Friday, September 3, 2010

Outback - Part 4

Our last day in Alice dawned bright and sunny!! At last we were going to be able to do some "proper" birding. We headed out early, going McDonnell Ranges west of Alice. 1st stop was Simpson's Gap, a tiny gorge through the range. We were the second car there, and hoped that the birds hadn't been disturbed too much. But the sun wasn't shining into the gorge yet, so it was still bitterly cold and hardly anything was moving. We spotted a small movement in the rocks, and there was a Black-flanked Rock-wallaby. As the sun started to warm the gorge, so the tour buses started to arrive, and signaled that it was time to move on. On the way back to the car I flushed a pair of Collared Sparrowhawks, one of which wheeled around behind a large ghost gum, but didn't come out the other side. Investigation showed he/she was sitting on a nest.
As we drove west we stopped at an interesting creek. The hillsides were full of flowers, and also a few birds including this stunning Red-backed Kingfisher. West again, the next stop was Ormiston Gorge. The gorge goes through to a natural pound, and the slopes and valleys here are full of interesting birds. At the beginning of the gorge were some Grey-headed Honeyeaters busily investigating the flowers. As we walked along the first valley, we could hear the high pitched calls of Dusky Grasswrens. I spotted one, then a pair, but they would not come too close. I tried "pishing", but ne response, so I played a short snatch of their song, and they immediately came to see who was on "their patch". We continued along the track, and eventually got to the rim of the pound. The view was stunning, as was the walk back through a lovely valley. We spent much more time at Ormiston than we had planned, and so had to head back to Alice to begin the journey home.

16 comments:

  1. Great shots Tony,love your dusky Grasswren.
    Smart looking bird.
    John.

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  2. Very beautiful set of photos and really interesting to see.Thank you for sharing,Tony!

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  3. Terrific captures, Tony! Lovely skies, beautiful birds! Great post for the day! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Sylvia

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  4. Lovely set of photos Tony, that valley looks wonderful! I love the third photo down, looking along the gorge and the Grasswren is a beautiful photo. Glad you got SOME decent weather on your trip! (-:

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  5. This looks so like spring! Wish I were there!

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  6. Just catching up at long last Tony. Glad to learn the weather didn't totally scupper your trip. Thanks for sharing the trip views and not least all the wildlife you encountered. FAB.

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  7. Tony, this is really wonderful captures! Good job~ Have a great weekend. Mary

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  8. thank you for sharing your wonderful journey with us here...such interesting creatures and so much beauty!

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  9. Beautiful SkyWatch photos

    Happy SWF! Have a nice weekend,

    Regards, Bram

    My SkyWatch on WordPress

    Seen on Sky Watch Friday

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  10. Enjoy reading your blog and learn about wildlife in Australia!

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  11. A wonderful series of photos! It was quite awesome looking up between the cliffs and the upside down bird feeding is cute.

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  12. Hi Tony just caught up with you outback 2 posts and this one,that must have been a super trip and the images reflect it. I think that Bower bird is great. Nice One.

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  13. Great shots, congratulations!!!

    Frank, Barcelona

    http://balapertotarreu.blogspot.com

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  14. Tony -- I wrote a long, flattering comment to this post yesterday, then clicked a wrong something and lost it. Took me nearly 24 hours to find your photos again because I'd forgotten your name. Duh.
    So, in a nutshell, beautiful pictures, beautiful birds, but I love love love the wobbly, who was probably not part of your agenda.
    Kay
    Alberta, Canada

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  15. Such a beautiful place, love the sky shot :)

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  16. All the pics are beautiful!

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