Fw: Birds and mamals around Yungaburra

To: "Todd Parker" <>, "Robin Spencer" <>, "Moni Carlisle" <>, "Lloyd Perkins" <>, "Lloyd Nielsen" <>, "Keith & Lindsay Fisher" <>, "Jim Thomson" <>, "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Fw: Birds and mamals around Yungaburra
From: "Alan Gillanders" <>
Date: Mon, 2 Dec 2002 18:39:07 +1000
 Sorry if you get two copies of this Iam not sure what happened the first time I tried to send it!
Hello All,
Thought you might like to know something of what has been happening on the Atherton Tablelands lately. If you would rather I did not send you a form email like this please let me know and I shall immediately desist.
Recently on one of my Yungaburra spotlights we saw a pretty tree-kangaroo joey. The black points came up as far as the elbow and hip, the belly was white the forehead, grey, the muzzle black and the forehead cream. It will be interesting to watch this one grow up. I suspect that I know the father as he has a similar but not as dramatic colouration and it was in his territory.
For a little while tree-kangaroo sightings were down a little but have recently been very good. Flying Foxes have returned but in low numbers and this has not brought out the Rufous Owl

November 26th  Saw an interesting behaviour yesterday (25/11) involving Double-eyed Fig-parrots. In an almost leafless Ficus leptoclada a female was making a churring noise rather like the begging sound of a lorikeet but lower and much slower. A male approached very closely and after a few short head movements proceeded to feed her. He then preened himself and her. After half a minute of this they preened mutually for about 20 seconds. He flew off and continued to feed himself while she preened and occasionally made the same sound. I then heard a few times the call typically made while they are flying but very softly. I was unsure as to which bird was making the call. They left together in the usual direct noisy manner.

The Fig-parrots have been collecting Eucalypt tips for a few weeks now so I am curious about this interesting behaviour. Are they just a bit slow, did their first attempt fail or does this kind of behavior continue after bonding and breeding are established?

For anyone up this way and chasing these birds, the Yungaburra School has fruiting figs with them feeding in the morning, evening and when classes are inside. Also present are Superb Fruit-doves, Barred Cuckoo-shrikes, the odd Channel-billed Cuckoo and other fructivores.

Today I observed Pacific Bazas on a nest at Tolga. The landholder tells me they have nested in the same spot three years in a row. One bird had darker feathers around the vent but I could not pick any difference in the throat colour.

Mammals continue to show themselves in record numbers while I am out and about at night except for Spectacled Flying fox. Coppery Brushtail Possums have had an extended breeding season this year and there is still the odd randy male around whereas last year all testes were shrunken by this time. Despite the few showers of rain we have had frogs and reptiles are still lying low.

2nd December

Yungaburra is full of Fig-parrots at the moment. The point of interest is that I am not seeing any females feeding before about 8 am. By 9 am females are more numerous than males.

Breeding activity seems to have increased in the last few days since we are now getting storms. Riflebirds and Brush Turkeys have noticeably picked up their effort along with frogs and reptiles.

Early this morning I observed about 20 Eel-tailed Catfish mouthing the top of he water in our little creek. on closer examination I found one Black Bream and numerous rainbow fish doing the same. Could the slight increase in flow from our first storms have actually depleted the oxygen?

Have had reports of a Papuan Harrier just a little south of Malanda. One of the local pairs of Spotted Harriers have been producing strange looking offspring for some time. These birds go on to look like perfectly normal adults.

Many White-rumped Swiftlets, about 100 Needle-tails, 20 Fork-tailed Swifts and two strangers have been observed in the last few days hawking over the town.

Pacific Baza are on eggs.

Water and birds are returning to Hasties Swamp near Atherton with White Browed Crakes showing well near the hide and Bush Hens on the paddock before the swamp.

Crane numbers seem to be down but are to be found in many paddocks either side of the Barron River which is also sporting a Little Egret at the Jim Chapman bridge (when I saw the sign go up a few years ago I thought he must have died. Not only do Qld polies name things after their living mates they name them after themselves!)


Alan Gillanders

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