Grey Goshawks

Our resident pair of Grey Goshawks (Accipiter nocaehollandiae) decided to build a new nest in late July. The chosen site is a tall Rose Gum close to our house.

By late September they were incubating, and at the end of October, they were feeding a single hatchling.

Grey Goshawk chick with mum
A small gap in the vegetation allows us a glimpse of the nest from our veranda.
Almost 40 days later, in early December, it left the nest and has been hanging around nearby ever since.
Although we have a couple of birdfeeders, the Goshawk is mainly eyeing off the pademelons, the bigger the better! It swooped down on a large male several times, but it needs a lot more practice and speed to be a real threat to a fully-grown pademelon. The pademelons are not impressed, and we’ve seen the male make threatening noises towards the bird.

Today it even had a go at a tree-kangaroo:

After an unsuccessful attempt, it often lands on a nearby perch (in this case right on top of the birdfeeder!),

looking all around

and waiting for another opportunity.

Cassowaries and Tree-kangaroos

Cassowary chicks often hatch in September (rainforest fruits usually are most bountiful in spring and summer). As there is not much food for them in the wet sclerophyll forest at that time, we normally get to see the family in June/July, when the chicks are much bigger, have lost their stripes and are almost ready for life on their own.

Yesterday, though, 5 year old “Goldfinger” came by very late in the day with two small striped chicks. They are probably about 2 months old and his first offspring. He mated with “Wattle”, the alpha female in the area, in June 2019 (once even just outside our kitchen window!), but didn’t have any chicks that year.

Notice his wet feet: they had a drink from the creek not far down the track.

5 year old cassowary and 2 month old chick

Tree-kangaroo joeys normally leave the pouch around September, and this season our female Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo has 2 joeys on foot: last year’s daughter and the new baby.


Tree-kangaroo mum and big daughter



Waiting for rain


No sign, yet, of the wet season here.  These Green-eyed Tree-frogs are patiently waiting for rain.

Green-eyed Tree-frogs

I am surprised that the female is tolerating the male. They’ve been hanging out like this on top of the cabin’s window sill for the last few days!

Our creek has almost dried up, so the bird baths are in high demand.

Here are a few of the visitors:

Scaly-breasted Lorikeets at birdbath

Scaly-breasted Lorikeets.

Many are here now that the Red Mahoganies (Eucalyptus resinifera) are flowering.

Rainbow and Little Lorikeets are part of that flock, too, and in the evenings Little Red Flying Foxes take over the canopy..

White-browed Scrubwren
White-browed Scrubwren


Fuscous Honeyeater
Fuscous Honeyeater (“Herberton Honeyeater”)


Red-browed Finch
Red-browed Finch, nicely showing the red rump


adult and immature male Scarlet Honeyeaters
adult and immature male Scarlet Honeyeaters


male White-throated Treecreeper
male White-throated Treecreeper

Treecreepers always walk into the water backwards!

White-cheeked & White-throated Honeyeaters
White-cheeked & White-throated Honeyeaters


White-naped Honeyeater
White-naped Honeyeater


High above the bird bath, a young male Victoria’s Riflebird is trying to attract attention:

young male Victoria's Riflebird

Adult male:


If you thought a male Victoria’s Riflebird is a black bird with a few patches of metallic blue, have a closer look at the ‘black’ parts:

Victoria's Riflebird plumage close-up


Just about all the smaller birds are breeding now, with many hungry mouths waiting to be fed:

Macleay's Honeyeaters
Macleay’s Honeyeaters


A young Tooth-billed Bowerbird came to the birdfeeder:

Tooth-billed Bowerbird

What a wonderful forest, where you can see Tooth-billed Bowerbirds (a rainforest species) together with Little Lorikeets (a species of open woodlands)!

Victoria’s Riflebirds

immature Victoria's Riflebird


The riflebirds’ main breeding season is nearing its end, but it is peak time for the immature males to hone their dancing skills.

They display not only from the main perch near the cabin,

immature Victoria's Riflebird

but on just about any suitable branch or post. This one is on a stump less than 2 metres from our computer, just outside the window:

that one on the other side of the house:

immature Victoria's Riflebird

immature Victoria's Riflebird

They are quite enthusiastic and energetic:

Sometimes more than 2 males display to each other:

The young males are quite impressive, but nothing beats the elegance of a mature male:

adult & immature male riflebirds
adult & immature male riflebirds

adult male Victoria's Riflebird

adult male Victoria's Riflebird

adult male Victoria's Riflebird

Cassowary Central

It is this time of the year again, when fruit in the rainforest becomes scarcer, but the wet sclerophyll forest produces many smaller berries, like  Cissus grapes and Lilly Pillies, Mackinlaya and Acrotriche drupes.

Cassowaries frequent our forest almost daily in search of food and mates. May is usually the beginning of the mating season, and “Wattle”, the big female, has been hanging around lately, sometimes right outside our bedroom window, a disinterested bystander…

A few days ago, “Goldfinger”, the young male, with whom she mated last June, turned up at the same time, and ventured within 2 metres of her before becoming scared and running away.

Dad presented his 2 new chicks a couple of weeks ago. They are about 7 months old (he mated with Wattle in July) and are looking healthy and well-fed.

It is still difficult to tell them apart:

Their droppings look like a delicious dessert or off-colour pizza (to some). Brush-turkeys and pademelons like to pick through them.


Our male Victoria’s Riflebirds have been displaying daily (it is not really their breeding season, yet!). Another strange, and out of season observation: a female Scarlet Honeyeater collected nesting material.