmy-goose. Squatter Pigeon have been seen in the township of Mt. Molloy, not far from the main street.

Reptiles and Mammals:-
We did manage a night walk on the only dry night of the past week which was well worth the effort. We saw Two Barn Owl, two Red-legged Pademelon, two Bush Rat, three Leaf-tailed Gecko, all in new locations, two Striped Possum – both heard, but only one seen, several Spectacled Flying-fox, Giant White-tailed Rat, five species of frog – Jungguy Frog, White-lipped Tree Frog, Desert (Red) Tree Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog and Cogger's Frog. They liked the wet weather. 

 
Dainty Green Tree Frog


Other mammals seen included Fawn-footed Melomys and Agile Wallaby, other reptiles recorded included Boyd's Forest Dragon and Eastern Water Dragon.

One of our guests photographed this bat which we think is a Little Bentwing Bat but cannot be sure. The other common microbat around here is a Northern Broad-nosed Bat. Maybe there is someone more experience with bats has a better idea? If so please leave a comment.

Unknown Bat
Thanks to Carol and Andrew Iles for their sightings contributions. If you need any bird guiding contact Carol and Andrew.

For Sale:-
Canon EOS 7D body + EF 100-400mm Lens. All in excellent condition with original boxes, Instruction manual. Great bird photography outfit - have upgraded. Only $1600.00 plus P & P. Email interest

Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge Business and Property For Sale
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