Darwin / Kakadu

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Darwin / Kakadu
From: John Reidy <>
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2000 21:16:01 +1000
Hi all,
I am just back from a two week trip to Darwin and Kakadu.
Highlights were:
Rufous Owl -  Darwin Botanical Gardens
    1 x adult and 1 x juvenile
Rainbow Pitta - Channel Island, Howard  Springs, Fog Dam.
    Once you have seen one...
Little Ringed Plover - Darwin Sewage Farm
Red Chested Button Quail - Homes Jungle.
    Saw them there three days running, but no identifiable Red Backs
which I was after.
Chestnut Rail - Buffalo Creek
    About a 100m to the right of the boat ramp at low tide. 1 bathed out
in the open for about 20
minutes. Flushed another 10 metres from the boat ramp on my triumphant
Great Billed Heron - Mary River Park
    A great place - host Mike Ostwald is a birder and tailored the river
cruise for us. He has seen up to 7 GBH's on one cruise. Also saw fresh
water and salt water crocs, Black Bittern, Jabirus, Shining
Flycatcher, etc.
    An early morning walk produced a White Browed Robin, Little Shrike
Thrush and plenty of other
NT specialities.
White Throated Grasswren - Gunlom
    This was at the Thomas and Thomas spot. Saw three after using a
Chestnut Quilled Rock Pigeon - Gunlom
    Near one of the swimming holes at the top of the falls.
Hooded Parrot - Gunlom
     7 kms in from the main road on the right, feeding on the ground and
flying between trees.
Yellow Rumped Mannikin - Katherine
    Two were feeding with Chestnut Breasted Mannikins and Zebra finches
at the back of the
Katherine Visitor Information centre in the main street. They were
feeding on short grasses which
were seeding. Saw them there two days running but only in the afternoon.

Birds not seen that were on my wish list included:
Red Goshawk - 1 x suspect south of Adelaide River. It had gone by the
time I stopped the car.
Banded Fruit Dove - checked out Stag Creek but there were no figs with
ripe fruit. Thousands of
little frogs though. Also checked out Plum Tree Creek in a couple of
places. Found ripe figs but..
Chestnut Backed and Red Backed Button Quail - tried the Thomas and
Thomas spots plus others
and driving at night. Saw plenty of Brown Quail.
Gouldian Finch - tried the Chinamans Creek and Edith Falls areas in T&T
as well as Pine Creek
areas suggested by Mike Ostwald. The main problem for the water hole
approach was that there
was too much water around.
Pictorella Mannikin - I didn't visit any of its known haunts which were
further south.

In all I saw 7 new birds.

I wish to thank Bryan Baker, Denise Goodfellow and Mike Ostwald for
their company and suggestions - Bryan for a very solid days birding
around Darwin with over a 100 species seen on the day plus suggestions
for Great Billed Heron, Denise for Button Quail seen and strategies for
seeing them as well as possible locations for Banded Fruit Dove, Mike
for the Great Billed Heron plus potential sites for Gouldian Finches.

Bye for now,
John Reidy

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