Saturday, October 6, 2012

Springtime in Daintree

After a very dry and extremely pleasant few weeks, there has been some good showers here in the Wet Tropics over the last few days, refreshing the rainforest and greening everything up again. It was long overdue.
Birdlife has been fabulous with lots of nesting going on - Olive-backed Sunbirds are laying in some of the most inconvenient of places - hammocks, doorways etc. They are amazingly successful considering how trusting they are! We also have Yellow Oriole, Australian Figbird and Helmeted Friarbird nesting in the garden. Welcome Swallows and Mistletoebirds are feeding their young around town and, on the Daintree River, Wompoo Fruit Dove and Papuan Frogmouth are nesting while Double-eyed Fig-Parrots are madly feeding babies.
It is the season for Channel-billed Cuckoo (Storm Birds) and Australasian Koel to be seen, but particularly, heard. The Koels are always being chased noisily by the smaller birds as they parasitise the nests of the above-mentioned species. Fruit-eaters and usually quiet, the Koel can often be found in fruiting Alexandra Palms and several species of figs. A large bird with a bright red eye, the female has delightful markings, while the male is shiny and black.


Australian Koel - female (Fred Forsell)

Australian Koel - male (Fred Forsell)
Other good sightings in Daintree include Lovely Fairy-Wren on Stewart Creek Rd, Little Kingfisher on the pond at Red Mill House, Pacific Baza in Daintree Village and possibly the first sighting of Black Bittern this morning on the Daintree River.
Everyone is waiting anxiously for the first call of the Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher returning from New Guinea.

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