Sunday, 6 December 2009

6th December 2009 Report.

9mm of rain during the week soon evaporated with the dry and sunny weather. It was quite hot for this time of year with temperatures ranging from 18ºC to 32ºC. Bird numbers were down as no visits were made to the nearby wetlands but we did have 76 bird species seen and 9 heard, mammals and reptiles were 15 seen and 3 heard.

Around the Lodge grounds a Papuan Frogmouth has taken up residence in the camping area near the bunkhouse. Still no sign of any breeding activity from this species.

Papuan Frogmouth

At least 7 termite mounds have been dug out by the Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfishers so far, we will be monitoring them all to see if they are occupied. Superb Fruit-Dove is being seen with a lot of hard work as they continue to stay high in the rainforest canopy calling. Topknot Pigeon made an appearance for a day and 5 Pied Imperial Pigeon were seen flying over the Lodge grounds which is the most seen here. 14 Channel-billed Cuckoo flew over in single file, most of these must be non-breeders as there is not enough Torresian Crows (the species they parasite here) to go around in Julatten!

Plenty of nesting activity going on around the grounds with Forest Kingfisher in a termite mound about 4m up a tree, Australian Figbird and Cicadabird sitting, Spangled Drongo, Little Shrike-thrush, Large-billed Gerygone and Red-browed Finch building.

Red-browed Finch

Also the Pacific Baza chicks continue to grow at a rapid rate. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and Common Myna were both seen entering hollows in Queensland Blue Gum at Geraghty Park and presumed breeding. Young Macleay’s Honeyeater are begging for food and several pairs of Double-eyed Fig-Parrot are feeding young out of the nest, including the one reported in last weeks blog which fledged during the week.

Double-eyed Fig-Parrot - feeding young

Further afield Mt. Lewis provided a few good sightings with a juvenile Golden Bowerbird, a male Fernwren seen building a nest under some moss hanging on a vertical earth bank, several Tooth-billed Bowerbirds calling at their bowers, plenty of Bower's Shrike-thrush calling and seen, White-throated Treecreeper (race minor Little Treecreeper), several families of Chowchilla and at least 3 Noisy Pitta calling. A Blue-faced Parrot-Finch was reported by Phil Gregory from Cassowary House flying across Carr Road (2km from the lodge) which was a first sighting for over a month. They have still not been seen on Mt. Lewis which is no surprise as the grass seeds are still green.

A couple of Striped Possum were seen during the week and several more were heard calling, (Lesser) Sooty Owl was heard on several occasions but not seen. Two male Boyd's Forest Dragon were seen chasing each other on the ground before retreating up separate trees and a few Major Skink Egernia frerei appeared around the camping area and orchard. A Green Ringtail Possum was seen on Mt. Lewis during the day roosting as they do out in the open.

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