Sunday, 10 October 2010

10th October 2010 Report


Temperatures this week were similar to last week 21.0-27.4ÂșC, as was the rainfall with 16mm spread over 3 days. Sunny periods amongst the overcast conditions allowed the birds to be more active and obvious Bird sightings were slightly down on last week but considering the weather conditions they were quite good with 81 species seen and 10 heard. Mammals and reptiles were 20 species seen, one less than last week. 


A few species turned up this week which we had not seen for a while around the area, Brahminy Kite was flying over the Rex Highway near Geraghty Park, a Pale-vented Bush-hen was also crossing the highway near McDougall Road (about 1km away towards Mt. Molloy), at least two Australian King-Parrot were around the lodge grounds for two days, (the image below shows two juvenile A. King-Parrot having a rest).



 Australian King-Parrot



Two female Red-backed Fairy-wren were foraging on grass alongside the highway opposite Geraghty Park, a Noisy Friarbird was foraging in grevilleas in the Lodge grounds for two days and a Northern Fantail was flitting around the edge of the Lodge grounds along Mt. Kooyong Road one morning. All these species have not been recorded for at least two months.

Other observations of interest during the week were continued calling of several Superb Fruit-Dove in the Lodge grounds, but still unable to track one down! Two Pied Imperial Pigeon flew over Mt. Kooyong Road during a morning walk and Topknot Pigeon numbers continue to build up. Papuan Frogmouth has been calling every night and seen once perched over the cook shed calling. Not been at the regular roost area in the orchard this week so must have found another quieter spot. Australian Owlet-nightjar was calling early one morning at the start of a morning walk, but not found. A single Little Black Cormorant was fishing in Bushy Creek one morning, spotted on a morning walk. Pacific Baza continues to sit on a nest and a Brahminy Kite was flying over Geraghty Park in the vicinity of an old Brahminy Kite nest which has not been used for several years. A Bush Stone-curlew has been taking advantage of the uncut sugar cane to roost in it during the day, but that can't last for long as the cane will be harvested soon. Double-eyed Fig-Parrot were seen twice over the week, once in the Lodge grounds and then near the neighboring nursing home foraging in a Cluster Fig. Noisy Pitta continue to be noisy and seen around the grounds, sometimes with a lot of searching. Spotted Catbird are not popular at the moment and are being chased off by nesting birds, especially Spectacle Monarch trying to protect their eggs and chicks - catbirds are great nest robbers. The White-throated Gerygone was again in Geraghty Park at the beginning of the week, but not heard towards the end. A Noisy Friarbird was calling over several days as it fed in some grevilleas, they are occasional visitors to the grounds. White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike have been active in Geraghty Park, gleaning insects and taking nectar from the flowering callistemons (Bottlebrush). 

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike

Barred Cuckoo-shrike are around as are Cicadabird with both male and female seen well. At least one Rufous Fantail is still around and Black-faced Monarch are calling well and being seen mainly when bathing in Bushy Creek. A Pied Monarch was seen along Bushy Creek collecting nesting material from some introduced bamboo near the nursing home. 

 Pied Monarch

A full bird species list for the week can be found here

Spotlighting was curtailed somewhat by inclement weather arriving at when it was time to go out, however, one trip produced excellent views of a Striped Possum and a sleeping Boyd's Forest Dragon hanging onto the side of a small tree. Earlier in the week the wet weather triggered masses of flying termites to emerge from their nest mounds and this Boyd's Forest Dragon had a field day lapping up the insects as they emerged. 

 Boyd's Forest Dragon on termite mound

Boyd's Forest Dragon

Also feeding on the termites were Red-browed Finch. Platypus are still being seen regularly in Bushy Creek along with several Eastern Water Dragon.

Further afield the Mt. Lewis road was having some roadworks performed on it, trying to fill in the holes after the wet weather. Several ground thrush were seen, but not identified on Mt. Lewis but they were probably Bassian Thrush, the status of Russet-tailed Thrush on Mt. Lewis has yet to be resolved 100%. Despite some field guides saying you can tell them apart by the amount of white in the tail this is not so, the white outer tail feather patches are very variable in size in both species, some birds show no white. Australian Bustard continue to put on a show at Maryfarms with their display antics as do the Great Bowerbird in Mount Molloy who are also displaying

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