Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #49

Chris Watson

Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio

The smoky atmosphere has not slowed the bird action out at Glen Helen Gorge. I was in the Western Macs this weekend, and the upper reaches of the Finke are still well stocked with fish, attracting plenty of waterbirds.

This Purple Swamphen scrutinised me closely as he scavenged dead fish and invertebrates from the water’s edge. Colin and Shelagh out at Glen Helen Resort are having a bumper season and Colin pointed out a tree full of Nankeen Night-herons roosting on the bank opposite the pub. Also at Glen Helen, I managed to catch up with a Dusky Moorhen; this is one of a very small population that are resident in central Australia.

Albrecht Oval has had some birding highlights this week with Mark “Huss” Hussey finding a mob of Straw-necked Ibis. Later in the week, Jesse Carpenter had the good fortune to find a sleepy Spotted Nightjar out on the turf. The west side of town has had some unwanted birds as well with a few Rainbow Lorikeets reported around Bokhara Street.

The young Nankeen Night-heron that was in care last week has been successfully released into Ilparpa Swamp and was last seen happily hunting around like he owns the place.

Centralian Birding activity will reach a peak this week as Red Centre Bird Week fires up. The fun begins on Saturday with a tag-a-long birding trip through the Owen Springs Reserve and the action continues right through the week, culminating in the 24 hour Twitchathon next Friday. To get involved you can contact the Alice Springs Desert Park directly or view the full program of events at the following web address: http://www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au/plan/pdf/red_centre_bird_week_program.pdf

 Happy Birdweek!