Sunday, 12 April 2009

12th April Report

It must be Easter again as the rain came back just in time to make it a wet weekend with 76.5mm. Despite the rain it was a better week for bird sightings as well as mammal/reptiles, mainly due to a proliferation of frogs enjoying the wet weather. There were 75 bird species seen, 5 heard and 22 mammal/reptiles over the week. Highlights for the week were the number of summer migrants that we thought had headed north, but turned up during the week, these were:- Channel-billed Cuckoo with at least 3 still showing, Dollarbird, Cicadabird, Black-faced Monarch (Juvenile) and a small flock of Metallic Starling (10-15). A Fan-tailed Cuckoo turned up mid-week and was calling each morning from the early hours, not very common here, Black-chinned Honeyeater(2) of the Golden–backed form were foraging in eucalypts in the adjacent Geraghty Park, again not common here and a Snipe sp. flew over the lodge grounds from Bushy Creek heading west. There seems to be more juvenile Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher than adults around reinforcing our belief that some of the adults have already left to go north. Some juveniles are almost into adult coloured plumage while a few are still looking green with dark bills, not the red of the adult, which would indicate they maybe around for a few more weeks yet. One of the two White-throated Treecreepers, which turned up the previous week was around throughout this week and was calling regularly. Further afield Black Kite numbers are on the increase towards Mareeba, this increase usually heralds the “Dry Season”.

Black Kite

The frogs came out in force with the rain with Northern Dwarf Tree Frog, Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog, White-lipped Tree Frog, Desert Tree Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog, Cogger's (Mottled) Barred Frog and Cane Toad all recorded on one night. Long-nosed Bandicoot and Northern Brown Bandicoot were more obvious than they had been for a few months

Northern Brown Bandicoot

and both Green Ringtail and Striped Possum were seen on several occasions. A Feather-tailed Glider was also seen near the bunkhouse.

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