Sunday, 2 November 2014

2nd November 2014 Kingfisher Park Birdwatchers Lodge

Weather Report
Rainfall over the last two weeks was 2mm one day and the next day 1mm, hardly touched the ground! Humidity dropped down to 44% with lots of sunshine and temperatures reaching 32Âșc which it has been doing for the last three weeks.

Last Two Weeks Bird Sightings:-
These can be found on the Eremaea eBird site. 19th – 25th October and 26thOctober - 1st November The first week had 116 species recorded, which was the most for a very long time and the second week 104.

Birding Highlights:-
The much anticipated return of the Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher from Papua New Guinea happened on the 31st October when one bird was heard and briefly seen high in the rainforest canopy flying away. One was also heard calling on the following day. Hopefully the main party of birds will be joining this one very soon.

Buff-breasted Paradise-Kingfisher

The pair of Lesser Sooty Owl reported last blog were around for about 10 days but have gone quiet over the last week. Whilst they were calling and flying around they were perching low down for their picture to be taken and were not in the least bothered by us. The were preening and calling to each other before they took off to chase each other.

Lesser Sooty Owl

Apart from these great sightings there were a few waterbirds in the nearby wetlands including six Wandering Whistling-Duck, Australian Wood Duck, one Hardhead, a female Black-necked Stork, one Australian Pelican, one White-necked Heron, both Australian White and Straw-necked Ibis plus three Royal Spoonbill. A flock of Magpie Goose flew over the Lodge one night honking as they went. A lone Comb-crested Jacana was on the lilies in one of the lagoons along McDougall Road. A few raptors were around, mainly Black Kite with a few Whistling Kite but also seen were a pair of Black-shouldered Kite and Pacific Baza, Brown and Grey Goshawk plus White-bellied Sea-Eagle. Red-necked Crake was heard and seen several times at the Crake Pool, and along Bushy Creek. Carol Iles our neighboring bird guide had a Red-backed Button-quail in one of the adjacent cane paddocks, not often seen. Fruiting Blue Quandong trees have been attracting many fruit pigeons, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Superb Fruit-Dove, Torresian Imperial-Pigeon and flocks of Topknot Pigeon, including this one which had a very enlarged crop, looks more like a displaying Australian Bustard! (excuse the poor cropped image but it was high in the canopy).

Topknot Pigeon

Also around were Brown Cuckoo-Dove and the regular Emerald, Peaceful and Bar-shouldered Dove. This Brown Cuckoo-Dove was on the ground with a full crop.

Brown Cuckoo-Dove

Brush Cuckoo have returned and are calling along with Little Bronze-Cuckoo, Australian Koel and Channel-billed Cuckoo. Barn and Barking Owl are also around as are Australian Owlet-nightjar but these have only been heard. Papuan Frogmouth are sitting on nests at the moment and not easy to find. This one was sitting on a nest in the full sun which is what they do in our area, they incubate for upt o 40 days which is a very long period to be in the sun. 

Papuan Frogmouth - male on nest
Six Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo flew over the Lodge grounds one morning calling, this is only the second time they have been seen in October for at least nine years. Double-eyed Fig-Parrot continue to feed in a fruiting Cluster Fig and are attending a nearby nest.

Double-eyed Fig-Parrot - male

This male Double-eyed Fig-Parrot flew into a car and was rescued, we kept it in a box for a few hours before it had enough strength to climb onto a branch in the shade for a while. It sat for nearly an hour before it gave a few chirps to say thank you and flew off to hopefully survive.

Double-eyed Fig-Parrot - male

Our single Noisy Pitta continues to show well in and around the orchard area, early morning and late afternoon. It has been calling occasionally but has not been joined by any others yet.

Noisy Pitta

14 species of honeyeater have been seen plus one heard. Bridled and Lewin's are still in the area when normally at this time of year they have gone back up into the mountains. The Eastern Whipbird which arrived a month ago is still going around in circles calling for a mate. It was seen in the rainforest near the Crake Pool about 5m up a tree. Barred Cuckoo-shrike and at leas three male Common Cicadabird have been feeding on fruiting figs. A pair of Leaden Flycatcher were seen at the entrance to the Lodge whilst on a morning walk, they have been very scarce this year. The Lemon-bellied Flycatcher shown on its tiny nest last blog is still on it, not sure if it has a nestling yet. Pale-yellow Robin seem to have finished nesting duties for the time being and are being cute posing on branches in the orchard.

Pale-yellow Robin

Metallic Starling are still busy building nests and have been joined by a few immature birds, whilst the reported Mistletoebird at its nest appears to have fledged one young.

Further Afield:-
Oriental Plover, Australian Pratincole and Banded Honeyeater have been seen in the Maryfarms area, (between Mt. Molloy and Mt. Carbine on the Mulligan Highway/ Peninsular Road). Lovely Fairy-wren were found in Julatten at Mowbray National Park and along Euluma Creek Road. Large-tailed Nightjar were also heard along Euluma Creek Road and Chestnut-breasted Cuckoo plus Oriental Cuckoo were seen at the Mowbray National Park. Freckled Duck have become a fixture at Hasties Swamp near Atherton over the past two years with numbers fluctuating, up to 30 birds present this week. Mt. Lewis has been good as usual with all the 13 “Wet Tropic” endemics seen there over the past two weeks, no sign of Blue-faced Parrot-Finch yet.

Reptiles and Mammals:-
Fawn-footed Melomys have been active around the Lodge, they have been seen at the reception area feeder eating seed and banana, in the compost bin, eating an orange and a Sugar Apple in the orchard. Yellow-footed Antechinus have been chased out of the kitchen and feeding on banana at the feeder. 

Yellow-footed Antechinus
At least four Red-legged Pademelon have been in the rainforest and browsing in the orchard at night along with one Agile Wallaby, lean pickings on the browning grass. The pair of Platypus in Bushy Creek have again been performing at the viewing area on most evenings and early mornings. A few species of frog have started calling at the end of the second week and must think that some rain is coming, hope they are right! Those calling were White-lipped Green Tree Frog and Dainty Green Tree Frog along with Cane Toad. A few Northern Leaf-tailed Gecko have been seen as have Boyd's Forest Dragon and Eastern Water Dragon. Major Skink have been active with at least six different ones spotted around the Lodge grounds. 

A couple of well known visitors called by during the week, Sean Dooley and Stephen Moss.
Sean is well known for his adventures trying to see as many Australian birds in a year as possible. The year of birding is documented in his book "The Big Twitch". Sean is now the editor of the Birdlife Australia magazine and in the past has been a comedy writer for several TV shows. Stephen Moss, who lives in the UK, is well known as an award winning TV producer of Natural History series, an author of many books and birder

Sean (L) and Stephen (R)

Sean and Stephen were up in Far North Queensland as guest speakers at the presentation of the John Hobbs Medal to Far North Queensland local Lloyd Nielsen for a life time of outstanding studies by an amateur ornithologist. Congratulations to Lloyd on a much deserved award, it could not have gone to a more dedicated and great bloke. We are lucky having such great talents in our area.


Thanks to Carol and Andrew Iles our roving bird guides for helping with the bird lists and area sightings. If you need any guiding in our local area contact us and we can put you in touch with them, contact through our secure bookings and enquiries web page. 


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1 comment:

Madeline Bauer said...

Congratulations to Lloyd! Well-done! I'm delighted to see him receiving the well-deserved recognition!

Best regards,