Low degree crossing at Fitzroy Crossing – 10,000 Birds


At any time when we go to Geikie Gorge we make a detour to go to the Low degree 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 chicken species to our 2022 12 months checklist. There have been numerous modifications over latest years on the low degree 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 concerning the crossing in 2015 we’ve visited yearly and as you’ll be able to think about there’s at all times one thing new to see. At totally different occasions of 12 months there are totally different birds to see and the water degree is extraordinarily variable. By September every year it’s normally at its lowest degree and on this latest go to it was already previous 1pm and a scorching 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 vitally scorching you need to put on closed-in sneakers otherwise you danger burning your toes. There have been quite a few Black Kites and Whistling Kites hovering within the thermals over the river. We may hear Gray-crowned Babblers within the dense bush as we made our method down.

Fitzroy River from the low degree bridge

The primary birds that we noticed have been Straw-necked Ibis ingesting on the river after which Magpie-larks and Black-fronted Dotterels. A number of timber have been in flower they usually have been attracting Little Friarbirds, Rufous-throated Honeyeaters, White-gaped Honeyeaters and Yellow-tinted Honeyeaters. Fairy Martins have 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 have been within the timber and coming right down to drink.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

We wandered throughout the low degree 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 checklist for the situation. There have been different raptors together with Brown Falcon and Brown Goshawk. Wanting again in direction of the timber we quickly observed 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 observed a really small pool of water that was attracting the Double-barred Finch and I may 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 value it! The Star Finch knew learn how to cool off!

Star Finch

When the Star Finch bathed they virtually 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 observed we have been being watched by a few agile wallabies. They have been staying within the shade for apparent causes and as soon as the daylight began to fade they’d make their method right down to the water to drink.

Agile wallaby

The climate will be difficult at the very best of occasions, however the rewards for venturing out in the midst of the day can be rewarding. Lots of the finch species have to drink all through the day and if you may also try this in applicable clothes and footwear you could effectively observe a chicken species you haven’t seen but this 12 months.


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