Sunday, 14 December 2008

14th December Report

Hot and mainly dry week with one overnight storm bringing 33mm of rain. 73 species of birds were seen plus 4 heard and 11 species of Mammals and Reptiles were seen during the week. This was lower than average and probably reflected a reduced effort in time spent observing.

Highlight of the week was the Papuan Frogmouth chick fledging on the 9th exactly one month from hatching. The newly fledged chick (referred to as a pullus) was spotlighted on the 10th near to the nest with the proud parents. It was seen again during the day on the 12th and 13th roosting low down (2-3m) off the ground and in the open with at least one parent close by keeping a watchful eye on the chick.

Papuan Frogmouth-juvenile. 3 days since fledging ------------------- Papuan Frogmouth-juvenile. 4 days since fledging

The Pacific Baza chicks continue to grow with one now noticeably bigger than the other, hope there is enough food to sustain both of them. Pigeons and fruit-doves have been around feeding high in the rainforest canopy with one view of a Superb Fruit-Dove and several views of Topknot and White-headed Pigeon plus Wompoo
Fruit-Dove. Several Brown Cuckoo-Doves have also been around. The Australian Owlet-nightjar continues to sit in his roost hollow early morning looking out and catching the sun. Several fig trees have been fruiting attracting several pairs of Fig-Parrots, Figbirds and Metallic Starlings.

Australasian Figbird - Female

Brush Cuckoos have been calling like crazy and have been joined with the occasional Little Bronze-Cuckoo.
The two juvenile Masked Owls have been showing well but the Sooty Owl is again proving elusive with only his calls being heard. The Noisy Pittas have now gone quiet and we suspect they are nesting - they have been seen a few times flying past.

Frogs have been firing up in anticipation of rain but have been mainly disappointed. Talking of frogs we have just received copies of a new book entitled "Rainforest Frogs of The Wet Tropics - north-east Australia" for our shop. It is a very good field guide to the 33 wet tropics frog species and highly recommended.

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