Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Darwin Birding

I have a full-on 2 weeks of birding about to commence but decided after my last Top End trip that I would allow a few days for relaxing this time around. Yes, shock, gasp, I can hear you all from here.

So, for day one I decided not to hire a car as I was not planning on chasing any lifers today. Instead I thought I’d catch up with my mate Mike who runs a birding tour called Experience the Wild. He had guests booked  but there was still one seat available so I joined them for the day. My aim was to improve a few photos, get my bearings around Darwin again and generally try and relax so I can enjoy my birding time in the Top End. All of these aims were achieved, with a great time being had, friendly company and excellent birding locations. Thanks Mike!
One of the highlights of the day for me was a pair of Beach Stone-curlews. I enjoyed photographing these with Bernie, a keen birder from Melbourne who was fun to go birding with - thanks Bernie, I enjoyed your enthusiasm!

Rose-crowned Fruit- Dove
Beach Stone-curlew

Another photography target was the Lemon-bellied Flycatcher. Yeah yeah ok, so they are very common but for some reason I did not have a decent photo of one so while everyone else was looking for the elusive birds, there I was running around looking for a common one!! Happily they are everywhere so I did get a few snaps!

Lemon-bellied Flycatcher (Fly-Robin)



In the arvo we headed to Knuckey Lagoons which I love. A great birding location very close to Darwin. I always check for King Quail here but sadly no luck. But stunning with a great selection of water birds and a few waders.

Rainbow Bee-eater

Then it was off to Fogg Dam. Another must do for any serious birder. Pied Heron, Magpie Goose, Comb-crested Jacana, Green Pigmy-goose, Glossy Ibis and Brolga were all observed along with bush birds including Grey (Brown) Whistler, Mistletoebird, Broad-billed Flycatcher. Highlight for me here were the Pratincoles.

Broad-billed Flycatcher

A young Australian Pratincole