Monday, 5 May 2014

3rd May 2014 Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge

Weather Report
The first week was quite wet with 71.5mm of rain falling, just to keep the ground sodden. However the second week was absolutely glorious, no rain, cooler temperatures down to18ºC and up to 27ºC. The humidity also dropped from the mid 90% to 62%

Last Two Weeks Bird Sightings:-
These can be found on the Eremaea eBird site for  20th - 26th April and 27th - 3rd May

Birding Highlights:-
An uncommon visitor was a Pied Currawong seen by our neighbour and local bird guide Carol Iles flying past her house and heading for the Mt. Lewis Range. We only get one or two sightings, but not every year. Looks like most of the summer migratory species have left as we have not seen Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher since the 21st April or Black-faced Monarch since 27th April. Dollarbird have also not been seen for a week, but flocks of up to 80+ immature Metallic Starling are still with us. Waterbirds have been scarce with the highlight a Nankeen Night Heron along McDougall Road. Australian White Ibis have been hanging around the Barramundi Farm along with a pair of White-bellied Sea-Eagle. Other raptors seen were Whistling and Black Kite, Brown Goshawk and Collared Sparrowhawk. Red-necked Crake have not been so obvious over the last week with no sightings, only heard, also Pale-vented Bush-hen have gone quiet and not been seen for nearly a week. This one is about 3 months old.

Pale-vented Bush-hen

Bush Stone-curlew are around the area which has some good bush but these three choose to roost during the day in amongst junk at the rear of the local nursing home. 

Bush Stone-curlew

Ocassionally they do go to more pleasant surrounds as below.

Bush Stone-curlew

Double-eyed Fig-Parrot have been feeding in a couple of fruiting fig trees, mainly female and juveniles. Barking Owl have been around for most of the last two weeks, calling and seen a few times. Azure Kingfisher have been zipping up and down Bushy Creek or fishing in the Crake Pool. Rainbow Bee-eater have been around in groups and roosting in nearby trees. Spotted Catbird have started to come back to the feeder for banana as have the honeyeaters, mainly Yellow-spotted, Graceful, Blue-faced and Macleay's. Grey Fantail arrived back at the beginning of May with at least two calling. Pied Monarch have been around, but not calling much whereas Yellow-breasted Boatbill have been very vocal. Victoria's Riflebird (female) has been seen in the Lodge grounds and in Geraghty Park picking off bark looking for insects. Pale-yellow Robin are always favorites with our guests as they are so confiding and cute (and easy to photograph!)

Pale-yellow Robin

Olive-backed Sunbird have been busy feeding on some of the flowering gingers.

Olive-backed Sunbird

Chestnut-breasted Mannikin where seen collecting nesting material along Mt. Kooyong Road.

Further Afield:-
Mt. Lewis still had a few Blue-faced Parrot-Finch in the 10km clearing at the beginning of May, but more were seen further down the mountain about 1-2 km from the bottom of the road. Other birds reported from the lower slopes of Mt. Lewis included Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo, White-eared Monarch and a male Victoria's Riflebird. Carol and Andrew Iles reported some good birds along Quaid's Road opposite Lake Mitchell (between Mareeba and Mt. Molloy), they included Banded Honeyeater, Noisy Miner who only occur in a few isolated areas in Far North Queensland, and flocks of Striated Pardalote. They also heard Grey Butcherbird, Pied Currawong and Northern Fantail. Euluma Creek Road in Julatten had an Australian Hobby and Brown Falcon plus White-headed Pigeon and Wompoo Fruit-Dove. Ferrero Road, near Port Douglas, had 28 adult Magpie Goose plus one juvenile with them. A 55 minute visit to Cattana Wetlands in Cairns turned up 32 species including an adult Wandering Whistling-Duck with five ducklings, three Australian Pelican soaring overhead, good views of at least 10 Double-eyed Fig-Parrot and a rather scruffy Little Pied Cormorant. Yorkey's Knob Lagoon at the golf course has been progressively modified over the years with the island being joined to the mainland and trees removed and this  has caused a drop in species using it. We did see an Australasian Darter carrying nesting material into one of the remaining trees, and a Buff-banded Rail heading into mangroves. The area along the back of the Yorkey's Knob Beach has some good vegetation with many species using it including Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove (thanks to Tony Neilson for supplying the photo below), 

Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove

Lovely Fairy-wren, Black Butcherbird and several pairs of Olive-backed Sunbird. This immature Helmeted Friarbird was interesting for the amount of bare skin around the eye which extended to the bill, unfortunately the sun cast a shadow from the branch over the birds face.

Helmeted Friarbird

Reptiles and Mammals:-
A Bush Rat appeared at our feeder after an absence of about 2 months, hopefully more have survived the two Barking Owl which have been hanging around the area. Frogs have been around in small numbers with Jungguy Frog, White-lipped Green Tree Frog, Roth's (Laughing) Frog, Desert (Red) Tree Frog, Dainty Green Tree Frog and Cane Toad being seen plus Striped Marsh frog only heard. Boyd's Forest Dragon have been hiding with only one or two appearances, Eastern Water Dragon have been regularly along Bushy Creek and Major Skink have also been showing.Bats have been roosting under our neighbours Carol and Andrew's house, we have seen Northern Broad-nosed Bat, Little Bent-winged Bat and Large-footed Myotis here. We think these ones are Northern Broad-nosed Bat.

Northern Broad-nosed Bat?

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