Friday, 25 July 2014

Fogg Dam

Fogg Dam, east of Darwin, is well known in the birding community, here and overseas. The dam was built for irrigation purposes but is managed now as a conservation reserve. And birds love it.

Dam wall closed to walking
There are several walks from the carpark before the wall, one through Monsoon Forest and the other to waterlily ponds. The second is closed for some reason so we couldn't walk that and by the time we got back from crossing the wall and having lunch we really didn't have time to do the other. Both get a good mention in  Dolby and Clarke's Finding Australian Birds. The dam wall, shown in the photo above, is a low construction with a bitumen road leading to a birdhide on the other side. We drove across at walking pace and stopped frequently but didn't get out of the car because of the danger from estuarine crocodiles. It's not very far, but it took us quite a while because there was so much to see. Then we spent time in the excellent bird hide before repeating the process to recross the wall.

What a wonderful place. I barely skimmed the surface with my binoculars and don't have a telescope with me on this holiday but saw five birds that I can add to my Australian list as well as flocks of magpie geese, spoonbills, egrets and ibis. It must be fantastic revisit this area in all seasons and at different times of the day. I'd love to go back.

Fogg Dam
Crocodile beside the dam road.
Can you see it? There's a juvenile Jacana on a lily leaf.
Can you see them? A family of Wandering Whistling-Ducks hiding among the lily pads.
Fogg Dam
Magpie-geese and Pied Herons
Paperbark trees, Fogg Dam
And Fogg Dam isn't just about birds. It would be good to have the time to explore the botany and the insect life. There's a lot happening at Fogg Dam.
Mating dragonflies and a caterpillar on a lily leaf
Dragonfly
PS You can click on any of the photos in the blog to view a larger version (but I have been uploading smaller than I usually do because of my more limited internet).

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