Wednesday, 27 July 2016

This and that from here and there in the Top End

This is a brief post on birds photographed on our travels since the last post, “Umbrawarra Gorge”.

Birds are never easy to come by and photograph, especially the rarer species. Adding travel and all that entails, increases the degree of difficulty for finding and photographing birds. Also time constraints and limited internet services in some places make preparing and uploading posts a challenge. However, here are some photos of birds encountered here and there in our travels.

This Forest Kingfisher, one of three together at Fogg Dam, was very confiding allowing close approach as it perched on the hand rail of a boardwalk.
It was so confiding we were able to pat it on the back. I am not sure why this bird was so confiding?
An Intermediate Egret on a small body of water with Red Waterlilies at Fogg Dam. Due to the dry Wet Season there was very little water at Fogg Dam and therefore the number and abundance of water bird species was very low compared to normal years.
There were about six Comb-crested Jacanas on the same patch of water as the Egret above.
This group of four Wandering Whistling-Ducks were hard to spot feeding in muddy water among the Red Waterlilies at Fogg Dam. Some Jacanas were working around the Ducks picking up food the ducks disturbed.
One of the four Wandering Whistling-Ducks after a spot of preening following the muddy foraging.
A female Broad-billed Flycatcher. We found these in the same location at Fogg Dam in 2009. Both the male and female Broad-bills are hard to tell apart from the female Leaden Flycatchers.
This shot shows the bill of the bird in the photo above – I think it is broad enough for a Broad-bill.
Two of us walked right by this Common Tree Snake on the board walk at Fogg Dam without seeing it as it passed us by going in the opposite direction to us. It is a non-venomous snake so no harm, but a reminder to be more snake alert in the field when focused on birds.
A Grey Whistler, another Top End species – Fogg Dam.
We made a brief visit to Howard Springs not far from Darwin to try and find and photograph the Rainbow Pitta – we found one here in 2009. We had nearly completed the loop walk around the Monsoon Forest along the creek when this one was spotted foraging on the track ahead.
The bird moved from deep shadow to bright patches of sunlight, making it difficult to achieve good exposures.
This shot, while the focus is soft, shows the red vent and blue shoulder patch.
Double-barred Finch near Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park. A common but attractive finch.
Spangled Drongos are moderately common in the Top End – Litchfield NP.
A Varied Triller – Litchfield NP.
A male Shinning Flycatcher – Litchfield NP.
Brown Goshawk, Wangi Falls, Litchfield NP.
The Northern Rosella in Litchfield NP – moderately uncommon up here with only a few pairs seen so far.
Silver-crowned Friarbird at Edith Falls.
Blue-winged Kookaburras are fairly common – this is a female, note the banded rufous tail (the males have blue tails), - at Katherine Gorge.
Rainbow Bee-eaters are very common in the Top End so I had to include a photo of one – Katherine Gorge.
We have seen the odd pair of Red-winged Parrots flying over head in a number of locations. This male was feeding with a female on seeds at Mataranka.
White-bellied Cuckoo-Shrikes are common – this one is beating a mantis into condition for swallowing – Elsey National Park near Mataranka.
Sandstone Shrike-thrush, Gunlom, Kakadu National Park.
Yellow Oriole, Gunlom, Kakadu NP.
Great Bowerbird having a drink on a creek above the falls at Gunlom.
Juvenile Gouldian Finch in the same location as the photo above. The flock of about 15 to 20 birds was too nervous to come down for a drink from the dense foliage of a tree above the creek – only two of the juvenile birds came down briefly before they departed to drink elsewhere on the creek.

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