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, 30 March 2012

Birds of Lake Nash and the Sandover Highway, NT

It is comfortable to be sitting back at home now after the shuddering of the Sandover Highway. The road isn't too bad from Lake Nash to Utopia, but does give your arms and shoulders, not to mention the concentration a real workout from Utopia to the Plenty Highway. Lovely to hit the bitumen again. After driving on dirt roads through farmland for the week, it felt a little strange to sit on a made road again. I kept waiting for the next pothole or corrugation. I also love the ingenuity of people driving these roads. There were a lot of potholes, and when these were near a Community, the Council had the red and white triangles out, but there is a pothole about 75kms west of Lake Nash which had an old tyre stuck in it. Just as effective as an inidication of danger.

Before I get to a few birds I saw today, there were a few I saw late yesterday afternoon. Instead of returning to the lake at Lake Nash as I had on a few previous evenings, I decided to return up the track I had travelled to get to Lake Nash earlier in the week. More of the same birds, but still worth showing I think:

Black-shouldered Kite

Australian Bustard

and a close up of the same bird's head

The Budgerigars are everywhere and in numbers, here are a few examples:

Every now and then a lone Budgie breaks from the pack, as this Masked Woodswallow discovered:

I didn't see many Rainbow Bee-eaters, although could hear lots, here is one I saw:

The Spotted Harrier (and the Swamp Harrier) are wonderful elegant birds, seemingly on drugs just meandering along. This was the best photo I managed with this one, but watched it for 3 or so minutes as it floated along the top of the grasses and shrubs until it flew out of sight:

And along with the Budgerigars, by far the most prolific bird in the outback at the moment is the Zebra Finch. They quite often rush from their feeding place on the ground next to the road as a car approaches, and then squawk their way up to a perch. The female below was one of the few who didn't flutter off beyond the roadside:

and who else would I expect to find drinking from a trough near a windmill!

And so on to the birds of the Sandover Highway. The majority of the time, my eyes were glued firmly to the road. There were a few occasions where it was possible to have a bit of a look around. The first came as I approached some open farmland, windmill on my left, cows and their patties everywhere else. As I came upon a group of around 15 cows, I noticed a small to medium sized bird on the shoulder of the road and was excited to see it was a Pratincole. Not being a bird I see on a regular basis, I had to look up my Pizzey and Knight to see which variety. An Australian Pratincole:

The next bit of excitement came not in the shape of a bird, but a medium sized goanna, sitting quietly on the side of the road:

and a close up of the head

My final bird for the day was an accommodating Australian Hobby. Normally on the dirt road if you slow down, stop and reverse, the bird has flown. Maybe the tree was high enough for the dust not to reach where the bird was sitting, or maybe it thought it was safe from me, but after passing it and reversing, it was still there:

One day I'll get a real job! :-)


  1. delightful photographs, I'd love to see the budgies and finches in the wild like this, haven't seen the bustard before or the hobby ..thanks for sharing

  2. Hi!
    many lovely photos of absolutely stunning birds. Brids that we ofcourse dont have i Sweden.

  3. Great set of photos again!
    What a variety!
    The Black-shouldered Kite is magnificent!
    Always a pleasure to see what you found!
    Well done, cheers Richard!

  4. Interesante blog para mi que vivo al otro lado del mundo... Muy bellas imágenes y bellas aves... Greetings from Spain...

    1. Thank you for your comments Ana, I also love to see birds from the other side of the world. Greetings from australia.