My personal favourites, highly subjective and only birds included as I did not see a Great White nor a Croc.
Scanning the ocean upon arrival at Wollongong yielded the first albatrosses, distant but thrilling as I had never seen them before. The next 2 days I joined the outstanding SOSSA-pelagics, and we had great views of Wandering, Antipodean, Northern Royal, Black-browed, Campbell, Shy (&White-capped), Buller's and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross. Birding cannot get better than this!
|"Wandering", Shy and Black-browed Albatross off Wollongong.|
I never realised how much work there is still to be done in the taxonomy (and ID) of especially the Wandering and Shy-albatross groups. The SOSSA-team is doing excellent work by catching and banding them. Full report later!
|Deciding which one to catch.|
|Not so Shy actually.|
It is not their looks, but their engineering, taste of colour and behaviour. They build a bower, decorate it personally and perform strange dances with funny calls to impress the females. Besides these Western and Great Bowerbirds I saw Tooth-billed and Satin.
|Western Bowerbird performing at Alice Springs.|
|Great Bowerbird performing at Mount Molloy.|
A target bird for every birding visitor and fairly easy to find at Mission Beach. I only had a few hours and started at Lacey's Creek, walked the trail silently and focussed on the sound of a big bird stepping on dead leaves in the forest. Suddenly there it was, just a few meters in front of me on the trail, huge and it was coming my way!
|Southern Cassowary blocking the trail|
|beware; stronger than a car!|
Dingo? Only distant views and not a native species anyway. Rainbow Pitta then! My first real Pitta, beautifull and not difficult to find in the tropical forests around Darwin. The pictures below were taken at Howard's Springs.
E: the Eagle
The Wedge-tailed Eagle of course. Evolution can have strange results on an isolated island and I am not sure why this Aquila acquired a tail like this. But these big ones are very impressive and when soaring their wingtips point high into the sky.
|Wedge-tailed Eagle near Alice Springs Desert Park|