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, 3 February 2012

Central Australia, a bird watchers delight

Even though I have been living in Central Australia for over 10 years, I probably still don't consider myself a local. That being said, I think Central Australia is a wonderful place for many reasons, and one reason is the variety and uniqueness of the bird-watching possibilities in and around Alice Springs in particular, but Central Australia in general. Much has been written and reported about other bird-watching wonders of Australia (Kakadu in the NT, the Hunter Valley in NSW, the Daintree in QLD etc.), all with merit, and yet Central Australia, apart from its majestic scenery and a plethora of entertaining, unique and absorbing events and activities, is casually mentioned as a bird-watching destination. One of our local bird-watching enthusiasts has amassed over 200 species in Central Australia, has a regular radio spot on the local ABC, writes a column in the local paper and brilliantly advertises the uniqueness of the birding experience in a wonderful blog with beautiful photos and informative insights for the rest of the world to see (I would encourage all readers of this blog to visit Chris Watson's blog by either clicking here or go to the website at: .)

With so many potential species, it is unsurprising to discover that we have a water treatment plant in Central Australia that is either home or a resting place for many birds. Some are singles who drop in for a little while on their way through to feeding grounds further afield, and others are residents all year round.

As with all birding experiences, it is hard to be 100 per cent certain of what birds will be visible, and/or in the location visited. Late this afternoon I visited the Alice Springs Water Treatment Plant, otherwise known as the "Poo Ponds" and was struck by the presence of a few "singles".

A pelican in Central Australia is not a common occurrence, and even though it has been sighted by others, my only other sighting of pelicans was last year when a group of 50 or so flew over our local soccer ovals. Some readers will know that pelicans nest in Lake Eyre when conditions are right, but pelicans are generally ocean-residing birds and the nearest ocean is 1200 kms to the south (Port Augusta)!
Today was also the first time I experienced the Black Falcon sending the ducks and other birds into a survival frenzy as it swooped in low and fast looking for some prey. I was both a little disappointed and relieved when it was unsuccessful and flew off into a distant tree to wait until the next opportunity.
Masked Lapwings are residents at the Ponds, and can be rather nasty when they are raising young, but today they were relatively quiet and allowed quite close photography without the need to duck!:

The final photo is of a beautiful Black Swan. The swan isn't normally a bird I would spend too much time photographing, but the late afternoon light and the ripples in the background water made this one a bit more unusual than normal:
Today was a relatively quick visit and I still found nearly 50 species. I would encourage any readers of this blog to visit Central Australia (if they haven't already) and see all it has to offer, including the bird-watching.


  1. WOW!!
    So you said, there are many birds in Central Australia!
    But still looking at your stunning photography makes me desperately to come and meet you there, one day... when we can get rid of our French property!!
    I am familiar with Chris Watson's blog!
    Thanks for mentioning it!
    How odd a single Pelican would station so far from the seaside!
    you Black swan is marvel, and you caught it at just the right time!
    Cheers, Richard!

  2. Great photos! That Masked Lapwing looks like an incredibly interesting bird. Funny coincidence being so far from Australia, but we go birding most frequently at a water treatment plant as well!

  3. Hi, from freezing Kent in England.Your blog certainly warmed me up today.I have added you to my list of blogs to follow .Best Wishes Phil

  4. Enjoyed the read, Ta!
    Don't talk to me about masked lapwings. They've got spurs on their wings you know !!!

    From Scarred-in-youth

  5. Nice to see those exotic bird from the other side of the planet!
    Saludos camperos.