Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #35

Chris Watson

White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae

A bumper list of interesting sightings this week is due to the efforts of many local birders and the sudden influx of a number of birding tourists from interstate. With the swamp areas south of the sewage ponds once again flooded, there have been a number of reports of “lurking” species among the reed beds.

Spotless Crake is a bird which is yet to make it onto my Centralian list but several folks have found this species lately around the bushy areas of the poo ponds. I still haven’t been able to track this species down, but I did find hordes of their, usually shy, cousins the Australian Crake. These birds have been dancing around in the open with the Buff-banded Rails in the afternoons.

The Spotless Crake was proving so difficult to find that I almost didn’t notice the White-faced Heron in the picture. These birds are common enough around watery areas near Alice, but it’s always good to get a close look.

Sightings this week: 

Orange Chats – Are now a regular sighting at the poo ponds and a few other areas to the south of town.

Flock Bronzewing – Still being seen in flocks of up to 150 birds around Burt Plain at sunset.

Buff-banded Rail, Australian Crake, Spotless Crake – All these species are being seen in the early morning and late afternoon by patient observers at the sewage ponds.

Square-tailed Kite – An unconfirmed report of this species at the sewage ponds should have local birdos on their toes and checking all raptors carefully.

Grey Falcon – Fleeting reports of this species are still coming from the river end of Heath Rd

Australian Bustard – Has been reported at Kunoth Bore just a short drive up the Tanami Rd.