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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.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Budgerigars, Zebra Finches, Diamond Doves and some reflections from the Hugh River

The family decided to get out of town for the afternoon and we headed to the Hugh River. Takes about 45 minutes to get to the turnoff from Alice Springs, and then another 45 minutes to drive along the track and decide where you want to settle for the afternoon. The Hugh River is traditionally a popular camping spot over Easter and today we ran into a number of groups as we drove along, and were past in our remote spot by a few cars. The Budgerigars and Zebra Finches far outweighed any other bird variety, although we also saw Diamond Doves (a couple of photos below) Australian Wood Ducks, Willie Wagtails, Brown Goshawks and a couple of Painted Finches. Alas this last variety, the Painted Finch, was something I would have liked to get some decent close-up photos but I was walking with two of the kids, and being Easter Egg Sunday, had little chance of them walking quietly. Never mind, one day it will happen.
We put the car near to the river bed on some rocky gravel and found a nice shady tree with some sand to unroll the swag. It wasn't long before we were being "swept" by groups of Budgerigars, some only 5-6, others up to 20. They were fluttering into every large tree along the water's edge, including the one directly above our spot. They are quite noisy, to the point where it is difficult to distinguish other bird sounds. Eventually as they became used to our presence they allowed a number of close-ish shots. I have been trying to get some photos of them in flight so I've included some of the ones that demonstrate either the underwing, or their shape in flight, as well as a few sitting on branches etc.:

 The Zebra Finches were also in our spot in numbers, but probably only 100 or so in total, with groups of 5-10 common when they took flight. They were very accommodating once I had settled on the ground for 10 or so minutes, waiting for them. I tend to enjoy taking more photos of the males than the females as the orange cheek spot seems to offset the eye, but there is a photo of a female below I really like:

L-R: Girl Boy Girl Boy

If I hold my wing out like this I should be able to dip my toe in

There were also a number of Diamond Doves around and this one came for a drink down in the rocks in the afternoon sun:

The final two photos are reflection shots. The first, a standard leaf, caught my eye drifting in the large pool of water, being pushed along by the wind. The resulting photo was unexpected:

And finally, a trip to the Hugh River is always a delight when there is water around (it does dry up), and the resultant reflections of the gum trees lining the riverbank in the late afternoon are just stunning:


  1. adore these pics from the outback; to see the budgerigars and zebras in numbers like that must be such a delight. Makes for the most interesting photography; you got some neat shots. Nice that the kids enjoy the walks too, you've got the best of both worlds happening. The diamond doves are beautiful too of course.

  2. Hola!!! Qué bonito verlos en libertad!!!... Lovely birds... Un saludo..

  3. What wonderful pictures!
    I m happy to see hook-bills in the shape of Budgies and in their original colours!!
    I don't like those artificial mutations!
    The Zebra Finches are lovely shots too!
    And the 2 last shots are really beautiful!
    In all, a great job! Bravo!
    Cheers Richard!