Quite a dry week with only 6.5mm of rain, sunny and overcast days with temperatures down to 18ºC and a top of 25ºC. Bird numbers were 70 bird species seen and 2 heard - mammals and reptiles were 14 seen.
Once again the (Lesser) Sooty Owl was calling during the week near the reception area in the evening before again heading towards Geraghty Park as it did the previous week. We have not been able to find out where it is going once it gets into the park as it stops calling. Brown Cuckoo-Dove have been feeding on fruiting Tobacco Bush and a Wompoo Fruit-Dove has been calling around the Lodge grounds. Papuan Frogmouth has been found in the orchard several times during the week and some guests saw two birds one night around the camping area. Australian Owlet-nightjar has also been calling in the Lodge grounds on two occasions but not seen. A pair of Pacific Baza have been around and calling a lot so they may be getting ready to nest again this year. Meanwhile the Whistling Kite in a neighbours property have been flying around and visiting the nest which probably means they have young in the nest. An Australian Hobby was perched high up in a Blue Quandong tree beside Bushy Creek early one morning. From here it was diving out onto the surrounding grounds trying to catch breakfast. The image below was taken at a distance with a hand held 300mm lens and a 1.4x tele-converter on an EOS 7D camera. Whilst it is not the best image in the world it is pretty good considering it has also been heavily cropped.
A pair of Double-eyed Fig-Parrot flew over calling once and Australian King-Parrot made a return for two days. Eastern Barn Owl continue to play games with us, this time there were two birds roosting in the same tree hollow twice during the week and no sign of visiting their nest site. A third bird was seen on the edge of another suspected nest site. A pair of Azure Kingfisher continue to visit the Red-necked Crake pool during the day. Maybe we should rename the pool to Azure Kingfisher pool as the crakes have not been heard or seen there for some time, hopefully they will return when the water level drops a bit more. Noisy Pitta has been calling during the day and seen on several occasions but has been keeping to the rainforest. Both adult and brown juvenile Black Butcherbird have been around the Lodge grounds as has been a brown sub-adult male Victoria's Riflebird. Red-browed Finch have been around with young ones, the one in the image below lacks the red eye stripe of the adults but has the red on the upper tail coverts and tail.
Red-browed Finch - juvenile
In the local area a large fruiting fig tree has been a magnet for fruit eating birds, a visit late one morning produced the following, 6+ Wompoo Fruit-Dove, 20+ Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, 1 Tooth-billed Bowerbird, numerous honeyeaters including Graceful, Yellow-spotted, Lewin's and Macleay's, 2 Barred Cuckoo-shrike, numerous Australasian Figbird, 1 Olive-backed Oriole and a small flock of Silvereye. Will have another look this coming week. A dam north of the McLeod River produced Squatter Pigeon and Black-throated Finch. Female Golden Bowerbird has been seen several times around the parking area on Mt. Lewis but no sign of any males recently.
Vine Moth Nyctemera secundiana
A few interesting Moths this week a Vine Moth Nyctemera secundiana (also called Magpie Moth) which is found on Cape York Peninsula down to Taree in New South Wales, They are distasteful to predators and quite active during the day as this one was. It's the first time we've seen one here but we could easily overlook them. The moth below is called a Four O'clock Moth due to its habit of flying in the afternoon/evening, this one was out at 8.00am! Thanks to Rupert for this ID and description.
Four O'clock Moth Dysphania numana