Mount Isa is home to a plethora of stunning, rare and diverse bird life. From local species to migratory birds; some fly here from as far as Siberia. Local bird life expert Rex Whitehead has provided us with his stunning images and an insight into our local bird population. Join us as he takes us through some of Mount Isa’s most boast worthy birds.
Kalkadoon Grass Wren
The Kalkadoon Grasswren is one of the most sort after birds of this region, as they are endemic, to this region alone. The Kalkadoon Grasswren can be found at the water reservoirs on the eastern end of Pamela Street. Also within the areas of Mica and Sybella Creeks. These sites are the most common locations to find the Kalkadoon Grass Wren but there is no guarantee of finding them. Luck plays a big part, says Rex.
The Carpentarian Grasswren
The Carpentarian Grasswren is also endemic to the Mount Isa region. It was recorded in the Lawn Hill area along with the Chinawall area of the Northern Territory, but hasn’t been seen there for some time. It is thought that it may have been wiped out from these areas by wildfires.
The most popular region now to find the Carpentarian Grasswren is along Mc Namara’s Road, which is the access road to Lady Loretta and Lady Annie Mines, north west of Mount Isa. At 8km along this road, from the Barkly Highway turnoff, there is a stone cairn on the right hand side of the road in which there is a log book. In this book people record their sightings of this Grasswren along with any other birds sighted in this area. This log book is a great aid in helping to find the Carpentaria Grasswren.
The Varied Lorikeet is one of the small parrots in the Mount Isa area. They usually follow the blossoms and wherever there are Eucalypts and Paperbarks blossoming you will find the Varied Lorikeet
The Black-fronted Dotterel is a common, small wader, found usually wherever there is water. They are regularly seen around Lake Moondarra and breed there. They are quite a colourful little bird and will put on what is known as the broken wing act should anyone venture close to their nest, which is just a bare scrape on the ground.
Jabiru or Black-necked Stork
The Black-necked Stork is one of our largest water birds and is regularly seen at Lake Moondarra. Where it feeds on fish, frogs, snakes and turtles and other crustations when in salt water. The bird in this image is a female as it has a yellow eye. The males have a black eye.
The Black-shouldered Kite is just one of the many Raptors in this area. It is a beautiful bird in its white and black, with penetrating red eyes. It is known for its hovering abilities where it can hover in the one place watching for prey on the ground. Hence the Kite name. As it is very much like a kite, in this instance.
The Yellow Chat
The Yellow Chat is one of the rarest Chats to be found but can be found around Mount Isa at various times, along with the Crimson and Orange Chats. The male Yellow Chats gain their vivid yellow colour during the breeding season. They are nomadic so it is a bit of a hit and miss to see one of them. They are much sort after.