Sunday, 16 January 2011

16th January 2011 Report

Welcome to this weeks blog which has been slightly delayed due to a power outage for most of the day. Firstly we would like to say that we have been watching the flood situation in the areas of central east and south-east Queensland and cannot begin to imagine what those flood victims have gone through and what they face in the immediate future. The areas that have been flooded are 2-3 days drive from here, which should give you an indication of the size of Queensland. Luckily we have been spared any flooding in our region and have only had a few hundred mm this month, in contrast places in the flooded areas have had that amount or more in 24 hours causing the floods. Other areas of Australia have also had floods, northern New South Wales, Central Victoria and the North-East of Tasmania, our thoughts are with those people. The only impact for us is a shortage of some foodstuffs in the shops and road closures in the flooded areas denying access to us in the north. The main coastal road from Brisbane to Cairns has now re-opened.

Our rainfall for the week was 61.5mm with 37mm of that coming out of a big thunderstorm one evening. Most of the rainfall has been late afternoon – overnight. The temperatures have ranged from 21.5ºC – 27.7ºC. Bird species were up on last week with 76 seen and 8 heard (within 1.5km of the Lodge). Mammals and reptiles seen were more than last week with 18 seen.

The weeks bird species list is here

Magpie Goose were active one evening, whilst we were waiting for the Eastern Barn Owl to appear, flying over in circles and eventually heading off towards the McDougall Road Swamp. Pacific Black Duck were enjoying ponding in the paddocks across the road from Geraghty Park making a change from the Barramundi Farm. Plenty of pigeons and doves this week with Emerald, Peaceful, Bar-shouldered Dove, Wompoo and Superb Fruit-Dove all seen and Rose-crowned heard The Superb Fruit-Dove was a male spotlighted roosting down by the Crake Pool and the Pied Imperial-Pigeon continue to sit on their nest in Geraghty Park. Three Papuan Frogmouth were again huddling together in the grounds of the Mt. Kooyong Nursing Home

For the second week we had Fork-tailed Swift flying high over the Lodge grounds with a few Australian Swiftlet lower down. White-belied Sea-Eagle adults were flying over the Lodge grounds along with a Black Kite which had a double notched tail due to moulting. A pair of Whistling Kite were perched alongside Bushy Creek in a Blue Quondong tree where the sea-eagles usually like to perch. Not a great image but the birds were quite high up. 



Whistling Kite


Red-necked Crake have been calling all over the Lodge grounds including one evening outside the reception area but they were not seen. Pale-vented Bush-hen have also been calling from in and around the Lodge but not seen. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (also know as chainsaws of the skies!) have been busy pruning trees in Geraghty Park and in the Lodge grounds. A pair of Scaly-breasted Lorikeet were seen entering a hollow in a Queensland Blue Gum Eucalyptus tereticornis and presumably breeding or maybe just roosting. Double-eyed Fig-Parrot have been flying over but still no sign of a food tree. Pheasant Coucal have been calling alot but not seen around the Lodge this week, this one was near Abattoir Swamp on the way to Mt. Molloy.


Pheasant Coucal

Only a few Channel-billed Cuckoo around at the moment, it will be interesting to see if flocks of juveniles pass through later in the month and into February like previous years. Last weeks blog featured Little (Gould's) Bronze-Cuckoo which are still around, the fifth photo of LBC's was actually a Shining Bronze-cuckoo which is an uncommon visitor to the Lodge. The shining prefer to hang around in the higher rainforests such as on nearby Mt. Lewis.


(Lesser) Sooty Owl has again been heard calling in the early hours of the morning, usually between 4-5am but on one occasion about 7.00 in the evening and it has again not been seen. An Azure Kingfisher was hanging around the Crake Pool early in the week and was seen about 20m up in a rainforest tree, not where we would expect to see one. Dollarbird have been continuing to feed their young in a tree hollow in Geraghty Park and taking advantage of perching on nearby power lines where these two were photographed. We noticed a difference between the two around the head, in particular the eye ring. Not sure if this is a male/female difference but both these birds were feeding the nestlings.



A Noisy Pitta was seen carrying a beak full of worms early in the week and later on the single note call of a juvenile was heard in the rainforest behind the units. Hopefully they have successfully fledged some young. Brown Gerygone are still hanging around our neighbours garden and Large-billed Gerygone are re-building a nest used last year next to the Mt. Kooyong Road bridge over Bushy Creek. Graceful and Macleay’s Honeyeater have been coming in to the feeder with juveniles. Spangled Drongo continue to feed their youngsters with a lot of calling going on between them.

Spangled Drongo

A Northern Fantail was foraging around behind the community hall in GeraghtyGeraghty Park with at least 3 pairs present.

Birds found on spotlighting trips were Australian Owlet-nightjar, Eastern Barn Owl and Papuan Frogmouth. The usual visitors have been coming to the feeder during the evenings, Fawn-footed Melomys, Bush Rat, White-tailed Rat and Northern Brown Bandicoot. Other mammals seen during the week include a few bats, Eastern Horseshoe, Little Bentwing, Northern Broad-nosed and Spectacled Flying Fox. Reptiles and amphibians included a Brown Tree Snake on a nightwalk, an unidentified 1m black snake heading into the rainforest, three Boyd’s Forest Dragon, a Major Skink and several various sized Eastern Water Dragon.

Eastern Water Dragon

plus only five frog species including Jungguy Frog, White-lipped Tree Frog and Cogger's Frog.

Further afield five Red-tailed Black Cockatoo flew over Mt. Molloy and Lovely Fairy-wren have been around near Abattoir Swamp. Access to Mt. Lewis is still possible with care and most endemics have been seen there this week including Blue-faced Parrot-Finch, Chowchilla, Fernwren, Atherton Scrubwren, Tooth-billed Bowerbird, Grey-headed Robin and Bower’s Shrike-thrush. 


Insects are featured this week as many interesting species have been seen whilst birding. Several Dragonfly species such as this pair of Painted Grasshawk, presumably male and female.

Painted Grasshawk
Plus this Pale Hunter which is on an introduced weed, Singapore Daisy.

Pale Hunter

Other interesting insects were this Lynx Spider (Family Oxyopidae; Genus: Oxyopes). They are common spiders but the Australian species are badly in need of revision. They are hunters and many species run (and jump) very quickly.We have a few rainforest species up our way that are quite cryptic and don't move so fast.(thanks to Greg for the information).

Lynx Spider

 Also interesting was this colourful grasshopper

Grasshopper Sp.
and this Cicada with amazing patterns on it's head and body.

Cicada Sp.

1 comment:

Red Nomad OZ said...

Sometimes I wonder if Sulphur Crested Cockatoo isn't Australia's most ubiquitous bird!! LOVE your description of chainsaws of the skies - especially when they wake me up AGAIN at 5:00 in the morning!!