RFI Alice Springs

Subject: RFI Alice Springs
From: "Amanda Markham" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 12:18:37 +0930
Hi all,

Here?s an update from Alice Springs. In the past week we?ve had another 70mm
of rain, which means that creeks and rivers have been flowing, waterholes
have been filled up and some plants are preparing to flower again. As I
write, this it?s still raining and we are expecting more. The weather is
cooling down and by mid-April, will be absolutely fantastic for camping and
bushwalking. There are still lots of flies and will be until we get our
first frost, so I strongly recommend a fly net.

I?ve had a number of requests for info on birding places around Alice
Springs and for interesting sightings. I?m only a part-time birder, so I?ve
asked about some of my ranger friends and we?ve come up with a list of good
spots round and about the place. Most of these sites are on parks or

Please note that if you?re coming up here and want to go to places other
than the Alice Springs Sewer Ponds (there is a bird hide there) or Ormiston
Gorge you will need a 4WD.

And finally, I highly recommend that all birders go and visit the Alice
Springs Desert Park before going out. This park takes you through each major
desert habitat and every habitat has an aviary (some are walk through).
These are invaluable if you haven?t done much birding up here before.

Some good, lesser known places for birding:

Anna?s Reservoir (about 115km north of Alice Springs, near Aileron
Roadhouse). Good for Firetails at the moment. To access this Reserve, you
must call the Senior Park Ranger at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station (08
8952 1013). The gate is locked at present.

Owen Springs Reserve (50km west Alice Springs). The Hugh River crossings
near Lawrence Gorge have waterholes in them which are great for birding:
Trillers, Egrets, Kingfishers, Rufous & Brown Songlarks, Mistletoebirds,
Rufous Night Heron, Zebra Finches, budgies. Please note: you must have a 4WD
to drive through Owen Springs. Call the Senior Park Ranger on 08 8956 7300
for updates on where to go and what to see. Both rangers at Owen are

Fish Hole Gorge (80km NW of Alice Springs). To access, drive 20km north of
town and turn left onto the Tanami Rd (sealed road). Then, drive 25km out
and take the ?Hamilton Downs Youth Camp? left off the Tanami (you will pass
directly by Kunoth Bore, another local birding haunt with Pink-eared ducks
present sometimes). You will drive on a really good dirt road for about 28km
until you see the signs for the Larapinta Trail (about 1km from the Youth
Camp). Follow the signs in. Depending on whether you have a 4WD or not,
continue until the final parking area (about 2km from Fish Hole). Walk along
the track towards the Larapinta Trail shelter and see Firetails and
White-Browed Babblers. The trees in the creekline have budgies breeding in
profusion at present. The waterhole is about 800m further down the creek.

Mac Clarke Conservation Reserve/Andado Pastoral Property (approx 320km SE
Alice Springs). You need a 4WD and experience in remote areas to attempt
this! Drive down along the Santa Teresa Road, follow the signs to Allambie &
Andado once you get to Santa Teresa Community (go and check out the amazing
artwork inside the Spanish-style church at Santa Teresa & Kerinkga Art
Centre ? both open to the public & free). Once you get to the Simpson Desert
sand dunes, stop frequently and listen for Eyrean Grasswrens & Chiming
Wedgebills. Given that we?ve had heaps of rain, you should also keep one eye
on the sky for Letter-winged Kites. I?ve seen them on the way to Mac Clarke
several times. Just east of Mac Clarke is East Bore (you can see the bore
from the reserve?s entrance). There are lots of Chiming Wedgebills around
the low dunes in this area. You can stay at Old Andado in comfortable but
basic cabin accommodation or camp out and enjoy the best night sky anywhere.

Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve (100km south). A 4WD is recommended, but
I have seen plenty of small 2WD hire cars at Rainbow? but maybe not after
lots of rain! Great for sand country birds and waterbirds when the claypans
are full after rain. Most of all, just go there cos it?s a beautiful place
to visit!

Ormiston Gorge (130km west). 2WD access. Some of the current residents:
ringnecks, magpies, magpie larks, white plumed honey eaters, spiny-cheeked
honey eaters, black-faced cuckoo shrikes, Grey-crowned babblers. Around the
campground, look out for Zebra finches, Mistletoebirds, Pardalotes and
Button Quail. Talk a walk around Section 10 of the Larapinta Trail or the
Ormiston Pound walk for:

Yellow throated minor
Common bronze wing
Rufous whistler
Grey-fronted honey eater
Yellow-rumped thornbill
Horsfield?s bronze cuckoo
Pied butcherbird
Dusky grasswren
Spinifex pigeon
Spinifex bird
Variegated wren

You can stay at Ormiston. The campground has showers & toilets, but it does
get very crowded during Jun-Aug. For more info call the Ranger Station: 08
8956 7799.

I hope this is helpful to all of you who've expressed interest in coming up
here. Feel free to contact me via email here or at work
  if you need any other information.


Amanda Markham
Parks & Wildlife Service
Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts
PO Box 1120
Alice Springs NT 0871
ph. 08 8951 8207
fax 08 8951 8290

From: "Marlene Lyell" <>
To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: FW: [Birding-Aus] RFI Alice Springs
Date: Wed, 28 Mar 2007 10:44:48 +1000

Hi All,

   Maybe responses could be posted on this forum as a few people are going
to Alice Springs this year.
Thanks and happy birding

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Greg Oakley
Sent: Wednesday, 28 March 2007 9:05 AM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: Re:[Birding-Aus] RFI Alice Springs

I too will be up in the Alice area in a few weeks, so any current local
advice would be much appreciated, especially the following:

Thanks in advance,

>From :     Alana Dare <>
Sent :     Tuesday, 27 March 2007 9:38:38 PM
To :     <>
Subject :     [Birding-Aus] RFI Alice Springs

    |        |        |    Inbox

Thank you


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU