Saturday, 5 March 2011

5th March 2011 Report

This weeks blog is a little earlier than normal as we are taking a few days off! The sun is shining and it has been dry for 48hours. 124mm of rain this week which is quite dry  by recent standards. Temperatures ranged from 21.8ºC to 28ºC. Bird species recorded were 78 seen and 8 heard, reptiles and mammals were 19 seen.

Weekly bird list can be found on the Eremaea Birds site

The Australian Brush-turkey are getting bolder by the day, this week one came through the reception and into the office to have a look around before it was chased back outside, this particular one was a juvenile so he needs to be shown who is the boss around here! 

Australian Brush-turkey, juvenile

Wompoo Fruit-Dove was heard calling and a female Superb Fruit-Dove was seen foraging in the Lodge grounds. Papuan Frogmouth continues to roost in front of the reception area but was moved on by the Pale Yellow Robin one day by the constant harassment. A single Little Black Cormorant was flying over towards the Barramundi Farm from the direction of the McDougall Road wetlands. Cattle Egret numbers have been building up during the week with at least 18 perched in a dead tree across the Rex Highway from the Lodge and a single juvenile Nankeen Night-Heron was along McDougall Road. A wet looking Pacific Baza was perched behind buildings in Geraghty Park one morning, this is the first one for quite a while. 

Pacific Baza

A White-bellied Sea-Eagle soared over the Lodge grounds at treetop level putting up a flock of Sulphur-crested Cockatoo who escorted it off the premises! Two Brown Falcon were near the McDougall Road wetlands and these are the first seen in weeks. Red-necked Crake, (adults) were again seen this week with two foraging along the seasonal creek which crosses the path to the orchard. A White-browed Crake was flying over McDougall Road one morning and a Comb-crested Jacana was in the wetland along the road. With the flowering eucalypts blossoming flocks of Scaly-breasted Lorikeet have returned. Eastern Koel and Channel-billed Cuckoo are still around with the koel spending more time in the Golden Cane Palm behind our units. (Lesser) Sooty Owl has been calling during the week, especially in the evening but one day it was still calling after 5.30am. Eastern Barn Owl are up to their old tricks of trying to confuse us again, one was in the daytime roost tree and reluctant to come out due to it raining. A second bird flew in and landed at the entrance to the nest hollow where it stayed for about five minutes peering in before the first bird flew in and took over, also peering into the hollow. This behaviour would seem to indicate that they have chicks in the nest but we cannot be sure as they were not carrying any food.

Some of the juvenile Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher are starting to colour up with their bills getting some red on them. Rainbow Bee-eater numbers have increased this week and Dollarbird numbers have reduced with only the odd sighting. 

Rainbow Bee-eater

Spotted Catbird are continuing to visit the feeder outside the reception. With the flowering of the eucalypts honeyeater numbers have increased with Yellow-faced returning after not being seen or heard for several weeks and Scarlet Honeyeater numbers increasing. Blue-faced Honeyeater put on a show one afternoon after they discovered an Amethystine Python in a tree trying to slough its skin, they were making a lot of noise and jumping around in the tree attracting many other birds. Bar-shouldered Dove, Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, and  Olive-backed Sunbird were some of the species attracted to the tree. The Bar-shouldered Dove stayed long after the other birds gave up and seemed fascinated by the snake, they perched in front of it and as the snake moved so did the doves keeping about a metre away from it and always in front.

Bar-shouldered Dove

Olive-backed Sunbird - male

One sighting of a Rufous Fantail this week when one came to investigate the commotion the Pale Yellow Robin was making at the Papuan Frogmouth. Black-faced Monarch are still here and calling but no sign of any breeding this year. Pied Monarch and Yellow-breasted Boatbill were both very vocal this week as were several pairs of Lemon-bellied Flycatcher in Geraghty Park. A species which has become less common over the past five years is the Tree Martin, several were seen along McDougall Road this week – they are more common along the coast. A few Metallic Starling were around at the beginning of the week but had disappeared by the end. Chestnut-breasted Mannikin were seen carrying nesting material behind the buildings in Geraghty Park.

The most interesting reptile sighting was the previously mentioned Amethystine Python which was a good 3m long. 

Amethystine Python

Amethystine Python - head shot sloughing skin

Boyd's Forest Dragon has been around again and has taken a liking to the birds banana and has even started running up to the kitchen door looking for more. One Major Skink has been around the reception area feeder and appears to be the only one active at the moment. Unfortunately one of our Long-nosed Bandicoot was found dead on the road one morning, this was the first one seen for a few weeks. Frogs are still in their element with mainly Dainty Green Tree Frog and Cogger's Frog calling all night.

Further afield, no reports of Eyebrowed Thrush at Malanda so it may have moved on. A single juvenile Great Frigatebird was reported over over Lake Tinaroo, on the Atherton Tableland, at Tinnaburra by Peter Kyne from Darwin, previously Lesser Frigatebird had also been reported from here.

Thanks to our roving neighbours Carol  and Andrew for some of the sightings.

No comments: