A very dry week with no rain and cool overnight temperatures, down to 10ºC with plenty of great sunny days, ideal weather in fact. It was another good week for bird numbers with 85 species seen and 3 heard. Numbers of mammal/reptile/amphibian species were down to 14 which was largely due to the cooler dry weather making the frogs and other reptiles inactive.
Highlight of the week has to be 2 adult plus one juvenile Blue-faced Parrot-Finch which were foraging in the Lodge grounds. They were feeding in Cuphea sp. (introduced from Mexico and commonly called Cigarette Bush), which we have found them feeding on previously in the area, they are attracted to the sticky seeds. Hope they stay and bring their mates! Also a Noisy Pitta was seen along the track from the orchard to Bushy Creek, first one since the beginning of June. A female Red-winged Parrot flew over Geraghty Park which is unusual as they are normally further out in the drier country (towards Mt. Molloy). A male Victoria's Riflebird was seen by two guests in the Lodge grounds on one day and not seen again, several Female/juvenile males are being regularly seen. An Australian Hobby swooped down and took a Forest Kingfisher perched on a power line outside the front entrance to the grounds in front of two guests which was quite dramatic.
Other birds around the grounds included Topknot Pigeon and Wompoo-Fruit-Dove foraging in several fruiting Blue Quondong Elaeocarpus grandis, Little Bronze-Cuckoo have been around and 11 honeyeater species were seen including the first sighting since early March of Brown-backed Honeyeater.Metallic Starling numbers are still increasing with 12 attending nests and frantically rebuilding.
A Barn Owl juvenile was flushed accidentally from a daytime roost near the Mt. Kooyong Nursing Home. The owl was perched in a clump of trees and not in a tree hollow as is usual which is behaviour we have seen in previous years when the young have been chased out of the parents territory. This has been borne out by having only seen juveniles early this week in or around their nest whilst spotlighting and none later in the week, when only the parents have been seen.
Spotlighting during the week turned up one Striped Possum, Barn Owl, Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot, White-tailed Rat, Fawn-footed Melomys and Spectacled Flying Fox.