Sunday, 15 July 2012

15th July 2012 Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge

The first week was dry, no rainfall to record and the second week was wet with annoying drizzle and some heavier falls resulting in 34.5mm. The top temperature was 24.0ºC and the minimum was 11.3ºC but most mornings had higher minimums of up to 21ºC. The humidity was high up to 98% and down to 73%.

Bird sightings for the first week were a high 100 seen plus 6 heard only. The second week had slightly less sightings due mainly to the inclement weather, 96 seen plus 5 heard. Mammal and reptile species were slightly more than the last two weeks – 28 species were seen over the two weeks. The last two weeks bird lists are on the Eremaea Birds Website for Week1 and Week2 plus morning walk lists can also be found at this link on Eremaea Birds

Birding Highlights:

A Pacific Baza eating a White-lipped Green Tree Frog (not a highlight for the poor old frog!) outside the rear of the reception area, this was the first baza we have seen for a month. 


Pacific Baza - eating frog

A Little Kingfisher was along Bushy Creek Saturday afternoon of the second week which was a good sighting for one of our guests. At least four Barred Cuckoo-shrike were feeding in a fruiting fig tree beside the Rex Highway whilst on a morning walk. The morning walk was also a highlight with 61 species, the most recorded this year for a walk. An Australian Reed-Warbler was heard in a cane paddock, near our neighbours house, before being seen foraging amongst the cane. Not a common species here with only a few sightings each year.

Other sightings:
Waterbird numbers and species continue to fluctuate with Magpie Goose, Wandering Whistling-Duck, Hardhead and Royal Spoonbill being the most un-predictable in the area. A few juvenile Emerald Dove are around with this one coming to the feeder and chasing off the adults, in between times it stops to have a drink but not before walking around the bowl! 

Emerald Dove - juvenile

Wompoo Fruit-Dove were heard and a few Topknot Pigeon have been seen flying over. The female Papuan Frogmouth continues to play hide and seek but was in its usual on a few occasions, once after overnight rain it was very bedraggled and hardly recognisable as a bird! Australian Owlet-nightjar appeared at its daytime roost a couple of times and heard calling from the edge of the Lodge grounds mid-morning one day from a different area to the daytime roost. Australian Swiftlet have been aerial foraging low over cut cane paddocks along with Fairy Martin. Black-necked Stork are still around making appearances at Barramundi Gardens fish farm and along McDougall Road. Both Whistling and Black Kite have been foraging on the cut cane paddocks with up to 18 sighted at one time. A pair of Whistling Kite have been aerial displaying over the cane paddocks and maybe the pair which regularly nest near the Lodge getting ready for this years nesting cycle. Both Brown Goshawk and Collared Sparrowhawk have been in the area, usually along McDougall Road. One Nankeen Kestrel was on a power pole along the Rex Highway one day and an Australian Hobby was sitting at the top of a dead tree along Mt. Kooyong Road opposite the Lodge one afternoon. Double-eyed Fig-Parrot continue to fly over in ones and twos but not stopping as only one of the fig trees in the immediate area have ripe fruit on them at the moment with no sign of fig-parrots on it. A Pheasant Coucal was disturbed at the side of the Rex Highway whilst on a morning walk and a first for five weeks. The pair of Barking Owl reported previously are still with us and can be heard most evenings and early mornings calling. Noisy Pitta was around the feeder during the dry days but went back into the rainforest when the rain came. The feeder with the banana was still an attraction for the pitta as this photo shows.

Noisy Pitta - at feeder
Two Spotted Catbird were also coming in for banana and up to four Great Bowerbird were at the lone fruiting fig tree along with 50+ Australasian Figbird, a few White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike and the previously mentioned Barred Cuckoo-shrike. Lovely Fairy-wren were again heard in our neighbours garden late afternoon and appear to be roosting in a patch of bamboo alongside Bushy Creek. 12 honeyeater species around which are the same ones for the last month. Pied Monarch have been busy with one showing up one morning in a patch of rainforest next to the units foraging low down for good views. Grey-headed Robin have been regulars in the orchard and in the rainforest but this one has taken up residence in front of the units and around the feeder, very cute!

Grey-headed Robin

A pair of Olive-backed Sunbird have a nest in Geraghty Park which was constructed in a week by the female, male was supervising! They have not started using it yet.

Further Afield:-
Previous reports of 40+ Diamond Dove at Maryfarms near Mt. Carbine were eclipsed this week with 135 reported from the same location by Del Richards from Fine Feather Tours. Where and why are they coming in such large numbers this far east? A White-necked Heron was foraging at the side of the Rex Highway about 2km from Mount Molloy towards Julatten, an uncommon bird in the area. Also along this road on the same day were two Wedge-tailed Eagle soaring near Abattoir Swamp, another uncommon bird which was probably attracted by the cane harvesting. A pair of Fernwren collecting nesting material at Mowbray National Park (about 450m), Julatten, was an unusual record. They are normally found above 600m although they come down to almost sea level in Mossman Gorge National Park and normally nest around October - February but have been found breeding in July-August. A few sightings have been made of Blue-faced Parrot-Finch near Abattoir Swamp but only small numbers of less than five.

Reptiles and Mammals:-
It has been a few good weeks for mammal and reptile sightings with a couple of night walks being exceptional, even in the drizzly rain. One night walk produced Fawn-footed Melomys, Diadem Leaf-nosed Bat, Bush Rat, Giant White-tailed Rat, Green Ringtail Possum, Striped Possum, Long-nosed and Northern Brown Bandicoot, Spectacled Flying Fox, Jungguy Frog, White-lipped Tree Frog, Desert Tree Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog, Cogger's Frog, Cane Toad, two Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko including one on the ground with its tail in the air and Boyd's Rainforest Dragon. Wish all night walks were like that one! 

Jungguy Frog

Platypus was seen in Bushy Creek one evening and a Yellow-footed Antichinus was coming to the feeder for banana when the pitta wasn't there.

Yellow-footed Antichinus
Yellow-footed Antichinus

A 3m Australian Scrub Python was seen crossing the road near our two bed-roomed units one evening. Late in the week three Red-legged Pademelon were seen in the orchard, which is great as we have only been seeing the occasional one. 10 - 20 years ago they were common in the orchard but disappeared for many years.


Keith and Lindsay Fisher said...

Hi Madeline,
As we said before, this is not the photo of the Green Ringtail referred to in the blog. The published photo has the larger adult wrapped around the smaller juvenile. Thanks for your comment.

J Gray said...

These images are fabulous. The Pacific Baza is fantastic, although I am sad for the unfortunate white-lipped tree frog. The yellow-footed antechinus photos are really great - love them.