Monday, 2 February 2009

1st February Report

This week had 66 bird species seen and a further 7 heard plus 13 reptiles and Mammals in and around the lodge grounds. Rainfall for the month of January was 626.5mm (24.66 inches) and for the week 36.5mm.

Highlights for the week included 2 adult Pacific Baza with 2 juvenile birds which meant last weeks report was wrong, where we stated that only one juvenile survived. The adults were kept busy catching insects including large Cicadas and a very large green caterpillar which the adult half ate before giving it to one of the juveniles.

Pacific Baza

Two adult Double-eyed Fig-Parrots were seen foraging with 2 juveniles in tow and the Masked Owls were showing well. Two owls came out of their roost hollow they have been using for the last 6+ months and flew off, we then saw two Masked Owls in last years nest tree but could not be sure they were not the two we saw before. Another night had one owl in the roost tree and another in the nest tree and at least another two calling in the distance. An Australian Owlet-nightjar was sitting in his roost hollow one evening before he flew off. A newly fledged Buff-breasted Paradise–Kingfisher was reported by our neighbour Ron Stannard in his garden, this is the first record this season. Our six nests still had birds in at the end of the week. An immature male Victoria’s Riflebird was foraging around Bushy Creek at the back of our orchard and could very well be the female reported several weeks ago. We had good looks at this bird whereas the previous sighting was a quick glimpse.

An interesting Preying Mantis appeared on the edge of the rainforest

Preying Mantis

and the continuing wet weather has kept the fungi emerging.


Further afield a day trip into Cairns allowed us to check out the Cairns Esplanade and find the Laughing Gull which has re-located from Palm Cove and was still present at the end of the week, it was with a group of Silver Gulls. Also present were plenty of Grey-tailed Tattler, Lesser and Greater Sandplover, Curlew Sandpiper, Great Knot, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, a Grey phase Reef Egret, Striated Heron, Little Egret, Little Tern, Gull-billed Tern, Crested Tern and a pair of Pied Oystercatcher. A bonus on the way home was a white phase Grey Goshawk swooping down over the highway near Yule Point (south of Port Douglas). It landed beside the road and gave us good looks as we drove past, not a common sight in these parts of Far North Queensland.

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