Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Around Oz Part 13: Kununurra & Victoria River

Victoria River
Following our week in Darwin (see last three posts) we drove south-west along the Victoria Highway for an overnight stay at the Victoria River Roadhouse camping area.

Along Victoria Highway
This is a pleasant enough place with a bar and good burgers. More importantly, it is located amid some splendid scenery, with sandstone cliffs glowing in the late afternoon sun lining the Victoria River. Barking Owls again serenaded us during the night.

Purple-crowned Fairy-wren

Early the next morning, I checked out dense cane grass in the vicinity of the boat ramp, just west of the camping ground, and located several parties of Purple-crowned Fairy-wren, managing a snap of sorts of a male in dim light. 

Victoria River
We continued west through some fine-looking countryside, with steep sandstone  ridges rising above the sprawling savannah plains. Birds along the way included Masked Finch, Black-tailed Treecreeper and plenty of Diamond Doves. At the Western Australian border, we were forced by border control to part with our supply of fruit and vegetables; WA apparently is trying to remain fruit fly-free.

Lake Kununurra

We arrived at Kununurra for a three-night stay at the Lakeside Tourist Park.  Our camp overlooked the lovely Lily Pond Lagoon, park of Lake Kununurra. A smattering of Freshwater Crocodiles of various size could be seen from our camp.

Freshwater Crocodile

Yellow-tinted Honeyeater
Honeyeaters about the camping ground included Yellow-tinted, Rufous-throated and White-gaped. Again, a pair of Barking Owls was in attendance

The door to the amenities block was adorned with a sign warning the door to be shut to keep cane toads - recent arrivals in the town - out of the showers. The Western Australians will eventually get used to these pests (and I expect it will not be long before the crocodiles are all gone).

Star Finch

Star Finch
Our first morning saw us out on the Ivenhoe Road, just west of town. There was plenty of dense grass by the roadside and in the vicinity of irrigation ditches, where Star Finch proved to be common.

Crimson Finch

Long-tailed Finch
Long-tailed, Crimson and Double-banded Finches were also about.

Black-faced Woodswallow

Brown Falcon
Other more common species included White-winged Triller, Brown Falcon and Black-faced Woodswallow.

Australian Bustard
A pair of Bustards was feeding in an irrigated field, while Red-backed Kingfishers perched on overhead wires.
Buff-sided Robin
Near the Discovery Tourist Park on the shore of Lake Kununurra, I called up a nice Buff-sided Robin in a small patch of dense monsoon scrub.

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