We always consider the summer months the best for birdwatching in Daintree, with the breeding migrants coming through from New Guinea plus having the rain adding to to the lagoons and river systems, encouraging water birds, crakes, bushhens etc.
However, winter in the garden at Red Mill House is nothing to be sniffed at.
We know it is winter when our solitary Grey Fantail takes up residence at the compost heap chasing insects, when the honeyeaters, drongos and friarbirds all come in to the feeders near the house, and when Victoria’s Riflebird come in to feed from the palm fruits and native nutmeg trees.
Figs are fruiting and the Blue Quandongs are in full fruit for the Wompoo Fruit Dove and figbirds. Pied Monarch, Spectacled Monarch, Grey Whistler, Fairy Gerygone, Varied Triller, Silvereye and leaden Flycatcher are chasing insects around the garden.
Spectacled Monarch (Fred Forsell)
The great pleasure for us this year has been the arrival of a male Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, feeding on the palm fruit near the buildings of Red Mill House. Shy, and active, but we’ve managed to see him most days in the last week. As other trees begin to fruit, he is moving about the garden. An absolute stunner!
Also in the garden have been Pacific Baza, Double-eyed Fig-Parrot and Yellow Oriole.
Around the area – Little Kingfisher and Azure Kingfisher have been easy to see on the Daintree River, as have Papuan Frogmouth and Great-billed Heron. Noisy Pitta at the end of Stewart Creek Rd and Southern Cassowary north of the Daintree River.
Lots of people around with school holidays and cold weather down south. We’re busy, but all in all, life is pretty good!!