Hi all, Its been ages since I've posted anything to B-Aus, my energetic 10mth
old keeps me away from the PC, but I do manage to get some birding in
occasionally. Anyway I've just come back from a brief 3 day trip to Darwin so
I thought I'd post a report.
This was my first time in the NT and Darwin and I basically had 3 full days in
which the plan was to spend two days in and around the Darwin area and one day
as a day trip to somewhere outside Darwin.
I had undertaken plenty of pre-trip research and had a good plan worked out for
the locations I wanted to go and the birds to expect. My plans were greatly
assisted by the use of Niven McCrie’s excellent book ‘Finding Birds in Darwin,
Kakadu & the Top End’ and the vast amount of info available on Birding-Aus.
Day 1 I arrived in Darwin at 12:30am on 1st Sept and the first birds found
were three Bush Stone Curlews standing on the footpath just down from the
airport. I have a couple of friends (non-birders) in Darwin who planned a
couple of days off to drive me around, they also had a birder friend who
offered to take us all for a bird walk around the tracks near the Hospital and
My friend’s live in an apartment complex in Palmerston and from their balcony I
had great views of the tree tops and surrounding forest. In the first few
minutes of getting up I had several new birds including Silver-backed
Butcherbird, Yellow-throated Miner, Pied Imperial Pigeon and a Pied Heron
(flying past). Other birds seen included Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Little
Friarbird, Magpie Lark, Red-winged Parrot, Galah, Rainbow (Red-collared)
Lorikeet and many Black Kites.
The first location we visited was Howard Springs, and following Niven’s book we
first looked around the toilet block and pool but the heat and tourists (we did
get there a bit late) had all but made the chance of seeing a Pitta in the open
pretty unlikely. The walk around the creek was very nice and we saw White
Ibis, Little Pied Cormorant, Forest Kingfisher, Mistletoebird, Spangled Drongo,
Shining Flycatcher (M&F), Little Corella, Dusky Honeyeater and my first
Orange-footed Scrubfowl and 'Yellow' Figbird. My friend pointed out the big
kingfisher to me, which turned out to be my first Blue-winged Kookaburra (what
a crazy call they have!). Before leaving I had one last look around the rest
area and sure enough a dark blob on the ground caught my eye and I had my first
Rainbow Pitta, sitting in the sun just a few meters away in the forest. The
Pitta seemed totally unconcerned with our presence and we got excellent views
(and pics). It was only when a White Ibis came wandering past that the Pitta
flew off, only to land in the bushes directly in front of our car giving us
even better views.
Next stop was Knuckey Lagoons and in particular the lagoon at the end of
Fiddlers Lane. The easy access to the water was good, and despite the
afternoon heat there were plenty of birds present. Wandering Whistling Ducks
(100+), Pelicans, Egrets, Magpie Geese (100+), Royal Spoonbill and Jacana were
all in the one small lagoon. I also added another two new birds, Green Pygmy
Geese and Australian Pratincole. As always, Black and Whistling kites soared
We met up with a local birder who had a 'nice' walk planned for us as well as a
birding surprise. Before heading off for the surprise he very nicely pointed
out the Rufus-banded Honeyeater quietly sitting on a palm leaf next to me,
another new tick. For our surprise we drove a few blocks to a local school,
walked down to a large tree were told to look up. Our birding surprise turned
out to be a pair of Barking Owls! (yet another new tick). We had fantastic
views and took some great pics but were eventually dragged away for our walk.
The walk was fantastic as we marched along the tracks behind the Darwin
Hospital nearly all the way up to Lee Point. We walked for hours, it was dark
when we got back and we were all exhausted and dripping with sweat but we had a
great time with plenty of new birds seen including White-gaped Honeyeater,
Red-headed Honeyeater, Crimson Finch, Yellow Oriole, Long-tailed Finch,
Helmeted Friarbird and the last bird of the day, Yellow White-Eye. Other birds
of note included, Emerald Dove, Cicadabird, Rose-crowned Fruit-dove, Pied
Imperial Pigeon, Pacific Baza and a big flock of Chestnut-breasted Manikins.
By the end of the day I had seen 19 new birds, a new record for me.
Have split the rest of the report as it was too big...
Thanks & Happy birding
Hervey Bay, QLD
SEEK Salary Centre: What are you really worth? Find out.
To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)