The most excitement was caused this week by drought breaking rain, all 1mm of it at the end of the week! Seriously though it is extremely dry with no end in sight. Minimum temperature was 16º and up to 28ºC during the day. Bird numbers were down again, partly due to not checking nearby wetlands, with 65 species seen and 8 heard. 15 mammal/reptile/amphibian species were recorded.
Bird highlights were spotlighting an Australian Owlet-nightjar twice in one evening, something which rarely happens. 11 species of honeyeater were attracted to a large flowering tree (can't remember the name) near the crake pool. These included Bridled, reported last week and still here plus many Scarlet. Pied Monarch has been seen regularly in the late afternoon bathing in Bushy Creek. Still appears to be a solitary Black-faced Monarch calling in the rainforest. Lowlight - the Pale Yellow Robin reported nesting last week had its nest destroyed during the week, probably by the Spotted Catbird. Its a hard life being a small bird.
Pale Yellow Robin
Further afield another trip to Cairns allowed a quick visit to the Esplanade. This time, unlike 2 weeks ago, the reported Asian Dowitcher (2) were seen foraging in the water on a receding tide opposite Muddies Cafe (last report seen on 11th) but the long term Laughing Gull was not, subsequently reported on the 10th October. All the waders reported in the 27th September blog were still present plus additional species seen were Black-fronted Dotterel, Common Greenshank and Curlew Sandpiper, also Little Tern.
Further afield the small flock of Little Curlew (17) just west of Port Douglas, reported last week, were still present at the end of the week. A Juvenile Black-neck Stork (brown bird) was foraging in a drain beside the Bruce Highway near Port Douglas. A Satin Flycatcher (male) was seen in Cooktown (2½ hrs north of us), probably on southern migration and the Spotless Crake continues to be seen in the nearby Abattoir Swamp in a small pool just before the entrance to the hide.
Again Striped or Green Ringtail Possum were not seen but good looks were had of a Giant White-tailed Rat climbing up and down a vine. A Little Bent-winged Bat was seen roosting at the back of the units and Cogger's Frog (split from Northern Barred Frog) started to call in the hope of rain.
Several Field Guides have been added to our shop for sale, they are:
Sydney Birds and Where to Find Them – Peter Roberts - $35.00
Where to See Birds in Victoria – Ed. Tim Dolby - $35.00
Where to See Wildlife in Tasmania – Dave Watts & Cathie Plowman - $29.00