Sunday, 26 July 2009

26th July 2009 Report

2.5mm of rain this week which otherwise was sunny and a little overcast at times with very pleasant temperatures during the day of around 26Âșc. More time out of the office resulted in 81 species of birds seen and 3 heard plus 19 mammals/reptiles (amphibians) for the week.

Our neighbour Ron had a Rufous Owl in his garden during the week which may have been the one we were seeing in May around the Lodge grounds, this was last seen at the end of May in the lodge. A Red-necked Crake shot across the lawn outside the units as it dashed from one rainforest patch to another one morning. It then headed towards Mt. Kooyong Road disappearing in another patch of rainforest and we suspected continued on across the road into the long grass. It was a good week for pigeons and doves with Emerald, Peaceful and Bar-shouldered Dove plus Wompoo Fruit-Dove and Topknot Pigeon.

Peaceful Doves

It was also a good week for raptors with nine species, Black-shouldered, Whistling, Brahminy and Black Kite, Pacific Baza, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle (quite rare around here), Nankeen Kestrel (still hanging around potential nest site) and Brown Falcon. A Black-shouldered Kite was seen on two occassions, once swooping on a Nankeen Kestrel whilst it was perched on a power pole and another time chasing off a Brown Falcon. A pair of Whistling Kite have taken up residence in an old Brahminy Kite nest and are busy repairing it. The BarnOwls appear to have lost one juvenile as we have only seen two this week, hope they survive.

10 species of honeyeater, including a pair of Yellow-faced feeding young in the nest, were busy taking advantage of the flowering grevilleas, callistemons and blue gums.

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

An Amethystine Python in our neighbours garden was being scalded by several birds including female Victoria’s Riflebird, Yellow-breasted Boatbill and a male Olive-backed Sunbird during a morning walk; the python took no notice and continued on its way through the tree it was on.

The Platypus continued to show well with at least four sightings early morning (around 6.30) and spotlighted on a couple of occasions swimming along Bushy Creek for great views. There was a possible Red-legged Pademelon in the orchard during a spotlighting trip; it hopped off quickly but definitely had the right “Jizz”, this is the first sighting this year of a species that was common in the grounds about 10 years ago (only one sighting last year). The slightly warmer weather bought out a few reptiles we had not seen for a while including Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Eastern Water Monitor and Lace Monitor.

What happened in the district? Well Mt. Lewis continues to show brown (female or juvenile male) Golden Bowerbirds but no colourful males plus most of the wet tropic endemics are being seen. A Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo was seen twice during the week in the nearby Mowbray National Park and a few Glossy Ibis are being seen on Lake Mitchell along with one Yellow-billed Spoonbill. On the Atherton Tableland some of our guests saw at least 2000 cranes coming in to roost at Bromfield Swamp near Malanda. The Sarus Cranes came in first before the Brolgas came in at dusk, this is a world class spectacle and one not to be missed at this time of year and through to October when they start to head north again.

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