Zitting Çisticola is relatively easy around Darwin, for instance in short
grass near Richardson Park, Ludmilla. Chestnut Rail is regular at Stuart
Park, just 3 km from Darwin CBD (along with Great-billed Heron). There are
other good spots in the Palmerston mangroves as well as the Palmerston SP,
for other mangrove birds.
I've not seen Gouldian Finches regularly at Copperfield Dam (and I've spent
25 years working in the area both as a birding guide and biological
consultant) But they do turn up there and at creeks throughout the area.
Generally the adults sit stock still in the low paperbarks (unlike the more
active Long-tailed and Masked - birds that Gouldians often associate with).
But juveniles are much more active, and thence easier to spot.
Fergusson River is often good for this bird - that's where I generally take
my clients (mostly American birders). My approach with Gouldian and the
grasswren (as with other passerines) is to get into suitable habitat and
listen for the calls.
However, Gouldian Finch, Hooded Parrot and White-throated Grasswren are all
difficult to see during the wet. That being said I've seen Gouldians behave
like tame willy wagtails, hopping all over the car, when I was working in
breeding habitat at this time of year.
At Nourlangie Rock, the gully next to the lowest and main art site is good
for Banded Fruit-dove. Listen for the call, and look for fruiting trees -
Alaeocarpus arnhemicus (no common name I know of) has ovoid leaves with
crenated margins and round, purple fruits). Rock Fig is another that these
birds feed on. Both may be fruiting now.
One of the best places for sandstone birds is the Bardedjilidji Sandstone.
There one can sit on rocks and just wait for Sandstone Shrike-thrush, Banded
Fruit-dove and Chestnut-quilled Rock-pigeon to appear. However, I suspect
that this area is still closed.
Denise Lawungkurr Goodfellow
1/7 Songlark Street
BAKEWELL NT 0832
Ph. 61 08 89 328306
On 15/3/07 8:58 AM, "John & Ruth Walter" <> wrote:
> Hi Frank,
> Rufous owls can nearly always be found behind the toilet block near the lower
> carpark in Darwin's Botanical Garden. You
> could also see barking Owls in the trees in the carpark. Partridge Pigeon
> could be seen on roadsides anywhere in Kakadu
> Rainbow Pitta is usually easy at Howard Springs just out of Darwin. Zitting
> Cisticola look on the South Alligator flood
> plain either side of the bridge going to Kakadu, or the Leanyer swamp area.
> Chestnut Rail an early morning walk along
> Rapid Creek in Darwin. Great-billed Heron at Buffalo Creek. Gouldian Finches
> were at a Copperfield dam just out of Pine
> Creek on the Umbrewarra Gorge road in April last year. further south around
> the Ferguson River was another place that
> used to be good, but I am not sure about it since they put the railway line
> in. All these places are accessible on
> bitumen except perhaps the Pine Creek dam. Banded fruit Dove and Sandstone
> Thrush are both resident at Nourlangi rock
> art site in Kakadu. Look up as you walk the track looking at the art work for
> the pigeon and on the lower more open
> sandstone slopes for the thrush.
> I would strongly recommend you get a copy of Niven McCrie's book Finding Birds
> in Darwin, Kakadu and the Top End, which
> will be readily available in Darwin book stores or tourist info places also in
> Kakadu at Cooinda etc. email
> (try this but I don't know if it is current). I
> expect if you hunt around this book would be
> available in Sydney. Maybe try one of the Bird watching groups. Have a great
> Cheers John