At any time when we go to Geikie Gorge we make a detour to go to the Low stage crossing at Fitzroy Crossing if the climate permits. Having noticed the attractive Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens in Geikie Gorge we hoped so as to add one other hen species to our 2022 yr record. There have been loads of adjustments over current years on the low stage crossing and after some severe erosion a couple of years in the past the observe right down to the river was closed to automobiles. The crossing itself remains to be holding up, so you’ll be able to stroll down the dusty observe and observe the bird-life up and down stream. Since I final wrote in regards to the crossing in 2015 we now have visited yearly and as you’ll be able to think about there may be all the time one thing new to see. At totally different instances of yr there are totally different birds to see and the water stage is extraordinarily variable. By September annually it’s normally at its lowest stage and on this current go to it was already previous 1pm and a sizzling and dry 43c.
As you’ll be able to see within the header picture it’s now fairly a steep and dusty descent to the Fitzroy River. When it is rather sizzling it’s a must to put on closed-in sneakers otherwise you danger burning your ft. There have been quite a few Black Kites and Whistling Kites hovering within the thermals over the river. We might hear Gray-crowned Babblers within the dense bush as we made our means down.
Fitzroy River from the low stage bridge
The primary birds that we noticed had been Straw-necked Ibis ingesting on the river after which Magpie-larks and Black-fronted Dotterels. A number of timber had been in flower and so they had been attracting Little Friarbirds, Rufous-throated Honeyeaters, White-gaped Honeyeaters and Yellow-tinted Honeyeaters. Fairy Martins had been dipping into the water and in addition Rainbow Bee-eaters swooped down catching bugs and returning to perch on the branches overhanging the river. There was fairly a raucous sound and the Sulphur-crested Cockatoos had been within the timber and coming right down to drink.
We wandered throughout the low stage bridge to see what was beside the water in every route and shortly added Brolga, Peaceable Doves, Little Pied Cormorants, Masked Lapwings and Bar-shouldered Doves to the record for the situation. There have been different raptors together with Brown Falcon and Brown Goshawk. Wanting again in the direction of the timber we quickly seen extra birds together with Lengthy-tailed Finch, Rufous Whistler, Yellow-throated Miner, Paperbark Flycatcher, Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike, Nice Bowerbird and White-winged Triller. I had seen a really small pool of water that was attracting the Double-barred Finch and I might hear one thing else within the close by dense bushes. It didn’t take lengthy and instantly there have been Star Finch on the fringe of the pool ingesting. We hadn’t noticed Star Finch but in 2022, so standing out within the solar was price it! The Star Finch knew cool off!
When the Star Finch bathed they nearly grew to become invisible till they stood up and their purple payments gave them away.
Star Finch and Double-barred Finch bathing and ingesting
As we climbed again up the steep dusty slope to the automobile we seen we had been being watched by a few agile wallabies. They had been staying within the shade for apparent causes and as soon as the daylight began to fade they might make their means right down to the water to drink.
The climate will be difficult at one of the best of instances, however the rewards for venturing out in the midst of the day may also be rewarding. Lots of the finch species must drink all through the day and if you can even try this in applicable clothes and footwear you might effectively observe a hen species you haven’t seen but this yr.