Sunday, 23 January 2011

23rd January 2011 Report

The week started off with a few showers and thunderstorms with not much rain and ended up with the monsoonal trough overhead and 108mm in one 24hr period. This caused flooding at Bushy Creek between us at Julatten and Mt. Molloy stranding some of our guests overnight, who were trying to get here for a Birds Australia-North Queensland Group weekend. They made it the next day after the creek had gone down slightly. Our orchard area was under at least 0.5m of water overnight but was drained if a little soggy the next day. Rainfall for the week was 197mm. The temperatures have ranged from 22.1ºC – 26.9ºC. Bird species were down on last week, due to the wet weather, with 67 seen and 11 heard (within 1.5km of the Lodge). Mammals and reptiles were one more than last week with 19 seen.

The weeks bird species list is here


The wet weather impressed the Pacific Black Duck who were taking advantage of the wet pastures and were seen dropping into flooded grassy areas. The Pied Imperial Pigeon continue to sit on their nest in Geraghty Park despite being surrounded by Sulphur-crested Cockatoo on several occasions making their very noisy squawking calls. Three Papuan Frogmouth are still sitting in the Mt. Kooyong nursing home grounds  hiding in a Poinciana tree.


Papuan Frogmouth


also an Australian Owlet-nightjar was heard early one morning calling from a Queensland Blue Gum in Geraghty Park but not found. Raptors are light on at this time of year with only Whistling and Black Kite plus Nankeen Kestrel seen. Red-necked Crake has been heard calling quite a lot both during the day and at night but not seen despite a few searches in the areas of calling, they just seem to vaporise into thin air! Double-eyed Fig-Parrot have again been flying over as has a single Channel-billed Cuckoo seen several times early morning. Little (Gould's) Bronze-Cuckoo have been calling and chasing around with good views. (Lesser) Sooty Owl has been heard calling early morning mainly between 3 and 5.00am but not seen, well it is hard getting out of bed at that time! The eight Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher nests seem to have survived the flooding around the grounds and the parents are busy chasing food for them. Blue-winged Kookaburra have been active in Geraghty Park all week as have Dollarbird. The Noisy Pitta was seen taking advantage of a rotten tree which fell down one night and shattered on the ground; it was picking over the tree remains and getting the wood boring grubs out of it. Did not take long to work that one out. Large-billed Gerygone are still refurbishing their old nest over Bushy Creek and Fairy Gerygone are busy chasing each other around the canopy tops. There are at least two Lewin's Honeyeater coming into the feeder at the moment along with Macleay's Honeyeater and their young. One Bridled Honeyeater was seen at Geraghty Park one morning which is unusual at this time of year as they are nearly always up at higher altitudes such as on Mt. Lewis. Cicadabird are still with us and calling well. Pied Monarch, Yellow-breasted Boatbill and Lemon-bellied Flycatcher were all seen during the week. 



 Yellow-breasted Boatbill


One spotlighting trip during the week, dodging the wet weather, found a few hardy animals foraging around. A Long-nosed Bandicoot was a first for a few weeks, a Giant White-tailed Rat was lurking around the bunkhouse and many frogs were calling but difficult to find. We did see Cogger's Frog, Jungguy Frog, Northern Dwarf Tree Frog and Dessert Tree Frog as well as a few Cane Toad. A few mammals turned up at the feeder including a Northern Brown Bandicoot late on several afternoons looking very wet and bedraggled, he got stuck into the finch seed straight away. A possible Yellow-footed Antechinus was seen scurrying away from under a chair on the veranda outside the units one morning, this is a species we have not seen for several years around the Lodge and was possibly displaced by the rain.

Further afield Eastern Yellow Robin was seen near Abattoir Swamp on a drier ridge area of Callitris 

Eastern Yellow Robin

and a flooded paddock along the Wetherby Road (between Mt. Molloy and Julatten on a back road) was attracting plenty of insectivorous birds. Amongst the hawkers was Australian Swiftlet, White-breasted Woodswallow, Rainbow Bee-eater along with Brown-backed Honeyeater, Magpie-lark, Willie Wagtail and some very smart Golden-headed Cisticola in full breeding plumage (this bird is slightly wet!).

Golden-headed Cisticola

Also swimming around in the ponding over the road was Pacific Black Duck and Wandering Whistling-Duck. 

Another interesting insect was this Robber Fly, should be more of them!

Robber Fly


The wet weather created lots of ponding attracting plenty of Dragonflies around the area of the Lodge. Some of these are shown below, please let us know if any ID's are incorrect as we are still learning!

Chalky Percher - female

Palemouth - female

Palemouth - male

Sapphire Flutterer

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