Sunday, 23 August 2009

23rd August 2009 Report

A very dry week with no rain and mild overnight temperatures, down to 15ÂșC with plenty of great sunny days- another great week. It was another good week for bird numbers with 89 species seen and 4 heard. Numbers of mammal/reptile/amphibian species were 18 which quite good with a few more frogs seen than last week.

Highlight of the week was again a Great-billed Heron, no doubt the same one seen two weeks ago. This time it was seen walking down Bushy Creek at the Platypus viewing area early in the morning (6.30). No Platypus that morning but the heron more than made up for missing them, however the Platypus were back at around the same time the next day when two swam up the creek. A white phase Grey Goshawk flew out of the edge of our rainforest across Mt. Kooyong Road and into riverine vegetation along Bushy Creek. This was probably the same bird reported a few weeks ago in nearby McDougall's Road. A Northern Fantail was foraging in a Eucalyptus tereticornis (Queensland Blue Gum/Forest Red Gum) beside the Rex Highway and Geraghty Park. Not a bird we see much of in this location, they are usually out in the drier country towards Abattoir Swamp (6km towards Mt. Molloy). 11 species of honeyeater were around feeding on flowering eucalypts and grevilleas, like this Dusky Honeyeater.

Dusky Honeyeater

Nest building seems to be in full swing with 20 + Metallic Starling attending their colony, Macleay's Honeyeater collecting fern stems, a pair of Olive-backed Sunbird putting a nest together under a small tin roof and Whistling Kite sitting. The female Red-winged Parrot reported last week was still hanging around Geraghty Park on its own for most of this week. Several Victoria's Riflebirds are still around, at least one female and two juvenile males.

Spotlighting during the week revealed one sighting of a Green Ringtail Possum and Striped Possum, a Water Rat jumped into Bushy Creek and grabbed a prey item before taking off up the bank to eat it and a couple of Agile Wallaby were in the orchard grazing. Two White-tailed Rat were seen on a vine eating a Candlenut (Aleurites rockinghamensis) and numbers of Spectacled Flying-Fox are increasing mainly feeding on Blue Quondong (Eleocarpus grandis). Two adult Eastern Barn Owl were regularly seen and an Australian Owlet-nightjar was seen in the lodge grounds.

Yellow Honeyeater

Honeyeaters can be quite vicious when they attack each other and these Yellow Honeyeater are no exception. Two birds locked feet and rolled around the ground for a while before the third bird approached and watched for over 5 minutes, it then joined in for a few more minutes before one of the birds broke loose and flew away. The other two continued fighting before breaking loose and flying off in different directions, this whole episode took about 15mins. We've seen Macleay's Honeyeater behaving this way but not for so long, also a few years ago a pair of Magpie Lark in Cairns were locking feet and rolling around with a dozen or more Common Myna standing around them looking on.

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 Eremaea 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 you can click on Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge (KPBL) under Birding Destinations, from here you will see KPBL in the drop down under site. Click on Trip List to see individual weekly lists or Species List to see a total species list. The site drop down list also has KPBL – MW which is morning walk – follow previous instructions.

For a more precise list of birds recorded at the time of you visit click on species list for any site and enter Kingfisher Park then put in the period from and to. Then choose the number in the species column which will give you the list.

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). These can be accessed from species list for any site, follow instructions as above.

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