Top End Trip Report

To: "" <>
Subject: Top End Trip Report
From: Susan Myers <>
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 11:03:37 +1100
Following is a short(ish) trip report of a recent trip to Darwin and 
surrounds, followed by the bird list (not annotated). I am in the process 
of posting a more detailed report including annotated list on my webpage so have a look in a few days time if you're 
Susan Myers

NT Report
On Chris' instigation, a group of us  (Stuart Dashper, Chris Lester, 
Rosemary Lester, Ross Mulholland, Fred Smith and myself) have recently made 
a 10 day trip to the Top End in search of birds (of course) and this is a 
brief report on that sojourn. Our trip in the wet season was extremely hot 
and humid but well worth the effort for the cheap air fares, lack of other 
tourists, spectacular thunderstorms and super birding.
We picked up our car at Darwin airport and headed directly to Howard 
Springs where we enjoyed a good start to our birding. Back at Darwin for a 
couple of days we checked out the sewage farm, Buffalo Creek, East Point 
and the mangroves at Bleeser's Creek with much success all round. Chris 
organised a boat trip up Bleeser's Creek, which turned out to be a 
brilliant idea because we had fantastic views of Chestnut Rail, 
Great-billed Heron and Beach Stone-curlew all in the space of about an 
hour. Many thanks to Niven McCrie for helping us out at the sewage ponds 
where we were unlucky not to connect with the Gargeney but were well 
compensated by Little Curlew, good numbers of Yellow Wagtails and Common 
Sandpiper and a couple of Little Ringed Plovers. We then made our way south 
to Edith Falls, Katherine and Mataranka before looping north again to 
Kakadu and Fogg Dam. The main attraction at Edith Falls was good numbers of 
Hooded Parrot although the adult males proved a little tricky to track 
down. At Mataranka we briefly saw two Red Goshawks having a bit of a blue 
before we finally got great looks at a perched bird. Other attractions here 
included a dip in the hot springs! Kakadu was largely underwater but we 
were able to access Nourlangie Rock where we had little trouble finding 
Banded Fruit-Dove and White-lined Honeyeater. For some reason 
Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon eluded us at first but we met with success on 
the second day when we had close and prolonged views of four birds on the 
path and in the car park. While Stuart and I were off looking for 
rock-pigeons the others took the Yellow Waters boat trip where the good 
numbers of Oriental Cuckoos were apparently the most interesting record. 
Some spotlighting around the Cooinda area in search of mammals was 
spectacularly unsuccessful though! At Fogg Dam we found a fair bit of water 
lying around but I really liked this spot mainly because this is where I 
got the best views of the undisputed bird of the trip (for me), that is, 
the gorgeous Rainbow Pitta. We saw at least six pittas here as well as 
Cicadabird, Little Kingfisher and Green-backed Gerygone amongst others.
Stuart and I had a few extra days after all this so we decided to make a 
trip to Victoria Crossing and Timber Creek. This turned out to be a wise 
move with some great sightings including good numbers of Star Finch and 
Yellow-rumped Mannikin, White-quilled Rock-Pigeon, Spinifex Pigeon and 
Oriental Cuckoo. Not surprisingly, no sign of Gouldian Finch or Pictorella 
Mannnikin. There was also the superb scenery at Gregory National Park 
enhanced by the numerous waterfalls following an overnight thunderstorm. On 
returning our dinky Toyota Echo hire car, the receptionist looked at us 
incredulously saying "Do you realise you've done over 1300 kilometres?"  We 
didn't think it was too far to travel for a few finches and pigeons!
Other contenders for bird of the trip (and I am deciding this unilaterally 
so there may be some dissent) would be Rufous Owl at the Bot Gardens, 
Chestnut Rail or Red Goshawk of course, Hooded Parrot, Purple-crowned 
Fairywren - well, the list goes on?.
Thanks to Chris, Rosemary, Stuart, Fred and Russell for their great 
company, Chris for planning and booking things, Niven for help and advice 
and all the others on Birding Aus who helped us out.

Orange-footed Scrubfowl
Brown Quail
Magpie Goose
Plumed Whistling-Duck
Wandering Whistling-Duck
Radjah Shelduck
Green Pygmy-goose
Pacific Black Duck
Grey Teal
Australasian Grebe
Little Pied Cormorant
Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Australian Pelican
White-faced Heron
Little Egret
Eastern Reef Egret
Great-billed Heron
Pied Heron
Great Egret
Intermediate Egret
Cattle Egret
Striated Heron
Nankeen Night Heron
Black Bittern
Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis
Royal Spoonbill
Black-necked Stork
Pacific Baza
Black-shouldered Kite
Black Kite
Whistling Kite
Brahminy Kite
White-bellied Sea-Eagle
Collared Sparrowhawk
Red Goshawk
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Brown Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
Nankeen Kestrel
Buff-banded Rail
White-browed Crake
Chestnut Rail
Swinhoe's Snipe
Bar-tailed Godwit
Little Curlew
Eastern Curlew
Common Greenshank
Terek Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Grey-tailed Tattler
Ruddy Turnstone
Great Knot
Red-necked Stint
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
Comb-crested Jacana
Bush Stone-curlew
Beach Stone-curlew
Pied Oystercatcher
Sooty Oystercatcher
Pacific Golden Plover
Grey Plover
Little Ringed Plover
Red-capped Plover
Lesser Sand Plover
Greater Sand Plover
Masked Lapwing
Silver Gull
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Crested Tern
Common Tern
Whiskered Tern
White-winged Black Tern
Rock Dove
Emerald Dove
Crested Pigeon
Spinifex Pigeon
Partridge Pigeon
White-quilled Rock-Pigeon
Chestnut-quilled Rock-Pigeon
Peaceful Dove
Bar-shouldered Dove
Banded Fruit-Dove
Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove
Pied Imperial-Pigeon
Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo
Little Corella
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
Rainbow Lorikeet
Varied Lorikeet
Red-winged Parrot
Northern Rosella
Hooded Parrot
Oriental Cuckoo
Pallid Cuckoo
Brush Cuckoo
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
Little Bronze-Cuckoo
Common Koel
Channel-billed Cuckoo
Pheasant Coucal
Rufous Owl
Barking Owl
Spotted Nightjar
Large-tailed Nightjar
Azure Kingfisher
Little Kingfisher
Blue-winged Kookaburra
Forest Kingfisher
Red-backed Kingfisher
Sacred Kingfisher
Collared Kingfisher
Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Pitta
Black-tailed Treecreeper
Purple-crowned Fairy-wren
Variegated Fairy-wren
Red-backed Fairy-wren
Striated Pardalote
Mangrove Gerygone
Large-billed Gerygone
Green-backed Gerygone
White-throated Gerygone
Helmeted Friarbird
Silver-crowned Friarbird
Little Friarbird
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Yellow-throated Miner
White-lined Honeyeater
Singing Honeyeater
White-gaped Honeyeater
Grey-fronted Honeyeater
Yellow-tinted Honeyeater
White-throated Honeyeater
Brown Honeyeater
Bar-breasted Honeyeater
Rufous-banded Honeyeater
Rufous-throated Honeyeater
Banded Honeyeater
Dusky Honeyeater
Red-headed Honeyeater
Jacky Winter
Lemon-bellied Flycatcher
Hooded Robin
Mangrove Robin
White-browed Robin
Grey-crowned Babbler
Varied Sittella
Grey Whistler
Rufous Whistler
Little Shrike-thrush
Sandstone Shrike-thrush
Grey Shrike-thrush
Broad-billed Flycatcher
Leaden Flycatcher
Shining Flycatcher
Restless Flycatcher
Grey Fantail
Mangrove Grey Fantail
Northern Fantail
Willie Wagtail
Spangled Drongo
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
White-winged Triller
Varied Triller
Yellow Oriole
Olive-backed Oriole
White-breasted Woodswallow
Black-faced Woodswallow
Little Woodswallow
Black Butcherbird
Grey Butcherbird
Pied Butcherbird
Australian Magpie
Torresian Crow
Great Bowerbird
Singing Bushlark
Richard's Pipit
Yellow Wagtail
Double-barred Finch
Long-tailed Finch
Masked Finch
Crimson Finch
Star Finch
Yellow-rumped Mannikin
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
Tree Martin
Tawny Grassbird
Zitting Cisticola
Golden-headed Cisticola
Yellow White-eye
Northern Brown Bandicoot
Agile Wallaby
Antilopine Wallaroo
Black Wallaroo

Susan Myers
Operations Manager, Birding Worldwide
Level 3, 818 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
ph. +61 3 9899 9303
fax +61 3 9890 8911

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