Darwin’s Casuarina Coastal Reserve

Casuarina Coastal Reserve in Darwin is a small park comprising of about five kilometers of trails in Darwin, NT. It has a variety of habitats including forest and coastal area, and as a result it is a great place to see a variety of birds. It is perhaps not as great as Darwin Botanical Gardens, nor is it as spectacular as the nearby Fogg Dam. Yet, the Casuarina Coastal Reserve is so easy to access and provides excellent photographic opportunities, that it should be visited at least once by visiting birdwatchers before they head off into more advanced territories like Kakadu.

We did not see a huge number of species here, but because there are isolated trees and fences, it provides good opportunities for bird photography. This is especially true in the evening when it is cooler and the light is amazing.

White-breasted Woodswallows, guaranteed!

This park is popular as it is one of the nicest spots just to take a walk in Darwin, but it is worth a look anyway.

Rainbow Bee-eaters here often sit on the wire fence or nearby trees. Don’t fret if they fly away – they usually come back and land in the same spot as before!

In terms of birds, expect to see Peaceful Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove, Torresian Imperial Pigeon, and Orange-footed Scrubfowl. Masked Lapwings are also common, and sand plovers can been seen in the beach area. There is supposed to be a colony of Bush Stone-curlew, but we did not find them. Instead, we first saw this bird at the Cairns cemetery. There are other shorebirds that can be seen, although we did not have much luck with those, and of course that is probably because we were there in the dry season. A huge variety of honeyeters can be seen as well, such as Blue-faced Honeyeater, Scarlet Myzomela, Red-headed Myzomela, and White-gaped Honeyeater.

Incredibly common are White-breasted Woodswallows. These birds are really great. They roost in huge groups, often snuggling right next to each other.

Long-tailed Finches whispering secrets

Pay attention to the different habitats: Rainbow Bee-eaters are out in the open, the finches like grassy areas and small shrubs, and Spangled Drongos are often deeper in the forested areas.

This place isn’t big on parrots, but we did see a Red-tailed Black Cockatoo fly over. We got really great views of them on the Darwin University Campus as well, which is also accessible via on the paths in this park. Definitely worth a visit!

A sunset at Casuarina Coastal Reserve

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