BIRDS - THE HABITATS
The country is largely comprised of monsoon woodlands, with intermingling flood plains, billabongs (ox-bow lakes), swamps, and riverine habitats. During the monsoon season, it becomes a vast wetland - impossible to traverse.
To the south is the Arnhem Land Escarpment, an imposing wall of sandstone over 500km in length and up to 300m high.
The stone country (as the locals call it) has many fantastic gorges - the gateways of vast rivers that spill into the woodlands and plains below the sheer walls. Stone outcrops, called outliers, spill across the woodlands, and are true microenvironments of the escarpment.
The Liverpool River, which drains an area of 7,250 sq.km, has a tide that runs over 70-km inland until it pushed the freshwater reach back upon itself.
The river is wide with muddy banks, the favourite haunt of mega-size Estuarine or Saltwater crocodiles. Over 20 species of mangroves line the riverbanks; while beyond the tidal forests; vast grassy flood plains extend to far horizons.
The mangrove tidal forests of the Liverpool and Tomkinson Rivers are amongst the largest in the Northern Territory.
Upstream, the Liverpool River winds through vast freshwater wetlands, where rare plants, like the Geebung palm (Corypha elata) and many others, occur. The monsoon rainforests are wonderful places where palms, orchids, lianas, ferns, tall trees, and scrubs, are rich in colours and blossoms that attract hordes of honeyeaters and other birds.
This is well-watered country with many permanent billabongs and swamps in the monsoon woodlands, some with large patches of monsoon rainforest that occurs over much of this vast land, all combining, along with estuary, coastal and island habitats, in one of the most exiting birding destinations that has been offered in recent times to the word of birdwatching.
The Arnhem Land Barramundi Nature Lodge overlooks the Tomkinson River, a unique system that is tidal almost to its source. It is not only home to many crocodiles, but the riverine forests, swamps, and tidal plains houses a myriad birds of many varieties.
It is one of the few places in Australia where the Black-backed Wagtail has been seen, and where the rare Red Goshawk probably hunts it.