Thursday, June 11, 2009

Exploring Kakadu And Beyond

Luke had an ambitious day planned for us, so we headed straight for our next stop – well, of course there were things to explore along the way, so again we had to pull of the road, to check them out! Among them the Frilled Lizard which Luke somehow spotted out of the corner of his eye while driving. Then there was the Black Falcon, and of course we had to have our picture taken at the big Cathedral Termite mount. Eventually we reached Pine Creek, and here we pulled off to have something to eat, but, of course, the birdlife lured us away from the table more than once! We finally spotted the Diamond Doves, they had been on John's "want-to-see" list – and various other birds including several types of finches, as we enjoyed our lunch.

We stopped by a couple of other good birding areas in the vicinity, and we even caught a good glimpse of some Crimson Finches and not least the magnificently colored Gouldian Finch – fantastic with his bright purple, green, yellow and cobalt blue coloring! So much color on such a small bird - amazing!
We passed through spots where the forest had been burned and saw the Red-tailed Black Cockatoos in great flocks – they like this type of area, and they blend in so well.
In the beginning of the dry season areas are burned off in a check pattern, to avoid too hot fires in the late dry season where lightning storms strike and set numerous fires – this way the fires don't get too hot, so it acts as fire prevention.

Then we continued the last stretch down to Edith Falls in Katherine NP, where we went for a walk along the creek. It was a lovely walk, and we enjoyed the beautiful afternoon and more beautiful birds.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and we headed back up towards Darwin, as the sun was getting low. A few more stops along the way, and soon we reached the Adelaide River, where we made a quick stop so we could see the famed buffalo from the Crocodile Dundee movie. It was dark long before we reached Darwin, and we dropped off Sally and John, who were off to their next adventure the following morning! As Luke dropped me off in front of my apartment, it was past 8 o'clock and pitch dark. It had been a fantastic 3 days where we had seen over 110 bird species and covered about 1200 KM! Now that's a successful birding adventure!

As I let myself in to the apartment, I just slipped the backpack off my back, dropped my clothes in a pile on the floor, grabbed a glass of wine, and stepped into the nice, hot shower! Needless to say I was exhausted and needed to recuperate, not to mention sleep in!

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