Jupiter Well and Kunoth Bore

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Jupiter Well and Kunoth Bore
From: Phil & Sue Gregory <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jun 2010 15:26:13 +1000
Just back from a trip out west to Jupiter Well, with Don Hadden, Bob Read, Barbara and Jim Gilfeather from Alice Springs, Alan McBride, Jun & Sae Matsui and Jacob Gardner; the main quest was for Princess Parrot, but sadly conditions were not good and it was relatively dry with very little in blossom, in sharp contrast to the verdant Kunoth Bore areas near Springs.

Birding out at Jupiter Well and all the sites east from the outstation (20 km east of the well) was very slow, and we found no Princess Parrots, it looks as if they have shifted to other areas. The bird list from the Jupiter Well and outstation area was a lowly 25 species:

Jupiter Well and outstation area June 17-20
Little Eagle two singles, one near Jupiter Well, the other at 44 km east at
Brown Falcon
Nankeen Kestrel
Galah few
Budgerigar many small flocks
Crested Pigeon few
Diamond Dove few
Australian Owlet-nightjar heard JW
Pallid Cuckoo
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
Red-backed Kingfisher
Rainbow Beeeater
White-winged Fairywren at outstation
Variegated Fairywren old Jupiter Well
Singing Honeyeater common
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater few
Yellow-throated Miner
Crimson Chat few
Varied Sittella 3 at JW
Striated pardalote 1 at JW
Black-faced Woodswallow
Masked Woodswallow
Black-f Cuckooshrike 2
White-winged Triller 1
Chiming Wedgebill at outstaion and on dunes at JW
White-backed Swallow 1 near JW
Zebra Finch

A flock of about a dozen Nankeen Kestrel near Mt Liebig June 21 was interesting, no doubt attracted by grasshoppers.
Two Ground Cuckooshrike near Kintore Jun 21.

Kunoth Bore area- 4-5 km down track to Hamilton Downs Youth Camp mornings of June 22 and 23
Black Kite 7
Black-breasted Buzzard 1
Collared Sparrowhawk 1
Brown Falcon
Little Buttonquail c. 50 Jun 22, often flushed in coveys of 4 or 5 from the greener area, and some very confiding, and 12 Jun 23
Diamond Dove hundreds
Mulga Parrot 5 Jun 23
Bourke's Parrot 4 Jun 22
Pied Honeyeater 1 Jun 23
Black Honeyeater evidently breeding, males singing and perching up daily
Brown Honeyeater 3
Singing H common
Spiny-cheeked quite common
Crimson Chat 50+, also singing from perches and looking as if breeding
Western Gerygone 4
Slaty-backed Thornbill 10 Jun 22 and 6 Jun 23, checking carefully for Grey Honeyeater as the chestnut rump is often bleached out in the strong sunlight!
Chestnut-rumped Thornbill a couple
Yellow-rumped Thornbill 3
White-b Babbler several noisy groups
White-w Triller
Crested Bellbird vocal and showed well
Rufous Songlark quite widespread
Hooded Robin 2 males and 1 f.
Red-capped Robin common
Zebra Finch abundnat
Mistletoebird 2
Little Crow a few along Tanami Track and in Alice Springs, lots at Kiwirrkurra.

No sign of any Grey Honeyeaters here despite extensive checking, maybe winter is not so good for them at this site?

Many thanks to the group for their good company (and Jun and Sae's cooking skills), and to Don for mechanical expertise with a flat tyre. Jacob from the UK got a few outback travel insights, such as do remember to turn on the hub caps if going off road, and don't carry smouldering wood on the roof rack......( it looked like it was out, honest!)

We did some 2200 km, with the track being generally in good condition, with a few corrugations and minor bulldust hollows and wash outs. One flat tyre was pretty good going, but we made sure we had 2 spares and did carry extra fuel, though it was available at both Kintore ($1.65) and Kiwirrkurra ($2.80 litre). Good water at both the outstation (not by the broken bore tank, the pump is about 150m west, turn left onto the track at the end of the abandoned buildings), and Jupiter Well. The road is mostly a permit road by the way, the NT one easily available (and WA seemingly less so) at and NT at Central Land Council

Thanks to all those who posted Jupiter Well reports on Birding aus too, most recently Bill Moorhead. We'll get to do this again sometime when conditions are better and this rare and elusive bird reappears......
Phil Gregory
www.cassowary au


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