I know this is a little late in reporting but some have suggested that I share
some info about my birding exploits last year.
I cant call it a big year NT as I really didn’t spend 100% ‘going at it’, just
taking advantage of the areas and situations which the years discourse found
me.A trip up the Tablelands in late January and some great views of abundant
Flock Bronzewings, Little Curlews and Chats (including Yellow Chat), put the
idea in my head that I should push to see 300 Species in the NT during the Year!
My final Tally was 311 species. I was a tad disappointed as coming into
December I thought I had a chance at 315-320, but it wasn’t to be.
I listed these species at 80 different sites, (most with many more than 1
visit), over 190 lists and 4981 different observations.
I ‘Twitched” on 2 occasions; Once to Alice for the Forest Wagtail and Once to
Yellow Water for the Sarus Cranes. I guess my dip at Fogg Dam for the Spotted
Whistling Duck was a twitch as well – so 3 twitches.
Highlight Trips for the year were; The drive up the Tablelands Highway, (Just
sensational in Jan/Feb when water is about), 2 trips to Alice Springs, one in
May and one in November, (Desert Birding and the Alice Sewerage ponds always
provide 80-100 species in a week) and the Darwin Pelagic Voyage out to Tabletop
Highlight Species were: Forest Wagtail, Ruff and Pectoral Sandpiper at Alice
Springs, Persian-type Shearwater on the Pelagic, Curlew Sandpiper at Katherine
Sewerage ponds, Sarus Crane at Yellow Water – Kakadu, Freckled Duck and
Little-ringed Plover at Leanyer Ponds, Yellow Chat and Flock Bronzewing on the
Tablelends and Oriental Reed- Warbler at Fogg Dam. A special mention goes out
to the 100’s of Gouldian Finches around Katherine, the swag of Yellow-billed
Spoonbills (Territory wide), Mobs of Pictorella Mannikins at Timber Creek, the
reliable and present Thornbills of the Alice Springs Desert ‘Bush’, the
Southern White-faces and Banded lapwing of Kunoth Bore/Tanami Rd just out of
Alice, Spinifex Birds near Tennant Creek and the Oodles of Oriental Plovers on
Species which I thought I would find; Cicadabird, Feral Rock Dove,
Square-tailed Kite, Red-backed Buttonquail, White-quilled Rock Pigeon, Common
and Roseate Terns and an Emu (would have had me at 319).
My NT Life list is sitting on 348 and with about another 30 ‘accepted expected’
species left I am hoping that more vagrants like our little Grey Phalarope
continue to grace us with their presence and help to reach the BIG 400 for the
Whatever your motivation for going out and birding I cant stress enough that
list keeping/data reporting is essential and also can be a heap of fun! It may
even get a little obsessive at times (You all know who you are). I really
enjoyed the simplicity of Eremaea, but this is now merging with eBird, hence
becoming Eremaea eBird, so I have been using that system, which seems to work
fine. Have a go
PS I do have a bit of a pictorial record on my bloodspot
www.topendbirdfinder.blogspot.com and if anyone would like to see my years
summary, don't hesitate to call
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