Spangled Drongos, Willie Wagtails And Much More This May

What a great month for birders on Fraser.  In addition to our resort guests, the Kingfisher Bay team were chuffed to welcome members of the Hervey Bay Bird Watching Club back to gorgeous Fraser Island.

During May, the flush of new plant growth in the Wallum set the stage for some of our most colourful and quirky feathered friends to perform.  Leading our May flock star line-up, was the treetop aerobatics of the elegant Spangled Drongos – they put on quite a show as they feasted amongst our Swamp Mahogany trees.

Sam the Eagle? No, it's a Noisy Friar Bird.  Pic by A Leishman
These sleek, noisy birds are easily identified by their blood red eyes, glossy black plumage, with iridescent blue-green spots (or spangles) and long forked, fish-like tail.

Our male Scarlet Honeyeaters (they’re a vivid scarlet red and black bird with whitish underparts) didn’t disappoint – amusing us with their clown-like antics in the scrub.

Did you know that both male and female Scarlet Honeyeaters make a ‘chiew chiew’ sounding contact call?

Scarlet Honeyeaters feed mainly on nectar and sometimes on fruit and insects and tend to feed in the upper levels of the canopy and forage in flowers and foliage.  Unfortunately, they’re normally evicted from feeding grounds by other more aggressive honeyeasters - like our resident Noisy Friarbirds (see photo above) – who also added their deep, honking call to Fraser Island’s morning May chorus.

Visibility around the lakes has been brilliant and our Azure Kingfishers have been regulars, alongside our resident Dusky Moorhen, which we saw gliding in the more reclusive wetland pockets. One of our winter tourists, the Grey Fantail, has also been keeping watch on resort happenings, seen often in the company of the more domestic Willie Wagtail in and around the resort’s Sand Bar bistro.

Beach side, we’ve seen some impressive aerial action with the reappearance of paired behaviour from our Brahminy Kites. These medium-sized raptors usually search for prey from around 20 to 50 metres above the water, before executing steep dives to catch their meal. Talk about extreme fishing!

The colourful cameos are set to continue into June, so stay tuned for more from Kingfisher Bay Resort’s avian family. Until then, this is Ranger Amelia signing off.