Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #45

Chris Watson

Weebill Smicrornis brevirostris

Welcome to the week of birds in Central Australia. Our bird this time around is perhaps the smallest in Australia. At between 4 and 5 grams the Weebill (pictured) has few rivals in the super-lightweight division of the Australian bird list. This tiny yellow bird may go unnoticed by many, but its garrulous call will be familiar to most. This is a common bird anywhere there are eucalypts that might house the lerps and other small insects which make up so much of its diet. The old telegraph station is a favourite haunt, as is the Olive Pink Botanic Gardens.    

There’ve been some interesting reports from far and wide this week. Big Trav up in Tennant Creek saw 5 Pheasant Coucals down on Peko road – a spectacular, and unusual sighting this far south.

A bit further up the highway, folks at Banka Banka Station have seen plenty of Brolga passing through the area, most likely dispersing from a frenzy of waterbird activity up at Lake Woods at the moment.

Visitors to Ininda Swamp near Old Andado report plenty of water still around those parts and a few Letter-winged Kites still in the area.

Closer to home, water birds have been the order of the day in Alice Springs with Little Pied and Little Black Cormorant both reported along with Australasian Darter this week. Also at the sewage ponds have been Straw-necked Ibis, Common Greenshank, Intermediate and Eastern Great Egret.

Birds of prey nesting around town at the moment include, Brown Goshawks, Collared Sparrowhawks, Black-breasted Buzzards, Peregrine Falcons, and Wedge-tailed Eagles; it should be an exciting time ahead as these youngsters get airborne.

The Budgies seem to be coming back strongly also, and several decent flocks of these uber nomads have been spotted around town over the past week.

Happy birding!