Sunday, March 31, 2013

Last days

Our last few days before packing up to go to South America for 6 weeks - just Bolivia and Ecuador, but think of the birds - - - -!
Some good 'wet season' rain at last in Daintree this week and the sun is out again, so the wonderful butterflies, frogs and birds all appear. It has been fabulous.
Little Kingfisher and Azure Kingfisher on the now-full pond at Red Mill House. Pied Monarch, Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher and Double-eyed Fig-Parrot also in the garden.
White-browed Robin (a newy for us) at the end of Stewart Creek Rd.
Papuan Frogmouth and Barn Owl feeding at night along Stewart Creek Rd. Unfortunately Ellen Terrell also picked up a dead Sooty Owl from the road at Wonga.
Pink-eared Duck at the Barra Farm at Wonga.
Wompoo Fruit-Dove nesting again near the Ergon Track on Stewart Creek Rd.
Victoria's Riflebird, Nankeen Night-Heron and Great-billed Heron all spotted on the Daintree River this afternoon. An amazing sight this afternoon as we drifted into the bywash to watch a Great-billed Heron perched up high and calling for 10 minutes. Neck stretching upward and outward then distending as the deep, throaty booming is emitted. Extraordinary!! This is when you wish you had a good camera.

Great-billed Heron calling Daintree River March 2013
All the good wet season birds (and frogs!) are very active - Red-necked Crake, Pale-vented Bushhen, Black-necked Stork, Little Kingfisher, Azure Kingfisher - just to name a few.
Great views of Southern Cassoawary near Maardja Boardwalk yesterday morning. What a beautiful bird!!

Southern Cassowary  Miki Dengel Mar 2013
We're off for a few weeks, but will do quick update in mid-May.
If you want to see what is happening on our South American trip check out the following Blog:
Have fun!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A crazy 'wet' season

To date we have had less than 700mm of rain for the year, which for lowland rainforest, in the wet season, is extraordinarily low. We normally would have had close to 2 metres of rain.
It has been hot and humid with isolated thunderstorms - some of which have been spectacular.
Trees are flowering, thinking the 'wet' is over, and birds (like the Rainbow Bee-eater) are returning early - it is a little crazy.
A great time for birding locally though, with a lot of activity as the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers feed their fledglings.
This photo is of a young stray a few years ago who came for worms off the verandah. Sweet thing!

"BUFFY" 2007
Good numbers of Black Bittern on the Daintree River and a family of Great-billed Heron near the bywash. Hard-head, Wandering Whistling-Ducks, returning Egrets, Black-necked Stork and Black-fronted Dotterel on the river banks.
Lots of rainforest figs in fruit at the moment, so excellent for Double-eyed Fig-Parrot, Channel-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Koel, figbirds, starlings etc. Dollarbird hawking in the streets of Daintree.
Little Kingfisher and Azure Kingfisher in local waterways.
Despite being rather uncomfortable conditions, it is a great time for birding in Daintree.