It was HOT, considerably warmer than to be expected at this time of the year; in Kakadu National Park, Pine Creek and Katherine, temperatures reached 39 degrees Celsius every day, overnight temperatures did not fall below 25 degrees. Although bird/wildife watching hours were thus limited, we saw many interesting animals.
Fogg Dam and the nearby rainforest were particularly rewarding, with many different waterbirds, honey-eaters, flycatchers and raptors along the dam wall and several rainbow pittas in the adjoining monsoon forest.
Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii):
female Broad-billed Flycatcher (Myiagra ruficollis):
Rainbow Pitta (Pitta iris):
Birdlife around Kakadu National Park’s wetlands was reliably abundant.
Comb-crested Jacana(Metopidius gallinacea):
Banded Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus cinctus):
Kakadu’s savannah woodlands, presumably under a regime of selective patchwork burning, looked severely charred and appeared to be burned indiscriminately everywhere and every year, with the exception of the areas around the major rock art sites. We would like to see evidence that this is beneficial to flora and fauna!
Highlight of our trip was a close encounter with a jet-black male Black Wallaroo (Macropus bernardus), a shy, very muscular species of kangaroo endemic to the sandstone country of western Arnhem Land. Unfortunately, there is no photograph, we were trying to cool off in a creek, camera high and dry out of reach.
back home in Kuranda, our male cassowary and the new female are still together, “Missy” is visiting every now and then, and the juvenile seems to have disappeared.