In the field
As a tour guide, I do not only spend a lot of time following up on wildlife behaviour and sites for my tours. I also explore new areas and observe wildlife whenever I get a chance, and have done so since I was a young boy. The biodiversity here in our Wet Tropics is enormous, and I often experience, observe and come across behaviour that is rare and sometimes even unknown. Exploring is always exciting and can lead to discoveries - with varying degrees of significance.On this page I share some of the observations I have made. This could be in the form of a paper, a note, a video (link) etc.
Gouldian Finch - Queensland Population Study
The Gouldian Finch is endangered in Queensland – close to extinction. Hardly any birds have been seen in the state the last couple of decades, and nearly all research has been done on populations in the Northern Territory. It has been my dream to find and study the Gouldian Finch in Queensland. Six years after seeing them in the wild in the Northern Territory we started finding them in Queensland late 2017. In February 2018, together with Dr. Ray Pierce, I found a population of 100+ Gouldian Finch. We have been following up on the population and have managed to turn this into study project for this endangered bird in Queensland.
For videos of wild Queensland Gouldian finches, click the "videos" link at the top of this page.
First record of Brush Cuckoo parasitism of the Lovely Fairy-wren
On 18 February 2016, I found a pair of Lovely Fairy-wren feeding a Brush-cuckoo fledgling at a local track I regularly walk in Bentley Park. I filmed and photographed the event over several days. Together with my friend Ana Leitao (PhD student) I wrote a paper about the find. You can access the paper by clicking the link below.
Crimson Finches feeding repeatedly on nectar
In July 2017, I was out camping with my family at Lawn Hill NP. We found a flock of Crimson Finches feeding on nectar of Desert Bloodwood. I contacted Dr. Donald C. Franklin since he mentioned anecdotal evidence of Crimson Finch nectarivory in one of his papers. Together we wrote a paper on my observations; published on https://www.nqnat.org.
Victoria's Riflebird feeding on floral nectar
Following up on Victoria's Riflebirds that had been feeding on the fruits of Pink Ash (Alphitonia petriei) for about a week in late January 2019, I found a male Victoria's Riflebird feeding on nectar from the flowers of a large Blue Quandong (Elaeocarpus grandis). I filmed the behaviour and wrote a short paper: https//www.nqnat.org
When visiting one of my tour sites one day last year, I found Tooth-billed Bowerbird and Spotted Catbird - both Wet Tropics Bioregion endemic species - feeding on the flowers of a Calliandra sp. shrub. I made some quick videos. Observations by me and some observations by others are reported in this note. You can also watch the video in the VIDEO link at the top of this page. The note was published online: https//wwwnqnat.org
Little Red Flying-fox (Pteropus scapulatus) feeding on sap
On a night out with friend and colleague Alan Gillanders we found a Little Red Flying-fox feeding on sap of Eucalyptus resinifera. These trees are tapped for their sap by Yellow-bellied Gliders in Far North Queensland. The gliders make cuts in the trees and lap up the exudate that flows from the cuts. Many other species profit from these gliders' work. This is the first ever report of Little Red Flying-fox feeding on this sap. The observations were published in https//wwwnqnat.org