Sunday, 5 July 2009

5th July 2009 Report

A week at Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge with no rain, cool mornings (9ÂșC) and fine sunny days. One morning walk started off being foggy and became foggier until the sun broke through after a few hours, the birds certainly stayed in bed that morning. 73 bird species were seen and 6 heard plus there was 16 mammals and reptiles seen.

There was a few highlights during the week with a Red-necked Crake taking the honours for the best. For the first time in nearly 4 years a Red-necked Crake appeared on the veranda outside the units one evening about 6.00 pm. We were just getting ready for a night walk when we saw a bird scurry away behind a table before heading onto the walkway leading to the tour group eating area and into the rainforest. It was quite dark and hard to make out the bird but we saw enough to know what it was, unfortunately only one guest saw it before it disappeared. Lets hope the crake starts making a habit of visiting the veranda. Calling Australian Owlet-nightjars just after we went to bed at 10.45 got us leaping out into the darkness to find one bird calling and another two replying, can’t remember when we heard three birds let alone in the Lodge grounds. A Pale-vented Bush-hen was heard calling from the edge of the Lodge grounds and the adjacent cane field, unusual to hear them calling at this time of year. Two juvenile male (Brown) Victoria’s Riflebird's were foraging in a tree above the campers cookshed, which is the first time we have seen two together this year. The Noisy Pittas and Bassian Thrushes were not seen but a sudden influx of caravans and campers might have unsettled them and caused them to retreat back into the rainforest.

Juvenile Barn Owls

The Barn Owls have been featuring quite a bit lately but just had to put this image in of the three recently fledged chicks whose parents featured in the 21st June blog. This image was taken during the week with the birds out of the nest; they are now flying which is about one month earlier than last years birds.

Mammals and reptiles have bee a bit quiet with only a couple of sightings of Striped Possum, one of Green Ringtail Possum and one sighting early in the week of a Fawn-footed Melomys. There was six species of frogs found despite the cool dry conditions.

In the local area Spotted and Swamp Harriers, Lovely Fairy-wren and Blue-faced Parrot Finch have been seen along with a male Golden Bowerbird. The bowerbird was in the same vicinity on Mt. Lewis as the previous reports for the last few weeks, he put on a display for the onlookers as he went about feeding in a fruiting tree in the full sun.

Rainbow Bee-eater

Over the last three to four weeks Rainbow Bee-eaters have been passing through the area and appear to be heading north with numbers dropping off over the last two weeks. Quite a few have been hanging around the orchard area in the Lodge grounds and swooping down on insects, they are truly magnificent colourful acrobats.

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