Sunday, 7 December 2008

7th December Report

Another hot and dry week with only 5.5mm of rain. The birding was good with 82 species seen and a further 7 heard. There were 14 mammal and reptile sightings.

The nesting Pacific Baza has 2 fluffy white chicks and the Papuan Frogmouth chick continues to grow, it is nearly a month old now. Other birds we have found nesting include Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, Australasian Figbird, Spangled Drongo and Magpie-lark.

Interesting sightings for the week were a pair of White-headed Pigeon which are not common here, a flock of 21 Topknot Pigeon flew over after an absence of several weeks in the area, Australian Owlet-nightjar continues to sit at its roost hollow in the mornings for good looks, a Peregrine Falcon zoomed over during a morning walk – another uncommon bird in the area, a Pale-vented Bush-hen ran across the road into long grass adjacent to the lodge, more often heard than seen at the moment, a juvenile Brush Cuckoo has been seen on a couple of occasions being chased by Brown-backed Honeyeater and Willie Wagtail, at least 7 pairs of Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher are digging nesting holes in termite mounds within the lodge grounds – 3 within 50m of each other, Noisy Pittas are noisy in the morning but quiet during the day and still elusive with a few chance sightings, 11 honeyeater species and Lemon-bellied Flycatcher – several pairs in adjacent eucalypts very vocal.

Both Green Ringtail and Striped Possum seen as well as Platypus in Bushy Creek, the frogs have been getting vocal in anticipation of the rain which has not arrived – mainly White-lipped Tree Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog, Desert Tree Frog, Stoney Creek Frog and Northern-barred Frog.

Stoney Creek Frog Litoria junggay/wilcoxii

Boyd’s Forest Dragon has been seen a couple of times and an Eastern Water Dragon has been seen along Bushy Creek trying to catch bathing Red-browed Finch.

Further a field one of our guests reported observing a Wedge-tailed Eagle attack an Australian Bustard chick at Maryfarms, which is between Mount Molloy and Mt. Carbine off the Peninsula Road. The wedgie swooped down on the chick but the adult male put itself between the chick and the eagle and was killed in the attack.

Australian Bustard - Female + 2 Juveniles

On Mt. Lewis a Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo was reported, they are seen on a regular basis and form part of an isolated population which goes from the Mt. Lewis area across into the Mowbray National Park. Blue-faced Parrot-Finches were not seen on Mt. Lewis last week despite many searches, the grass seed at the “clearing” is not quite ripe yet.

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