Thursday, May 27, 2010

A glorious time of year

Warm, dry, gorgeous autumn weather with cool nights, misty mornings and glorious days. (And the mosquitoes have disappeared!)
Some great birds in Daintree this week.
A short visit to Jindalba Boardwalk today gave us great views of the Noisy Pitta, with at least three birds heard or seen. As often happens, the carpark area is better than the boardwalk, with Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove and Pale-yellow Robin seen as well. It is always worth taking some time at Jindalba.

Lovely views of a Barking Owl in the early hours on the Mossman Daintree Rd during the week - presumably feeding from the canefields.

The sugarcane harvest season will start within the next couple of weeks and there is always increased activity of raptors over that time. A Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia's largest eagle, was seen in the same area a couple of days ago.Not a usual sighting for the wetter lowlands.
Pied Monarch, Lewin's Honeyeater and Spotted Catbird in the garden at Red Mill House - all good signs that winter is on it's way.
Great-billed Heron seen fishing in the shallows near the bridge along Stewart Creek at low tide and Blue-winged Kookaburra on the wires in Daintree Village.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Autumn news and weather

At last the sun is shining and the ground is drying out. Perfect weather returns to Daintree.
Some excellent birdwatching locally in the Daintree Valley with lovely views of large numbers of Rainbow Bee-eater and Forest Kingfisher feeding from the fences and posts along Upper Daintree Rd. Sharing their space is the lovely little White-breasted Woodswallow - a very sociable species who often nest in the top of fence posts.

As the local wetlands (and puddles in the paddocks) start to dry out a little we are seeing Royal Spoonbill, Great Egret, Little Egret and Black-fronted Dotterel in the fields.A colouful resident (and migratory) shorebird which inhabits freshwater ponds, puddles and mud. A pair have settled in around a small pond and lots of mud along Upper Daintree Rd.

An escape for the Daintree Birdwatching team yesterday as we had a day birding the dryer country around Julatten, Mount Molloy, Mareeba and Mount Carbine. Over 85 species for the day with some classic Australian birds that we never see here like Galah, Australian Magpie, Pied Butcherbird, Apostlebird and many others. A great day!