Quite a dry week with some great sunny days with only 7mm in the rain gauge for the week. Temperatures were down to 18ºC and a top of 24ºC. Bird numbers were 73 bird species seen and 4 heard - mammals and reptiles were 21 seen.
Highlight for the week was a spotlighting trip early in the week where we had some good sightings which included Eastern Barn Owl, Striped and Green Ringtail Possum, Northern and Long-nosed Bandicoot, Bush rat, Fawn-footed Melomys, Eastern Horseshoe and Dusky leaf-nosed Bat, Feather-tail Glider, Leaf-tail Gecko and 7 species of frog – Red Tree Frog, Peter's Frog, Northern Dwarf Tree Frog, Jungguy Frog, White-lipped Tree Frog, Cogger's Frog and Cane Toad. A slight shower of rain before we went out induced the frogs to come out and it was good to see Peter's Frog Litoria inermis which is one we have been overlooking. Peter's Frog can be confused with the Pale Frog Litoria pallida which has smooth skin rather than the more warty skin of Peter's.
Frog names are taken from Field Guide to the Frogs of Australia Tyler and Knight 2009.
A single Wompoo Fruit Dove was around all week and Papuan Frogmouth was found only once at the beginning of the week. Plenty of Cattle Egret around and this image below was of one perched in the riparian forest alongside Bushy Creek. Note short thick neck which differentiates it from Intermediate Egret. We have found that the Cattle Egret in Australia are very skittish and difficult to approach to take images. Some of our guests have commented that they are not like this in other places in the world where they are more approachable.
Pacific Baza was showing well perched in a eucalypt tree preening for great views and a Grey Goshawk was perched alongside Bushy Creek. Rainbow Bee-eater numbers were still high throughout the week. Noisy Pitta was seen on a few occasions along the edge of the rainforest and heard calling frequently. Twelve species of honeyeater were recorded including Bridled, Scarlet and Noisy Friarbird who were taking advantage of the many types of flowering mistletoe. Barred Cuckoo-shrike, Cicadabird and Leaden Flycatcher have all left the area in the last few weeks. Spangled Drongo appeared after a few weeks absence and both Grey and Rufous Fantail numbers increased. A single Torresian Crow flew over but no sign of anymore unlike previous years when there were several pairs around all year. Pied Monarch showed well as did several Yellow-breasted Boatbill pairs. The Female/young male Victoria’s Riflebird was still around and giving good views.
Interesting insects showing this week included this fly which was hanging around the Hammel Grass in the orchard as was the fruit sucking moth below which was feasting on a Spondias (Kedondong) fruit. The Spondias is a genus of flowering plants of the family Anacardiaceae. The genus has 17 described species which are native to the neotropics and tropical Asia. The fruit is supposed to be edible but our tree has fruit which needs a sense of humour to eat! Spectacled Flying Fox, Spotted Catbird and Striped Possum are animals we have seen eating the fruit.
Fruit Sucking Moth sp.