I've been living in Alice Springs for a few months now and miss my daily walks through the bush at Yuendumu to walk the dogs and keep an eye on the birds that live in and wander through that corner of the Tanami Desert. So I try to get back out bush when I can to catch up with the country and the birds. And right now is a particularly good time for birds because we've had some - but not enough - of our summer rains.
[caption id="attachment_2939" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="Australian Hobby on closing wings and a fistful of food"]
So last Friday I packed up the Troopie and headed north-west for a few hours to a gorge that I've camped at a few times in the past. You can see one of my reports of the bird life at this gorge here
. At this time of year there are quite a few waterholes scattered throughout the ranges that this gorge cuts through. Right now the waterhole near the mouth of the gorge is full and fresh, later in the year the waterhole will be the last "free" water in the area. For much of the year this waterhole is an essential resource for the many granivores - the small doves, finches and parrots - that need to access water several times a day to survive.
And where you have a steady flow of small birds to and from a reliable waterhole you will also find the birds that kill and eat them. Which is one of the reasons that I keep coming back to this place - to see the wonderful variety of raptors - the birds that eat other birds - that forage for prey around the gorge and the ranges.
Here are a few of the birds I caught up with over the weekend.