Pacific Emerald Dove/Brown-capped Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps longirostris)

The Pacific Emerald Dove or Brown-capped Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps longirostris) is a pigeon which is a widespread resident breeding bird in the tropical and sub-tropical parts of Indonesia to northern and eastern Australia. It was formerly conspecific with the common emerald dove (found in Asia).  More information about the taxonomy is in the links below.

They have a large range throughout Northern & Eastern Australia and also in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.  I stumbled upon this one by sheer luck near a beach in Darwin.




Bird Forum


Since the taxonomy is recently split, I had to search clips that were filmed in Australia.

Here we see courting behaviour.

Ground foraging




Farewell To Darwin

This was a full on day of birding and we had started in Mary River, stopped in Adelaide River Bridge, Windows of the Wetlands, Fogg Dam and Howard Springs before finally arriving back in the city.  With a final sunset about to happen, we headed to the coast towards Lee Point but we didn’t quite make it that far and just pulled into some random beach.

Based on size, I think this is a Forest Kingfisher

Now this is luck, one of my target birds – Emerald Dove!

Orange-footed Scrubfowl wandering around the car park.  Not sure if they were looking for people’s leftover food?

And there it is – one last Territorian sunset before we head to the airport and say good-bye to what has been an amazing birding adventure!

Orange-footed Scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt)

The Orange-footed Scrubfowl (Megapodius reinwardt) is a small megapode of the family Megapodiidae.

They have quite a large range across Northern Australia and most of Indonesia and New Guinea.  We saw lots of them, mostly in Mary River, Howard Springs and Darwin.




Birds in Backyards

Experience the Wild

Australian Bush Birds


Active bird calling and foraging.


This one is building a nest.


A 2nd Visit To Howard Springs

It was just a short drive from Fogg Dam to Howard Springs, less than an hour (trying to remember).  On our first visit, the birds were out in force but hungry mosquitoes chased us off prematurely.  This time we had liberally doused ourselves in Deet and were ready for action!

More than just a dorky hairdo!

This time we were able to do the walking trail undisturbed by mozzies.  It’s a nice flat trail, anyone can do it and we were even wearing thongs/flip-flops!

Orange-footed Scrubfowl

Watch for Rainbow Pittas! 

Streams attract kingfishers

Suddenly a flash of green!  Could it be?

Yes!  A beautiful Rainbow Pitta!

He was towards the end of the trail as we emerged back to the picnic area.  What a great way to end an awesome day of birding!  Rainbow Pittas were actually the first bird we saw on this trip and almost the last.  We still had one last stop…………….Darwin’s coast.

Mid-day Birding Fogg Dam, Northern Territory

Hardly the optimal time to visit a Territory birding hotspot such as Fogg Dam which is easily accessible from Darwin but you can’t be everywhere at the crack of dawn!

Excellent access road, good for 2WD cars.

Crimson Finches seen while driving across the top of the dam.

There’s an excellent bird hide with information about what you may see while sitting there.

Lonely cockatoo

Mom & Baby Pelicans

Little Kingfisher watching for food

If we had been here earlier we would have done this walk.  But I am sure we will be back some day!

Picnic area where we had our final sandwiches.  After a week of self-catering, we never wanted to see another sandwich as long as we lived!

Restrooms in the picnic area

I have no doubt that this would have been a better post if we could have spent a morning here!

Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis)

The Red-collared Lorikeet (Trichoglossus rubritorquis) was previously considered a subspecies of the rainbow lorikeet, but today most major authorities consider them as separate species.  They have become world famous for their drunken antics which sounds like it could be funny but really isn’t as it exposes them to predators.

They are easily found within their range, especailly in Australia’s Northern Territory and are very noisy so you can’t miss them!  I saw them around the Darwin area, Pine Creek, Edith Falls, Katherine, Outback Northern Territory, Nitmikuk and Kakadu.



World Parrot Trust


About Drunk Lorikeets


Lets start with some sober parrots foraging as usual.


And here’s a story about the drunk lorikeets.

Preparing For A Northern Territory Road Trip

Once you leave the main city of Darwin, prices go up the further you go into the bush for petrol and groceries.  Katherine has a couple supermarkets and some fast food places and small cafes and the petrol there is only a little bit more than Darwin.

We discovered a great place after leaving Howard Springs, the Palmerston Shopping Centre.  It’s about a 10 minute drive and the Coles has everything you need at normal prices.

Since we only had a small collapseable cooler, we bought some hamburgers, steaks and sausages for BBQing and sandwich meat, cheese, bread, ramen noodles and snacks for the inevitable picnics in the bush while birding.  Soft drinks and large water bottles are cheap here so stock up as it gets hot out there and you need to stay hydrated!  Don’t forget the sunscreen and mosquito repellent!

Heading south towards Pine Creek there are some nice places to stop, stretch and use the conveniences.  Adelaide River has some nice birding spots but it was around 1pm by the time we got there and any birds were sensibly taking a siesta.


Possible overnight stop if you can make it out of Darwin by 4pm so you get here before dusk.DSCN5602

Throughout the Territory you will find all-purpose stores like this one.  The selection won’t be great and the prices higher than the city to reflect the costs of transport.DSCN5603

There were a few birds taking shelter in these trees behind the rest rooms.DSCN5604

We only stayed here for around 15 minutes because there were no birds at that time of day so we continued on to Pine Creek.

Easy Birding In Howard Springs Nature Park, Northern Territory

Howard Springs Nature Park is the perfect way to begin your birding adventure in Australia’s Northern Territory.  It’s only half an hour from Darwin and easy to find.  Best of all, the birding is easy and amazing!

DSCN5526We opened the windows and drove slowly down the access road.  In less than 5 minutes, I saw a flash of colour on the left.  I drove closer as quietly as possible and found a beautiful Rainbow Pitta foraging in the bush!  This was going to be good  – one of my target species right off the bat!  I walked slowly and quietly closer until the bird disappeared into the bush. DSCN5541 DSCN5543 DSCN5532 DSCN5537 DSCN5542

Moving on, a Rainbow Bee-eater was doing his job!DSCN5549

A pair of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos were frolicking in the trees.DSCN5553 DSCN5557

Broad-billed FlycatcherDSCN5559

Closer to the picnic area was this lovely Rose-crowned Fruit Dove, another of my targeted species!DSCN5562 DSCN5567 DSCN5568

We drove down to the end of the road, didn’t find anything so turned around.DSCN5571

An Australasian Figbird was watching us.DSCN5577

Peaceful Doves peacefully foraging near the picnic ground.DSCN5580

Pied Cormorant stretching his wings.DSCN5582

The visitors info place was closed but they had some good information posted.DSCN5587 DSCN5590 DSCN5591

Orange-footed Scrubfowl right near the sign!DSCN5588 DSCN5589

Bar-shouldered Dove watching from above.DSCN5598

Up to now we had been braving the mosquitoes.  We only had a small bottle in our carry-on because we planned to buy more when we got here.  By the time we reached the pond and the hiking trails we were being eaten alive and forced to turn back.DSCN5593 DSCN5594

I wasn’t worried as I knew we would be passing by here after the road trip around the Top End so decided to save our skin.  We had already seen many of the target birds anyway so a very auspicious start to this adventure!

Rainbow Pitta (Pitta iris)

The Rainbow Pitta (Pitta iris) is a colourful bird with a velvet black head with brown stripes above the eye, dark green upper parts, pale blue shoulders, black underparts and an olive green tail. It feeds on insects, crustaceans and other small animals and builds an untidy, spherical nest. It is a shy forest bird and a real treat to see!

DSCN5543 DSCN5542 DSCN5537

They are endemic to Australia’s Northern Territory and are easily seen at Howard Springs and sometimes near Fogg Dam.  I spotted the one above barely 3 minutes after entering the park!





Experience the Wild


This is the call to listen for.  They tend to be spread out but close enough to contact each other.

A birding group spots one.

This is pretty cool, I didn’t know you could attract them by tapping on the ground!



Hotel Review: Hi Way Inn Motel, Darwin

Our needs were simple for this overnight stop.  We would be checking in around 2am and getting up at 6am to head out to Howard Springs.  We just needed a cheap place to lay down for a few hours.  The Hi Way Inn Motel is an easy drive from the airport and I had already programmed it into my personal GPS so we had no trouble finding it.  They are well used to late night arrivals and I had called that morning to remind them we were on that late Jetstar flight.  All went smoothly and we were quickly checked in, the even gave us a couple bottles of mineral water as nothing had been open for us to buy anything when we arrived.

Exterior photo taken in the morning after check-out.  It was dark when we arrived.


Lobby area.  You can grab some tourist info here and some free maps.DSCN5524

Simple room but clean, wifi worked well.DSCN5519 DSCN5520

It had one queen bed and one single, fairly small but like I said we weren’t here for long.DSCN5521 DSCN5522

They do have a pool if you find yourself here for a longer stay.  DSCN5525

The location is perfect to hit the highway heading south.  Most rental car companies don’t allow you to drive between dusk and dawn in the Territory so you will need a place like this for the first night if you arrive at night.  You can easily book this hotel at any of the usual OTAs such as which is what I did as I needed one more stay to make 10 stays for a future free night.  Both the night clerk and the morning clerk – a French working holiday visitor were very friendly and helpful.