Sunday, 3 May 2009

3rd May Report

Another dry cool week of sunny weather (17ºC overnight, 30ºC during the day). 68 bird species seen plus another 6 heard and there was 13 mammal/reptile species seen. This time of year is one of change in the "Wet Tropics" of North Queensland with migrant species departing and arriving. Our last sighting around Kingfisher Park of a Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher was of a juvenile on 28th April, the adult birds had left about 10 days before.

Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher - Juvenile ready to leave

Highlight of the week was the appearance of a White-headed Pigeon above the Crake Pool on the morning of the 30th. There has been 11 records since 2006 between February and November with only a couple of records in August prior to that. They are more commonly seen on the Atherton Tablelands around the Yungaburra district but have become more common in our area around Julatten over the last few years.

Winter visitors which have arrived over the last week were Grey Fantail and Bassian Thrush. Summer (Wet Season) visitors still present include Black - faced Monarch and Cicadabird which is still calling, both these species have usually left by now and Cicadabirds have usually stopped calling. Raptors have built up in species numbers with Brown Falcon, Pacific Baza and Brahminy Kite turning up during the week to add to breeding Whistling Kite and increased Black Kite numbers. The Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo reported last week disappeared for a week before returning for a few days and it has not been heard for the last two days. (Lesser) Sooty Owl called on two nights during the week but was not seen. Pied Monarchs have become vocal over the last week and were seen several times. A pair of Yellow Honeyeater were seen feeding a juvenile bird

Yellow Honeyeater

and a Little Shrike-thrush was also being fed by its parents. Further afield a Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo was seen on the lower slopes of Mt. Lewis (2km away) on 25th April, might have been our one! There is a small population in the Julatten area (normally found further north on Cape York and into Papua New Guinea) which is found on the lower slopes of Mt. Lewis across to Mowbray National Park, there has also been occasional unconfirmed reports from further south on the Atherton Tableland. A Square-tailed Kite was also reported near the local waste transfer station. A few Blue-faced Parrot-Finches are still at altitude (950m) on Mt. Lewis but there have been several reports from local areas in Julatten at lower altitudes (450m). The Laughing Gull is still being reported from the Cairns Esplanade (29-4-09).

Several Feather-tail Glider were seen during the week foraging in a Coconut Palm, Striped Possum was seen and heard several times, both Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot were seen and a Boyd’s Forest Dragon was observed clinging to a tree.

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