What a great week for the weather, no rain, cool mornings (12ºC) and sunny days. 77 bird species seen and a further 4 heard, Mammals and reptiles were 18 species seen and one heard (an Agile Wallaby thundering off into the rainforest).
The best sighting of the week was a Red-necked Crake, a species that had not been seen since early April. It was foraging around on the opposite bank of Bushy Creek to the Lodge grounds on the edge of our orchard at 5.40 in the afternoon. I had just sat down on the bench by the creek for a rest when it appeared and stayed in view for over 5 minutes, pity no guests were there to share the experience. Lets hope it and the rest of the family start behaving and showing again. It’s hard to know their movements at the moment as they are not calling and are naturally very secretive.
A pair of Grey Goshawks were seen along Mt. Kooyong Road just down from the Lodge in an area where they have bred in the past and the Noisy Pitta has been hopping out of the rainforest into the open for good looks, sometimes with a Bassian Thrush. What appears to be a lone male Golden Whistler (a winter visitor from higher grounds) showed well in the bright sunlight one afternoon, such a stunning bird with his bright yellow breast, black throat band, white chin and black head. I’ll get a photo of him one day if he ever comes down from the top of the rainforest! Both the Pied Monarch and Yellow-breasted Boatbill have been active, calling and showing well. The sub-adult male Victoria’s Riflebird mentioned previously is still hanging around and appears to be dividing his time between the Lodge grounds and our neighbour Ron’s garden. Several pairs of Lemon-bellied Flycatcher are very active in the adjacent Geraghty Park and a few of these dry country birds have been coming into the Lodge grounds and pretending to be rainforest birds.
Further afield Australian Bustard have been easily seen at Maryfarms and a Square-tailed Kite was seen along a back road in Julatten.
A couple of spotlighting trips during the week have been quite different with one night producing both Striped and Green Ringtail Possum and another night none but we did see Eastern Barn Owl, many frog species, Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot, Brief look at Feathertail Glider, Fawn-footed Melomy’s climbing a tree and Giant White-tailed Rat fossicking on the forest floor.
As mentioned in last weeks blog you can access the Eremaea website to download birdlists for the period of your visit to the Lodge. Instructions are in last weeks blog or on our website. We have also been adding on more sites for the area which you can access via the Site Species List link.