Sunday, 28 November 2010

28th November 2010 Report

This week was overcast, sunny and rain, much of which fell at night making a total of 38.5mm for the week. As last week there was plenty of time in between showers to birdwatch, even a morning walk was held in showers but still turned up good birds. Top temperature was 27.2ºC and down to 21.3ºC, slightly cooler during the day than last week but a little warmer at night. We recorded 80 bird species seen and 9 heard,one more than last week, mammals and reptiles were 21 seen which was the same as last week. 

This weeks bird species list can be found here 

A Red-necked Crake was glimpsed briefly heading across a track once during the week and heard most evenings calling but they are still proving to be elusive. Both Superb and Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove have been heard within the Lodge grounds but also not seen as they are keeping to the rainforest canopy. Rose-crowned are quite uncommon up here but this year they are being reported up on the Atherton Tableland and away from the coast where they are more common. Papuan Frogmouth are being uncooperative with a male seen on the edge of the orchard early in the week and again seen towards the end along the main road to the reception area. The female was seen once towards the end of the week on the edge of the orchard so we are not sure if they are a pair or are nesting as we have not seen the two in the same place. The male continues to call each night. The Pacific Baza parents are continuing to bring in plenty of Dainty Green Tree Frog with the occasional grasshopper to their fast growing chicks who are now standing on the edge of the nest and starting to lose their downy white feathers. Pale-vented Bush-hen have been heard calling from across the Rex Highway from the Lodge but not seen yet. The Bush Stone-curlew are still in our camping area with their two offspring who are growing fast during the day before heading off each night to forage in Geraghty Park. 



 Bush Stone-curlew - adult with two juveniles under its wing



Double-eyed Fig-Parrot were feeding on a very sparse fig tree for a couple of days before they ran out of figs, both male and female were foraging on the tree along with a few Australasian Figbird. 



 Double-eyed Fig-Parrot - female



Sooty Owl has continued to call in the Lodge grounds but is keeping out of sight and flying off in the evenings towards nearby Geraghty Park. It has been calling early in the morning around 4.30am outside our bedroom window before heading off towards the rainforest around the orchard where we suspect it is roosting. Eastern Barn Owl were both back in their daytime roost hollow this week and showing no interest in their nest tree. Azure Kingfisher has been zipping up and down Bushy Creek, perching for good views. Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher have been busy digging out nest chambers in termite mounds with both the male and female taking it in turns flying into the mound and knocking out the soil. We have not conducted a full search of all the 40+ mounds on the property yet but we know of at least six which have chambers dug in them. A check of all the mounds will be done this coming week. Laughing Kookaburra are still feeding youngsters in their nest and the Noisy Pitta has been seen with at least one juvenile bird. The pitta has also been busy cracking open snail shells on a stone anvil along the path to Bushy Creek with five shells littering the ground. The image below shows two stone anvils with broken snail shells around it.



 Noisy Pitta Anvil



The Great Bowerbird previously reported building a nest is now sitting in it with just its head protruding above the sticks. At least two Lewin's Honeyeater are still with us as are Scarlet Honeyeater. Barred Cuckoo-shrike have been feeding in a fig tree behind the Mt. Kooyong Nursing Home along with Yellow Honeyeater, Australasian Figbird and Silvereye. White-breasted Woodswallow have retaken the Magpie-lark nest with the Magpie-lark building a new one on an adjacent branch (reported in previous blog). Torresian Crow have been more active this week flying around and over the Lodge grounds, also more active have been Black-faced Monarch who have been calling incessantly nearly all week. Metallic Starling lost a few nests which were blown down this week, several with eggs in but they are busy rebuilding more nests with the help of the first brood of the season.


Spotlighting was good with sightings of Striped Possum feeding in a Star Apple tree in the orchard along with a Green Ringtail Possum also in the orchard, both on the same night. 

 Green Ringtail Possum

Also at the feeder was Fawn-footed Melomys and Giant White-tailed Rat. Northern Brown Bandicoot are enjoying the wet weather as they can now dig into our grassed areas making quite a mess. Seven species of frog also enjoyed the damp conditions and our friendly Boyd's Forest Dragon continues to hang around the front of the units.


Ulysses Butterfly have been very common this week fluttering around showing off their very distinctive blue wings but like most butterflies (unlike moths) fold their wings when landing. The image below is about the extent of wing opening they perform.


Ulysses Butterfly



 Several new books arrived for our shop this week.


 The Butterflies of Australia is not a pocket field guide but from first impressions it is an excellent reference laid out in field guide style but with much more information helping identify the nearly 400 Australian species. it is a non technical introduction to butterfly biology, history, ecology evolution and conservation. It has hundreds of high quality illustrations showing adult butterflies in life, flying or perched as well as courting and laying eggs. Excellent half-wing illustrations show the diagnostic features of each species. With over 300 pages  it is excellent value at $45.00.


Another good value book is Parrots of the World by Forshaw and Knight ($40.00) which is  a Field Guide covering all 356 species plus the well differentiated sub-species. It is organised by geographical distribution - Australasia, Afro-Asian and neotropical. It has 146 excellent colour plates depicting every kind of parrot and detailed facing page descriptions and distribution maps. Very comprehensive and user-friendly.


The Owls of Australia takes its illustrations and text, which is re-written, from  the Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Eight of the plates from the Handbook are reproduced in this book and the biology and behavior of each species is described.Again a handy little book for only $22.00.



This field guide is reprinted (June 2010) with revisions from the original published in 2005 and describes over 500 fungi species plus slime moulds. Whilst it does not have distribution maps the photos taken in the wild are good enough to identify fungi when you are in the field. It has sections on fungal biology and ecology as well as a pictorial guide to the main fungi groups. $49.95.

These books can be ordered through our secure web site booking form and are all plus postage.

1 comment:

Red Nomad OZ said...

Fab shot of bush stone curlew & young - heard (and sometimes saw!) them nearly everywhere we stayed in QLD earlier this year. We actually got used to their shrieking during the night after a while!!

Happy travels!!
Adventures in Australia