Sunday, September 16, 2012

Birding Banka Banka, NT

Via this blog I continue to enjoy re-living the recent family road trip through the NT and Kimberley! This post relates to the stop-over at Banka Banka Station on the Stuart Highway, Northern Territory. This old cattle station also serves as a basic but friendly camping ground. There is the opportunity for walking a nature trail to nearby Cudjenbra Waterhole 2-3km north either via a small ridge or along the arid plains.
Views from the small ridge just west of the campground on the Stuart Highway

Cudjenbra Waterhole, Banka Banka Station
There is a creek crossing on the plains walk to the waterhole. This provided excellent habitat for honeyeaters, trillers, finch, dove (everything really!)
Pied honeyeater - crappy photo but a great sighting for me!
Grey-headed honeyeater - common I know but another lifer for me!
Below - Brown honeyeater 

The honeyeaters were all seen in the creek habitat pictured above. Also shot here were the trillers, dove and zebra finch just visible below.
White-winged triller (male eclipse)
Below - Peaceful dove, zebra finch

I also remember the morning's walk for twice being freaked by airborne surprises.

Firstly while alone about a kilometre from the campground in pre-sunrise gloom I was approached by a single black kite. This was followed by about 10 kites circling around me 5-10 metres up. The whole scene was in total silence and with the shock and tricky light I was totally unable to take any shots that could capture the moment!

Black kite #1 
The second experience was while on the ridge. Unaware of anything approaching I suddenly heard a strange wind rapidly approaching from behind. Heard for just a second before it was atop me the noise was the rush of 100 tiny wings from a flock of budgies again only 3-4 metres above and around me! My first budgie experience in the outback!

A small part of the buderigar flock now circling more distantly.
Pied butcherbird calling from this tree on the highest point of the ridge (you can see him at the left of the tree). He let me get quite close but wouldn't move that annoying twig out of the way! 
Pied butcherbird

It's a pretty short Eremaea list but all in all, quite a memorable 16 hours (arrived at 5pm, out at 9am!). Thank-you Banka Banka.

Bird On!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a great place to visit. The Pied Honeyeater looks a beauty and man, that twig is a shame, darn it! Otherwise lovely pose with the Butcher.