Spotless Crakes in Alice Springs

To: birding - aus <>
Subject: Spotless Crakes in Alice Springs
From: Jonny Schoenjahn <>
Date: Fri, 07 Jun 2002 06:35:02 +0800
Hi everybody,

Hugo Phillipps, Melbourne, was wondering recently whether there are more
unusual sightings of Spotless Crakes around the country and whether they are
moving to the coast due to the dry conditions inland.

I'm just back from Alice Springs and found Spotless Crake at Ilparpa Swamp
adjacent to the sewage ponds. I assume there were more than three birds
present in the small area I was surveying on 26 May 2002.

Neither the 'old' Atlas (1984) nor the HANZAB have records for Spotless
Crake in that area. Local birders, very friendly and helpful indeed, said
they have not seen this species in Alice Springs before. Their list of birds
recorded in and around Alice Springs does include the Spotless Crake, but I
understood this was a fairly old record as the list had been compiled by Dr
Mike Flemming, an ornithologist with the NT Conservation Commission, who
left Alice some years ago.

Last summer I found Spotless Cake to be more numerous and widespread in some
inland areas than in other years. I assume they have had one or two highly
successful breeding seasons. (Alice Springs had 670mm in 2000 and 705mm in
2001 the average rainfall is circa 280mm per annum; thanks to William

Happy birding

P.S.: If you go birding in Alice Springs it pays to stay with William & Anne
Cormack, local birders who run the Nthaba Cottage B&B:
<>. Highly recommended.

Jonny Schoenjahn 
Cable Beach / Broome  WA
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