And now something completely different: a short excursion to the northern Northern Territory

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.

Northern Rosella (Platycercus venustus):
northern rosella

male Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton):

crimson finch

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):

forest kingfisher
forest kingfisher

Letter-winged Kite (Elanus scriptus):letter-winged kite

female Broad-billed Flycatcher (Myiagra ruficollis):

broad-billed flycatcher

Rainbow Pitta (Pitta iris):

rainbow pitta
rainbow pitta

Birdlife around Kakadu National Park’s wetlands was reliably abundant.

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus):
glossy ibis

Comb-crested Jacana(Metopidius gallinacea):

comb-crested jacana

Long-tailed Finch (Poephila acuticauda):
long-tailed finch

on the lookout: Short-eared Rock Wallaby (Petrogale brachyotis):
short-eared rock wallaby

Chestnut-quilled Rock Pigeon (Petrophassa rufipennis):
chestnut-quilled rock pigeon

Banded Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus cinctus):
banded fruit-dove
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!

Yearly burnt:yearly burnt

Severely burnt:
severly burnt

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.

male Hooded Parrot (Psephotus dissimilis) at Pine Creek:hooded parrot, male

Black Kites (Milvus migrans) on a lamp-post in Katherine:
black kites on a lamp-post in Katherine

Cassowary update:

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.

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