Friday, August 9, 2013

Limited Jaunts in July

In a quite gob-smacking way, July 2013 turned out to be the most productive July on record.  The monthly tally of 119 species easily outstripped the previous best, 82 species in 2010 and almost quadrupled the lowest ever score of 31 species in July 2007.  Surprising because it didn’t seem to be a particularly active period with only seven [7] South Burnett destinations recorded: Nanango Fauna Sanctuary [6, 14 and 28 July], the Sewage Plant [6 July], Bunya Mts [7 July], Berlin Road [21, 27 and 28 July], both the Hoop Pine plantation and open woodland areas within the Tarong Power Station complex [14 July], Mt Wooroolin [26 July] and Neumgna Road [28 July].
Clearly, species diversity was the key.  Not that any of the seven produced particularly outstanding individual tallies:

Fauna Sanctuary
Sewage Plant
Bunya Mts
Berlin Road
Tarong [Hoop]
Tarong [open wood]
Mt Wooroolin
Neumgna Road

Nevertheless there were a few gems during July that set off a pleasing pattern.  The White-headed Pigeons Columba leocomela [7 July] posed in their usual spot, just north of the composite bridge over the gully in Blackbutt. They were adequately complemented by the Green Catbird Ailuroedus crassirostris, Crimson Rosella Platycercus elegans, Topknot Pigeons Lopholaimus antarctieus and Red-rumped Parrots Psephotus haematonutus on the way to and at the Bunya Mts [7 July].
A week later [14 July] we had good views of a male Muck Duck Biziura lobata and seven Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus on the Cooling Water Dam at the Tarong Power Station complex.  They were overshadowed by close views of a Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides at the Meandu Creek Dam [Tarong Power Station].  The species presented itself again a week later.

20 July brought crippling views of a Spotted Harrier Cicus assimilis while later, en route to the Jimbour “Opera in the Park”, we were inundated by a large flock of Cockatiels Leptolophus hollandicus.
The Brown Quail Coturnix australis along Berlin Road [21 July] was eclipsed only by the later sighting [a little further along Berlin Road] of a Brown Falcon Falco berigora [identified by both sight and call].

 The month concluded with the first Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus of the season [28 July], albeit seemingly a little early given the cold conditions.  The Scarlet Honeyeater Myzomela sanguinolenta[30 July] was our first since early April 2013.
                                                                 Section of Cooling Water Dam
Can August [109 in 2012] top that?  Stay tuned.