Sunday, 10 April 2011

10th April 2011 Report

Temperatures ranged from 21.0ºC to a much cooler than last week 26.6ºC. Bird species recorded were 99 seen and 4 heard, reptiles and mammals were 16 seen and one heard. 14.5mm of rain fell during the week, again not a lot but enough to keep the ground sodden.

Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge weekly bird list can be found on the Eremaea Birds site.

The most interesting sightings this week were a Sacred Kingfisher along McDougall Road, this is only the second sighting within the 1.5km radius of the Lodge we have heard of in nearly six years. They are more common along the coast and southern end of the Atherton Tableland where we have found them breeding at Kaban near Ravenshoe. Another interesting sighting was a small flock of adult Satin Bowerbird, one male + six female feeding on a fruiting palm tree in our next door neighbours garden. This is only the sixth sighting since 2005 when we saw them in September. Since then we have had three sightings in 2006, May, June and August and one in July 2007.  This female was waiting in the green fruits for an opportunity to get at the red ripe fruits which were being guarded by the male.

Satin Bowerbird - female

A possible Red-chested Button-quail was heard calling from behind the Mt. Kooyong Nursing Home, another rare species around the Lodge.

A White-headed Pigeon was seen once flying over the Lodge and the Wompoo Fruit-Dove reported last week defending a fruiting palm tree has been chased out by an Eastern Koel (female) who has been sitting in the fruits all week.

An Eastern Great Egret was seen flying across a cane field behind the Mt. Kooyong Nursing Home which has been a rarity around here this year. Black-shouldered Kite have been around McDougall Road and Brahminy Kite has been in the vicinity of the Barramundi Farm Two sightings of Red-necked Crake this week, one adult scurried across the path to the orchard near our big green shed one afternoon and the other sighting was from our neighbours who saw a juvenile bird behind their house. Scaly-breasted Lorikeet have been feeding in African Tulip Trees (non-native ornamental tree) in Geraghty Park. They were joined by Lewin's, Yellow-spotted, Bridled, Yellow and Macleay's Honeyeater.

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet

Lewin's Honeyeater

Macleay's Honeyeater

This female Eastern Koel has been sitting guarding the palm tree at the rear of the Lodge grounds all week.

Eastern Koel

Several Channel-billed Cuckoo are still around and one Eastern Barn Owl was seen this week. The (Lesser) Sooty Owl was again calling well over several nights but not seen. An Azure Kingfisher was perched on a log over Bushy Creek with a fish in its bill, the fish was almost as big as the kingfisher! It flew off with the fish so we did not see if it actually swallowed it. A single adult Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher is still around the Lodge grounds and was seen on the 8th. One Dollarbird was seen in McDougall Road and also along the edge of the Lodge grounds beside Mt. Kooyong Road. Noisy Pitta fired up mid-week and was calling a lot but not seen. Brown Gerygone continue to forage around the edge of the orchard in the rainforest and look like staying which will be good. Cicadabird are still calling as well as Yellow Oriole. For the second week running we heard a distress call from a frog and found an adult Black Butcherbird, they sure do take a toll on the poor frogs. The odd Spangled Drongo is still around as are a couple of Rufous Fantail. Black-faced Monarch is still with us and calling. Pied Monarch has also been calling and seen hopping along tree trunks as well as bathing in Bushy Creek mid-afternoon. Grey-headed Robin are around the grounds in small numbers with only one or two seen over the week; we normally expect many more than this to come down off the mountains to visit us. Red-browed Finch have built a nest over Bushy Creek adjacent to a Paper Wasp nest, not sure if there is any advantage in this but it certainly forces us to keep a distance!

Reptiles and mammals were fairly quiet with no spotlighting again this week. Passive viewing at the feeder produced Fawn-footed Melomys, Bush Rat, Giant White-tailed Rat and Northern Brown Bandicoot in the evening with Boyd's Forest Dragon and Major Skink during the day. A few frogs were about including this Northern Dwarf Tree Frog.

Northern Dwarf Tree Frog

Further afield we saw four monarch species within five minutes along Euluma Creek Road, Julatten, Black-faced, Spectacled, Pied and surprisingly a juvenile White-eared Monarch. More information can be found on the Wildiaries site . Red-tailed Black Cockatoo has been turning up in Cairns which is quite unusual, we had a few sightings when we lived there but they are not common on the coast in the Cairns area but are common further south in Townsville where they feed on the Beach Almond (Terminalia spp.) along the sea front. Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo were seen at the base of the Mt. Lewis Range along Churchill Creek Road.

A few interesting insects were around this week including this Redtail damselfly.


A larger dragonfly was caught in a web of a Golden Orb Weaver spider; a fly was also helping itself to the dragonfly carcase. 

Golden Orb Weaver

These flies were feasting on what appeared to be frog droppings

Fly sp.

and this caterpillar is of a Hawk Moth sp.

Hawk Moth sp. caterpillar

1 comment:

Jean Tucker said...

Great to view the diversity of life in North Queensland, I will be paying a visit soon. from jean tucker