Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton)

The Crimson Finch (Neochmia phaeton) is commonly found in moist savannah, and subtropical/tropical (lowland) moist shrubland.  They range in colour, some are more crimson-y than others as you will see in the links below.  These are less crimson-y.

A male?

A female?

They range from far Western Australia-Kimberley across to northern parts of Northern Territory and Gulf Country and on to the east coast of Far North Queensland.  I got a glimpse of them on the Yellow Waters Cruise in Kakadu, saw some in the bush near Windows on the Wetlands and a closer look at Fogg Dam.




Birds in Backyards

The Guardian

10,000 Birds


Look how bright these guys are!  My photos are duller but maybe it’s just my lack of skills.

The ones I saw were more like this.



Long-tailed Finch (Poephila acuticauda)

The Long-tailed Finch (Poephila acuticauda) is a common species of estrildid finch found in Australia; also known as the Blackheart Finch, Shaft-tail Finch, Heck’s Grassfinch, Heck’s Grass Finch, and Heck’s Finch.

They have a large range across northern Australia.  I saw them very well at the finch spot on Edith Falls Road in the Northern Territory.




Australian Finches


Foraging in the grass.


Drinking water

Small flock in Mataranka




Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae)

The Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae), also known as the Lady Gouldian Finch, Gould’s Finch or the Rainbow Finch, is a colourful passerine bird endemic to Australia.

I took these close ups a few years ago at the Rainbow Jungle in Kalbarri, WA, at least they’re my shots and not a Wikipedia shot!

And here’s a flock of juvenile Gouldians at the Edith Falls Road spot.

They are endemic to northern Australia with small populations in the Northern Territory and north-western Queensland.  The best place to see them is the hotspot near Edith Falls Road.  There is a detailed hand-drawn map in this book that I can’t print here for copyright reasons.




Birds in Backyards

Australian Finches


I wish a flock like this would come in my back yard!  Watch for the red-heads.

Joining other finches at a watering hole.

Mini-doco on Gouldian Finches.



Return To Edith Falls Road

We first visited Edith Falls a few days before but didn’t really know where the best birding spots were.  Now that I had the “Top End Birdwatching” book, it was easy to find the place where Gouldian Finches are best seen.  It’s not down near the caravan park where we were before.  It’s a few kms off the main road.

A small flock of young Gouldian Finches, a couple of them were starting to get the adult colouring.
Long-tailed Finches were also plentiful here.

And Double-barred Finches.

Should I bathe here?

Mike Reed, the author of “Top End Birdwatching” was there, we were lucky to meet him here!

Birding Humbles Creek/Buntine Highway, Northern Territory

We didn’t get there at the optimal time as we spent the early morning birding around the Victoria River Roadhouse, but it was still worth a try.  Humbles Creek is about 15 km from the main road going south on the Buntine Highway.

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos showed well.

Road can sometimes be flooded in the wet season.

It was getting hot and these Galahs were taking a break.

A Crested Pigeon was hiding.

Apostlebirds watching us watch them.

Bad photo, can’t make this one out.

We left around 11am and drove back to Katherine after spending the night at Victoria River.  I was hoping for finches and mannikins but we should have gotten there earlier.  This would be on my list of places to go back to the next time we are in the Territory.

Red pileated Finch (Coryphospingus cucullatus)

The Red pileated Finch (Coryphospingus cucullatus), also known as the Red-crested Finch, is a species of bird in the family Thraupidae.


They have a huge range in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay,  and Peru, on the eastern side of the Andes.  I saw them in Chapada do Guimaraes which seems to be a hot spot for them.





Neotropical Birds


This looks like  a wild bird that someone is putting food out for.



Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis)

The Red-browed Finch (Neochmia temporalis) is an estrildid finch that inhabits the east coast of Australia. This species has also been introduced to French Polynesia. It is commonly found in temperate forest and dry savannah habitats. It may also be found in dry forest and mangrove habitats in tropical region.

IMG_9239a IMG_9245a IMG_9243aThey have a huge range throughout Eastern Australia.  If you stay at Banjo’s Retreat, they are on the property.  Also look for them in grasslands just about anywhere in their range.

rbfinch range




Birdlife Australia

Birds in Backyards

Australian Finches


Stunning close-ups of this very cute finch!

Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii)

The Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii) is an estrildid finch found in dry savannah, tropical (lowland) dry grassland and shrubland habitats in northern and eastern Australia. They are sometimes referred to as Bicheno’s finch; and also as owl finch, owing to the dark ring of feathers around their faces.

The name of the species commemorates James Ebenezer Bicheno, a colonial secretary of Van Diemen’s Land appointed in September 1842.

I saw these guys at the Edith Falls Campground in the Northern Territory.

And these are from Wikipedia

DBFinch DBFinch2 They have a good sized range in Australia but to date the only places I have seen them is Mosquito Creek Road near Lake Coolmunda and Edith Falls in the Northern Territory.




Birds in Backyards

Australian Finches

Australian Bush Birds


Up close and personal with Double Barred Finches, very cute little bird!


Beautiful Firetail (Stagonopleura bella)

Don’t call them vain, they didn’t ask to be called Beautiful Firetails……………..even though they are!

IMG_7245aThe beautiful firetail (Stagonopleura bella) is a common species of estrildid finch found in Australia. It has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 1,000,000 km2. The species inhabits temperate shrubland habitats in Australia.  The ones in the photos were seen in Melaleuca sharing the Orange-bellied Parrots’ food. IMG_7234 IMG_7248 IMG_7272aThe beautiful firetail is endemic in Southeastern Australia. Its distribution range extends from Newcastle to Kangaroo Island, however, the bird is most prolific in Tasmania and off-shore islands. It lives in coastal heathland, forests and shrubbery, never far from water. Its preference for near water habitats was shown in a study of its occurrence in intact forest areas of the Victorian Central Highlands, where it was almost exclusively found in riparian habitat.  Doing the Melaleuca trip with Par Avion is a great way to see them.





Birds in Backyards

Australian Finches

Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife


Mike Grant has some stunning up close footage of Beautiful Firetails on YouTube.

Surprise Corellas – Small Town Between Mt Magnet & Geraldton

This was another lucky call of nature that led to a surprise sighting of some Little Corellas in the trees in a tiny Outback town somewhere between Mt Magnet and Geraldton.

IMG_6208a IMG_6201 IMG_6195a IMG_6177a

There were blue-eyed crows too.


Not far from the road was a pond with breeding dragonflies and Zebra Finches and Galahs.

IMG_6174a IMG_6172a IMG_6171 IMG_6168

That’s the magic of the Aussie Outback, you never know what you are going to find!  A local told us we had missed a small flock of Cockatiels by one day!  It was sad to be saying goodbye to this vast wilderness but we were hoping the western coast would bring different and interesting birds that we haven’t seen yet.