Sunday, 21 June 2009

21st June 2009

The beginning of the week was fine and sunny but by Friday the drizzle returned and we had 3mm of rain. 83 bird species were seen, which was the most we had seen in a week so far this year, with a further 3 heard. 14 mammal and reptile species were seen.

The best sighting for the week was several of the ‘Golden-backed’ race of the Black-chinned Honeyeater foraging in Queensland Blue Gum (Forest Red Gum) Eucalyptus tereticornis in Geraghty Park. These honeyeaters are quite spectacular with their bright yellow backs contrasting with the dull green wings. The birds occurring here are in a zone of intergradation between the nominate race Melithreptus gularis and the northern race M.laetior and we have been seeing them once or twice a year around Geraghty Park.

The (Lesser) Sooty Owl was seeing flying over the lodge grounds on two occasions calling and once two owls were heard calling at the same time which is great news as it is coming up to breeding time. Also seen during the week were Masked and Eastern Barn Owl plus an Australian Owlet-nightjar peering out of its roost hollow one morning. A pair of Eastern Barn Owl have been roosting together.

Eastern Barn Owl

Great views were had of a Grey Goshawk perched in a Blue Quondong tree in the full sun during a morning walk and a Brown Goshawk nearly collided with our car on the main highway near the Lodge. The Noisy Pitta has been showing nearly everyday and the Bassian Thrush is quite often close by. The thrush has been allowing close views as it goes about foraging on the grassed areas or digging up the mulch in the garden beds. There are at least two thrushes around the grounds, the one pictured looks like a juvenile and the other one is an adult.

Bassian Thrush in garden bed

Blue-winged Kookaburra have once again been coming into Geraghty Park, from across the highway where there is drier open woodland, this time a juvenile was perched for good views. A male Yellow-throated Scrubwren reported several weeks ago was again seen late afternoon bathing in the Crake Pool.

In the local area a male adult Golden Bowerbird was seen near the dam on Mt. Lewis by one of our guests, it put on a show in full sunlight. Good to get a report of these elusive birds which are not being seen often at the moment. Black-throated Finch was seen in the Lake Mitchell area on the way to Mareeba from Mt. Molloy and 3 Brolga were seen on the lake. Both Spotted and Swamp Harriers have been in the district along with Square-tailed Kite.

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