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.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Alice Springs and surrounds - where the birding just keeps on keeping on

Alice Springs must be the Australian birding mecca at the moment. A few weeks ago a Grey Falcon was spotted during the BirdLife Central Australia/Red Centre Bird Festival Twitchathon. Add to that a credible sighting of Brolgas flying over one of the suburbs (yes we have suburbs in Alice Springs), and in the near future a Princess Parrot tour will head out of Alice Springs with some very lucky participants (see the link here). For those of you waiting for the trip report, I can't remember the last bird I saw when I wasn't on site!

The Twitchathon gives you a good indication of what you can see without too much effort - 71 species in a 12 hour period was the winner, but the last placed team saw 64. I imagine most who don't live in the Alice Springs region would have seen over 10 lifers in just that one day. Get up to Alice Springs!

Today I went out on one of our close-to-town dirt roads. This was to test out how my hand would manage driving on dirt roads as I am keen to resume work as soon as I can. Result - not yet! And the road was not at all bumpy/corrugated. However, whilst nursing the fingers, I decided to pull over and let a water truck go by. I pulled into a nice horseshoe pull-over area and decided to get out of the car as the truck was going quite slow. I saw a bird fly up onto a nearby tree. It looked a bit like a "TREECREEPER!" I raced around the other side of the car and got out the camera, complete with monopod. All thoughts of my now aching fingers were gone as I hurriedly got back to a position where I could get a photo. Varied Sittellas often catch me out, not to mention other birds that would like to be a Treecreeper, but my first suspicion was correct. I watched as it "clawed" its way into a more favourable photo position, hoping that my hand would holdout. It sort of did. Good enough photos for an ID. Just in time as the truck then went past and the bid flew off. I returned to the car, pretty chuffed. As I was putting the camera back in the car, the Treecreeper flew onto a tree almost next to the car. This time it wasn't quite in the sun as much, but much closer, and much better chance of getting a decent shot. I clicked away, aware the trunk was getting the focus most of the time, but I was curtailed in movement by my monopod-assisted one-hand operation. After about 10 minutes, the bird finally flew beyond photographic usefulness.

White-browed Treecreeper

In this stretch of outback road, the Budgerigars and Cockatiels were around but not in huge numbers. Weebills were busy collecting nesting material, a female Hooded Robin sat on the wire fence no more than 5 metres away, Masked Woodswallows, Black-faced Woodswallows, Southern Whiteface, Zebra Finches, the list would fill the page but instead here are a couple of photos:

Hooded Robin

Masked Woodswallow

Southern Whiteface

Variegated Fairy-wren


In total about 30 species. All in woodland that most people just drive past. If you are reading this you are probably a birder. If you haven't ever been to Alice Springs, or haven't been for a while, come and enjoy the smorgasboard of birds that are on offer now. We never know how long it lasts.


  1. Congratulations Rich! Sounds like a significant sighting! I've only just heard about your hand. Wishing you the best