Sunday, July 22, 2012

Alice Springs part 2

Today I was able to spend the day with my friend Chris Watson. It was so good to see him and we had so much fun exploring areas North, South East and West of Alice.  After a huge breakfast in Todd Mall we spent the day birding, drinking coffee and generally having fun! What better way to spend a day?

Highlights of the day would have to include birding at Trephina Gorge in the East MacDonnell Ranges, a beautful cliffy area. This area produced some great birds including Dusky Grasswrens but for me the most exciting bird was definately the prolonged crippling views of Spinifexbird. This bird looks a bit like a cross between a Grassbird and Grasswren! It certainly flies like a Grasswren, with its long heavy drooping tail. Wow! What a wonderful bird.

Spinifex Pigeon was also a real treat. So much smaller than its cousin, the Crested Pigeon. We explored numerous cliffs before locating them. Such a beautiful, dainty little pigeon. The prettiest I've ever seen.

Today I was able to get a much better view of the Grey-headed Honeyeater, we also enjoyed Splendid Fairywren, Budgies, Yellow-throated Miner, Crested Bellbird, Hooded robins along with numerous Thornbill species.

Immature Pied Butcherbird who was very interested in the Spinifex Pigeons!

This afternoon we headed out to Hamilton Downs on the northern boundary of the West MacDonnell Ranges. White-winged Fairywrens, Zebra Finch, Pipits, Spiny-cheeked and Singing Honeyeaters, Mulga Parrots put on a show before we were graced with lovely views of a flock of Banded Lapwing.

Alice Springs is a wonderful place and a great birding location!

Banded Lapwing

Immature Pied Butcherbird

Cattle Yard

Nice views while searching for Spinifex Pigeons!

                                                               Black-footed Rock Wallaby


Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Red Centre - Alice Springs Birding

Well, once was definately not enough. I simply had to return to the Alice and do some more birding here.

On arrival I immediately walked to Olive Pink Botanical Gardens. It didnt take long to find a Western Bowerbird's bower but the birds were not there. I waited for a while before deciding I simply had to get a coffee at their cafe. After my "fix" I returned to the bower to discover the Bowerbird busily decorating his home before having to defend it from another male who seemed interested in inspecting it.

Zebra Finch, White-plumed, Brown and Singing Honeyeaters were abundant. There were plenty of birds to keep me entertained but a family of Grey-crowned Babbler collecting nesting materials won my heart when one of them hopped right up to my shoe! Obviously attracted to the Kathmandu brand....

Bowerbirds and Babblers have wonderful little personalities.

Stay tuned for the next NT installment!!