Fogg Dam, one of my favourite places to visit in the Northern Territory   5 comments

The Northern Territory has some exceptionally great places to view wildlife and it doesn’t really matter what time of the year you go, as there is always something to see and do. The only downside to going in the wet season (now) is that roads can be flooded and some areas can be closed due to the risk of crocodiles inhabiting the flood affected areas.

At Christmas, (pre monsoon this year  but after plenty of rain), Fogg Dam was predominantly my choice of locations to view birdlife. You never know what else you might see in the Territory, but the closest I got to seeing something that might have given me the fright of my life, was a a very large pile of buffalo dung, piled high on the dam wall. Where the culprit was, I never got to find out and I am very pleased I never came face to face with it.

I took a couple of walks around the perimeter of the dam on a couple of occasions, never even thinking that I might stumble across the buffalo but when I look back now, it was a big possibility. Not only the buffalo but also crocodiles. Signs tell visitors that the dam wall is closed to walkers however that doesn’t mean that you can’t drive across it. The waterlilies were beautiful in the early morning and they were simply begging me to get close to take their photos. Since coming home I have looked at videos on You Tube  taken at Fogg Dam and crocodiles do live there and have even been videoed basking in the sun on the wall. I shall not be so silly next visit in June.

Rainbow Bee-eaters

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I am thinking this is a Whistling Kite but it could also be a Black Kite. Whichever it was, it was enjoying a meal of Magpie Goose. Magpie Geese are hunted in the Territory and I can only guess that this bird may have been injurd by a gun shot and has come down in the protected area of Fogg Dam. Very close to Fogg Dam is Harrison Dam a known hunting area of Magpie Geese.

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Long Nosed Water-dragon

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Not sure what this little cutie is but it was so friendly I thought it was going to fly in the car window.

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I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw these Agile Wallabies just metres from where I photographed the previous bird that was contemplating flying home in the car with me.

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A male Darter

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Glossy Black Cockatoo

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Nankeen Night Heron

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Radjah Shelduck

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Goanna

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The Green Pygmy Goose

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My favourite Kingfisher the Azure Kingfisher.

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These tiny birds are very hard to see as they fly low and fast amongst the water lilies. There colour is nearly iridescent amongst the dead of the older waterlilies so when one does take a moment to stand still, they are easily seen.

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The Forest Kingfisher

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Crimson Finch darted amongst the long grasses and when startled would fly to the taller branches of the palm trees. When the danger had passed, the seeds in the grasses would draw them back.

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A common sight in the Territory is a crocodile trap. Hearing that gate go down could be quite a frightening experience depending on where you are standing.

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Comb-crested Jacana, one of my favourite birds in the Territory are found in tropical and subtropical freshwater wetlands, including lagoons, billabongs, swamps, lakes, rivers, sewage ponds and dams, providing there is adequate floating vegetation.

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Magpie Goose

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A Great Egret

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Magpie Goose

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Glossy Ibis

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Whistling Ducks but I am unsure if they are Plumed or Wandering Whistling Ducks.

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And the bird I searched to get close too, the Jabiru or Black necked Stork but only seen in the distance. The yellow eye of this Jabiru tells me it is a female.

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A male Darter

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We visited Corroboree Billabong in our son’s boat on an extremely hot day. Expecting to see a lot of croc’s in the Billabong situated in the Mary River which is said to have the highest density of crocodiles in the Northern Territory, we were very disappointed. My guess is midday in the heat of the Territory is not the best time to see any sort of wildlife or even birdlife for that matter.

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A Pied Cormorant

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Female Darter

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And finally we did take a ride on the Adelaide River.

It wasn’t until we put the boat in the Adelaide River where the famous jumping crocodiles are located, that I soon learnt that croc’s tend to submerge themselves to the bottom of the deeper parts of the river or any area of water in extreme heat. We spent a couple of hours driving up the river in search of crocodiles in sweltering heat. Not only was the sweat dripping off us but it was also dripping off our grand-daughter who is only 13 months of age.  Again disappointed that there was no crocodiles, we all perked up a little when we saw a crocodile tourist boat, the only one operating at this time of the year. Seeing the boat we knew we would finally get to see some crocs. Not many but enough to get a photo or two.

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As one crocodile approaches another, you can see how uneasy the other is becoming.

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The following photos show the drama that was unfolding as mud was flying and jaws were snapping.

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If you look closely in the next few photos you will see one crocodile close on the other terrified croc. Funny thing I never thought a crocodile could be terrified until this moment.

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The Northern Territory is one of those places that has to be seen to be believed. This year since our trip at Christmas, the Territorians have had an extremely good monsoon. It has rained and rained for weeks, causing extensive flooding. To see the Territory like this would be something else, but really only visible by air, as roads gets closed and the extent of the water can only be seen from a helicopter of plane.

My next trip to the Northern Territory will be in the dry season of June and it cannot come soon enough.

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5 responses to “Fogg Dam, one of my favourite places to visit in the Northern Territory

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  1. I amsoo looking forward to this. Good to see so many bee eaters and kingfishers.. didn’t see many on my last trip to Africa. Should have, but didn’t. Great photos of the egret in flight. Are your crocs more territorial? I’ve seen so many on Africa all piled together, rarely fighting, even helping each other tear off pieces of a carcass.
    Beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe Saltwater crocodiles are more territorial than fresh water crocs. However a male Saltie will let a female come into his space and share but not another male. My guess is that was two males in my photos. It was quite specula to watch.
      I am planning on you and I spending maybe half a day at Fogg Dam, it’s so easy for the time to slip away. I drive back and forth over the dam, getting out when I want too but sometimes it’s easier to take photos from the car. It also depends how hot it is. You will have most probably noticed that there was some photos of the waterlilies in particular that the colour was much better than others. I went on 2 different occasions and one was early in the morning, hence the better light. I just looked at our itinerary and if you are not too tired, we might get up early after our first night in the territory and take full advantage of the better light at Fogg Dam. There is another place close to Fogg Dam called Window of the Wetlands. There wasn’t much happening there at Christmas unlike the previous year when we were there in October. I am booking us on a 1pm Jumping Croc cruise just for an hour, that is when the tide will be low and best for seeing the crocs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll do whatever is best!

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  3. For me as a Dutch lady it is as if i visited pictures from a natural looking zoo … 95 % of al the animals you show are never to see in the wild on this side of the earth. Peace to peace special and beautiful pictures Sandra. We only have one sort of kingfisher around here and in only one trip you show us i think 3 different kingfishers. The long nose dragon is funny to see and i am kind of jalouse about the bee eaters. But I am happy notting happend with you in this dangerous area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Northern Territory is a photographers paradise. I am going back in June so there should be some amazing photos then. I am going with a friend who will be visiting from America, I even have a trip to Ayers Rock planned. Thank you for your lovely comments. I am fortunate to live in a country that has some truly amazing birdlife and quite exceptional wildlife that is very hard to find.

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