Chris Watson

Birding Central Australia #85 - Welcome Swallow

Chris Watson

Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena

This week the swallows and martins have been putting on a great show. Tree Martins, Fairy Martins, and White-backed Swallows have all been in good numbers at Ilparpa Swamp and many other places with open water, as they skim across the surface to drink. The star of the show was this Welcome Swallow at the sewage ponds on the weekend. These birds are usually zipping around so quickly that it can be difficult to get a good look at them. But the camera shutter operating at 1/2500th of a second is sufficient to freeze the bird in mid-air for closer inspection, and reveal the arresting markings of this aerobatic champion.

There has been a swag of big reports this week by visiting birders. The first came from Alma and Dolf, who found a few groups of Orange Chats giving some great views in the loose soil between pond EP7 and the Blatherskite Park fence. Following this there was a report of Striated Grasswrens showing well on Curtin Springs in the late afternoon.

Lastly, a Grey Falcon has been reported several times over the last few weeks, and all the reports are from the vicinity of the James Orr Overpass on the Stuart Highway just north of town. The bird has been seen perched in this area in the afternoons and flying toward the east around sunset. Well worth chasing up if you happen to be north of town in the late afternoon.

Happy birding!