September 2016

Atherton Tablelands, QLD, Australia
Part 4

Brolgas (Grus rubicunda) flying to roost at sunset

In September, Brolgas made up the majority of the cranes coming to roost at Bromfield Swamp with only a few Sarus Cranes mixed in amongst them. A situation that was reversed in October...

Brolgas (Grus rubicunda) flying to roost at sunset

Cranes seemed to be a lot harder to find this year, with very few feeding in fields or paddocks close to any public roads, so photographing them coming in to roost was just about the only option available.

Brolgas (Grus rubicunda) flying to roost at sunset

After sunset, Barn Owls can usually be found by slowly cruising the back roads in farmland areas.

Eastern Barn Owl (Tyto alba delicatula)

immature Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax)

Fairy Gerygone (Gerygone palpebrosa)

Plumed Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)

The water levels were already very low at Hasties Swamp so wildfowl diversity was practically non-existant, with nothing but a couple of thousand Plumed Whistling-ducks present.

White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) carrying a dead Plumed Whistling-duck (Dendrocygna eytoni)

The high concentration of Whistling-ducks in the shallow water didn't create a very healthy environment and there were numerous sick and dying ducks dotted around the swamp, making easy pickings for the resident White-bellied Sea Eagles and Whistling Kites.

Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis)

Duck-billed Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus)

Platypus are common on the Tablelands and there are numerous places where they can regularly be viewed at any time of the day.

Varied Triller (Lalage leucomela)

The tiny Yellow-bellied Sunbird, the only member of the sunbird family that occurs in Australia, builds an elaborate pendulous nest of plant fibres and grasses all bound together by using spider webs as glue.

Yellow-bellied Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis)

One of my favourite lizards, the Boyd's Forest Dragon, seemed to be a bit harder to find this year, but I did manage to spot a couple of them towards the end of the month.

Boyd's Forest Dragon (Hypsilurus boydii)

Yellow-blotched Forest-skink (Eulamprus tigrinus)

Another lizard endemic to the Wet Tropics of northern Queensland is the rare Eulamprus tigrinus which can occasionally be seen basking on tree trunks or buttress roots in the rainforests.


September 2016 (Wet Tropics pt.3) 2016 Index October 2016 (Wet Tropics pt.5)