Eyrean Grasswrens (Strzelecki Desert, SA)

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Subject: Eyrean Grasswrens (Strzelecki Desert, SA)
From: "Robert Read" <>
Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2001 13:30:01 +0930

Ian May's posting has prompted me write of my experience with Eyrean
Grasswrens over the last week.  I spent 4 days atlassing in 24/136 and
25/136 along the Colson Track in the northern part of the Simpson Desert in
the NT.

Bird life was not as abundant as described by Ian for the Strzelecki Desert,
probably because the desert is drying out.  However Eyrean Grasswrens were
common, being the 2nd commonest bird after White-winged Fairy-wrens.

I found them at most locations atlassed by walking along the crests of
dunes.  Searching was hampered by windy spring weather.

There is not much that I can add to Ian's descriptions of the call and the
habitat.  It is worth looking for tracks in the sand to see if the birds are
around.  They showed no response to a poor quality recording of their call
copied from the Simpson and Day CD-ROM, nor to a mechanical squeaker.  I
find that the latter is effective for attracting Dusky Grasswrens.

The Colson Track crosses Aboriginal Land and permits are not generally
given.  I was only able to obtain one with the support of Birds Australia.

Rufous-crowned Emu-wrens were seen at three locations, Spinifexbird once,
and a pair of Letter-winged Kites flew over while I was having breakfast one

Robert Read.
Alice Springs

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