Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Lajamanu to Newcastle Waters - Jabiru, Nankeen Kestrels and Night Herons, large snakes and others

The drive from Lajamanu to Newcastle Waters is along dirt for 110 or so kms, followed by a 170 km stretch of mostly single lane bitumen, then 190 kms of dirt and finally 100 or so kms of highway. I was concentrating mainly on the road, so only slowed for the obvious birds on the side of the road. Two different Nankeen Kestrels perched in trees to start with:

Next was a large snake crossing the road. I did manage to get out of the car to take the photos, but was none too keen to get much closer than where I was. I'm glad I slowed to make sure I didn't run over such a majestic creature:

Snakes aren't really high on my id list so I'm happy to hear thoughts on what this might be. Length is between 2 and 3 metres.

I came across a pair of Red-tailed Black Cockatoos next. I had seen a flock of about 50 earlier, but these two were much more accommodating photo-wise. I wondered if the male (on the left) was saying to the female "How's my rump looking?:

I had finished with the dirt for the day, and headed onto the Highway and onto Newcastle Waters. The water level had dropped since the last time I was there, but the birdlife was still firing. The most obvious change was the amount of Nankeen Night Herons. I can't recall seeing so many, and they were flying overhead, sitting on logs and in trees everywhere I looked. Here are a sample of photos:

Another bird I hadn't seen much of in this location was the Jabiru, or Black-necked Stork. I wasn't surprised to see them here, bit I did feel as though I was in Jurassic Park with a Pterodactyl heading towards me sometimes, especially in the late afternoon light:

My final species for this post is the Whistling Kite. After being overwhelmed by the amount of Black Kites previously, the Whistling Kites were more numerous this time near the road. This would also be the case at Lake Woods, which will be my next post, but for now, here are some photos of the Whistling Kites at Newcastle Waters. The first three are of an adult "training" a younger one I think, or maybe just two WK's playing:

There were lots of other species in abundance at Newcastle Waters too. Herons, Egrets, Cormorants and ducks. If anyone is passing through the Stuart Highway between Elliott and Dunmurra, I would strongly recommend a 3 km detour to check out the wonders of this peaceful and bird-abundant spot.

Happy Birding!


  1. Hi!
    Lovely serie with many stunning species
    Greetings from Sweden

  2. What a set of pictures!
    Hurray for the snake, unfortunately I know enough on Aussie snakes to help with ID!
    Most probably a venomous one! Better be careful! :)
    The whistling Kites and the Banksian Cockatoos are great "catches" too!!
    Well done!
    Cheers Richard!

  3. Que variedad de especies.Buenas fotos.Saludos

  4. Thanks for the comments Ingemar, Noushka and Isidro, much appreciated, cheers, Richard

  5. On a smaller scale we get unexpected explosions in numbers of Night heron at tincy suburban Blackburn Lake - then they're gone again.

    Thanks for the recommendation. If I'm ever passing that way i might consider! LOL!!