Sunday, 13 June 2010

13th June 2010 Report

Welcome to the 100th Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge blog. As you can see we have celebrated it by giving it a new look, hope you like it.

Well its been a very dry week with no rain and sunny cool days with temperatures down to 15ºC and a top of 24ºC. Bird numbers were 71 bird species seen and 1 heard - mammals and reptiles were down in numbers with 10 species seen.

The most excitement was generated on Wednesday evening at 6.50pm when we heard a Rufous Owl calling from the orchard area. We quickly grabbed a spotlight and found the bird perched on the edge of rainforest in the orchard area, about 15m off the ground, this is the first sighting since May 2009. We have had annual visits over the last few years (except 2008) with a single bird appearing around same time of year in 2007 but in 2006 one turned up in January and 2005 October. They usually stay for about a month before moving on. Since this sighting we have not heard or seen the owl again.



 Rufous Owl

Brown Cuckoo-Dove are very vocal, no doubt pleased at the good food supply at the Tobacco Bushes. 

Brown Cuckoo-Dove

Papuan Frogmouth has been found on the edge of the orchard and rainforest several times during the week but in a different place each time. A single Little Black Cormorant returned to our neighbours at the Barramundi Farm after an absence of 10 weeks, they are probably hoping it does not bring its mates along! Pacific Baza continues to be spasmodic with a visit for a few days before disappearing for a week or two and the pair of Whistling Kite in another neighbour property have been sitting up near their nest calling which may mean they are trying to get the youngsters to leave the nest. Small flocks (10-30) of Scaly-breasted Lorikeet have been zooming around overhead but not stopping as the Eucalypts here are not flowering yet. Laughing Kookaburra have found a use for our new signs 


and like to welcome guests.

Eastern Barn Owl were again in their roost hollow but no sign of the (Lesser) Sooty Owl this week. A pair of Spotted Catbird turned up at the feeder one morning, had a brief altercation and the dominant bird took over the feeder. A Great Bowerbird was in the adjacent Geraghty Park feeding on some berries of an exotic bush along with Yellow Honeyeater. A Yellow Oriole has taken up residence in the Lodge grounds, mainly foraging around the camping area. Two Black Butcherbird have been around again this week with a black adult catching a frog before being pursued by a brown immature bird trying to get a free feed. What appears to be a single Spangled Drongo has been coming down to the feeder and maybe the same bird from previous years who had the same habit. Fantails have been obvious this week flitting around in the open, both grey and rufous have been active around the edge of the rainforest. 


 Grey Fantail


Pied Monarch and Yellow-breasted Boatbill have both been showing well and calling non stop in the early morning. A female Victoria's Riflebird came to a bird bath one afternoon and had a good splash.

Mammals and Reptiles were very quiet during the week. A Striped Possum was seen early in the week but not after the Rufous Owl was calling, it probably spooked them as they are a favourite prey item of the owl. Feather-tail Glider was back in a Coconut Palm for brief looks and Long-nosed Bandicoot was seen several times foraging in the rainforest. White-lipped Tree Frog continues to be the only frog seen because they are in buildings such as the camp shower.

Further afield a quick visit to Lake Mitchell had a few more waterbirds than of late, Green Pygmy-goose, Little Pied Cormorant, Australian Darter and Comb-crested Jacana plus a small flock of about 10 Whiskered Terns. (A full list available at Lake Mitchell). A pair of Wedge-tailed Eagle were soaring over the Mt. Molloy to Mareeba Road one morning, not a common bird in our area.

Trip Planning

If you are planning a trip up this way you can use the Eremaea Birds site to help organise your itinerary. We have been busy uploading all our records and sites so you can now log onto the Eremaea Birds site  and click on “Where to see birds on your travels” under the Trip Planner heading. This will then show a map from which you can enlarge to our area and see a list of sites with the birds recorded at each site for the period of your visit. You can also find the best sites for species or most recent sightings, species list for any site, top birding sites in any region and also top birders for any region. This is a moderated site so errors are kept to a minimum and a very good resource.

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