Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #21

Chris Watson

Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax

Bold monarch of the skies

In latin Aquila audax means “bold eagle”.  The bird in this picture certainly fits that description having let me approach within a few metres before flying off very casually.

It’s been a week of ups and downs for Centralian birdos. The “Disneyland” of Alice Springs birding destinations, the sewage ponds, has been temporarily closed following an increase in feral dogs.

            This brief inconvenience has had an upside. I went birdwatching in a few spots that I haven’t been for a while and turned up some corkers. After a trip out to the Rufous-crowned Emu-wren site (where that species has bred well lately) I got a look at a rare Flock Bronzewing as it flew over the car.

            Around the back of the claypans were plenty of Mulga Parrots and a trio of Bourke’s Parrots. Also, the swamps at Ilparpa have just been flooded by Power & Water. As this starts to dry off over the coming weeks we may have some more luck with the lurking Crakes and Rails that have been seen in the area over summer.

            It looks like the sewage ponds might be re-opened in time for a wader count by April.  When this finally goes ahead, the organisers will need expert birdos to do the counting and scribes to write up the lists. Send me an email if you think you’d like to help out.

Sightings this week: 

-          Buff-banded Rails with some very small hatchlings have been seen in the Todd riverbed lately

-          3 Gull-billed Terns seen over the sewage ponds

-          Flock Bronzewing on the Santa Teresa Road

-          Black Honeyeater at the claypans

-          Bourke’s Parrots behind Ilparpa Claypans

Australian Bustard seen on the road to Kata Tjuta from Yulara