October 2015

Part 7: Victoria River Crossing

Varied Lorikeet (Psitteuteles versicolor)

The eucalyptus trees at the Victoria River Crossing Roadhouse campsite were all in flower during my stay and were extremely popular with the local parrots and honeyeaters. At dawn, the cacophany of several hundred Red-collared and Varied Lorikeets squabbling over feeding rights of the best nectar and pollen was quite deafening. Parrots may be ranked among the most beautiful birds on the planet, but their vocalisations are certainly not the most melodic!

Varied Lorikeet (Psitteuteles versicolor)

Little Friarbird (Philemon citreogularis)

White-gaped Honeyeater (Lichenostomus unicolor)

The main reason for me staying at Victoria River Crossing was that it is widely known as the most reliable site for finding Purple-crowned Fairywren and I spent 3 very hot and frustrating days here searching for them in the tall cane grass understorey of the Pandanus and paperbark woodlands along the riverbanks. It was not to be, however, and despite managing to occasionally get brief glimpses of roving small family groups, they generally stayed deep within the cane grass and never provided me with any opportunies to get clear shots of them.

Pheasant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus)

Pheasant Coucals and Dollarbirds were, however, not so shy and both were a common sight along the road to the boat ramp.

Oriental Dollarbird (Eurystomus orientalis)

The Dollarbird is the only member of the Roller family (Coraciidae) that occurs in Australia and its distinctive shape and colours render it unmistakable. It is a common breeding summer visitor from New Guinea to the north and east.

LIttle Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos)

Black Kite (Milvus migrans)

October 2015 (Top End of Australia pt.6) 2015 index October 2015 (Top End of Australia pt.8)