Sunday, 19 July 2009

19th July Report

The first rain since 22nd June happened at the beginning of the week with 3.5mm before reverting back to dry sunny weather. Birding was restricted this week due to spending half the week in the office after a computer crash thanks to our anti-virus program quarantining some of the operating system files and then trying to set up a new computer. With the old computer in hospital we have been unable to access a few days’ emails so apologies if you emailed us and have not heard from us, please send them again. Anyway we did manage to see 77 bird species and hear a further three plus15 mammal/reptiles (amphibians) during the week.

Brown Cuckoo-Dove and Wompoo Fruit-Dove have been feeding and showing well around the Lodge grounds and a few parties of Topknot Pigeon have been flying over. With the Blue Quandong (Eleocarpus grandis) just coming into fruit we expect to be seeing more fruit doves in the coming weeks around the Lodge. With cane cutting going on in the district more raptors have been attracted to the area. This week saw Pacific Baza (one taking a White-lipped Tree Frog from the top of a tree), a pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagle foraging on the ground in a recently cut cane field along with Whistling, Brahminy and Black Kite. Also seen were Brown Goshawk, Grey Goshawk (2 including one white phase bird in nearby McDougall Road) and a pair of Nankeen Kestrel. A pair of (Lesser) Sooty Owl were calling from the rainforest on the edge of the orchard, during an evening spotlight tour, before one was seen flying over. An adult Spotted Catbird was seen feeding another some banana off our feeder, which is an after copulation gift at this time of year! At least three Yellow-throated Scrubwren were seen bathing in Bushy Creek which is the most seen on the Lodge grounds.

A pair of Platypus was spotlighted in Bushy Creek which was the first sighting since the middle of April; this was good news as we thought they may have moved out of the area. A Green Tree Snake was on our shed roof with a White-lipped Tree Frog in its mouth, this was a few hours after the baza took one; it’s a hard life being a frog.

In the local area the large fruiting fig-tree reported last week has now quietened down with not so much fruit available most of the birds apart from Australasian Figbird have left the area.

Australasian Figbird - male

There was a reported sighting of a Lewin’s Rail at Abattoir Swamp which is very rare in our area, will have to try and confirm this record. Also at Abattoir Swamp a Black-shouldered Kite was seen taking a Spotless Crake and struggling to take it up onto a perch before tearing it up. Spotless Crake is a difficult one to see with our only sightings at this location on Christmas Day 1994 and Boxing Day 2003. The white phase Grey Goshawk mentioned before is another rarity in the area with scattered sightings across the Atherton Tableland.

This shot of a Laughing Kookaburra (which is not very good) was taken whilst it was on the road. The interesting thing about it is that it shows pale green wingtips, something we have not seen before.

Laughing Kookaburra

Get a Species List for the Period of your Visit to the Lodge

We have uploaded all our bird sighting records from the Lodge onto the Eremaea Birds website, these are records since 1994 with the last 4 years being weekly records. This will be very useful to our guests as they can now download a list of species that have been recorded at the Lodge for the period of their visit. The list will also show the % of sightings for the period as well so they will be able to see commonality. To access a list you can go directly to the Eramaea Birds website or you can go to our Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge website where you will find a link on the bird species list page or the bird watching and wildlife page . Once on the site click on species list for any site and enter Kingfisher Park then put in the period from and to. We are gradually uploading records for local sites as well, so far we have done Cairns Esplanade, Centenary Lakes (part of Cairns Botanic Gardens), Yorkey's Knob Lagoon - Cairns, Mt. Lewis – clearing (10km site) and Windmill Creek on East Maryfarms Road (south of Mt. Carbine).

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