There was 66 bird species sightings and a further 7 heard plus 11 mammals and reptiles over the week. Again sighting numbers were down due to more prolonged rain and this time some flooding. We had 156mm (abt. 6¼ inches) of rain of which 118mm fell on the Sunday night causing Bushy Creek to break its banks and flood our orchard area and cut the Rex Highway between Julatten and Mount Molloy for a morning.
The most unexpected bird sighting was a female Victoria’s Riflebird which flew onto our veranda and took a spider off the wall whilst we were having breakfast. Most records for this species at the lodge are between May-November (45) with 2 in February and only 5 for April-March but none previously in January. After a few weeks of no sightings we again located our Papuan Frogmouth's, a female with this seasons young but no sign of the male, so at least we know the juvenile is surviving. Our announcement in the 4th January report that the Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfishers had not started breeding was wrong as we found out this week. We found 6 active nests with eggshells outside the termite mounds and chicks chirping inside which was a surprise for us as the previous early hatching we have recorded at the lodge (past 4 years) was 5th February, 3 weeks later. This was also interesting because the birds arrived from New Guinea later than normal this season (8th November). A Sooty Owl was seen once flying over but heard nearly every night. At least 3 Spotted Catbirds have been predating most of the small birds nest, in particular the Spectacled Monarchs and Laughing Kookaburras got into a figbirds nest.
A Platypus was seen once during the week whizzing down Bushy Creek going with the flood water early in the morning and a Little Bent-wing Bat was sheltering out of a rain storm under our veranda one evening.
The rain has bought out the Butterfly’s with at least Blue, Pale and Green Triangles, Lots of Lemon Migrant, Orange Bush Brown, Blue Argus, Ulysses and Common Crow identified.