Our phones were off for a week before coming on for a day and going off again (4th time this month), supposed to be back on by Tuesday this week. Our internet connection is still working so we can still be contacted.
Plenty of rain this week with 269.5mm, 130mm of which fell one night, this made the total for the month 401.5mm and year to date 1001mm. Temperatures ranged from 22ºC to 27ºC. Species numbers for the week were 69 bird species seen and 6 heard - mammals and reptiles were 20 seen plus one heard.
There were at least two Papuan Frogmouth roosting in the grounds, one in the orchard and the other near the reception area. They are moving around and not in the same place two days running. An immature White-bellied Sea-Eagle glided over the grounds one morning coming from the direction of the local Barramundi (fish) farm. A Red-necked Crake was seen near the Crake Pool in the orchard and a couple more were heard calling from the patch of forest between the Lodge grounds and the highway. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo have some whinging youngsters who have been chewing off small branches and dropping them onto the ground. A pair of Double-eyed Fig-Parrot flew by early one morning for a brief glimpse. Eastern Koel were again feeding in a Golden Cane Palm and a few Channel-billed Cuckoo are still around calling, one was seen high in a tree drying its wings off after a heavy rainfall. Little Bronze-Cuckoo and Brush Cuckoo were heard but not seen. A (Lesser) Sooty Owl was heard late in the week which was the first time for two weeks. Still have not seen any of the juvenile Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher but the adults are very vocal and flying around catching insects to feed them.
A pair of Rainbow Bee-Eater were swooping around catching insects one afternoon which is the only ones we have seen over the last few weeks. Noisy Pitta has been quite vocal and at least one juvenile has been regularly seen hopping around the units.
Noisy Pitta - Juvenile
Numbers of Lewin's Honeyeater turned up during the week including some juvenile birds. Interestingly the adult birds were making a loud single note whistle more often than their normal rapid machine-gun like call. Macleay's Honeyeaters also have juveniles that they are feeding. Although the juveniles feed themselves when the adults appear they stop and start begging for food and the adults feed them. One flowering tree on the edge of the orchard was attracting many honeyeaters, Yellow-spotted, Graceful, Yellow-faced, Yellow, Dusky, Scarlet, White-throated, Blue-faced and Macleay's. Cicadabird are still around and calling as are Black-faced Monarch.
Not much to report further afield apart from a little snippet from Carol and Andrew who went out on the Daintree River Experience boat on a flooded Daintree River and reported three sightings of the elusive Great-billed Heron (one on a new nest) and lots of Black Bitterns, including an active, almost-fledging chick clambering about above the boat.
Reptiles have become more obvious over the week with an Amethystine Python around the reception area during the day, a Green Tree Snake sunning its self also near the reception and a Brown Tree Snake in our neighbours house. A Tree Monitor was near the water pump beside Bushy Creek, a few Major Skink were around the grounds, Eastern Water Monitor around Bushy Creek and a few sightings of Boyd's Forest Dragon around the units including this dark one trying to get out of the rain. Cogger's Frog were in full voice for most of the week enjoying the wet conditions and a few White-lipped Green Tree Frog appeared around the buildings including a very large one around the bunkhouse.
Mammals have been scarce during the wet weather with only Bush Rat and Fawn-footed Melomys coming to the feeder. An Agile Wallaby was swimming across the flooded Bushy Creek near our water pump and had several attempts to climb onto the bank before it succeeded. A couple of Stripped Possum were heard early one morning outside our bedroom window but not seen.