Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #28

Chris Watson

Peaceful Dove Geopelia placida

A peaceful long weekend

The long weekend is behind us and like many Centralians, I spent most of it out bush. The weather has been perfect for bird watching and this weekend I concentrated my efforts on the Western Macs. I caught up with this tiny Peaceful Dove at Redbank Gorge.

You’ll be able to separate this little bloke from his close relative, the Diamond Dove, by the distinctive blue eye ring – the Diamond Dove’s is red. This tiny native is another species which has been bullied out of Alice Springs by the feral Spotted Turtle-dove. It is now quite unusual to encounter the Peaceful Dove in town, but out in the bush there are still plenty to be found.

With so many visiting and local birdos out in the weeds this week, it has delivered some great sightings.

Sightings this week: 

-          Pick of the crop from this week’s reports was Mark Carter’s encounter with a rare Grey Falcon a few kilometres south of the prison on the Stuart Highway.

-          A Grey Butcherbird was seen roadside just past Glen Helen Resort on Namatjira Drive.

-          Australian Owlet-nightjar and Southern Boobook were common (and noisy) visitors to the woodland campground at Redbank Gorge after dark.

-          A Blue-billed Duck is reported to still be present at Alice Springs Sewage Ponds.

-          Painted Finch, Black-breasted Buzzard, and White-backed Swallow were among a great haul of birds reported by Richard Waring down around Uluru/Kata Tjuta National Park over the weekend.

-          Spinifexbird and Hooded Robin were easy gets around the Redbank Gorge campground

-          Western Gerygone, Inland Thornbill and Southern Whiteface were found in dense mulga just east of Serpentine Gorge