Sunday, 7 February 2010

26mm of rain during the week which was mainly afternoon showers, one accompanied with very strong winds which blew over the rain gauge and also blew out a few fly screens! Temperatures ranged from 21ºC to 32ºC which was quite hot for here but not as hot as Cairns on the coast where it reached 37ºC. Species numbers for the week were 70 bird species seen and 8 heard - mammals and reptiles were 13 seen and one heard.

A Superb Fruit-Dove was found nesting about 6m of the ground on a spindly tree branch which amazingly supported the flimsy nest and bird, like most pigeons and doves they appear to be standing in the nest. The area has now been closed off and the bird left to get on with its incubation undisturbed.

Superb Fruit-Dove (male)

A single Papuan Frogmouth was roosting for two days outside the reception area and being harassed by Pale-Yellow Robin and Spectacled Monarch, it obviously had enough of this and moved on. The Papuan Frogmouth did not breed at the end of last year and have moved away from the regular roost site they have occupied for at least six years, hopefully they will return there. Several hundred swifts both Fork-tail and Needletail were flying over the grounds late in the week, there appeared to be many more forks than needletails. Pacific Baza, juvenile, returned after a two week absence and spent several days in the grounds doing more calling than hunting. Red-necked Crake and Pale-vented Bush-hen were heard but not seen. A few Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo flew over the Lodge on the 31st Jan. and only a couple of Chanel-billed Cuckoo were seen. Sooty Owl was again heard but not seen but Eastern Barn Owl was seen. Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher were again out in the open collecting prey items to take back to their nests where the nestlings must be getting near to fledging.

After not being sure about the Noisy Pitta feeding any youngsters last week, this week we can confirm they are. One adult has been regularly seen around the reception area and adjacent rainforest feeding a juvenile. The juvenile is easy to hear as it gives a single piping note call repeatedly all day but not easy to see as it hides away waiting for food to arrive. I did manage a quick shot of the juvenile and a cropped version is below.

Noisy Pitta - Juvenile

Calling Cicadabird is still around the Lodge and numbers of Spangled Drongo have built up during the week, probably heading north. A Torresian Crow was heard, a first for eight weeks and a pair of Pied Monarchs has been foraging around the units all week.

No spotlighting this week, just a few mammals around the feeder and a few frogs around the buildings. A Little Bent-wing Bat took up residence, out the way of a heavy rainstorm, on a door frame for a few hours and Boyd's Forest dragon were actively hunting around the grounds. The one pictured was trying to operate in the same area as the adult and juvenile Noisy Pitta, it eventually headed up a tree.

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