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. Exploring is always rewarding. On this page I will 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 are working hard to turn this into a conservation and 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.