Bottoms up to Kakadu Bird Week 14-21 October 2015

Magpie geese search for water chestnuts at Mamukala Wetlands

Magpie geese search for water chestnuts at Mamukala Wetlands in Kakadu National Park

A bums-up salute from magpie geese greeted us at Mamukala Wetlands last month as they scrabbled to stretch their necks to the bottom of the billabong in search of juicy bulbs. It was a comic display and one that was repeated by geese throughout Kakadu National Park as they filled up on water chestnuts before the billabongs dry up and the ground becomes to hard to extract them.

Sixty species of water birds visit Mamukala Wetlands in Kakadu

Sixty species of water birds visit Mamukala Wetlands in Kakadu

While I knew the bird life in the park was prolific, I didn’t realise that Kakadu is home to one third of Australia’s bird species, including an estimated three million magpie geese. Listening to their comic honking and watching them take flight en masse at sunset is a memory I’ll now always associate with Kakadu.

Magpie geese take to the air on a Yellow Water sunset cruise, Kakadu

Magpie geese take to the air on a Yellow Water sunset cruise, Kakadu

As well as the bird hide at Mamukala, the easiest way to see the variety of water birds is on a Yellow Water cruise. From tiny kingfishers to regal eagles, Jesus birds to jabirus, the guides know where they hang out and delight in showing you as many species as they can.

Learn more about how I got all twitchy in Kakadu in my story for  Escape Flock to Kakadu.

07 White-bellied sea eagle at Yellow Waters, Kakadu. Photo © Briar Jensen

A white-bellied sea eagle at Yellow Water, Kakadu.

Now I wish I could go back for Kakadu Bird Week, which runs from 14-21 October. Aimed at both novice and experienced twitchers, it includes talks, guided walks and special cruises. There’s a mini Twitchathon, the opportunity to participate in scientific monitoring surveys and a photographic competition on the park’s Facebook page facebook.com/kakadunationalpark.

For full details visit parksaustralia.gov.au/kakadu/do/bird-week.html

More: Kakadu Tourism; Travel NT

Discalimer: I travelled to Kakadu with the assistance of Tourism NT and Kakadu Tourism.

About Briar's Travel Beat

Briar Jensen is a Sydney-based freelance travel writer. In her blog, Briar's Travel Beat, she shares her travel experiences to inform, entertain and inspire.
This entry was posted in Animals, bird watching, birds, Kakadu Bird Week, Travel News & Events and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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