Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #16

Chris Watson

Red-necked Avocet Recurvirostra novaehollandiae

G’day Centralian bird lovers and welcome to what might be one of the most interesting seasons of birdwatching for many years. I’ve been working down in Tasmania for a few weeks and couldn’t wait to check the sewage ponds as soon as I returned. This juvenile Avocet which was newly hatched when I left has grown up now and is looking almost as dazzling as its parents on the left. It’s been an exciting month in my absence.

Shortly before Christmas, Mark Carter made one of the finds of the season with a lone Great Crested Grebe at the Sewage Ponds.

A few sharp-eyed birdos have managed to pick out some Banded Lapwings at the poo ponds lurking amongst the flocks of their more common cousin the Masked Lapwing.

Shortly after returning to Alice, I stumbled on a Ruff at the sewage ponds. This is one of the very infrequent visitors to this part of the world. It spends much of its time in Siberia, so it was great that a few local birders managed to get down and have a look during his brief stay in the desert.

A small flock of Australian Pelicans continues to reside at Mary-Ann Dam in Tennant Creek. Closer to home, several birders have reported that Ilparpa Swamp is still bursting with life and sightings of Australian, Spotless and Baillon’s Crake have all been recorded.

Lastly, a reminder that the Central Australian year list competition is now well underway with Red Kangaroo Books in Todd Mall kindly stepping up to sponsor a prize.