What a day! 120 + species yesterday around the valley, and we didn't get
round to any forest before we ran out of light!
At home, we've had a pair of Shining Bronze-cuckoos hanging around for a
couple of weeks now, they've even started coming to the bird baths. They've
got a good supply of potential hosts with Yellow Thornbills, Weebills,
White-throated Gerygones and all the fairywrens nesting, as is much else
including Fairy Martins, Olive-backed Orioles, and several finch spp.
Speckled Warblers have got two youngsters (do any of the cuckoos parasitise
these ground-nesters?) and Chestnut-breasted Mannikins have got young in
tow. There are pairs and pairs of Rainbow Bee-eaters all over the place.
Channel-billed Cuckoos turned up here at Abberton yesterday (23 September)
and Sacred Kingfishers, which never leave for long, are back and noisy with
Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Marsh Sandpipers are now present at several
waterside locations, along with Red-capped Plovers and one or two Pacific
Golden Plovers. I got some new photos yesterday of a local Baillon's Crake
who went walkabout in the open in the middle of the day.
In the garden this-morning, we had White-backed Swallows flying low over our
heads. The Shining Bronze-cuckoos were getting around together, though they
sometimes sit quietly in partial cover - apart, but in the same tree. Some
big Eucalyptus teretecornis are just beginning to burst into flower, and are
full of Scarlet and other honeyeaters, pardalotes, thornbills, whistlers and
gerygones. These are the trees that Black Honeyeaters turned up in one
October while they were flowering - so every small bird up there is getting
a thorough inspection, in case it happens again.
Interesting to see Roy Sonnenburg's posting that he encountered a
Blue-winged Kookaburra around Lake Clarendon. I've visited the site of the
recent Forest Hill sighting a few times without seeing them there, and John
Hadley tells me that he hasn't seen them there again for some weeks - so it
sounds as though they might have returned to their long-standing haunts
between Lake Clarendon and Lester Road, a few square kilometers that isn't
intersected by any roads, so I guess we only get to see them from time to
time when they're on the edge of their territory.
Lockyer Valley, Queensland.
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