Sunday, 4 September 2011

4th September 2011 Report

We had 3mm of rain this week which did not even settle the dust! Overnight temperatures were warmer, only going down to16.9ºc which was 5.5ºc warmer than last weeks lowest temperature. The afternoon temperatures were up to 25.2ºc which was slightly warmer than last week.

Another good week for numbers of bird species with 104 seen, and 9 heard. Reptiles and mammals were good with 23 which was up on previous weeks due mainly to the drizzle and warmer weather bringing out reptiles and amphibians. 

The weeks bird list is on the Eremaea Birds website and morning walk lists can also be found at this link on Eremaea Birds.

The best records for the week were a Black-fronted Dotterel on the edge of one of the McDougall Road lagoons and the first recorded since August 2006. 

Black-fronted Dotterel

The first Pied Imperial Pigeon for the season was seen perched high up in a tree along Mt. Kooyong Road whilst on a morning walk and a Red-necked Crake was seen scurrying across Mt. Kooyong Road from the Lodge grounds into a patch of rainforest on the other side of the road late one evening. This was the first sighting for five weeks of the crake, lets hope it makes itself more visible.

Other sightings of interest:

McDougall Road lagoons still have many waterbirds including Green Pygmy-goose and two pairs of Cotton Pygmy-goose as well as Australasian Grebe and a Dusky Moorhen. Spotless Crake were again heard calling from a reed bed on the edge of one of the lagoons but did not make an appearance.

Brown Cuckoo-Dove numbers dropped off during the week with most of the Bleeding Heart trees they were feeding on having no fruit left. Topknot Pigeon numbers still appear to be increasing with thousands passing over in the morning and afternoon – 400 were counted in a 10 minute period one evening. Our female Papuan Frogmouth which had disappeared for a week and a half returned at the end of the week, it was heard calling on Friday and found roosting on Saturday in one of its old roost sites.

Papuan Frogmouth

Black-shouldered Kite was down McDougall Road and a pair of Pacific Baza were in the Lodge grounds. White-bellied Sea-Eagle was seen most days either perched beside Bushy Creek or flying over with a fresh fish from the local Barramundi Farm but once seen over the Lodge entrance with an unidentified prey item which did not look very tasty as it trailed out behind the bird. Both Whistling and Black Kite were foraging in cut cane paddocks and one Whistling Kite was seen flying over with nesting material. Nankeen Kestrel was also seen after an absence of a few weeks whilst an Australian Hobby was around for another week. 

Whistling Kite

Double-eyed Fig-Parrot was seen flying over and in our neighbours garden feeding on one of the few remaining fruits in a Bleeding Heart tree. Sooty Owl was heard at the end of the week calling during the night as well as pre-dawn before going to roost for the day and Eastern Barn Owl were proving hard to see in the week with only one seen once but several others were heard. Spotted Catbird continue to be active and seen in the orchard as well as attending the reception area feeder. Large-billed Scrubwren, which is the only species to occur in the Lodge grounds apart from very occasional visits by Yellow-throated Scrubwren, have been active in family groups. This one was is hopping up and down vines and branches and hanging upside down, which is their normal behaviour.

Large-billed Scrubwren

Honeyeaters were active in the flowering eucalypts with 12 species recorded, however they had to share the trees with flocks of Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeet. A Little Shrike-thrush was seen bashing a Dainty Green Tree Frog on the forest floor before eating it, hard life being a frog. An Olive-backed Oriole was lurking around on the edge of Geraghty Park one morning just long enough to get a few images of it; a difficult bird to photograph. 

Olive-backed Oriole

Two Black Butcherbird were calling and hanging around the rainforest for a couple of days then disappeared and the lone Spangled Drongo is spending more time at the feeder taking sugar water and mimicking Blue-faced Honeyeater, maybe he thinks he is one! The overwintering Black-faced Monarch was seen again as was Pied Monarch and Yellow-breasted Boatbill. A Pale-yellow Robin was making a nest on the edge of the orchard and being swooped on by a Macleay's Honeyeater but the robin got its revenge and chased the Macleay's off. Two immature Welcome Swallow were seeking shelter under the roof eves of the Geraghty Park Community Hall during a brief shower of rain. There were two Bassian Thrush at the beginning of the week commuting between our orchard and our neighbours garden but by the end of the week we could only locate one in the orchard.  Up to three Chestnut-breasted Mannikin are coming to the seed feeder all through the day now as the grass seed in the area is dying off.

Further afield White-headed Pigeon have been in the area with several seen along the highway towards Mt. Molloy and a pair of Superb Fruit-Dove were mating at Mowbray National Park. Wompoo Fruit-Dove were also seen mating and displaying on an afternoon boat trip on the Daintree River along with a Great-billed Heron, Azure and Little Kingfisher. A Wilson's Storm-Petrel was reported flying past Michaelmas Cay (Great Barrier Reef) by a visiting birder who dropped in on us but did not leave his name, this is a rarely reported species from this location. Also at Mowbray NP was Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo and Noisy Pitta. Eastern Koel was heard calling in Cairns  on 2nd September, which is the first we have heard about this season in our region; our earliest record at the Lodge is 13th September. Doug Herrington posted a couple of reports on Eremaea Birds, one of finding a dead Red-backed Button-quail at Shannonvale, near Mossman and another of a Banded Lapwing at Cooya Beach also near Mossman. There was a Banded Lapwing in this area during March-April 2009, maybe the same one?

Eastern Koel - male
Other good birds seen within 10km of Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge were Lovely Fairy-wren, Barred Cuckoo-shrike and Blue-faced Parrot-Finch.

It was a good week for reptiles and mammals as the warmer weather enticed two Boyd's Forest Dragon and an Amethystine Python to show themselves. A couple of Major Skink also appeared and the Eastern Water Dragon are becoming more active along Bushy Creek. Striped Possum was seen one night and two Green Ringtail Possum seen on another night. A few more frogs are also stirring with seven species this week including Jungguy Frog, three Roth's Tree Frog and Peter's Frog.

Peter's Frog - Litoria inermis


Blue Bird IM said...

Fantastic Photos as usual! We saw an Olive-backed Oriole on the Darling Downs today also.

Keith and Lindsay Fisher said...

Thanks for the great feed back, always a challenge to find time to get out and get photos each week. I don't expect to see Olive-backed Oriole each week!