The KPBL blog is celebrating its first year and is proving popular with our guests, potential guests and other birdos. Thanks to all of you who have had given us lots of positive feedback, its nice to know someone is reading it!
What happened over the last week? Well it was fairly dry but we did get some rain 4mm in one shower! Apart from that it was warm and dry down to 16ºC and up to 28ºC during the day.It was another good week for bird numbers with 85 species seen (same number as last week) and 12 heard. Numbers of mammal/reptile/amphibian species were 19.
Highlights for the week included the return of a Buff-breasted Paradise – Kingfisher calling in the rainforest, this needed investigation and a quick search revealed a Metallic Starling doing a perfect imitation of the call! Almost fooled, you have to be careful identifying birds on call as many birds are great mimics, as mentioned before in previous blogs. We've heard the starlings doing the kingfishers call before as well as other bird calls we did not recognise and presumably these were New Guinea calls that were being mimicked.
A pair of Brown Falcon have been around displaying over the grounds and one even came down and landed on a log behind our office on the edge of the rainforest. It perched for a few seconds before flying off through the rainforest, this is a first for us – a rainforest falcon.
Whilst staking out the Red-necked Crake at the pool a Nankeen Night Heron flew in for a brief stop, we have had them here in previous years. The crake was heard in the rainforest but did not put in an appearance at the pool, have to keep looking. A Superb Fruit-Dove was heard high up in the rainforest canopy but despite looking for over 30 minutes was not seen. Wompoo Fruit-Dove and Topknot Pigeon have been easy to see in the fruiting Blue Quondongs. A Buff-banded Rail has been showing at Bushy Creek and also foraging around in the orchard. Double-eyed Fig-Parrot have been feeding in a nearby fig tree along with Australasian Figbird, Barred Cuckoo-shrike, Olive-backed Oriole Metallic Starling plus a few honeyeaters and Silvereye. A Yellow-throated Scrubwren, a winter visitor, has been seen in the evening at the crake pool and should be shortly returning to higher grounds up in the mountains behind us. 11 species of honeyeater have been around the grounds as has been Pied Monarch and Yellow-breasted Boatbill both very vocal at the moment.
Further afield White-browed Crake and Black-chinned Honeyeater were recorded from Abbatoir Swamp, a Black-backed Butcherbird was seen north of the McLeod River along Hurricane Station Road, which is an unusual record this far south of Cooktown. A Pallid Cuckoo was seen at Big Mitchell Creek on the way to Mareeba, not many records of them around here. Bridled and Yellow-faced Honeyeater were nesting at Hasties Swamp near Atherton and Sarus Cranes were in the same area.
The Green Tree Snake reported last week was around again this week along with several Major Skink who have come to life in the warmer weather. Spotlighting during the week saw a Platypus twice,
also a Striped Possum tearing away at a tree branch, 2 Green Ringtail Possum – possibly mating but not much action!, Papuan Frogmouth, Eastern Barn Owl, White-tailed Rat, Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot, Stoney-Creek Frog + 5 other species, Fawn-footed Melomys and Spectacled Flying-Fox.