Day Two: Weeding and Snorkelling

Friday June 11, 2010

[From the trip Brampton Island June 2010]

Day Two saw several of us up early to go birdwatching.  Our first morning on Brampton Island was always going to be exciting, as we didn't have much of an idea what to expect.  The rainforest and coastal scrub didn't disappoint either with great views of Wompoo Fruit-Dove, as well as some friendly Olive-backed Sunbirds putting in an appearance.  Some people also saw a Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, an Emerald Dove, and an out of season Pied Imperial Pigeon.  On our return to camp we had another surprise waiting for us - a group of 3 Wandering Tattlers on the beach taking shelter from the wind.  Since the DERM records for the island didn't have a confirmed ID for any Tattlers it was great to be able to nail down for sure that Wandering Tattlers visit Brampton.

We spent our morning weeding the Coastal Scrub - an activity that produced its own highlights.  We started seeing small skinks running through the vegetation, that later in the trip we confirmed were Robust Rainbow Skinks (Carlia schmeltzi), and we were constantly surrounded by butterflies like Common Grass-yellows, Caper Gulls, and Purple Crows.

Later that day our marine biologist Jacquie led a snorkelling trip for a couple of us willing to brave the cold.  It was extremely worthwhile, with lots of reef fish and coral to see, a Black-tip Reef Shark, and even a couple of Green Sea Turtles putting on an appearance.  In warmer months the snorkelling will be fantastic!

We finished the day in camp listening to the Bush Stone-curlews and Boobook Owls calling into the night.

Location

Wildlife

Butterflies 13 species
Common Evening-brown (Melanitis leda) 1
Varied Eggfly (Hypolimnas bolina) 1
Large Citrus Butterfly, Orchard Butterfly, Orchard Swallowtail (Papilio aegeus) 1
Bordered Rustic (Cupha prosope) 1
Common Grass-blue (Zizina labradus) 1
Meadow Argus (Junonia villida) 1
Common Grass-yellow, Large Grass-yellow (Eurema hecabe) 1
Black-spotted Flash (Hypolycaena phorbas) 1
Dingy Bush-brown (Mycalesis perseus) 1
Blue Tiger (Tirumala hamata) 1
Yellow Albatross (Appias paulina) 1
Common Crow (Euploea core) 1
Purple Crow (Euploea tulliolus) 1
Seabirds 1 species
Silver Gull (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) 2
Land Birds 37 species
Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) 50 Feeding on exposed intertidal reef, seen to be picking up food items.
Torresian Crow (Corvus orru) 10
Pacific Reef Heron (Egretta sacra) 4
Leaden Flycatcher (Myiagra rubecula) 3
Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana) 3 Non-breeding, identified by call
Orange-footed Scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt) 2
Beach Stone-curlew (Esacus magnirostris) 2
Olive-backed Sunbird (Cinnyris jugularis) 2
Eastern Osprey (Pandion cristatus) 2
Spangled Drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) 2
White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) 2
Welcome Swallow (Hirundo neoxena) 2
Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus) 2
Bar-shouldered Dove (Geopelia humeralis) 2
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) 1 Heard only
Australian Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis) 1
Dusky Myzomela (Myzomela obscura) 1 Heard only
Spectacled Monarch (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) 1
Rose-crowned Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus regina) 1
Southern Boobook (Ninox boobook) 1 Heard only
Rufous Fantail (Rhipidura rufifrons) 1 Heard only
Australasian Grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) 1
Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus) 1
Nankeen Kestrel (Falco cenchroides) 1
Pied Imperial Pigeon (Ducula bicolor) 1 Observed by a non-birder, but description sufficient for ID
Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus) 1 Heard only
Pacific Black Duck (Anas superciliosa) 1
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 1
Common Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica) 1
Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) 1 Heard only
Varied Triller (Lalage leucomela) 1 Heard only
Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax) 1
Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus) 1 Heard only
Wompoo Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus magnificus) 1
Bush Stone-curlew (Burhinus grallarius) 1
Striated Heron (Butorides striata) 1
Noisy Pitta (Pitta versicolor) 1
Dragonflies 3 species
Orthetrum sabina 1
Common Glider (Trapezostigma loewii) 1
Wandering Percher (Diplacodes bipunctata) 1
Terrestrial Reptiles 2 species
Supralittoral Shinning-skink (Cryptoblepharus litoralis) 1
Common Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus) 1
Marine Reptiles 1 species
Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas) 1

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Chris