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.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Where there's smoke ... there's BoP

Decided to head up the highway today, not sure why, but as I drove to the "Highest Point" marker, there were huge plumes of smoke rising near the Yuendemu turnoff hills. Maybe it started as a controlled burn but this was much bigger than most of the burns around the place recently, and the wind was whipping up the smoke and sending smoke and ash towards town.
Chris Watson has mentioned in his blog (a fantastic read and resource for bird-watching around Alice Springs: and I would encourage anyone reading this blog to check out Chris's blog) that where there is smoke there are normally raptors, especially kites. So I continued until the Highest Point marker area and stopped the car. There were a few birds around, Peaceful Doves and a Crested Bellbird:
Neither seemed too fussed about me or the car. I could hear fairy-wrens and the occasional group of zebra finches. After managing some nice photos of zebs, I was reluctant to take any today, but the background filled with smoke made me post this photo:
I was keeping my eyes out on the skies for the kites that are a constant presence whenever I have been near this location, but to no avail. I decided to find a more private location for a quick wee. Standing there, searching the skies, I was just finishing and happened to look down to see a small quail scurry past my leg, no more than a metre from me and into the bush. It wasn't a brown quail, it had an orangy-chestnut head but as I was otherwise engaged, the camera wasn't in "use" and before I could do anything it had disappeared. I suspect a little button quail but with no photo .... :-(
Finally a raptor or two did turn up. A wedge-tailed eagle was circling high in the sky at the "smoke-front" and then a brown falcon came by and did a little loop nearby before flying away. Again, not the best photo of the falcon, but the background is just the smoke from the fire giving the photo an almost "portrait"-like composition:

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