Summer thunderstorms at last!

This is the time of year referred to as ‘the build-up’ – the weeks preceding the ‘wet season’ when the humidity rises, the temperature rises and the thunderstorms build – particularly in the inland areas of the wet tropics. It is patchy but colourful, noisy and often very wet.A beautiful soaking 52mm of rain here in Daintree on Saturday night was just what we needed.

The birds love it – fresh water and the excitement of leaf bathing. It looks such fun!

The Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers are now much more active and vocal – a very slow start to the breeding season for them. The worn tail on this bird shows how busy it has been excavating it’s nest.

Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher Fred Forsell

Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfisher Fred Forsell

 

Some other great birds around at the moment include the fruit-doves, koels, fig-parrots, Channel-billed Cuckoo and other fruit eaters including a favourite, the Barred Cuckoo-Shrike. Small-fruited figs are favourite food and they can be seen throughout the Daintree Valley feeding on such figs.

Barred Cuckoo-Shrike Fred Forsell

Barred Cuckoo-Shrike Fred Forsell

Another treat at this time of year is the normally mundane Cattle Egret all spiced up in his breeding plumage. Already the numbers of these birds have lessened as they make their way to the Gulf for breeding season. Another stark reminder that the year is almost done!

Cattle Egret in breeding plumage Fred Forsell

Cattle Egret in breeding plumage Fred Forsell