The Wet Season is becoming more active and the atmospherics and skyscapes more colourful and dynamic. This morning we had storms across the harbour, with a fuzzy rainbow struggling on the north of it while Nightcliff was bright and sunny. Crested terns were amongst the foreshore denizens today.
The Red-tailed Black Cockatoos (Calyptorhynchus banksii) are still feasting on the seeds of the Casuarina trees on the Nightclill Promenade. I counted 20 happily and noisily feeding this morning. The bird above is a female. In Bininj Kunwok languages of western Arnhem Land they are called Ngarnarrh.
The Striated Heron (Butorides striatus) is another wader found from mid way down the West Australian coast, all the way around the Deep North and down to the Victorian border. This one was preening on the rocks at Nightcliff. I’m heading bush to Arnhem Land and beyond the reach of the internet for a few days so I may not post again until Tuesday. Hopefully I’ll come back with some images and a story to tell. Enjoy your weekend and stay safe, wherever you are.
The Double-barred Finch (Taeniopygia bichenovii) is a social and busy little bird, bustling around in family parties feeding on seeds — mostly grass seeds on the ground, but like others lately joining in the feast of Casuarina seeds on the Nightcliff Promenade. The Double-bar is widespread and common from the Kimberleys across Northern Australia and as far south on the east coast as the Victorian border.
A most beautiful neighbour of mine, the Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis) is rarely seen because it is very shy and cautious during the day. It stays close to dense brush and is quick to disappear into cover if it feels intrusion into its private space. It’s more active under cover of night. The Buff-Banded Rail is found almost all around Australia but rarely in the dry inland. It’s range extends through Papua-New Guinea to the Philippines and many Pacific Islands. When I do see this bird, I feel very privileged!
In a great spreading Albizia tree beside the bike path at Rapid Creek a pair of tawny frogmouths (Podargus strigoides) have been joined by a new family member. The youngster is still a fluffy, mottled grey ball of down but is big enough to leave the nest, such as it is, and sit well camouflaged in the leaves above mum. Dad was still nearby, trying to catch some last shut-eye before sundown and work-time. The frogmouths hunt like kookaburras, sitting watchfully on a post or branch and then gliding silently down to take their prey with their BIG beaks. Their voice is usually a resonant, pulsing “oom, oom, oom, oom” — mostly — but they do have a variety of other calls.
People of the Nightcliff Promenade #1: Imogen Gough has the best view of any barista in Darwin when she fires up Teardrop Coffee down where the promenade turns towards Rapid Creek. She’s been there all this dry season serving a brew with a view… and a top brew it is…from 7.30am to 10.30am every weekday. “I’ll keep going through the wet season, whenever the weather is right.” Imogen, who is a long-time denizen of the Deep North spent 10 years doing “bits and pieces” out in eastern Arnhem Land before deciding she wanted to improve the quality of coffee being served in Darwin. “I thought of opening a regular coffee shop but I didn’t like idea of a huge expense or being stuck inside every day. Then one day I woke with the idea of Teardrop Coffee. Some friends in Melbourne had built my little tear drop from plans and it’s worked out very well after a few modifications to fit the full-scale coffee machine”. When the paddle and sailboarders are into it, cyclists are cycling, walkers are walking and mums and dads are taking babies down to catch the sea breeze, Imogen is there for them. Find the little van’s facebook page at Teardrop Coffee.