Tuesday, 4 November 2008

2nd November Report

The week had unusually mild nights but quite hot during the day. The birding was good with 92 species seen and a further 7 heard. There were 11 mammal and reptile sightings.

The week bought a few surprises, a couple of firsts for us in our 3 years here; a Pied Imperial Pigeon turned up calling on the 30th before being sighted flying into a tree in the camping area, the other one was a pair of Brown Gerygones seen on a morning walk. The Pied Imperial Pigeon is normally found on the coast with very few sightings up on the Tablelands, only one previous record around here that we know about. The Brown Gerygone is found nearby on the lower slopes of Mt. Lewis and in rainforest along Carr Road a few kilometres from Kingfisher Park but again few records from here, we obviously don’t have suitable habitat for them. A Blue-faced Parrot-Finch was seen drinking at the Red-necked Crake Pool on the morning of the 26th. There have been a few sightings over the last few months at the pool but at this time of year we would expect them to be heading to higher ground on Mt. Lewis where they usually appear in mid-November.

An Australian Owlet-nightjar was seen twice peering out of a roost hollow around 8-9.00am and a pair of Double-eyed Fig-Parrot was foraging in a fig tree along our boundary road (Mt. Kooyong Road) on a couple of mornings. A Large-billed Scrubwrens nest located in a Wait-A-While vine 0.5m off the ground, reported last week, has been occupied but was found destroyed during the week, the likely suspect was one of 4 Spotted Catbirds (2 adults + 2 Juvs.) operating in the area who probably were alerted to the nest when the eggs hatched and heard the calls of the nestlings. Small birds get a hard time and low survival rates. A Black Butcherbird was seen flying off with a poor unfortunate frog who was calling out to no avail. Most of the Australian Brush-turkeys have moved to higher grounds in the hill behind us, there are a few left to continue digging out everything we plant!

Australian Brush-turkey

Our next door neighbour, Ron Stannard who some of you might remember as he ran the lodge before we took over, reported a Pale-vented Bush-hen sitting on the road outside the lodge. The bird got up as he approached and disappeared into the long grass at the edge of the road. We have not been hearing the Bush-hens this season yet and have had no other sightings.

Further afield there was a party of 4 male + 10+ female/juvs. Red-backed Fairy Wren along the Lake Mitchell causeway on the 1st November plus a White-winged Black Tern flying over. Plenty of Black Swan, Green Pygmy-goose and Comb-crested Jacana; also an Eastern Osprey in company with a White-bellied Sea-Eagle.

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