Sunday, 29 March 2009

29th March Report

Extremely dry week with only 7mm of rain which brings our March total to 62.5mm as against our average of over 400mm. Species numbers were much the same as last week with 64 birds seen and 7 heard but Mammal and reptile numbers were up with 13 sightings. Highlights for the week were several sightings of Red-necked Crake at the crake pool with our neighbour reporting seeing 1 adult and 3 well grown juveniles heading our way – good news.

Red-necked Crakes

An immature scruffy looking Noisy Pitta was also seen on several occasions, which is also good news. An adult Masked Owl was seen perching in a tree hollow before flying off and being replaced by another owl who flew straight into the hollow – this could mean they are nesting already, about a month earlier than last year. Sooty Owl was heard calling one night but not seen and a Channel-billed Cuckoo was heard so they have not all left to head north yet. The Black-faced Monarchs stopped calling so we thought they might have headed north but one was seen foraging late in the week. The immature male Victoria’s Riflebird was seen on several occasion’s bathing and foraging and several male Cicadabird were flying around calling. A Fairy Gerygone was seen feeding a Little-bronze-cuckoo who was recently fledged. The mammals seem to be active again with a Fawn-footed Melomys coming to the feeder every night and a Long-nosed Bandicoot was seen after an absence of several months.

Long-nosed Bandicoot

Also seen were Striped Possum, Bush Rat, Giant-White-tailed Rat and Spectacled Flying Fox. A Boyd’s Forest Dragon was roosting on a slender tree each night outside our units and a Major Skink re-appeared after several months absence. A White-lipped Tree Frog was spotlighted high in a tree which makes a change from hanging around the buildings.

Further afield the Banded Lapwing continued to show well at the Mossman Golf Club and Blue-faced Parrot-Finches were still on Mt. Lewis. A flock of at least 20 Little Lorikeet were seen o
ut the back of Julatten, which is unusual this far east and at least 9 species of honeyeater were taking advantage of the flowering Melaleucas at Abattoir Swamp Environmental Park.

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