On the way back to Alice Springs from Mataranka yesterday, I saw another 3 Pheasant Coucals. I think that made 10 for the Saturday and Sunday. Considering I'd only ever seen 1 bird on a few occasions previously, to see so many in quick succession was wonderful for me. The one in the photos below was just near the Todd Memorial on the Stuart Highway just south of Dunmurra. First photo is the bird with a frog, and the other 3 photos are to show the beautiful tail and wings. Alas it was overcast and rain/showers for most of the trip until below the Devils Marbles, but the rain cleared in certain spots for a few minutes and this was one.
Before I got to the Pheasant Coucal spot, I had stopped in at Stuart's Tree at Daly Waters for a break/coffee. As I drove back onto the road, I had my windows down. Again the drizzle had stopped. Before I got to the creek bridge, I heard the distinctive call of the Australian Koel. I had heard this on the podcast of Steve Abbott's "BirdBrain" series and was in no doubt it was the same call. After searching for a little while, I spotted one of the two birds calling high up in a dead tree.
Continuing down the Stuart Highway, the clouds were beginning to get higher and the drizzle less frequent. Just before the Newcastle Creek bridge, I saw two Australian Bustards, or Bush Turkeys, about to cross the road in front of me. An adult and a juvenile, the juvenile was the more tentative, but as I had stopped for them, there was no problem crossing the road. I took some photos from inside the car, and quickly checked the camera to make sure I had the dials set correctly, then looked up, and they were gone. A chance encounter that was very brief. A bit further down the road I past another single adult that was in the ditch beside the road but I was almost level with it before it had put its head up. I have included a shot I took at the Alice Springs Desert Park recently that shows the throat shape of the Bustard I had just driven past.
Captive Bird from Alice Springs Desert Park