Monday, 23 February 2009

22nd February Report

A relatively dry week with 19.5mm and four sunny days. Despite the sunny weather species numbers were down with 58 birds seen and another 10 species heard. Mammals and reptiles were 13 seen.

Highlights were the first returning Grey-headed Robin who we believe are altitudinal migrants into the mountains, such as Mt. Lewis behind us. They have been away since the second week of November 2008.

Grey-headed Robin

A Noisy Pitta was seen in the rainforest alongside our orchard feeding a juvenile who was calling with a single whistle at intervals. An adult male Eastern Koel was resting in a tree beside our accommodation units trying to cool off in the hot sunny weather for a couple of hours. His rest was punctuated by forays into an adjacent Golden Cane Palm to chase off several Blue - faced Honeyeater.

Eastern Koel - Male

Adult Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfishers are busy feeding their offspring and are looking a bit worse for wear with broken or missing tail streamers and generally a scruffy plumage look. A pair of Whistling Kites are just outside the lodge grounds attending a nest, cannot see what stage it is at the moment.

Further afield a search for Red-rumped and Barn Swallows early in the week proved fruitless. There was a mixed flock of several hundred Tree and Fairy Martins plus Welcome Swallows perched on powerlines along Somerset Drive north of Newell Beach but no other swallows. Newell Beach had a few Welcome Swallows and a few Crested Terns out on a sandbank. The usual Pied Herons were not at the Killaloe Refuse Tip near Port Douglas and surprisingly there was no Sacred Ibis either – must be away breeding? White-browed Crake are being seen regularly at Abattoir Swamp on the way to Mt. Molloy.

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