Saturday, 10 December 2016

Go North -- 10 -- Lakefield National Park ... still

After spending the night at Hahn's Crossing, we went for an early morning walk along the area next to the river then on to Kalpowar Campsite wherein lives a Papuan Frogmouth in the three trees between campsites 5 and 6. It is a rufous colour which indicates a female. There are three species of frogmouths in Australia. The Tawny lives all over Australia [34-52cm], the Marbled in the tip of Cape York, specifically Iron Range [37-46cm] and the Papuan which lives from about Cairns north to the tip of Cape York. Our location ruled out Marbled and ruled in Papuan on size and eye colour. This was a big bird.

Papuan Frogmouth Podargus papuaensis
We discussed the ways of telling the species apart and decided it would be good to see the eye colour. When quite a few minutes of observation and photo-taking at close quarters produced narry a blink or open eye, Ethan fetched a stick and scratched the bottom of the tree, pretending to be a goanna. Immediately she opened her eyes and looked down to see what was up.
This meant I was able to photograph the eyes and although the images are all out of focus, you can see the orange-red colour. Indeed, a Papuan Frogmouth. 
Here are images of some of the other birds we saw that day.
Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus
White-Throated Honeyeater Melithreptus albogularis
Bar-shouldered Dove Geopelia humeralis
Forest Kingfisher Todiramphus macleayii
This was another good day for raptors with ten seen taking the total for the three days in Lakefield to 12. Square-tailed Kite, Black Kite, Whistling Kite, Brown Goshawk, Nankeen Kestrel, Wedge-tailed Eagle, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Brown Falcon, Australian Hobby and, best of all, Pacific Baza.

Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata

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