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.



Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus)

The Little Kingfisher (Ceyx pusillus) is a small and rare kingfisher with a rich blue back and head and a snowy white breast. It has a heavy bill and has a short tail.  They aren’t easy to find so I was really happy to see this one on the Yellow Waters Cruise.

They are found mostly on the island of New Guinea but also some small, scattered populations in Australia.  Given the remoteness, your best bet is the Yellow Waters Cruise in Kakadu.




Oz Animals


Not many but Laurie Ross has some on YT.

Don’t blink or you will miss this one!

A beautiful bird ready for his close-up!





Bowali Visitor’s Centre, Kakadu

Bowali Visitor’s Centre is the main “go-to” for all things Kakadu.  They have well-informed staff here who know the park extremely well and can advise you on places that suit your interests.  They recommended some places to see birds including Crimson Finches at Mamukala Wetlands.

Videos, displays and a library are also available to assist you in planning your visit. Visitor Centre is open 8.00am to 5.00pm.  The Marrawuddi Gallery stocks Aboriginal arts and crafts, books and gifts.  Refreshments are available from the Anmak An-me Cafe.


Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus)

The Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus) is a small and very colourful bird, with a stunning deep blue to azure back, a large white to buff spot on side of neck and throat, rufous-buff with some blue-violet streaks on breast and flanks.  The colour of these two birds is different but that could be the lighting, I took both photos in Kakadu on the Yellow Waters Cruise.

They have a huge range throughout much of Australia and the island of New Guinea.  I saw several in Kakadu and have also seen them on local Brisbane area birding walks.




Birds in Backyards



Now you can appreciate the amazing colours of this bird!

Looking for food in the billabong.


Visiting Nourlangie Rock Art Site, Kakadu

Nourlangie Rock Art site is about a 20 minute drive from either Cooinda or Jabiru but it gets so hot out there you should get here as early as possible in the morning.  Not only can you see some fascinating Aboriginal art, you also see some birds while walking around the marked 1.5 km trail.

We made our visit the morning after our stay at Kakadu Lodge, Jabiru and got to the turn off at dawn.  Lots of birds were about, especially kingfishers, kookaburras and corellas.  We drove down some side roads to small lakes looking for birds before entering the main Nourlangie area.

The road to Nourlangie is fine for normal cars but if you want to go to Gubara, you need a 4×4.

There are picnic tables outside the entrance to Nourlangie Rock and we had breakfast there before heading inside.  You must have your visitor’s pass with you, there are staff there checking.

The information provided is excellent!  Everywhere you look, there are explanations for the art and history of the area so you don’t need a tour or a guide.  Just follow the trail and read the signs!  In addition to the Yellow Waters Cruise, a visit to Nourlangie Rock is a “Must do” in Kakadu and truly has something to interest everyone-birders and non-birders!

Torresian Imperial Pigeon (Ducula spilorrhoa)

The Torresian Imperial Pigeon (Ducula spilorrhoa), also known as the Nutmeg Pigeon, White Nutmeg Pigeon, Australian Pied Imperial Pigeon or Torres Strait Pigeon, is a relatively large, pied species of pigeon.

I spotted a pair hanging around the Gagadju Lodge in Cooinda.

The have a fairly large range in northern Australia and the island of New Guinea.




Birds in Backyards


Stretching and looking pretty!


Lodge Review: Kakadu Lodge, Jabiru

Not to be confused with the similarly named property at Cooinda, Kakadu Lodge in Jabiru is managed by Aurora Resorts and is located in Kakadu National Park’s main town, Jabiru.

Welcoming comittee!

The lodge is the best budget option in what is usually an expensive tourist destination and caters for campers and people who want a room or bungalow.  We went for the cheapest budget room.

Budget means no ensuite, you use the shared bathrooms and a camp kitchen.

You still get a fridge and tea service in the room. 

It is pretty small but in a place like Kakadu, we weren’t planning to spend much time in the room.

They have an attractive shaded swimming pool with a non-heated jacuzzi.  Cockatoos will watch the swimmers below and towards evening you also get flying foxes.

In the town of Jabiru there are a few shops but I recommend stocking up before entering the park for better selection and prices.

The famous crocodile shaped hotel which is now an Accor property is also in Jabiru but was twice the price of Kakadu Lodge.

Maybe not everyone would be ok without an ensuite but since we come from a backpacker background,m we were fine with it for the savings.  The grounds are nice and plenty of birds to keep you entertained while you have a refreshing swim!  Book on their website or try Pointshound or Rocketmiles to gain some airline miles!

Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea)

The Comb-crested Jacana (Irediparra gallinacea), also known as the Jesus Bird,  Lotusbird or Lilytrotter, is the only species of jacana in the genus Irediparra. Like other jacana species, it is adapted to the floating vegetation of tropical freshwater wetlands.  I really enjoyed watching them at Kakadu, as they walked across the lily pads.

They have a huge range throughout much of Australia, the island of New Guinea and some Indonesian islands.  I saw several in Kakadu on the Yellow Waters Cruise.




Birds in Backyards


This clip by Mike Grant is cool as it shows some baby jacanas hiding in the parent’s breast.

Watch them walk across the lily pads.

Yellow Waters Sunrise Cruise, Cooinda, Kakadu

A Yellow Waters Sunrise Cruise is the perfect companion to the Sunset Cruise, especially if you book them together as I wrote about here.  It will be an early wake-up call so you can get the shuttle to the dock but the sunrise is spectacular!

The birds gradually fly in……………… Nankeen Night Heron

Water Lilies

Royal Spoonbill

Radjah Shelduck

White-bellied Sea Eagle

Little Kingfisher

Black-necked Stork

Comb-crested Jacana


Azure Kingfisher

Our guide, Adam knew the birds a lot better than I did and it was with his help that I was able to log them all on eBird.