A fantastic week of dry, cool (down to 19ºC) and sunny weather which bought the birds out with 72 species seen and a further 7 heard. There were 16 mammal and reptile sightings also. Highlight of the week was actually seeing the Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo in the Lodge grounds on the Sunday before it disappeared on the Tuesday, when it was last heard calling. Of the migratory species an adult Black-faced Monarch was still hanging around in our neighbour Ron’s garden and a few juvenile Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher are still here, no sightings of any adults during the week. Cicadabird was still present and calling and two Channel-billed Cuckoo were seen in the adjacent Geraghty Park. Two White-bellied Sea-Eagle were circling up high in the sky with only two small dots seen but their distinct quacking call could be heard. The Noisy Pitta has been seen several times during the week and heard calling on a number of occasions. Several guests have remarked during the week that the Emerald Dove has been very hard for them to see in the rainforests they have visited. When they arrive at the Lodge there are usually a couple walking around the units and past their feet on the veranda! Quite a lot of the species at the Lodge are used to people and can be approached quite closely and the Emerald Dove is no exception. The Emerald Dove is distributed around the top end of Australia, Cape York Peninsula and down the east coast. They are found in dense forests, rainforest and deciduous vine-scrubs.
Emerald Dove - Male
Further afield a morning on Mt. Lewis was rewarded with 2 adult and one juvenile Blue-faced Parrot-Finch foraging at the 10km mark (track to Dam junction). Also seen were Chowchilla, Fernwren, Atherton Scrubwren, Juvenile Golden Bowerbird, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Mountain Thornbill, Bridled Honeyeater, White-cheeked Honeyeater, Bower’s Shrike-thrush, Victoria’s Riflebird, Grey Fantail (race Keasti), Grey-headed Robin, Shining-bronze Cuckoo, Australian King Parrot and lots of White-throated Treecreeper. The road up Mt. Lewis has been repaired on the lower slopes for about 1km but there is a big whoaboy (like a speed hump) at the beginning, used to channel water off the road, which will probably cause any low slung car to get stuck. Further up the road we had to chainsaw a tree out of the way and there are several other tree falls requiring detours onto soft road edges. Not recommended for non-four wheel drive vehicles or those with low ground clearance. A Red-backed Kingfisher was reported from Maryfarms on the way north to Mt. Carbine along the Peninsula Development Road. A night walk around the Lodge turned up a Masked Owl, Papuan Frogmouth, Feather-tail Glider, Striped Possum, Fawn-footed Melomys in the rainforest (not at feeder!), Giant White-tailed Rat, Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot, Spectacled Flying-Fox, Stoney Creek Frog, White-lipped Green Tree Frog, Dessert Frog and Cane Toad. Two nights later another night walk found only a Masked Owl, a very brief glimpse of a Feather-tail Glider and at the feeder a Northern Brown Bandicoot, Fawn-footed Melomys and a Giant White-tailed Rat – just shows no two nights are the same.
Giant White-tailed Rat