Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #26

Chris Watson

Galah Eolophus roseicapillus

The glory of the everyday

This week I decided to spend some time with the most underrated bird in Australia, the humble Galah. As is so often the case, speaking with tourists is a great way to get a fresh perspective on the familiar things we may take for granted. Without exception, visitors to Alice Springs always comment about our Galahs.

            For Aussies, their erratic flight and raucous, loutish ways have made their name synonymous with affable oafishness.   But if you take a second to appreciate the pastel grey and pink colour scheme, their contentedness in living cheek-by-jowl with humans, and their knockabout camaraderie, it’s hard not to love the Galah.

            It’s been a big week for birdos in Alice with two rare ducks showing up in one week, and some fantastic migratory birds showing up on their way north for the winter.

The wader count at the sewage ponds was a great success and a big thank you to Barb Gilfedder for organising the whole affair, and all the volunteers who came and helped out.

Sightings this week: 

-          Freckled Duck, one of the rarest ducks in the country has paid our sewage ponds a visit giving a few locals their first ever view of this enigmatic bird

-          Blue-billed Duck, astonishingly, the very next day we had one of these show up at the poo ponds. Not quite as rare as Freckled Duck but much less frequently reported here in Alice

-          Pectoral Sandpiper, just in time for the Field Nat’s wader count, president Barb Gilfedder spotted this uncommon migrant fattening up for the flight north at the sewage ponds

-          Peach-faced Lovebird, this introduced pest was found hiding out in corkwoods at Maynard Park on Head Street