Not much rain again with only 3.5mm during the week but quite a few cloudy days. 84 species of birds were seen and 3 more heard plus 22 Mammal/Reptile/Amphibians during the week.
Highlights for the week were a pair of Blue-faced Parrot-Finch drinking from Bushy Creek at the end of the orchard, which means they must be feeding nearby. Pacific Baza was back foraging in the tree tops around the camping area as was a pair of Chestnut-breasted Mannikin who turned up at the seed feeder. A few waterfowl were in the swamp along McDougall Road near the lodge, Magpie Goose, Green Pygmy-goose, Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck, Hardhead, Australasian Grebe plus Little Pied Cormorant and Intermediate Egret, this made a welcome change to the lack of water birds in the area for the first half of the year. Whistling Kite still continue to refurbish the old Brahminy Kites nest and a Cattle Egret was flying over with a big stick in its claws heading towards McDougall Road. Have to check this out as they have not bred in our area before. An Australian Hobby swooped us during a morning walk whilst we were in Geraghty Park before heading across the Rex Highway and out of sight. Pied Monarch and Yellow-breasted Boatbill were regularly seen around the grounds.
An interesting sighting was a pair of Yellow Honeyeater refurbishing an old Magpie-lark nest, they were bringing in small twigs and sitting in the nest, shuffling around to make it comfortable. They were only seen once but we will keep checking to see if they continue with it. We have not found any reference to this behaviour being reported before.
Spotlighting was quite good during the week with 7 species of frog recorded including a Striped Marsh Frog Limnodynasties peronii which is not seen often around the lodge,
only one sighting of a Striped Possum but several sightings of the Platypus. Reptiles started to become more active with Boyd's Forest Dragon, Eastern Water Monitor and Major Skink seen.
Further afield up to 11 Australian Bustard were seen in the Maryfarms area north of Mt. Molloy, and along the McLeod River north of Mt. Carbine several Black-chinned Honeyeater were seen. Even further north along the Kondparinga Road a lone Black-throated Finch was seen along with two Squatter Pigeons.
A quick spotlighting trip to Mt. Lewis revealed a Long-tailed Pygmy Possum, a Daintree River Ringtail and a Green Ringtail Possum with a very tiny baby on its back.
Daintree River Ringtail Possum
Presently there is only access to the birding area 10km along the road with the gate across the road locked beyond here. The section (15km) beyond the gate is permanently restricted access and requires a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Mossman; the gate closure is due to roadworks. For birders this section of the road does not contain any extra birds than those that can be seen around the 10km area.