Bonus Entry: Budgies and Stuff

BUDGIES! (More about them later).
Last Tuesday morning, after a bush-camp near Mica Creek, we tried again and were successful for the Kalkadoon Grasswren (see the blog entry before this one). On our way into the areas that we searched, we came across a rubbish pile, and in the midst of the rubbish Robert spotted “The Big Year” DVD! We could not believe it. This is a place where people sometime bird, so I reckon birders put it there. It was quite a surprise. We just left it where it was.

That afternoon, after arriving at one of the better known Carpentarian Grasswren sites, we checked the “cairn.” It has a miner’s hat for a lid and it is where a book of Carpentarian sightings is kept safe for birders to record their sightings. This is a photo of Rob and Laurie with the cairn.

Luckily, the next day, Laurie was able to leave a record of our sightings in there as well. I also took a shot of our bush-camp there. Here are the three Troopies in the bush. What a great time. Incredible birds and wonderful company, as good as it gets. I am very grateful.

On to Thursday morning… I have always loved the photos of hundreds, or sometimes thousands of Budgies (Budgerigars) coming into water holes. Magical! I had never seen this until Thursday morning at Barkly Homestead. Although not quite hundreds, it was a wondrous sight. The light was harsh for photos since I was shooting toward the sun, but I was mostly busy just marveling at the beauty of the spectacle. They were SO fast! Here are some photos that hopefully capture the chaotic, craziness and speed of Budgies bathing, drinking and seemingly, just playing in the water. I am so grateful.

The one on the lower left is drunk.
I love the calm water before they get there...

We stayed Thursday night at a very nice, and very reasonable caravan park in Tennant Creek. Friday morning began with a bit of a glitch. Troopi seemed to be listing to her left. I noticed this coming back from the amenities early this morning. As it happened, the back left tyre was partially flat. I phoned the auto club (best money I have ever spent) and they sent a guy out. He arrived about 8am and informed me that there was a tyre place just across the road. He followed me there in case the tyre did not make it. It made it. As it turned out, the rim had a crack in it. They replaced the rim and soon we were on our way. The cool thing is… that this happened in the comfort of a caravan park and across the street from a tyre place. NOT out in the bush without mobile coverage. Yes, I am very grateful. And it was only $125 total. I don’t think I have ever spent that little having anything done to a motor vehicle in Australia.

Here are a few other photos that are kind of cool and I just want to share them.
Beach Stone-curlew at dusk, Buffalo Creek, NT
Little Egret in breeding plumage, Buffalo Creek, NT
Spinifex Pigeon, race plumifera in Mt. Isa, NT (we saw race ferruginea in WA)
Cloncurry Ringneck, race macgillivrayi, Mt. Isa, NT
I am writing this Friday evening in a caravan park in Ti Tree, NT. Tomorrow we will be in Alice Springs for a few days. I will keep y’all posted. Sending love and gratitude as we get closer to the center.

Peace. Love. Birds.