Over the years I've seen numerous people come to the Top End with great expectations of African style national parks jam-packed with roaming animals around every bend. The reality is… it's true. There are animals around every bend, however in contrast to many expectations you really have to look for them and know how to look for them. It’s a matter of getting out of the car, standing still, listening, watching and feeling the country around you.
I guarantee, if you stop for one minute almost anywhere in Kakadu you’ll be able to hear at least five different species of wildlife - most probably four of these will be our feathery friends.
With over one third of Australia’s bird species to be found in Arnhem Land and Kakadu alone, it’s no wonder Kakadu has been listed as a World Heritage Site for its natural values. A bird watching tour of Kakadu is a popular option. You rarely need more than a one hour billabong cruise to capture the attention of even the most apathetic birder.
The past few years I've been lucky enough to lead some pretty special bird watching tours into some of the most remote, untouched regions of northern Australia. From the sandstone escarpment of southern Kakadu to the tidal flats of the far north Arnhem Land coast, there’s more than three hundred species to be discovered. The length some people go to for a sighting, a small glimpse or even just a trace of a bird on their bucket list, places ‘twitchers’ (a birdwatcher who aims to collect sightings of rare birds) in a category of their own.
The most sort after birds in the Northern Territory are generally the endemic, threatened and migratory sort. Among these are the white-throated grass-wrens, banded fruit-doves, chestnut-quilled rock-pigeons, gouldian finchs, rose crowned fruit doves, masked owls, hooded parrots, koels, dollarbirds, rainbow bee-eaters and pied imperial-pigeons.
I have complied some of my favorite pics from a variety of Kimberley and Top End bird watching tours I've guided.
For more information on tailor made bird watching tours please visit our Private Charters page and send through an enquiry.
Article written by: Hugh Gange, owner of Venture North Australia.