Alice Springs trip report May 2010 [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

To: <>
Subject: Alice Springs trip report May 2010 [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
From: "Perkins, Harvey" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 09:46:14 +1000
Hi all,

While attending a conference in Alice Springs from Wednesday 26 to
Saturday 29 May, I had a few brief opportunities to get out for some
birdwatching. Quite a few birds were picked up around the vicinity of
the hotel (Crowne Plaza), the adjacent golf course, and along the 1-km
stretch of Todd River bed to the Olive Pink botanic gardens, but I also
managed to get out of town a bit on the Wednesday afternoon before the
conference began, late Friday afternoon, and Saturday morning.

On the Wednesday afternoon I was lucky enough to be able to hook up with
another Birding-auser and we went out to the Rufous-crowned Emu-wren
spot 32 km along the Santa Teresa Road. Thanks to some excellent
directions (thanks Matt and John in particular) Stuart and I managed to
pick up a couple of groups of RCEWs as well as a pair of Spinifexbirds
and a pair of Dusky Grasswrens within the space of just over an hour.
This trifecta included the first two being lifers for Stuart and the
emu-wrens and Duskies for me. These were all along the south-east base
of the ridge (ie about 200m past the tyre in the pole) and about 300m in
as we approached a small gully coming down from the ridge. A brilliant
start with some brilliant birds in brilliant late afternoon conditions.

On the way there and back we also caught up with a variety of raptors
including Wedge-tailed Eagle, Black-breasted Buzzard, Brown Falcon,
Nankeen Kestrel, Whistling Kite and Spotted Harrier.

On Thursday afternoon I headed back to Olive Pink botanic gardens (I had
been thwarted by locked gates before breakfast that morning) and very
easily and quickly picked up two Western Bowerbirds performing at the
bower near the car park. Third tick!

On Friday afternoon I managed a quick trip out to Emily and Jessie Gaps
along the Ross Hwy east of town. My main target was Grey-headed
Honeyeater. Some lovely scenery, and I also added Diamond Doves and
Peregrine Falcon to my list, as well as another Western Bowerbird way up
on the ridge top at Emily Gap, but no GHHE.

Saturday morning I headed out to Simpson's Gap for a couple of hours.
Again missed GHHE but had a great time wandering about and picked up a
pair of Collared Sparrowhawks and a swag of small bush birds in the
scrub to the west of the carpark as well as the only Little Button-quail
I encountered.

Alice is a lovely place and the conditions were fantastic. Lots (and
lots) of various types of grasshoppers and locusts, golden orb weavers
everywhere in the scrub at Simpson's Gap made for interesting progress,
and plenty of butterflies (Lesser Wanderer and Chequered Swallowtail
stand out).

Full bird list follows (chronological order of sighting). In the end I
picked up three of my four 'reasonably expected' target birds, so was
pretty pleased. Grey-headed Honeyeater will have to be for the next
trip. As will Pied Honeyeater, Grey Honeyeater, Slaty-backed Thornbill

Apologies for such a belated report; and many thanks to all who
responded to my initial RFI.

Yellow-throated Miner                       airport, common around Alice

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike               airport, Alice, Emily & Jessie

Magpie-lark                                       common around Alice,
Emily Gap, Desert Park

Black Kite                                          Alice, Santa Teresa
Rd, Emily Gap, Desert Park

Budgerigar                                        everywhere, mostly
flocks of 6-30, 1 flock of ca 250 near airport

Crested Pigeon                                 Alice (particularly
around golf course)

Striated Pardalote                            Olive Pink botanic
gardens, Todd River

Galah                                                Alice,  Santa
Teresa Rd, Jessie Gap

Tree Martin                                      Alice (golf course and
Todd River)

Spotted Dove                                   lots around golf course,
most Alice suburbs

Zebra Finch                                      everywhere, common and

White-plumed Honeyeater               golf course, Todd River, Emily &
Jessie Gap, Simpson's Gap

Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater             golf course, Desert Park

Willie Wagtail                                  Alice, Santa Teresa Rd
32km, Emily & Jessie Gap, Simpson's Gap

Masked Lapwing                             golf course

Red-backed Kingfisher                    golf course, Santa Teresa Rd
32km, Desert Park

Australian Pipit                                golf course, Santa
Teresa Rd

White-winged Fairy-wren                part of 7 including 1 breeding
plumage male at golf course

Cockatiel                                         Alice (common, mostly
1-6), Santa Teresa Rd (large flock of ca 200)

Darter                                             1 male at golf course

Wedge-tailed Eagle                        1 over Santa Teresa Rd

Black-breasted Buzzard                 1 over Santa Teresa Rd

Brown Falcon                                  Santa Teresa Rd, Santa
Teresa 32km, Simpson's Gap

Crested Bellbird                              heard distantly at Santa
Teresa Rd 32km

Rufous-crowned Emu-wren           two parties at Santa Teresa Rd 32km

Nankeen Kestrel                            Santa Teresa Rd 32 km, Jessie

Variegated Fairy-wren                    party of 6 at Santa Teresa Rd

Spinifexbird                                    a pair at Santa Teresa
Rd 32 km

Dusky Grasswren                          2 at Santa Teresa Rd 32 km

Australian Ringneck                      common around Alice, Santa
Teresa Rd, Emily Gap

Black-faced Woodswallow             Santa Teresa Rd, Ross Hwy near Emily

Little Crow                                     common around Alice,
Simpson's Gap

Whistling Kite                                Santa Teresa Rd, Simpson's

Spotted Harrier                              Santa Teresa Rd

Little Corella                                   Crown Plaza (flock of

Australian Magpie                          Todd River near botanic
gardens, Simpson's Gap

Weebill                                          Olive Pink botanic

Pied Butcherbird                           Alice (along Todd River),
Simpson's Gap (2/1dy)

Red-browed Pardalote                  1 at Olive Pink botanic gardens

Australian Hobby                          Alice (1 along Todd River)

Western Bowerbird                       pair at bower in Olive Pink
botanic gardens

Grey-crowned Babbler                 Olive Pink (9), Desert Park (3)

Singing Honeyeater                      golf course

Pacific Black Duck                       2/6dy on dam adjacent to golf

Black-fronted Dotterel                  2 at dam adjacent to golf course

Peregrine Falcon                         1 at Emily Gap

Diamond Dove                             Emily Gap, Simpson's Gap

Grey Shrike-thrush                       Jessie Gap, Simpson's Gap

Rufous Songlark                          Simpson's Gap

Rufous Whistler                         Simpson's Gap

Collared Sparrowhawk              Simpson's Gap

Western Gerygone                    Simpson's Gap, Desert Park

Little Buttonquail                       3 at Simpson's Gap

Inland Thornbill                         Simpson's Gap (1/1dy)

Red-capped Robin                    Simpson's Gap (5 males and 2

Yellow-rumped Thornbill           Simpson's Gap (1)

Hooded Robin                           1 female at Simpson's Gap

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill        1 at Simpson's Gap

Harvey Perkins, Canberra

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