Late Spring and early Summer and we are surrounded by new life. Just a short walk around Wonga which is at the start of the Daintree Valley will reveal the sounds of Double-eyed Fig-Parrot chicks begging for food, the squabbles of baby Spectacled Flying-foxes and another persistent begging sound from a Yellow-bellied Sunbird chick not far from the flying-fox camp.
This morning I saw and heard a Black Bittern at the northern end of Marlin Drive Wonga Beach. It is likely that the Black Bittern will stay and call until it takes up with a mate which could be several days.
One of the highlights in our peak birdwatching season is the arrival of Black Bitterns to nest in the fresh water areas. They arrive in late October and will be around until April.
The easiest way to see Black Bitterns is on a dawn river tour from the Daintree Village at this time of year.
As a Helmeted Fiarbird chased an Eastern Koel over the house this morning I was reminded that it is birdwatching season in the Daintree.
The Eastern Koel is a very large cuckoo that migrates from up north and puts it's eggs in friarbird's nests. Both bird species have loud raucous voices and it is almost comical to see and hear the chase that goes on as the cuckoos are driven off.
It appears that my commercial colleagues are so busy with the visiting birdwatchers that they cannot keep their wildlife bulletins up to date or for that matter keep their bulletins interesting with the birdwatching season in full tilt.
Still on the cuckoo thing. There is the odd Channel-billed Cuckoo still here and a very vocal Brush Cuckoo in Marlin Drive yesterday. The Little Bronze-Cuckoo is still trilling. Expln: The former two cuckoos are migrant species.
5 May 2011
There has been a Little Bronze-Cuckoo (Gould's sub-species) trilling near the corner of Marlin and Oleander Drives, Wonga Beach for the past two days. The calls come from high in the trees but the bird does flit about. I suspect that there is a Large-billed Gerygone nesting over the creek near-by that is causing the fuss.
23 April 2011 Great-billed Heron, Little Kingfisher and Black Bittern were our best birds this morning but we finally saw the Peregrine Falcon as it split up a Cattle Egret flock in Windy Reach. We have known or thought that the falcon was around because the birds have been so quiet and we actually saw it in action this morning. 12 April 2011 Birdwatchers Morning. Great-billed Heron, Little Kingfisher, Papuan Frogmouth, White-eared Monarch, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot and the list went on and on......
9 April 2011 We have just completed the first trip of the year and what a trip it was. We saw; Great-billed Heron, Black bittern, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Brahminy Kite, four kingfisher species, Shining Flycatchers, Eastern Water Dragon and Green Tree Snake plus some more birds. The weather was not the best but it is improving.