Kimberley in the wet

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Kimberley in the wet
From: "Don Hadden" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Mar 2005 19:59:33 +0800
Well, a rather modest wet this year. I live at Mt Barnett/Kupungarri along the Gibb River Road. The area I keep an eye on runs from Gibb River community in the east to Imintji in the west. With the sewage pond overflow pond totally drying up yesterday, it seems the wet is now all but over. The Gibb River Road was closed last week but is now open and a campervan of German tourists turned up today and are the first this year to camp at the Manning Gorge camp ground. I've been down there a few times and the White-quilled Rock-Pigeons still sun themselves at dawn on their favourite rock overlooking the gorge. With very little traffic on the Gibb River Rd I have flushed White-quilled Rock-Pigeons from the road itself especially around the March Fly Glen area.
What I was interested in was what birds would turn up in the wet that I hadn't seen in the last months of the dry. Naturally, waterbirds feature on the list. I've seen Black-necked Stork, Glossy Ibis, Brolga, Australian Spotted Crake, Purple Swamphen, Eurasian Coot, Snipe ?species, Little Egret, Hoary-headed Grebe, Buff-banded Rail. Migrants include up to 12 Sharp-tailed Sandp-pipers, 1 Greenshanks and 2 Wood Sandpipers. Both Fairy and Tree Martins passed through as did a few small flocks of Fork-tailed Swifts. A couple of White-breasted Woodswallow flocks came briefly.
During the dry I had seen large numbers of Long-tailed Finches, Crimson Finches and a few Masked Finches, Double-bars and even the odd Pictorella and Gouldian. In the wet some Chestnut-breasted Mannikins have been about. No Zebra Finches here wet or dry. One pair of Long-tailed Finches is currently nesting in the back of the TV satellite dish. Other sightings of interest have been:
  • Silver-crowned Friarbird feeding a flying Pallid Cuckoo youngster.
  • A good number of night birds on the road. I was driving at night along the Gibb River Road last week and from about 25km west of Imintji to about halfway to Mt Barnett between 8-9pm I flushed numerous night birds from the road. I had a Troopie  full of people from the Imintji and Kupungarri communities so couldn't stop. There were bout 15 Boobooks, 7 Spotted Nightjar, 3 or 4 Tawny Frogmouths, about 5 Owlet Nightjars and one that was probably a Barking Owl.
  • An invasion of Button-quails calling in many places from the long grass. Probably Chestnut-backed.
  • A small flock of a dozen Wandering Whistling-ducks. Plumed are the common Whistling-ducks here. About 240 on a pond by the Mt Barnett Roadhouse at the moment.
A few sightings I don't think I reported from the dry:
  • The Purple-crowned Fairywren family that live in the pandanus along Manning Gorge
  • Watching a pair of Sandstone Shrike-thrushes feeding a flying youngster
  • An Osprey that flew up Manning Gorge to the waterfall and then leisurely flew back.
Don Hadden

has notified the sender that this message has been received.

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Kimberley in the wet, Don Hadden <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU