Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #83 - Cockatiel

Chris Watson

Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus

 After a few seasons of hefty rainfall, the country is finally beginning to dry out a bit. As smaller waterholes dry up, bird populations concentrate on the remaining, more reliable, water sources. Cockatiels have been prominent around town for a few months now, and along with the Zebra Finches and Budgerigars, are one of the more obvious of the nomadic desert species at the moment. They can disappear for long periods as they breed up in remote areas and then they come back stronger than ever in big flocks at waterholes wherever they find them. At the moment they can be seen drinking in the hours before sunset at any decent water sources around town, and the photographed birds were at Wigley’s Waterhole on the Telegraph Station Reserve.

This week has seen a few reports of Grey Falcons from east of town around Emily Gap and another down the old south road. Princess Parrots continue to be seen out at Newhaven Reserve and Grey Honeyeaters have been reported again near McGrath Creek on the Stuart Highway north of town.

The area of Deep Well Road that was burnt out last year continues to support healthy populations of Rufous-crowned Emu-wrens and Spinifexbirds. At the sewage ponds, the water level has been perfect for some of the shorter-legged wading birds and both Spotless and Australian Crakes have been seen during the week. A pair of Black Falcons have been frequenting the area south of The Gap and have been seen most afternoons around the sewage ponds and the Todd River.

Redthroats and Slaty-backed Thornbills round out the local reports of elusive residents, both of which have been seen out the back of Flynn’s Grave during the week.

Happy birding!