Sunday, 4 April 2010

4th April 2010 Report

Seven days of almost constant rain and drizzle resulted in 147.5mm. One day was partly sunny but rain returned in the evening. Temperatures ranged from 22º to 25ºC keeping cooler due to the overcast rainy weather. Bird numbers were 73 bird species seen and 6 heard - mammals and reptiles were 17 seen, included in this was 6 frog species.

Australian King-Parrot (Male)
Highlight of the week was probably the Australian King Parrot which turned up in Geraghty Park. We could hear them from the Lodge grounds and found several high up in the Queensland Blue Gums. They are very occasional visitors to the Lodge area with 13 visits since 2006. In 2006 we had 6 sightings, 2007 four, 2008 and 2009 only one. There seems to be no pattern as to time of year the visits have been made with one each in April, June, August, December, two in March, three in September and four in May. They are more common at higher grounds on Mt. Lewis and the Atherton Tableland further south around Atherton and Malanda districts.

Brown Cuckoo-Dove was around feeding on the ground as well as their more familiar feeding station in Tobacco Bush around the orchard. They actually spend quite a bit of time on the tracks within the Lodge grounds picking up fallen seed. 

 Brown Cuckoo-Dove

Papuan Frogmouth has again proved impossible to find during the day but we did manage one whilst spotlighting, a rather bedraggled specimen in the rain. An Australian Owlet-nightjar was heard in the vicinity of their daytime roost but not seen, this daytime roost hollow has now become covered in a vine making access difficult so they may have moved to a nearby hollow. Some of the returning Cattle Egret still have some breeding plumage. White-bellied Sea-Eagle have been seen heading down to the local Barramundi farm for a feed and an Australian Hobby came screaming over the Lodge grounds one morning putting all the birds to air. Both male and female Eastern Koel have been around feeding on red fruits of a Carpentaria Palm and also in a nearby fig tree. Channel-billed Cuckoo numbers have been over 40 and several Little-bronze Cuckoo have been making appearances. 

Two Eastern Barn Owl were spotlighted one night in nearby Geraghty Park, they were preening and looking very wet. Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher are still with us with several sightings of young birds as well as adults. Rainbow Bee-eaters have been passing over in small flocks in all directions and one Dollarbird was also seen. Noisy Pitta have retreated into the rainforest but are still calling and have been seen on several occasions.

With the wet weather the feeder has been busy with mainly Lewin's and Macleay's Honeyeater along with a few Yellow-spotted, Graceful and Blue-faced Honeyeater. Some Barred Cuckoo-shrike are still around and at least 3 Cicadabird have been around calling. A Yellow Oriole has been around a fruiting fig tree for several days, not as common around here than their preferred habitat along the coast. 

 Yellow Oriole

Several species were seen with juveniles in tow, they were Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet, Varied Triller, Black-faced Monarch, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher and Red-browed Finch.

Spotlighting was held on one night when the rain eased off but as expected frogs were the main sightings with Wilcox's Frog, White-lipped Tree Frog (including juveniles), Northern Dwarf Tree Frog, Desert Tree Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog, Cogger's Frog and Cane Toad. A Little Bentwing-bat was seen roosting and a Giant White-tailed Rat was in the rainforest. Luminous fungi and fireflies, which are a beetle, were also around. The feeder was busy with Bush Rat, Fawn-footed Melomys and a single Northern Brown Bandicoot.

 Northern Dwarf Tree Frog

Further afield 3 Red Goshawk were reported from the Maryfarms area, north along the Peninsula Road, thanks Greg. They used to be seen in this area many years ago but in recent years sightings have become less frequent. A pair of Fairy Gerygone was nesting in Mt. Molloy thanks Carol and Andrew.

It is still raining and Bushy Creek has come up over the main road cutting access to Mt. Molloy, hopefully the weather forecasters are right and the rain will ease off after a very wet Easter.

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