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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, 17 August 2011

Wiggly Gorge and Wiggly Waterhole

It is a bit hard to find a safe spot to go bird-watching around Alice springs at the moment. We have fires in every direction. So I headed up to Wiggly Gorge and Wiggly Waterhole, as the fires to the north were supposed to be a fair bit further north.
I started at the Gorge:

Wiggly Gorge
(this is the view looking back towards Alice Springs)
A few fairy-wrens, white-plumed honeyeaters, willy wagtails, yellow-throated miners, and a Black-fronted Dotterel:
 The pied birds seemed to be all together - Pied Butcherbird, Magpie and Magpie Lark. I was awaiting the Hooded Robin and the White-winged Triller but they didn't show.

Pied Butcherbird

Australian Magpie:

Magpie Lark:

Next I headed up to Wiggly Waterhole. I haven't been to either of these places for years so it was interesting to see how the grasses had taken over most of the little tracks off the roads, and the "infrastructure" which has been put in (there is now dedicated car parking areas).

Grey-crowned Babblers and Weebills were the first birds I could hear and see as I left the car, but the Babblers preferred to stay far enough away so a decent photo was not possible. The Weebill however came quite close to check me out:

A little further along as I approached what I think is the actual waterhole, there was a pair of Grey Teals:

and then I came upon the waterhole itself:
There is lots of dropping on the rocks and branches surrounding the waterhole suggesting roosting herons etc but none were there while I was. I continued up the river bed and stumbled across a pair of Spinifex Pigeons. For some reaason I have had trouble locating these birds, and the only previous photo I have managed is through the windscreen so I was pretty happy to observe this pair for a little while without the camera, listen to their low "boom" calls, and then I must have done something to alert them of my presence and the flew off, but not ... too .... far ... :-)
I hadn't noticed how large their crest is before today. Once they were alert, it didn't take long before they flew off too far for a decent photo so I was glad to capture the above image.

Nothing much was happening bird-wise and even though I had noticed the smoke nearby, wasn't too fussed as the burning off seemed to be happening a fair way from me, I thought on the other side of the highway. I was meandering back towards the highway when I spotted a lone Brown Falcon in a tree by the track. I had seen four of them circling high above me when I was at the Waterhole, but this one was a lot closer and worth a photo:
I continued on and was rather surprised to see that the burn-off had come all the way up to the access road's western edge. I think I may have surprised the fire fighters as I headed towards them because both of them seemed to get a bit of a fright at the sight of the vehicle. Anyway, very glad they were there, they are doing a fantastic job under pretty awful conditions at the moment, and I was glad I hadn't caused them any extra headaches.

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