Saturday, March 5, 2011

The 'wet' season - best for birds!

Apologies for the delay in blogging. We had a month away visiting family and friends in Western Australia - fabulous birds in the south west corner and although we missed the Noisy Scrubbird, we saw many of the endemics of that part of the country. An extremely diverse area in plant life and habitats and well worth a visit. 

February was the wettest on record in Daintree Village with 1640ml of rain, bringing the year's (2 months!) total to 2117ml by the end of the month. We endured Cyclone Yasi who, fortunately for us, crossed the coast south of Cairns, causing minimal damage here in Daintree. Red Mill House, particularly, fared well - it seems the small hill behind us protects us from the strongest winds. The house was built in the 1920s and is still standing in it's original state - great design and great location!

Back in Daintree, the weather has improved and visitors are coming. The 'wet' season is always best for birding, despite the sometimes-rainy conditions. The summer migrants are all still here, including the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher. The Little Kingfisher and Azure Kingfisher are also more visible as the breeding season come to an end. Both have been seen on the pond at Red Mill House in recent days. Also in the garden is Australasian Koel, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Yellow Oriole and others. A short, late afternoon walk with guests along Stewart Creek Rd from Daintree Village was very productive with Channel-billed Cuckoo, Little Bronze Cuckoo and female Australian Koel, plus a range of birds foraging for insects in the afternoon sun - Grey Whistler, Spectacled Monarch, Leaden Flycatcher, Fairy Gerygone,
Graceful, Macleay's and Yellow-spotted Honeyeater, Mistletoebird, Olive-backed Sunbird, Spangled Drongo, and Varied Triller. Others, chasing fruit, included Brown-Cuckoo Dove, Figbird and Wompoo Fruit-Dove. A lovely walk and great introduction to the UK birders who had just arrived.