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Well, I’ll be budgerigared!

DSC03044 - Version 2Alice Springs must give thanks to birdmen Mark Carter and Chris Watson for telling the world about the winged delights of Central Australia at the British Bird Fair.

Night Parrot, Dragons and Budgie swarms – birding the desert frontier  was the subject of Mark’s talk, delivered at the fair last Friday.

Somewhat synchronistically, just after Mark delivered his talk I got a call from Dave Price about a spot he’d recently discovered not too from Alice Springs. A few hundred litres of water in a puddle in a creekbed had become a magnet for hosts of white-plumed honeyeaters, zebra finches and budgerigars.

When we arrived there on Monday morning, it was only a matter of minutes before the mobs descended. It’d been a few years since I’d last stood in the middle of thousands of budgerigars and I can only describe their sudden mass movement as a rush - from the beholder’s point of view as well as the budgies’. Interestingly, the zebra finches also make a fair bit of noise as they move about in similar fashion, but in their smaller numbers cannot match volume and size of a rush of budgies.

Mark’s audience at the bird fair could probably be considered fairly specialised, but I wonder if budgie tourism could have wider appeal. The last time Dave kindly took me to one of his budgie-spotting sites the resulting film I made of of a budgie feeding its baby through a tree hollow has had nearly 180,000 views on YouTube. Some of the comments from budgie-lovers around the world indicate that many didn’t know how utterly different the lives of wild budgies are from those of their caged cousins.

Aug 21, 2014 | Categories: At the Centre, Features | Leave A Comment »

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Well, I'll be budgerigared!

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Aug 21, 2014 | Discuss

Alice Springs must give thanks to birdmen Mark Carter and Chris Watson for telling the world about the winged delights of Central Australia at the British Bird Fair. Night Parrot, Dragons and Budgie swarms – birding the desert frontier  was the subject of Mark’s talk, delivered at the fair ...

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