Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #51

Chris Watson

Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo Chrysococcyx basalis

Red Centre Bird Week has been and gone, but the birding is still heating up around The Alice. Our bird this week is Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo which can be heard commonly around town at the moment as it searches for another bird’s nest to sneak its eggs into. Richard Waring and I caught up with this crafty species out on the Tanami Rd during the week.

The Waring family figured prominently in Bird Week with Richard, Banjo, and Moses winning the 24 hour Twitchathon with a stunning list of 91 species. Their team, The Buff Budgies, travelled day and night around central Australia to eventually win the event by 2 birds – congratulations!

An honourable mention must go to Twitchathon adjudicator Mark Carter who, though ineligible to win the event, conducted the first carbon-neutral Twitchathon by doing the entire 24 hours on bicycle. Despite this apparent handicap he and team mate Gareth, though suffering a couple of scraped knees along the way, managed to equal the score of the winning team. The carbon-neutral category of the event seems set to become more popular next year.

The Alice Springs Desert Park and the birding community of The Alice has put on a great event this year which has attracted a lot of attention from interstate and overseas through social media like Facebook and Twitter. Alice is rapidly becoming one of the premier birding destinations in the country and it is thanks to events like this and the generosity of participants, volunteers and organisers.

To all the staff out at the Desert Park, the Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club, Dick Kimber, Mark Carter, and all the participants in all the activities through the week; as my grandfather would have said, “your blood’s worth bottling!”

Well done, and many thanks.