January 14, 2011

December's 'Birds in Paradise'...

G'day to all twitchers out there...

Summer is truly here. The island days have become warmer and this, combined with the influx of holidaying guests, has created a flutter of activity at Kingfisher Bay.

With the change of season, we've really had something to crow about on our bird walks as we've seen several exciting and rarely-seen bird species making the daily December bird list.

We started the month watching a nesting pair of
White-Breasted Woodswallows.

These birds were spotted down near the beach one morning zipping in and out of a dead eucalypt... where they'd chosen to nest.

On another December day we were enthralled as a
Beach Stone Curlew (pictured) faced off against a dingo on Fraser's western beach! While the dingo was only mildly interested in the large shorebird, the distressed curlew repeatedly charged at the predator in an aggressive display. It really was fascinating to watch.

While the flowering grass trees provided plenty of nectar for
honeyeaters during spring, the summer seeding provided an attractive food source for many Sulphur Crested Cockatoos. It was quite amusing as these large white parrots flocked to the Wallum, landing on these slender grass tree stems, which bowed heavily under their weight.

While the larger birds definitely made an impression this month, Fraser Island’s smaller feathered residents were not overlooked with regular sightings of
Mistletoebirds, Leaden Flycatchers and Red Browed Finches.

The Kingfisher Bay family also grew by three, as our resident
Grey Shrike Thrushes produced a clutch of eggs in their nest (which is conveniently located in our Centre Complex near reception). Once again the 'clucky' Rangers were kept busy protecting adventurous fledglings from the hustle and bustle of summer at Kingfisher Bay.

Here's tweeting you - til next time.
.. hooroo!

December Round Up With Ranger Kat

The warm December nights and higher than average rainfall last month meant our night walk sightings lists were dominated by reptiles and amphibians!

Striped Rocket Frogs and Wallum Rocket Frogs dominated the wallum night chorus, delighting guests as they hurtled themselves across the path in a seemingly directionless trajectory! Less common sightings included the delicate Cooloola Sedge Frog (pictured) - easily recognisable due to its petite size and pale green skin.

Slithery specimens included a Carpet Python and a Brown Tree Snake, however the regular rainfall meant that snake sightings were not commonplace. The most delightful reptile sighting was actually of a Green Sea Turtle, which had found a place to sleep amongst the rocks supporting the boat ramp at the jetty. Their shells mimic barnacle-covered rocks so well, that on many nights identification was only possible due the beautiful creature’s flippers sticking out from its shell!

Other than the slimy and the scaly residents there was the occasional sighting of a Squirrel Glider or two; however the rain and lack of tasty blossoms meant they remained relatively quiet during December.

Micro bats were however out in force, darting above our heads stealthily locating their prey. The change in season has brought about some large Hawk Moths which would make a very substantial meal for a small bat.

With the resort's lakes already full, the warm summer temperatures and the weather, it appears that Kingfisher Bay will continue to serve as a haven for all things amphibian - and that's the way we like it. Catch you next month!