Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Early morning birding action at Nyirripi

Before the sun peeked through the shrubs, the Peregrine had taken station on top of a lamp post. 15 minutes after the sun broke through, the budgies started arriving. In the meantime, a really gutsy Willie Wagtail tried to hassle the Peregrine off the wires. Groups of 10, 20 and more, all checking out the water and building into larger and larger groups.

Throw in a water sampler and his dogs, a bull in the paddock and there was action aplenty, not least of which when the dogs started going the bull, the Peregrine decided that was a good time to do a swoop, and the budgies scattered. all very exciting to watch.

Peregrine Falcon

A really gutsy Willie Wagtail takes on the Peregrine

Budgerigars, noisy and colourful

Nankeen Kestrel decided to join in at one point

Rufous Whistler checked me out

Not sure if this was the brave one, but made for a lovely backdrop for the photo

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Birds and scenery around and near Nyirripi, Central Australia

I drove out to Nyirripi via Yuendumu yesterday for work, stopping a few times along the way to check out the wildlife and scenery. In the late afternoon I drove to the west boundary of the Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary and this morning I checked out the local poo ponds. It is starting to dry out well and truly out this way, north west of Alice Springs, and generally speaking it is the seed eaters that are in numbers, very few flower-peckers/honeyeaters due to the lack of flowers around. The budgerigars are definitely starting to flock, a group of about 200 last night and 300 this morning would suggest there are a lot of them around out this way. Lots of Crimson Chats and Woodswallows, mainly Masked and Black-faced, and Zebra Finches who seem to be ever-present. A few nice surprises this morning included a pair of Australian Bustards near the ponds, as well as a smallish flock of about 20 Cockatiels, and one accommodating Black-breasted Buzzard patrolling the sky. Yesterday afternoon included some Varied Sittellas, a species I have seen out this way before but confused me with their calls for quite some time until I could get an ID photo looking into the sun.

Hopefully there will be more nice experiences to come bird-wise. The scenery out here always inspires with Karku, the local "Little Uluru" as some in the community call it. And then there was the sunset last night taken on the Newhaven Sanctuary western border, not to mention the lovely patterns on the side of the road made by the wind in the red sand.

Black-breasted Buzzard

Budgerigar flock

Pair of australian Bustards

Zebra Finches

Crimson Chat

Grey-headed Honeyeater

Karku behind a lovely covered sandhill

Sunset from Newhaven Sanctuary

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A happy ending for "Blackie" - the Black Kite

Travelling towards work after dropping off one of the kids to school, I glanced down a side road and noticed a bird waddling that shouldn't have been on the road at all. I swung into the side road. The bird was still there. It should have flown off as a car drove past. I drove up towards it slowly. Definitely a bird of prey, unsure what sort at this stage. The bird opened its wings wide but seemed either reluctant or unable to get off the ground. It looked tired too. I pulled over to the opposite side of the road as it crept along the fenceline in the shorter grass towards a large clump of longer grass near the base of a tree. Still it didn't fly off. I could see now it was a Black Kite, but figured it was either a juvenile that had fallen from the nest, or was injured in some way. Lots of other Black Kites were circling above, but this one still didn't fly off. I took some shots from the car of it sitting in the grass. Unsure whether to approach it or not. It just wasn't behaving as I have seen Black Kites behaving previously (the non-flying was probably a dead give-away! :-) ). Approaching ever closer, it didn't seem able to move much from its little hide-away in the grasses. I decided it was injured, and quickly returned to the car and went and bought a blanket and a large bag from a shop nearby. Upon my return it had moved less than 2 metres from where I had left it. Again I stopped on the other side of the road, and grabbed the blanket and bag. It moved about half a metre as I approached and then quietly sat on the ground. I threw the blanket over it (it is really a large round cover for a wicker chair I think) and the bird stayed still underneath. Fearing the bird could well have died from fright at this approaching human, I picked the blanket up and put it into the bag and jumped back into the car. Desperate to find the phone number for the WildCare organisation in Alice Springs, I found their web site with no phone number. So if you live local, write down this number: 0419221128. I eventually found the number in the Local Directories. Called them and they suggested I take the kite to the Vet. I did this and left the kite with them. Thankfully, I returned to the Vet later and the kite had managed to wake up from the sedative they had given it. The issue had been some sort of oily substance on its wings that had stuck its feathers together so it wasn't able to fly. Hopefully a carer will be found and the kite will be back flying in the near future. I would also like to thank the ex-Alice Springs resident Chris Watson for his advice as to what I could possibly do.

Here are some shots of the bird in the grass:

Black Kite

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A stunning sunrise at the Alice Springs airport, Long-billed Corellas, Black Kite etc

This morning one of my sons had to get up early and do some training, so my other son and I went out near the Alice Springs airport to see if there were any budgerigars around. Alas, no budgies, but we were treated to a sensational sunrise looking across the graveyard for planes at the airport, with some beautiful sun streams:

Sunrise at Alice Springs Airport

Long-billed Corella, one of two hiding amongst the Little Corellas

Black Kite above

Little Corellas

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Cockatiels, Little Corella, Pied Butcherbird and an unusual threesome - bird photos

All of these photos or either around or near Alice Springs. The birding is starting to hot up as the weather cools down and the water starts to disappear except for the main waterholes and larger creek beds and reserves. The budgerigar flocks are getting larger south of town and there are lots of juvenile birds of all sorts around the area at the moment.

If you have ever wanted to visit the region, now would be a great time, get here before the bulk of the tourists arrive and enjoy the wonderful local gorges without too many others.

Hope you enjoy the photos:


Little Corella

Pied Butcherbird

Nankeen Kestrel, Galah and Magpie-lark

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Australian Ringneck - a display of colour

The Australian Ringneck, or Port Lincoln Parrot as I have called it in the past, has a rich variety of colour, especiallyin flight. I captured the following in the backyard recently:

Australian Ringneck

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Bird, animal and scenery photos from west of Alice Springs

I've been travelling west of Alice Springs for work and have managed a few shots along the way.

Wedge-tailed Eagle - Papunya

Brown Falcon - Haasts Bluff

Cockatiel - Haasts Bluff

Dragonfly - Haasts Bluff

Mulga Parrots Tanami Rd

Sand Goanna - Papunya Rd

Glen Helen from 2 Mile

Mt Sonder from 2 Mile

Brown Falcons - Papunya Rd

Budgerigar and Zebra Finch - Papunya

Horse bath - Papunya

Red-capped Robin - Ochre Pits

Mistletoebird - Papunya