Saturday, 5 March 2016

Hello from a very damp Coquette Point,

Rain, rain, beautiful rain; 26 mm Tuesday; 145 mm Thursday; 9.5 Friday and at 6pm tonight 5 mm. Every leaf is green again.

It is surprising that there was not more sediment runoff from this rain event, there was some of course, but not as much as I feared, so a very big bouquet to all the farmers who have been putting in place 'best farming practice' BMP, on their farms to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff.
Sediment runoff from the Johnstone River on Friday afternoon, following 145 mm of rain Thursday.

I saw cassowary Jessie in a hurry, striding across my front lawn on Monday afternoon. I wondered where she was going in such a hurry, I followed and found her picking large guava fruits from trees growing on the banks of the Johnstone River. I watched the cricket ball size fruits slide down her neck one after another, without any sign of discomfort from her.

Look into a puddle after rain following a dry period and you will most likely find earthworms. Cassowary Kin instinctively knew this and I watched him as he had great fun fishing for worms. Dad Snout did not join in and he left Kin to the worms while he was eating fallen palm fruits nearby.

Snout has extended his foraging range and is now walking to the top of the Moresby Range with Kin, almost every day. On Friday afternoon I found him jumping for ripe guava fruits on the hill. As Snout knocked the fruits from the tree he let Kin eat first. Kin ate at least five fruits before Snout took one for himself.

Kin watched intently as dad Snout jumped to pick the guava fruits. No doubt he will do the same in a few years.

and jump,

Cassowary Ruthie was walking alongside the road on my return trip from town. She visits the Panama berry tree several times a day when the fruits are ripe, the tree is on the front lawn of one of the houses. Ruthie's casque is growing very quickly and she is starting to show colour around her neck and on her wattles.

 I saw Cassowary Ross on Thursday, he was eating golden cane palm seeds near the bus stop at the top of the Moresby Range. He was by himself, no sign of his chick Brian, so we must assume the report of Ross seen running from barking dogs without his chick and appearing in great distress was the incident when he lost little Brian; most likely to the barking dogs. Below right, is a photo of Ross with Brian taken 27 August 2015, at that stage the chick was a few weeks old.

Rainforest spiders do not appear to like long periods of dry weather. On 'drizzling Friday' the spiders were out and about.

For the first time this season I saw a golden orb spider, she was attended by a number of   timid males.

Garden orb weaver is not often out and about during daylight hours, this spider tends her web a night and often tucks it away in the morning. In the overcast conditions she stayed on watch into the morning and was on the move to wrap up a sizeable meal before she retreated to the rafters for the day.

Once again the Salticidaes are out and about in the damp conditions. Below this striking banded green-metallic jumping spider, Cosmophasis micans was out hunting for insects.

Not far away I found this wonderfully camouflaged mantid, neonates australis.

I visited the Tyto Wetlands late on Tuesday afternoon, what an amazing place the people of Ingham have at their doorstep.

Magpie geese and whistling ducks were on the main ponds close to the interpretive centre.

It was wonderful to watch the magpie geese flying in and landing around the ponds. Note their feet are only partly webbed, these geese roost in trees at night and their feet are adapted for that purpose.

Little honeyeaters were feeding around the waterlilies.

     A rufous-throated honeyeater was calling out in alarm at my presence and not far off in a tree I saw his  mate with a juicy caterpillar, no doubt waiting for me to leave before she took it to her chicks.                                                                                  

   If you venture out onto the more distant areas of the Tyto wetlands you may be lucky to see the comb-crested Jacana also known as the lotus-bird.

          I found three Jacana running across the lily-pads  in a vigorous chase, it is still the breeding season for these birds.

It was getting late and I returned to the carpark just in time to see the Magpie Geese leave for their roosting trees in one of the numerous wetland areas around Ingham.


Back home on the front beach at Coquette Point I found some of the crested terns had returned from the off-shore islands. About 50 crested terns in total have returned, no chicks have arrived as yet.

 There are still seven bar-tailed godwits on the sand flats and a few common sand-pipers. One little bird was stalked by a bar-tailed godwit with an eye on its dinner.
There is a big difference in the size of some of the bar-tailed godwits as shown in the photo below. I went for a walk around to the front beach on Wednesday before the heavy rain and you can see below how clear the water was before Thursday's heavy rainfall.

     The greater sand plovers were playing chase on the beach and carrying on with a great deal of noise. Their high-pitched calls mounting  into a crescendo as they leapt into the air flying at each other. I saw several pairs of greater sand plovers carrying on in the same fashion along the beach.                                                                        

Only one grey-tailed tattler was on the beach. The pair of pied oyster catchers were there but no sign of the beach stone curlews this week.

 I walked down to the little beach on my return as I had heard the sounds of birds calling. A fisherman was casting his net into the water and several terns were flying overhead. One crested tern landed on the old derrick and stayed for some time. The tern did not leave when I walked up close to photograph it;  I like to think it was Pingu back home in the Johnstone again.

Cheers for this week,


  1. I was going to comment that the picture of Kin reflection-gazing was my new favourite photo ...but Snout jumping for guavas is even better :D

  2. Thanks D. Sometimes I get lucky, you just need a camera close by at all times, stuff is always happening.

  3. Fantastic blog, thank you..