Darwin to Kununurra via Kakadu
Helmeted Friarbird by Nevil Lazarus
A twist, this trip has been designed for plenty of fabulous Darwin, the lavish Kakadu National Park and across to the Finch Capital of the World - Kununurra. A good wet season over the 2017/18 means huge bird numbers by the time we arrive in August 2018 when as the dry sets in the birds will moving to the waterholes, where we will be waiting to view the array. These are the bountiful years to visit the Top End.
Starting in Darwin the azure waters, butterflies and huge plants welcome you to the tropics. Lorikeets and figbirds shower the pavement with blossom while frangipani and poinciana blooms drench the air with their perfume. The areas surrounding Darwin itself are fantastic habitats with enormous bird populations and very worthy of a few days exploring during the dry season which is when we'll arrive. This season is characterised by cool nights and morning mists, an ideal time to visit. We will be heading to "hot" birding spots like the Botanic Gardens, Buffalo Creek and Nightcliff mudflats looking for the wonderful Red-headed Honeyeater, Lemon-bellied Flycatcher and Mangrove Golden Whistler.
Shining Flycatcher by Nevil Lazarus
Top End waterholes in the dry are full of great flocks of waterfowl with honking magpie geese plus armies of stately herons, egrets and storks. Overhead look for marauding kites and fish-catching sea eagles.
Plumed Whistling-duck by Nevil Lazarus
Endemic birds that we will be aiming to see are : Chestnut-quilled Rock-pigeon with their explosive flight and glide, active during the early mornings, the haunting call of the White-lined Honeyeater synonymous with the mysterious broken sandstone country that is so unique to Kakadu, Banded Fruit-doves feeding with the conspicuous Torres Strait Pigeons and a wealth of other birds and life as numerous as the huge flocks of Plumed Whistling Ducks.
From NT's capital east is Fogg Dam, internationally renowned as a birdwatchers' paradise, even in the carpark Broad-billed Flycatcher, and Shining Flycatcher are seen in the paperbarks. Black-necked Storks are often present before we head down the Arnhem Highway to Kakadu.
Green Pygmy-goose by David Simpson
Australia's largest National Park, Kakadu holds many different habitats. Dawn lagoon boating is sure to bring into view vast flocks of birds such as Plumed and Wandering Whistling Ducks. Great-billed Heron and Black Bittern are regularly seen in the freshwater mangroves and Little Kingfishers perch over the water. A climb on Nourlangie Rock for Helmeted Friarbird and Sandstone Shrike-thrush will leave you in no doubt of the spiritual awe of this unequalled park.
Along the way out of Kakadu to Katherine, Pine Creek holds open woodlands promising Partridge Pigeon, Diamond Dove, Red-winged Parrot, Northern Rosella, Hooded Parrot, Common Koel, Red-backed Kingfisher, Great Bowerbird and a wide variety of honeyeaters and finches possible.
Great Bowerbird by David Simpson
The richly coloured sandstone walls of Katherine Gorge lead to the densely vegetated margins of the Katherine River and open eucalypt woodland; looking for the Great Bowerbird and his bower, Black Kites, Peaceful and Bar-shouldered Doves, Red-winged Parrot and beside river pandanus Azure Kingfishers and Crimson Finches.
Hold tight as we head for Purple-crowned Fairywren territory amongst the long canegrass and on to Timber Creek's mangrove edges with Star Finches and Northern Fantails to delight you evening and morning.
We fly to the Mitchell Plateau airstrip and helicopter almost right to the Black Grasswren spot, which has several permanent populations. We spend most of the day birdwatching at the Mitchell Plateau and fly back to Kununurra
In the afternoon. Highlights apart from the Black Grasswren are the yellow-eyed form of the Partridge Pigeon, White-lined Honeyeaters and White-quilled Rock-Pigeons.
Spinifex Pigeon by David Simpson
And the wonders of Lake Argyle, the largest body of fresh water in tropical Australia and is several rivers dammed with the main one being Ord River. The eastern and southern margins are shallow providing ideal feeding habitat for Comb-crested Jacanas, Green Pygmy-Geese, Radjah Shelducks, Magpie Geese and Wandering Whistling Ducks. Also an important feeding ground for migratory waders starting in September. Noteworthy are Wood Sandpiper and Long-toed Stint with Flock Bronzewing and Yellow Chat, plus Short-eared Rock Wallabies.
Trip participants are limited which means lots of care and attention to your needs (birding and human) so book early.
Contact us for an itinerary.
$TBA.00 per person twin share/double
(excludes airfares to and from Darwin)
$TBA.00 single supplement
Please phone Follow That Bird to check if seats are available then fill in the booking form and mail with the deposit or full payment to Follow That Bird. Your place on the tour is not guaranteed until we receive the payment.
Follow That Bird aims to provide a high standard of interpretive guiding on each trip to make your birdwatching holiday a special one. With small groups, attention to personal service and lots of good fun, we're sure you will enjoy your time with us.
If you have any unanswered questions, please phone or email Follow That Bird.