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.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bird Photos from Alice Springs to Ampilatwatja and back

Only a quick trip to Ampilatwatja (said "Um-blooda-witch")  but saw some beautiful wildlife. The first was a young Spotted Harrier, sitting on a fence post at McGrath Creek, about 45 kms north of Alice Springs on the STUART HIGHWAY (will it still be there in July Pete? I tried to nail it to the perch ...):

Soon it was off the Stuart and onto the Plenty Highway, turnoff is about 70 kms north of Alice Springs. Another 30 kms of bitumen, then a left turn onto the Sandover, and the end of the bitumen. The first sign of life came in the form of a Bearded Dragon, head up in the vegetation next to the road, before scurrying off, head low to the ground:

With the road quite bumpy, it wasn't until the turnoff to Ampilatwatja the the next opportunity came for using the camera. There is the one and only roadside stop for cars at the turnoff and although I knew there would probably be Zebra Finches in numbers, I was hoping another finch may be there as well, and although the photos aren't fantastic, I was excited to see the Painted Finches. I have only managed a few photos of the female before now, and was a bit awestruck by the magnificent colours of the male:

Male (top) and Female together in the one bush
The drive from the highway into Ampilatwatja was fairly rough and bumpy but I spied this Black-shouldered Kite from a little way off and managed to slow down without it disappearing into the air:

On the way back from the Community to Alice Springs, I drove the same road again but mostly at night. There were lots of night birds including a lot of Southern Boobooks on the side of the road which frustratingly would fly off and hawk insects in the lights of the car, but hopeless for photos. The ones below are the only ones I managed of the only bird that stayed long enough in the headlights:

There was also a Tawny Frogmouth, much more obligingly sitting in the middle of the road and even though I pulled the car to a stop right next to it, didn't seem at all perturbed:


  1. a bevy of beauty! Loving the painted finch and the black shouldered kite especially! Amazing how the tawny frogmouth was happy to just stay out there on the road.

    1. Thanks Carole. I find that a lot of owls do sit on the road until you get close to them, especially on the bitumen, but can understand why they want to get out of the dust before it arrives on a dirt road. I did wonder if the Tawny may have been injured, but it seemed quite content sitting there.Cheers, Richard

  2. Hi!
    Great serie off many lovely birds. I wish we have them in Sweden.
    Greetings from Sweden

    1. Hi Ingemar, thanks for your comments, I'm sure you have birds in Sweden we would love to have in Australia also. Cheers, Richard

  3. Super feast of birds, Richard. Love them all but especially like the harrier looking at you. I remember chasing one of these with a manual camera and 250mm zoom in August, 1986!!! ....and they're pretty high up on my "I want" list still.

  4. WOW!
    Again a large variety of animals!
    The Spotted Harrier and the Black Shouldered Kite are particularly great catches!

  5. Hey Rich, Only just noticed this post!! Just tieing the thing down would have been fine, you didn't have to nail it! Great photos and and a few definitely not on the "regulars" list.

    Oh and owls ....