Monday, October 18, 2010

Birds and other creatures

The garden at Red Mill House has been a treat for birders in the last couple of weeks with many of our trees fruiting and flowering. Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, flocks of Metallic Starling and Spotted Catbird are all enjoying the fruits.
The unseasonal rain throughout the winter and spring means lots of green, lots of new growth and lots of insects and other creatures about. Spotted in the garden yesterday, having just devoured a very large spider was this Boyd's Forest Dragon.

A rainforest species, this dragon can be difficult to see. Often sitting perfectly still on the side of a tree trunk, they are easily missed. We were lucky to see this one feeding and with this posture.

Butterflies have been abundant with all the rain, plus some spectacular moths. This Lyssa spp moth has a wingspan of about 14cm, as seen by the comparison with the book, and a beautiful swallow-tail form.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Unseasonal conditions

Normally the months of July, August and September are perfect in Daintree - dry, clear and sunny weather. Not so this year. Apart from a few days here and there, it has been a very wet 'dry season'.
The paddocks are green and lush, the dams and wetlands are full, there is lush new growth on the rainforest trees, the lawn needs mowing weekly and the birds and other animals seem to be nesting and breeding early.
None of this stops good birding though!
A return visit from one of our favourite Japanese birders, Yoshihito Tanaka, last month has supplied us with a range of new photos, including this classic of a Wompoo Fruit-Dove with chick.

Sightings on the Daintree River include Black Bittern, Great-billed Heron and Papuan Frogmouth - all starting to nest it seems. Double-eyed Fig-Parrot have been spotted feeding young, and immature Black Butcherbirds are noisily searching for food.