Sunday, 21 December 2008

21st December Report

Quite an eventful week on the weather front starting off with a huge storm with lots of thunder and lightning and 73mm of rain. The storm also bought strong winds which bought down lots of tree branches and limbs. One big old Acacia fell down over the power lines and blacked us out for 5 hours. Mid-week we had a further 11.5mm of rain and towards the end lots of sunshine. We saw 80 species of birds plus 3 heard and 17 reptiles (more frogs as they enjoyed the rain) seen and 1 heard (Green Tree Frog).

The highlight was a rufous morph of the Tawny Frogmouth Podargus phalaenoides. We were alerted to the birds presence by the smaller birds scolding it and found it roosting 3m off the ground being mobbed. It then flew higher and we managed to get a poor photo before it flew again being chased by mainly honeyeater's. The bird looked very dark in the rainforest being a dark rufous-brown colour with a very pale orange eye.

Tawny Frogmouth - rufous form

The Pied Imperial Pigeon reported a few weeks back is still hanging around with another sighting this week (well it could be a different one!), the Pacific Baza's continue to feed their growing chicks who are just getting the barring on their breasts and the little head crest. The immature Papuan Frogmouth has been roosting as low as 0.5m off the ground which is not a good idea. The parent bird has been roosting nearby but at least 5m off the ground, anyway the immature is still surviving and signs of adult plumage are beginning to appear.

Papuan Frogmouth - Immature - 11 days after fledging

The Noisy Pitta's have been seen collecting worms and flying off so it looks like they are feeding young.

Further afield there has been several sightings of a male Blue-faced Parrot-Finch on Mt. Lewis but no others, they are still proving to be difficult to find. On the coast near Newell Beach (just north of Mossman) there has been sightings of both Red-rumped
and Barn Swallows, the Red-rumps have not been recorded around here for several years. Locally a Large-tailed Nightjar was calling, the first we have heard this season.

Thank you all for reading our blog and we would like to wish you all the best for the festive season wherever you are.

Keith & Lindsay.

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