Trip Report - Top End, NT, 01 - 09 April 2008
Part 1 (Part 2 - annotated trip list to follow)
We recently returned from an 8 day trip around the Top End which took in
various sites around Darwin (Holmes Jungle, Buffalo Creek, Leanyer
Sewage Ponds, Lee Point, Nightcliff), Fogg Dam, Kakadu (Nourlangie area,
Cooinda), Pine Creek, Mataranka and the Southwest (west to Victoria
River). Some highlights were:
- A pair of HOODED PARROTS at the Pine Creek Water Gardens.
Another pair on the Edith Falls Road.
- A finchy afternoon on the Buntine Highway (runs south from the
Victoria Highway, about 75km east of Victoria River) with 8 species in
the area around Humbles Creek (GOULDIAN, STAR, CRIMSON, MASKED,
LONG-TAILED and DOUBLE-BARRED FINCH, PICTORELLA and CHESTNUT-BREASTED
MANNIKIN). The Gouldians were 2 Black-faced males, a black-faced female,
a red-faced male and a juvenile.
- PURPLE-CROWNED FAIRY-WREN at the Victoria River Crossing
- About 20 EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAILS at the Leanyer Sewage Ponds.
Also at the site: 2 WOOD SANDPIPERS and a pair of MANGROVE ROBINS.
- MANGROVE GOLDEN WHISTLER at Nightcliff in Darwin
- RUFOUS OWL in the tree next to the toilet block in the lower
section of the Darwin Botanical Gardens. Staff took us straight to the
- A water python taking a BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL at the Pine
Creek Sewage Ponds.
- An estimated 200 NANKEEN NIGHT-HERONS feeding on fish as water
flowed across the road (dam wall) at Fogg Dam. A couple of freshwater
crocs also enjoyed the night-time feast.
- A pair of BUSTARD at night on John Hauser Road in Elsey
National Park near Mataranka.
The only Kakadu escarpment speciality we managed was a single
WHITE-LINED HONEYEATER at Nourlangie. This was despite considerable
searching at Nourlangie, Nuwarlandja and Gubara. Unfortunately, all
other spots were closed as the wet was still very much doing its thing.
Gunlom was closed, precluding any attempt at White-throated Grasswren.
Also, no luck with the White-quilled Rock-pigeon around Victoria River,
or the Red Goshawk at Bitter Springs in Mataranka.
Mammal sightings included: DINGOES on several occasions in Kakadu, WATER
RAT at Fogg Dam and SHORT-EARED ROCK WALLABIES on the escarpment walk at
Victoria River. AGILE WALLABIES were particularly abundant around
Many thanks to everyone who gave advice and tips before the trip, and
especially to Sheryl Keates.
Peter Kyne & Micha Jackson
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