ABOUT TRACKS BIRDING
Tracks Birding and Photography Tours run small group and private Birding Tours and Photography Tours based in Darwin, Northern Territory (NT), Tracks Birding caters for all aspects of birding including professional photographers who want high quality photographs, serious birders and listers who are looking at ticking some of the more difficult birds off their life lists and the entry level nature / bird lover who want to come out on a trip to learn more about birds and along the way get some great photos.
Tracks Birding and also organise extended tours from just about anywhere in Australia, please get in contact to discuss itineraries and pricing.
TRACKS BIRDING - PERMITS, LICENCES and ACCREDITATIONS:
Parks and Wildlife NT Tour Operator License
Kakadu Knowledge for Tour Guides
Kakadu Land-based Tour Licence
Commercial Passenger Vehicle (CPV) Accreditation
Tour Vehicle (TV Plates) fitted to Vehicle
20 Million Public Liability
Laurie is originally from New Zealand, but recently based in Australia’s Northern Territory, where he now calls Darwin home. He has traveled across every state and territory in Australia over the past 10 years and has forged a name for himself as one of Australia's leading bird finders and photographers, both locally and nationally. Laurie gave up a lucrative career in the new car industry, to follow his passion for birds, and now spends the majority of his time showing visiting photographers and birders the best local and endemic species that make this part of Australia so unique. Laurie is equally at home with the demanding bird photographer or targeted birder. He is renowned for having razor sharp birding skills and endless drive to get that perfect photo, and he holds one of the most stunning photographic collections of rare Australian birds. Has also travelled extensively through Southeast Asia, North and South America, with a fascination with all creatures great and small.
Laurie’s extensive collection of bird photos can be seen here: Laurie Ross Photography. He uses Canon Camera Gear & Swarovski Optics
FUNNY BIOGRAPHY : (Thanks Marc Gardner)
Laurie Ross (aka Birdman) – Born in a cave somewhere in the Antipodes, he is just like a ninja bird whisperer and now spends his entire time devoted to photographing birds in Australia’s Northern Territory. Laurie gave up a lucrative career with Toyota just to go on a helicopter looking for one of Australia’s rarest birds – the White-throated Grasswren. This is now his favourite bird (and also because Gouldian Finches just don’t quite meet his standards anymore). With a physique like a wild Budgie, he has the uncanny ability to climb up escarpments in pursuit of the Northern Territory’s birds and leaving geriatric birders in the heat. The best part of going on a tour with Laurie is his extraordinary cooking and catering abilities, his curries and Asian food will make you feel like you’re on a birding tour somewhere between India and Bali but you’re really in Australia. Laurie exclusively uses Canon gear and has a 1Dxii, Canon 600mm F4 IS II fucking giant lens and always carries some extra Gin for those special moments when he makes you see Grey Falcons.
Northern Territory Map
A map showing some of the areas we visit on tour
MY PHOTO / BIRDING TOUR GEAR :
Canon 1Dx Mark II
Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 600mm f4 IS II USM
Canon 16-35mm f2.8L USM
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1 - 5x Macro
Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS USM
Canon's 1.4x III
1 x Induro 8M AT413
1 x Induro CT313 CARBON 8X
Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Head II
Induro BHD3 Ball Head
Manfrotto Gear Head
Swarovski ATS 20-60x Spotting Scope
Swarovski EL 10x42 W B Binoculars
TOUR VEHICLE :
While on tour I use the very comfortable 8 seater Toyota Prado, this vehicle is super comfortable but still allows us to explore off road tracks which we have many of here in the Northern Territory. I restrict the passenger number to four to give everyone enough space to spread out and have their gear ready if we see anything while on the move. Vehicle has Tour Vehicle Plates fitted along with all the necessary fittings to meet the NT Governments strict Tour Vehicle requirements.
All about the Northern Territories four seasons and when to visit
December - February (Wet Season)
December to February are the wettest months of the year, Darwin has an average annual rainfall of 1729mm which is 1.7 meters of rain. These months are also characterised by extremely high humidity levels (80 - 100 %), monsoonal rains and spectacular storms. Temperatures are high with an average low of 25C (77F) and average high of 33C (91F).
March - May (Transition into the Dry)
March to May are the transition months that lead into the dry season, some years May can still very hot but other years it can be the month that the dry season snaps in. Temperatures and humidity can still be reasonably high but has the added advantage of being quieter with most tourists not turning up until late May into June.
June - September (Dry Season)
June to September are the driest and coolest months of the year, they are also the busiest with thousands of tourists coming up to Darwin to escape winter down south. Humidity is low and the temperatures are ideal for bird watching, you will need to book tours early to avoid disappointment. Average lows are 18/20C (65/68F) and average highs are 30/32C (86/90F).
September - November (Build Up)
September to November are known as the build up and are the months that transition into the wet season, these months can also be some of the best for birding. The birds are usually easier to find as they usually congregate around remnant watering holes and October and November are usually the months birds start to breed and are very active. Humidity and Temperatures are usually quite high but usually tolerable.
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