Sunday, 2 May 2010

2nd May 2010 Report

Less drizzle this week and two sunny days with11mm in the rain gauge for the week. Temperatures were down to 20ºC and a top of 26ºC. Bird numbers were 74 bird species seen and 7 heard - mammals and reptiles were 16 seen and one heard.

Highlight of the week was the Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher who stayed behind after all his mates disappeared to the north, he was still with us on the 1st May and also a Grey Goshawk was standing on the ground beside Bushy Creek one morning. 

 Brown Honeyeater

Scarlet and Brown Honeyeater as well as Noisy Friarbird returned after an absence and numbers of Macleay’s Honeyeater diminished at the feeder due to a few trees coming into flower around the area. One flowering tree in the rainforest adjacent to the orchard has started to attract large numbers of Scaly-breasted Lorikeet along with the resident Rainbow Lorikeet.

Magpie Goose have been flying over the Lodge grounds heading towards swamps on McDougall Road early in the morning, this seems to be a regular movement over the last couple of weeks.

 Magpie Goose

Papuan Frogmouth has been visible in the orchard on three occasions during the week but there still only appears to be one bird at the moment. Red-necked Crake have been heard calling from across Mt. Kooyong Road early evening and may well be heading into the Lodge grounds for the night, no sightings though. The water level in the crake pool has started to drop this week so it might be getting more suitable for the crakes to bathe in. Two adult White-bellied Sea-Eagle have also been flying over the Lodge grounds calling regularly during the week and Pacific Baza has been foraging across the tree tops picking off the occasional frog.

 White-bellied Sea-Eagle

Bush Stone-curlew have continued to come into the Lodge grounds each night and wake up our guests! There are probably several juvenile birds with the adults as we hear soft begging calls as well as the adult wails. The last time we heard a Channel-billed Cuckoo was on the 25th April, early in the week, so they may have also gone north along with the Eastern Koel which has not been sighted all week. (Lesser) Sooty Owl was also vocal most nights but no sightings. Azure Kingfisher was seen along Bushy Creek and Noisy Pitta was quite vocal during the day and seen once in front of the accommodation units. A Spotted Catbird has started to come into the feeder early morning to polish off some banana. A Black Butcherbird has been around the grounds all week and Rufous Fantail numbers are starting to build up as they migrate from further south.

 Rufous Fantail - bath time

Black-faced Monarch is still around and Pied Monarch have started to call more often than normal. Two Chestnut-breasted Mannikin were perched 15m up a dead tree near the main entrance to the Lodge, not a place you would expect them to be – not much grass seed at that height!

Further afield Del Richards from Fine Feather Tours reports that Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo have started to call around the district; this time last year we had them in the Lodge grounds but no sign of them so far this year. He also mentioned that a Pied Imperial Pigeon was seen during the week which is quite late in the season for them to still be here. They are normally back in Papua New Guinea at this time of year but a few odd ones have been known to overwinter in the district.

Several Major Skink emerged from their burrows and actively hunted around the ground whilst one Boyd’s Forest Dragon was running around the units. Two Eastern Water Dragon have been sitting on logs at the edge of Bushy Creek for most of the week.

Last weeks blog had an unidentified caterpillar which is still unidentified! Local author (A Field Guide to Insects in Australia and A Guide to Australian Moths being two most recent publications) and insect expert Paul Zborowski identified this odd looking critter as a leaf katydid (cricket) which appeared in the Lodge grounds (thanks Paul).

Leaf Katydid (cricket)

We identified it as being in the Fulgoridae family (using Paul's book) but not to species level, this is the first time we have seen it in the Lodge grounds. Paul has a new book coming out soon about insect camouflage and mimicry, we have seen some of his amazing photos so the book should be well worth getting.

No comments: