Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Birding updates

Mixed weather in the Daintree in the last fortnight with some heavy falls of rain mixed with hot and humid days and some gorgeous star-filled nights.
Some excellent birds seen locally with Little Kingfisher, Shining Flycatcher and Great-billed Heron on the Daintree River and Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher, Spotted Catbird and Victoria's Riflebird (all special rainforest birds) seen on the local birdwatching walk of Stewart Creek Rd near Daintree Village.
A Southern Cassowary has been a regular visitor to the Daintree Discovery Centre.
A favourite bird with locals is the Olive-backed Sunbird (previously called the Yellow-bellied Sunbird), who charms us all by building beautiful little hanging nests, often very close to human activity - in doorways, at the top of stairs etc. They are nectar feeders, but at this time of year when the flowers are wet, they will glean under the eaves of buildings gathering insects for food.  Australia doesn't have any hummingbirds, and these little chaps are the closest thing we have with quite similar rapid wing movements.
The male has a bright blue-black chest, while the female has a plain yellow chest and belly.