Thursday, 4 September 2008

Morning Bird Walk 3rd September 2008

Macleay's, Dusky, Yellow-spotted, Graceful and Yellow-faced Honeyeater's greeted us at the beginning of the walk as they fed on nectar from the grevillea's. Further on a pair of Papuan Frogmouth pretended to be part of the tree they were roosting in. An Azure Kingfisher flashed along the creek before perching and showing off its bright blue back and orange/rufous breast.

A couple of Barred Cuckoo-shrike were seen perching high up on a Blue Quandong tree and further into the walk we saw several others feeding on small red figs.

Barred Cuckoo-shrike

A pair of Large-billed Gerygone were building their hanging nest in a tree adjacent to Bushy Creek.

They usually prefer to nest over water where they build their wispy nest to look like flood debris, hence their alternative name of Flood Bird. Last year they did nest over water but a water monitor ate the eggs and destroyed the nest.

Large-billed Gerygone

A Red-winged Parrot (male) flew from nearby Geraghty Park into a Queensland Blue Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) for a brief view. These parrots are more commonly seen in the drier areas of Mount Molloy, Mt. Carbine and Mareeba and rarely visit the area around the lodge.

A surprise in Geraghty Park was one adult Black-chinned Honeyeater which was foraging and calling with a party of White-throated Honeyeater. This bird is within the intergradation zone between the north Australian form laetior (Golden-backed Honeyeater) and the nominotypical gularis (Black-chinned Honeyeater), it had very bright yellow upper parts and was noticeably larger than the White-throated Honeyeaters. We were unable to confirm colour of orbital skin which varies within the intergradation zone. This is the 3rd record at this location since December 25th 2007.

This was a good end to a successful 2½ hours birding in which we saw 48 species and heard a further 7.

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