Sunday, 5 December 2010

5th December 2010 Report

Again we had rain in the first part of the week but by the end it was hot and dry with storms in the late afternoon which managed to miss us, there was a total of 37.5mm for the week. The temperatures were up to 31.1ºC and down to 20.9ºC. Birding conditions were very good with 86 species seen and 6 heard, mammal and reptiles were 19 seen and 1 heard.

The weeks bird species list is here.

The main highlight of the week was five sightings of the Red-necked Crake, two by the Crake Pool and another two sightings a a single bird creeping through the rainforest, the fifth sighting was a bird heading through the camping area towards the rainforest on the opposite side of Mt. Kooyong Road. The sightings at the Crake Pool were of a single bird walking across the front of the pool before disappearing into the rainforest. Another highlight was the sighting of a single Double-bar Finch, a first for a morning walk. Although it is on the Lodge bird list we had not seen one in the five+ years we have been here. This species is more common in the drier country; Abattoir Swamp, Mt. Molloy, Mt. Carbine and Lake Mitchell areas.

Pigeons and doves were very prominent this week with Brown Cuckoo-dove, Emerald Dove, Peaceful Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Superb Fruit-Dove and Pied Imperial Pigeon all seen plus Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove heard. Papuan Frogmouth was heard most nights and seen at the end of the week roosting in trees between the cook shed and reception area where it has been seen before. Australian Owlet-nightjar made an appearance in a tree beside us as we were waiting for an Eastern Barn Owl to emerge from its daytime roost and perched for all to get good views. The Pacific Baza chicks are looking more like their parents each day with barred breasts but dark eyes instead of yellow ones. Grey Goshawk was seen several times along the edge of the Lodge grounds and the adjacent cane field. Buff-banded Rail have been seen in the adjacent Barramundi Farm alongside the Rex Highway again, still with their young. 

 Buff-banded Rail

Two Pale-vented Bush-hen were seen through the trees, bathing in a small pool opposite the Platypus viewing area along Bushy Creek at 6.15pm on Saturday. This was after we have been hearing them calling along the creek as well as other areas around the Lodge for the past few weeks. The pair of Bush Stone-curlew with young disappeared out of the Lodge grounds and were not seen during the week however another pair of adults were seen on a morning walk. Double-eyed Fig-Parrot were feeding in a fig tree behind the nearby nursing home along with Barred Cuckoo-shrike.

 Barred Cuckoo-shrike

Varied Triller, Australasian Figbird, Olive-backed Oriole, Spangled Drongo, Silvereye and Metallic Starling were also feeding in the same fig tree.

Metallic Starling - at breakfast  time

Eastern Barn Owl continue to frustrate us with a non-appearance one night, only the third time in five years, leaving us with distant views of another E. Barn Owl across the highway. The next time we looked for them one bird popped up out of the daytime roost and flew towards the nest tree, but landed some distance away from it. Meanwhile a face appeared at the nest hollow and disappeared back down, so they maybe nesting again! Azure Kingfisher has been flying along Bushy Creek regularly and the Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher have been calling well and being seen low down and high up in the rainforest. A count of excavated termite mounds found six dug out, but no birds sitting yet. Six has been our normal number for the past five years; only three mounds from last year are being used again. Laughing Kookaburra are still feeding their rather large chicks, which should be due out of the nest very soon and Blue-winged Kookaburra are spending more time in Geraghty Park than usual. Noisy Pitta are not so noisy at the moment as they continue to be seen collecting nesting material. Great Bowerbird is still sitting in its nest next to the Rex Highway unfazed by cars and trucks rumbling by. 11 species of honeyeater were around the Lodge grounds with the odd Lewin's still present. Yellow-faced Honeyeater were seen collecting moss for a nest and Scarlet Honeyeater continue to stay high up in the eucalypts. Both male and female Cicadabird were seen well, on a morning walk, at the entrance to the Lodge and heard calling throughout the week. 

 Cicadabird - male

Black-faced Monarch has again been calling almost non-stop throughout the week and seen on a few occasions. Australian Magpie-lark are sitting on a nest and both Pied Monarch and Yellow-breasted Boatbill are being seen regularly around the Lodge grounds. Pale-yellow Robin are feeding young as well as sitting on nests. Metallic Starling were seen feeding juveniles.

Spotlighting turned up a Leaf-tailed Gecko, Little Bent-winged Bat, Giant White-tailed Rat, Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot, Spectacled Flying-Fox and 6 species of frog. Two Boyd's Forest Dragon have been around the rainforest near the units and up to seven Eastern Water Dragon have been seen along Bushy Creek.

Further afield sightings of Blue-faced Parrot-Finch are starting to become more regular on Mt. Lewis with at least three separate sightings of up to three birds around the car parking area and track to the dam. A single female Golden Bowerbird was also seen near the car parking area. On the lower slopes of Mt. Lewis Lovely Fairy-wren was seen about 200m after the Bushy Creek bridge. A White-browed Crake was seen at Abattoir Swamp along with Black-chinned Honeyeater. One Red-footed Booby was seen at the far side of Michaelmas Cay along with Black-naped Tern.

The sunny weather at the end of the week bought out the Butterflies, Dragonflies and other insects along with a few moths, some are shown below.


 Sapphire Flutterer

 Pale Hunter

 Spider Wasp sp.

 Moth Sp.

Note the markings on the back which resemble a smaller moth. This moth was on the ground going around in circles during the day.


 Orange Bush-brown

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