Noisy Pittas- summer visitors

Noisy Pitta

Noisy Pittas are summer visitors to the higher parts of the Atherton tablelands (we are at 1000m elevation), and we usually hear the first ones in December.

This year they have arrived a bit earlier. I happened to be down by the creek, watching the Grey Goshawks (they built a nest near our house in August), when a Pitta called near me, then a second one answered!. I had hoped to have a better image for this blog, but the birds have eluded me over the last week (although they are calling a lot).

Noisy Pitta

The Grey Goshawks’ nest is in a very tall Rosegum and one only gets a good view from one spot near the creek.

Grey Goshawk nest

The adults are feeding one chick and are calling before coming to the nest, which makes it easy to hurry down to the creek in time to see the parent  arrive.

Grey Goshawk on nest

Grey Goshawk nestling
Grey Goshawk nestling


Many other bird species are also nesting now. Mrs Cockatoo chose a tall dead tree for her nest.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo on nest

She always comes to the opening when she hears someone walking past.

Female Scarlet Honeyeaters are busy collecting nesting material

female Scarlet Honeyeater collecting nesting material

while the males are always on the look-out for competitors.

male Scarlet Honeyeater

The Spangled Drongos are sharing nest-building duties.

Drongo on nest

Amazingly, they can fit up to 5 eggs into their tiny nest!

Brown Gerygones are flitting in and out of their nest, which is pendular with a roof over the side entrance, to feed nestlings.

Brown Gerygone and nest

Other birds already have fledglings in tow. This Mountain Thornbill got duped into raising a Shining Bronze-cuckoo.

Mountain Thornbill with cuckoo fledgling

Many Red Roarer cicadas are hatching at the moment -it might be another cicada year, when they are much more numerous.

Northern Green-grocer and Red Roarer cicadas
Northern Green-grocer and Red Roarer cicadas