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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.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Lots of Budgerigars, Black Falcon chasing and catching Budgerigars, Dusky Grasswren and Brown Falcon

I went out looking for a large group of Budgerigars with my youngest son. We left mid-afternoon and our first efforts went largely unrewarded, although we did find a couple of trees with about 100 Budgerigars perched keeping out of the heat of the day near the road. So we tried a different road, and seemed to drive past virtually empty skies. We headed off to a well known location and found Dusky Grasswrens, a species that I have seen in this spot before but not for a few years. That was pretty exciting. But the real excitement was still to come.
We had seen a Black Falcon earlier, but returned to where Budgerigars had been seen by others near the airport at Alice Springs. After our first try, I wasn't overly confident, but we could see a few small flocks rising above the grasses, and noticed a couple of Falcons sitting on trees on the western side of the road. Suddenly the grasses burst into a sea of green as hundreds of Budgerigars took to the sky briefly and then re-settled in the grasses. They started looking more like the swarms of insects I had seen before. The numbers were definitely in the hundreds, and then as more and more groups appeared, into the thousands.
The Black Falcon finally had had enough salivating over its meal and made a dash for the Budgies, keeping low across the top of the grasses. It dove in and claimed its prey, then flew off. My youngest managed to capture it on video, but had kept the angle quite wide to capture the action.
After the Black Falcon had left, the Budgies seemed to go on their merry way, and then they started to gather for the flight to (presumably) their night time roosts. The numbers grew and gathered, in total I would estimate over 3000. It truly was a wonderful sight and one my son has been wanting to see for nearly 18 months. He was pretty chuffed, as was I. We'll be back to hopefully see this again. Here are a few photos of the afternoons birding with Moses.

One of 4 or 5 large flocks that eventually joined togather

The earlier Budgies in the tree

The Black Falcon starts its run

and collects its prey

A Brown Falcon that didn't really enjoy us stopping in admiration

Dusky Grasswren

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